First defeat strikes in Champions League

First defeat strikes in Champions League

I have not been up and blogging since the last couple of days since I am down with a bit of a cold and flare up of my sinusitis. The undulating diurnal variation in climate is not helping my cause.

Nevertheless I have stuck to my routine modus operandi of tackling cold. Day 0: quiet observation.
Day 1: levocetrizine SOS and Azithral 500 mg OD.
Day 2: levocetrizine SOS and Azithral 500 mg OD.

Just when I was trying to figure out how to have access to watching the champions league game, I realized Ten Sports is available on the SonyLiv app.

I slept through the first 15 minutes as I wasn’t feeling great. Then propped myself up on my bean bag and started watching the game on my phone.

A tetch of nervousness was seen by both teams as both pressed quickly resulting in many misdirected passes on both sides. In the attacking vein that United was, pace, pace and more pace was the approach, however there was a bit of conservativeness in runs in behind as PSG opted to sit and defend and exploit on the counter.

Sadly to demolish his plans completely both Anthony and Jesse pulled up with muscle injuries, groin and calf. All of a sudden, plan A went out of the window.

Bench replacements were diametrically opposite, Sanchez and Mata. This is where I would have opted to differ with Ole’s approach. No matter how bad a form Lukaku was in, he would have been better off bringing Lukaku on, putting Rashford wide and allowing only one flank to be pulled down on pace. What it then did was allow PSG to play their game in midfield and we were being stretched with ease.

As always is in Champions League fixtures, refereeing with or without VAR involves really awful international referees like the one officiating this one. He was throwing around yellow cards for fun in the first leg of a two legged game, thereby being accomplice to manipulating the outcome. Of course if it was consistent, it would have been of merit. What seemed like an obvious tug back on Rashford by a player already on a yellow card was completely dismissed whilst Pogba was penalized with two yellow cards.

This is the harsh reality of Champions League football. Ole calls it experience. Genuine youthful enthusiasm was drubbed last night as players felt, they were not able to get the best out of it thanks to some shoddy refereeing.

What it does expose though is the fragility of the existing squad and how much of a rehaul is required for us to restore glory back again. One thing that also played against us was the fact that we were considered favorities against a team that was not here with full potential.

Ole will realize by now that he has to operate plan B with immediate effect as his potent winning run team with a couple of injuries is not going to be able to provide the ice and slice that they did so far.

Two away goals are making things unlikely for us to progress. But there is never shortage for optimism in this team ably led by Ole.

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