Ole Gunnar Solskjaer excited by return to Old Trafford
Manchester United’s last-16 second-leg Champions League tie at Paris St-Germain tonight is not “mission impossible”, says interim manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
The match is coming against the backdrop of Ajax’s spectacular comeback against cup holders, Real Madrid last night at Santiago Bernabue where they won 4-1 after 1-2 loss in Amsterdam three weeks ago.
United lost the home leg 2-0 and will need to make history to progress and club has ever advanced in the knockout phase after losing at home by two or more goals in the first leg.
“Goals always change games. We’ve got to get the first goal and then anything can happen,” Solskjaer said.
“Football is a technical and tactical game but it’s also a mental game. If we get the first one we would start believing more and then they might start doubting themselves.
“It’s never mission impossible. It’s just more difficult.
“Everyone knows we can do it. In the Champions League in the last few years there have been so many examples of teams that can change results like this.”
United have won 13 out their 16 fixtures in all competitions since Solskjaer took charge in December.
However, despite domestic victories away at Tottenham, Arsenal and Chelsea, United’s last away win in the knock-out phase of the Champions League was in April 2011 against Schalke.
“When nobody believes in you there is always that bit of character in yourself that you want to show,” Solskjaer added.
“Making history is not the motivation. The motivation is going through. These players aren’t used to losing.”
Solskjaer’s side also go into the second leg in Paris with the suspended Paul Pogba and Alexis Sanchez among 10 first-team absentees.
Sanchez will be missing for four to six weeks after going off injured in the 3-2 win over Southampton on Saturday.