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Sport

Manchester United must end Champions League record to progress past PSG

Posted By:  on  February 13, 2019


Manchester United must end an incredible Champions League statistic if they are to overturn Tuesday night’s defeat by PSG and reach the quarter-finals. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men have a mountain to climb after being beaten 2-0 at Old Trafford, when goals from Presnel Kimpembe and Kylian Mbappe handed the Ligue 1 leaders a crucial first-leg advantage.

And the size of the task at hand has now been laid bare, with no side in history having progressed in the competition after losing at home by at least two goals. Before United’s defeat on Tuesday, there had been 89 previous instances of a team losing by two or more goals in their first leg of a knockout tie.

Just 12 of those progressed (13.5 per cent) to the next stage, but every one of them were playing at home during the second leg. United must travel to Paris for their return fixture at the Parc des Princes on March 6. PSG are unbeaten at home in all competitions this season. In total, 34 teams have attempted to overcome a two or more goal deficit away from home in the second leg. None have been successful.

Another statistic which goes against United is their poor recent record in the Champions League knockout stages. Their last victory came way back in March 2014 when David Moyes’ side beat Olympiacos 3-0 in the second leg of their last-16 tie to progress to the last eight 3-2 on aggregate. Moyes’ men were eliminated in the next round by Bayern Munich, but United failed to make it out of their group during their next Champions League campaign in 2015-16.

United made it out of their group under Jose Mourinho in 2017-18, but were then knocked out by Spanish side Sevilla in the last-16 after a 2-1 defeat at Old Trafford. However, one thing in United’s favour is PSG’s record of throwing away first leg leads in Europe in recent years. In 2014 they were 3-1 up after the first leg of their quarter-final with Chelsea, but went out on away goals following a 2-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge. There was also a stunning collapse in March 2017 when, after defeating Barcelona 4-0 at home in the first leg of a last-16 tie, they suffered an embarrassing 6-1 loss at the Nou Camp to go out 6-5 on aggregate.

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