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PSG boss Tuchel warns of Manchester United spirit under Solskjaer

PSG boss Thomas Tuchel is trying to guide the side into the last eight of the Champions League for the first time since 2016.
PSG boss Thomas Tuchel is trying to guide the side into the last eight of the Champions League for the first time since 2016. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

PSG boss Thomas Tuchel on Tuesday hailed the never-say-die attitude of Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Citing the Norwegian’s stoppage time winner against Bayern Munich in the 1999 Champions League final, Tuchel said: “It is always better to be aware of the qualities of Solskjaer.

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“He has shown not only to Bayern Munich but a lot of times that he was one of the key players in the biggest era of Manchester United.”

Under Alex Ferguson, United won an unprecedented treble of the English Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League.

“Solskjaer was someone who was totally devoted to the team and always ready to help for 30 minutes, 20 minutes or five minutes,” added Tuchel. “And this is the spirit that made him great. This is the spirit that is at Manchester United.

“It is better for us at PSG to accept this reality that his players will be ready for everything and they will believe they can win because it is a strong club with a strong history.”

In one of the most dramatic denouements in a Champions League final, Solskjaer stabbed the ball past the despairing dive of the Bayern goalkeeper Oliver Kahn to complete one of the most legendary comebacks.

United had trailed to Mario Basler’s sixth minute opener until Teddy Sheringham’s equaliser in the first minute of stoppage time.

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Nearly 18 years later, PSG were on the humiliatingly wrong side of an epic recovery. They beat Barcelona 4-0 in the first leg of their last 16 tie at the Parc des Princes.

But Unai Emery’s men lost the second leg at the Camp Nou 6-1 to exit the competition 6-5 on aggregate.

Tuchel replaced Emery at the start of the 2018/19 season and he will eclipse the Spaniard if he steers PSG into the last eight for the first time since 2016.

“We have to be confident and calm to progress,” said Tuchel on the eve of the clash against United. “We have shown such qualities during the past few weeks. We have to be ready to show a reaction to all scenarios.”

Since PSG’s 2-0 victory at Old Trafford on 12 February, the French outfit have maintained their dominance over the French league. They are 17 points ahead of second placed Lille who have played one game more than the pacesetters.

Meanwhile, United have progressed to the last eight of the FA Cup and have risen to fourth in the Premier League.

“United had won lots of games before we beat them and have won lots of games since then,” said Tuchel. “That shows you how good they have been.

“But we need to forget the first result and concentrate on the performance that we gave in the first game.”

 

 

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