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Verratti: PSG must show character in Champions League crunch at Manchester United

PSG midfielder Marco Verratti (right) says PSG must show no fear in their Champions League match at Manchester United.
PSG midfielder Marco Verratti (right) says PSG must show no fear in their Champions League match at Manchester United. AFP
3 min

Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Marco Verratti called on his teammates to show their character in Wednesday night’s make or break Champions League game against Manchester United.

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PSG could be in third place in Group H when the match kicks off at Old Trafford. Istanbul Basaksehir take on RB Leipzig in the early tie and a victory for the German side in Turkey would take them into second place with nine points.

United lead the pack after four matches with nine points and a draw would advance them into the knockout stages. PSG go into the game with six points.

"We've had some tough times,” said Verratti. “But we have to forget about it. We have a “final” to play and we have to be at 150 per cent. We have to play with character and without fear.”

PSG, who lost to Bayern Munich in the 2020 Champions League final, warmed up for the fifth game of the group stages with a disappointing 2-2 draw on Saturday night in Ligue 1 with Bordeaux. In the English Premier League on Sunday afternoon, United came from 2-0 down to win 3-2 at Southampton.

Old boy

Former PSG attacker Edinson Cavani was the architect of the recovery. The veteran striker went on at the start of the second-half for Mason Greenwood and set up Bruno Fernandes for United’s first goal 15 minutes after the restart.

The 33-year-old nodded in the equaliser after 74 minutes and head home the winner in stoppage-time.

"He doesn't need to show us his quality," said PSG boss Thomas Tuchel of Cavani who scored 200 times in seven seasons at the French outfit to become the club’s record goalscorer.

Similar pyrotechnics from Cavani could send PSG further towards the relative ignominy of the Europa League - Uefa’s second tier competition which lies well outside the expectations of the executives bankrolling Tuchel’s expensively assembled squad.

"It is one of the biggest challenges in the world to come to Old Trafford and win,” said Tuchel on the eve of a match that could well determine the length of his stay in Paris. “But winning is not impossible and that is what we are preparing for."

 

 

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