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Opinion

Plucky £300m Manchester United team in miracle win over PSG – As Newcastle fans we have to laugh

2 weeks ago
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Fair play to Manchester United.

They rode their luck and have qualified for the last eight of the Champions League.

Despite hardly having a kick they somehow won 3-1 in Paris and went through on away goals after a 2-0 defeat in the home leg.

Just like when any other English club (unless like when Leicester qualified or if some other non-obvious club qualified) plays in the Champions League I wanted them to get beat but they managed it. They never stopped trying so they deserve credit I suppose for that.

However, the media reaction has been unbelievable.

I had to double check it was Manchester United and not FC United of Manchester who had managed this victory.

It was laughable what was being said in the immediate aftermath of the game and then today as well.

Apparently it was a glorious triumph of an underdog.

Much was made of them having some players missing but the reality is that the players that they did have starting the game, cost Manchester United £275m with then subs Dalot and Rojo bringing that figure up to £313m.

Their starting eleven (figures via Transfermarkt):

£23m De Gea

£34m Bailly

£7m Smalling

£32m Lindelof

£34m Shaw

£53m Fred

£16m Young

£0 McTominay

£0 Pereira

£76m Lukaku

£0 Rashford

You then had £20m Dalot who came on, whilst £18m Rojo stayed on the bench.

When you take into account that De Gea is now worth probably £100m or so and Rashford the same, plus Pereira is a Brazilian international, brave plucky underdogs isn’t my first thought.

Watching the game, the commentary amused/annoyed me in equal measure.

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Man Utd were just trying to defend for almost the entire match, the BBC Sport stats show they had only 28% possession, no corners, only four shots on target and they were the three goals and the initial long distance shot that Buffon embarrassingly spilled for the second of their goals, it sums up just how lucky they were.

This is without even mentioning what a shocking decision it was to give that last gasp penalty.

However, all I heard throughout was how brilliant the Solskjaer plan/tactics were, as his lowly team did their best against the mighty PSG.

Contrast this with how Newcastle United and Rafa Benitez get treated when trying to get a results very much against the odds.

When the Magpies beat Man City in January, nine of the starting eleven cost £29m between them, whilst the other two (Lejeune £9m and Ritchie £12m) still only brought it up to £50m for the lot. Less than what Man Utd’s Fred cost by himself.

Rafa gets slaughtered for keeping it tight and hoping to break and a bit of luck as his £50m team is up against a Man City team where most of their individual players cost that, yet the criticism always is that he is being too negative.

A very good result for Manchester United last night against PSG but don’t let anybody try and tell you it was some kind of miracle.

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