PSG's Champions League run has ended in early heartbreak again, while Man United's magic touch is back.
PSG failed to put away Manchester United with its mounds of chances, gifted the Red Devils a pair of goals and then watched as a VAR controversy gave the visitors a decisive stoppage-time penalty, with Marcus Rashford's kick sending the English side to the quarterfinals on the away goal tiebreaker after a 3-3 aggregate draw. Romelu Lukaku scored twice, sandwiching a Juan Bernat goal, and PSG couldn't find the insurance strike it needed, having an apparent one from Angel Di Maria wiped off the board after a correct review. That set the stage for the controversial moment, when Presnel Kimpembe was whistled, after a review, for a handball on a speculative Diogo Dalot shot from distance.
PSG carried a 2-0 aggregate lead into the home leg, and Manchester United was decimated by absences. Paul Pogba was out suspended, while Anthony Martial, Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata, Ander Herrera, Nemanja Matic and Antonio Valencia were among 10 senior players unavailable for the trip. As a result, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer included five untested teenagers on the squad in hopes of a miracle comeback.
Man United got off to a dream start by slicing into the deficit two minutes in. Thilo Kehrer hit a careless back pass across his own area, and Lukaku pounced. The Belgian forward rounded Gianluigi Buffon before finishing into an empty net to make it 1-0 on the day to United and reducing the aggregate deficit to 2-1.
Kylian Mbappe had two chances to equalize and restore PSG's two-goal aggregate edge in the minutes that followed, but his sliding attempt to redirect a Bernat cross was slightly mistimed before he had another close-range opportunity blocked before it could reach David De Gea's goal.
The goal came soon enough, though. It was Mbappe returning the favor for Bernat, running onto a ball in behind and crossing to the back post, where an unmarked Bernat touched home the final ball to make it 1-1 on the day and 3-1 on aggregate.
PSG continued to boss the game–but also continued to gift Man United openings. The next one came on the half-hour mark, when Rashford dumped a speculative shot from distance on goal. Buffon made the save, but he spilled the rebound, allowing Lukaku to tap in his second of the day. The goal made it 2-1 on the day to Man United and reduced PSG's aggregate edge to 3-2. The goal was key as it leveled the away goals between the two, meaning one more from United (without conceding) would send the English side through.
PSG thought it had some breathing room 10 minutes into the second half, when Mbappe, with a tremendous flick, played Di Maria in for the finish, but VAR ruled correctly that the Argentine was offside, taking the goal off the board.
PSG had a chance to put it away in the 84th minute, too, with Mbappe in on the breakaway. The French star lost his footing, though, and even though Bernat chased down the rebound, all he could do was put it off the outside of the post from a tight, left-sided angle.
PSG's failure to put the game away came back to haunt the hosts. Dalot's shot from distance was put out for a corner by a leaping Kimpembe. On first glance, it looked innocuous, but with his back to the shot, the ball hit off Kimpembe's elbow. After a VAR review, a penalty was controversially given, and Rashford buried the kick from the spot, evening the aggregate and putting Man United through via the away goal tiebreaker.
Despite its financial outlay, the last-16 elimination marks the third straight year PSG has failed to reach the quarterfinals, last year falling to Real Madrid and the year before blowing a 4-1 aggregate lead in falling to Barcelona.
Here were the lineups for both teams:
The Champions League round of 16 concludes next week, with four remaining ties in the balance: Bayern Munich-Liverpool, Lyon-Barcelona, Man City-Schalke and Juventus-Atletico Madrid.