Thomas Tuchel said the ongoing absence of fans is proving difficult as the Paris Saint-Germain head coach highlighted the struggles of playing behind closed doors following Tuesday's Champions League defeat.

PSG – last season's Champions League runners-up – lost 2-1 to Premier League visitors Manchester United in their Group H opener at Parc des Princes.

Marcus Rashford's 87th-minute strike downed PSG, who equalised 10 minutes into the second half via Anthony Martial's own goal after United captain Bruno Fernandes had converted a 23rd-minute penalty.

The result condemned PSG to their first home loss in the Champions League group stage in 25 games, and PSG boss Tuchel bemoaned behind-closed-doors football amid the coronavirus pandemic.

"It's clear we can improve and we must," Tuchel told reporters. "It's clear that we're not happy with the performance but now is not the moment to be too critical, here, in public.

"We'll do that behind closed doors. We have a lot of things to improve. I don't know why but it's obvious that we had trouble to find the required spirit.

"It's really difficult to always play in closed doors, it's very difficult, it's not the same atmosphere in Champions League. It's one reason but it's not the decisive reason. We'll analyse and discuss but behind closed doors."

PSG – without the likes of Marquinhos and Marco Verratti – were far from their best in the French capital, where star duo Neymar and Kylian Mbappe were nullified by United's defence.

Neymar failed to score in four consecutive Champions League appearances for the first time since November 2013.

PSG – who will also meet last season's semi-finalists RB Leipzig – have the chance to respond when they travel to Group H opponents Istanbul Basaksehir next week.

"I didn't need the proof, I knew it was a difficult group," Tuchel said. "I knew that, I knew that very well. I know what we missed. We had injured players, players who already proved what they are able to do. We tried, but I'll always defend my players, because they are the same players who have done well in the last weeks, the last months.

"Today, it was like that… We had trouble finding solutions and the spirit that's necessary in the Champions League. Now, it’s more difficult than before [in the group]."

PSG defender Presnel Kimpembe, who captained the Ligue 1 champions, told RMC Sport: "There is no explanation. We were simply not good tonight, we were not in the duels and we were slow and late in running back defensively, you pay for that at this level. We can only look at ourselves."

Paris Saint-Germain head coach Thomas Tuchel described Tuesday's 2-1 loss against Manchester United as one of the club's worst games, the German particularly scathing of the first-half performance in their Champions League opener. 

PSG succumbed to Marcus Rashford's strike with three minutes remaining in Paris, where last season's Champions League runners-up made a losing start in Group H. 

Ligue 1 holders PSG were without Marquinhos and Marco Verratti and United took advantage – Bruno Fernandes converting a 23rd-minute penalty, though Red Devils forward Anthony Martial netted an own goal 10 minutes into the second half. 

But United left the French capital with maximum points thanks to Rashford's late winner, condemning PSG to a first home defeat in the Champions League group stage in 25 games. 

"In the first half, we were simply not on the pitch," Tuchel told beIN SPORTS. "It was not our level. 

"I don't know why, but I can just say that it was not our level, in moving the ball, in possession, in counter-attacking, in challenges, in intensity. 

"By far, one of our worst games, one of our worst first halves." 

"The good news was that it could not be worse. Okay, we were down 1-0, it is easy to play better in the second half and we had to step up, it was clear," Tuchel added after star forward Neymar failed to score in four consecutive Champions League appearances for the first time since November 2013. 

"We tried to do some tactical changes because of the injury of Idrissa Gueye, we tried to bring on one more offensive guy, which was a risk that we paid for at the end also. It was like this today. 

"From the start until the end it felt like we were never at our highest level, and we weren't really into the match like was absolutely necessary on this level." 

When asked about the atmosphere behind closed doors, Tuchel said: "I don't feel it. We've played how many games in the Champions League now without supporters? I don't feel it, sorry." 

PSG, however, have the chance to respond when they travel to Group H opponents Istanbul Basaksehir next week after hosting Dijon in Ligue 1 on Saturday. 

But Tuchel said: "We have a lot of injured players, a lot of quality that is missing and for that I am not sure if this is good, no." 

Manchester United, Barcelona and Juventus all made winning starts to their Champions League campaigns as the group stage got up and running.

Tuesday's headline fixture saw two heavyweights in a head-to-head Group H clash, as United saw off Paris Saint-Germain 2-1 thanks to Marcus Rashford's late strike. The England forward's last three goals in the competition have all come on the road, with the last two netted at Parc des Princes.

The victory means United, who have also now scored a record nine Champions League own goals thanks to Anthony Martial's mistake, have won 10 consecutive away matches in all competitions for the first time.

Bruno Fernandes opened the scoring with his 11th spot-kick for United. Since 2012-13, PSG have conceded more penalties (18) and more penalty goals (13) in the Champions League than any other side.

Meanwhile, Ronald Koeman became the fifth manager to take charge of at least six teams in the Champions League – after Carlo Ancelotti (eight), Claudio Ranieri, Jose Mourinho and Rafael Benitez (all six) – as his Barca side took on Ferencvaros.

It finished 5-1 to the five-time European champions, with Lionel Messi converting a 27th-minute penalty to become the first player to score in 16 successive Champions League campaigns in the process.

Ansu Fati doubled Barca's advantage before the break, making him the first player to have scored two Champions League goals before turning 18. Philippe Coutinho, Pedri and Ousmane Dembele completed the rout.

Elsewhere in Group G, Juve overcame Dynamo Kiev thanks to Alvaro Morata's maiden Champions League double, while Andrea Pirlo became the third Bianconeri coach to win his first away game in charge in the competition.

Frank Lampard experienced his first 0-0 draw as Chelsea manager in a stalemate with Sevilla.

From players in the top five European leagues, only Tottenham star Harry Kane (eight) has provided more assists this season than Borussia Dortmund's Giovanni Reyna (four), though Erling Haaland's latest effort that came with a little help from his team-mate arrived in a 3-1 defeat to Group F rivals Lazio.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was proud of Manchester United for another memorable late Champions League victory over Paris Saint-Germain but said it was not the same in a "sterile" atmosphere. 

After Anthony Martial's own goal restored parity following Bruno Fernandes' first-half penalty, Marcus Rashford arrowed in an 87th-minute winner to ensure United overcame last season's finalists 2-1 in their Group H opener at the Parc des Princes on Tuesday. 

United became the first team to beat PSG at home more than once in the Champions League, with Rashford having struck a stoppage-time spot-kick to secure a 3-1 win on their previous visit – a result that sent them into the 2018-19 quarter-finals on away goals. 

However, with no fans in attendance in Paris on this occasion due to restrictions in place amid the coronavirus pandemic, Solskjaer acknowledged there was not the same feeling.

"It's a different feeling from the last time we won here, it's at the start of the group stage but we've beaten a fantastic team," Solskjaer told BT Sport. 

"Last time it was a knockout and it was euphoric, this is sterile without the fans but it's still excellent and we deserved to win." 

David de Gea produced some impressive saves to keep out Angel Di Maria, Layvin Kurzawa and Kylian Mbappe, who was marshalled impressively by Axel Tuanzebe in his first appearance since December 2019. 

Tuanzebe played on the right side of a back three that included Luke Shaw, with Alex Telles handed a debut at left wing-back. 

"When you go away to a team like this against Neymar and Mbappe you have to defend well and your keeper will have to make saves," said Solskjaer. 

"We know Axel's qualities. He is a top defender and his first game in 10 months was testament to the quality he has." 

Before netting the winner to secure a 10th straight away victory for United in all competitions for the first time in their history, Rashford had struggled to execute efficiently despite being regularly released in behind the defence. 

He was twice kept out by Keylor Navas before finally finding the back of the net with the help of the base of the left post. 

Rashford said: "For me, they were both opportunities to win the game. As a striker, in the game late on, that's the mentality. You might only get one chance. It gets us the three points. 

"It's a good performance but also one where we have a lot to build on. I always believe in the team. As players it's important to believe in the system that the manager chooses to play. We did that fantastically. 

"It was tough but we kept the intensity high. We had to defend very deep at times. They have some amazing players. In the low block it can be tough but the guys on the sides – the full-backs – they defended unbelievably. When we defend like that man-to-man, we can do great things. 

"Every game requires different tactics and a different performance but what has to stay the same is the intensity. The intensity was key for us tonight. We kept going for 90 minutes. We are very happy." 

Manchester United should not have beaten Paris Saint-Germain two seasons ago.

That miraculous comeback by that youthful side was resilient, spirited, but lucky – a result born of mindset rather than tactics from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, where 28 per cent of the ball and four shots on target somehow became a 3-1 win.

On Tuesday, when Marcus Rashford blasted home his second winning goal at Parc des Princes in as many visits, there was no great sense of incredulity, no vilifying of VAR; this time, Neymar's look of astonishment was aimed at his team's listless display, not at the officials from up in the stands.

That game in March 2019 may have got Solskjaer the permanent job, but this one showed what is expected, what is demanded of a United manager: going to Europe's elite and cowing them. His tiger-print-clad charges really earned their stripes.

PSG have their problems and that was laid bare in a sodden French capital. A midfield without Marco Verratti could not dictate; a defence without Marquinhos could not contain. Thomas Tuchel has already aired his grievances with sporting director Leonardo in public over their transfers and, after that performance, that relationship is unlikely to get any easier.

But that should not detract from United's success. That 6-1 humiliation to Tottenham two weeks ago suggested Solskjaer is a man without a plan, and with no players prepared to execute it even if he did. This will have driven some of the wolves from the door.

Solskjaer has often gone with a back three against stronger opponents who are expected to have more of the ball, but nobody will have expected Luke Shaw, Victor Lindelof and Axel Tuanzebe – whose only previous appearance in this competition was nearly three years ago – to play like this.

Tuanzebe, with seven clearances and just two misplaced passes all game, and Aaron Wan-Bissaka, who made six tackles and two interceptions, shut down the Neymar-Mbappe left-channel link-up in impetuous style. Ahead of the defence, Fred and Scott McTominay won back possession 15 times and contested 30 duels between them. They were so efficient, so effective with and without the ball, that it seemed to rub off on Paul Pogba; again consigned to a substitute role, he seemed positively enthused when he entered the fray and looked more authoritative than he has in weeks.

It meant PSG, despite having 61 per cent of the ball, managed only five shots on target throughout - one fewer than United. When they did breach the defence, they found a confident and competent David de Gea, who saved brilliantly from Layvin Kurzawa and Mbappe in each half. It took a bizarre header from Anthony Martial into his own net to get them on the scoreboard.

At the other end, Tuchel's men were a mess by comparison. Abdou Diallo's careless challenge on Martial, which allowed Bruno Fernandes to score from the spot at the second time of asking, was a moment of rashness that seemed to set the tone. Martial and Rashford broke at will upon the back four and could have put the game out of sight earlier, with Rashford producing an infuriatingly poor pass in a clear two-on-one.

Still, Rashford again had the final word. Whereas last year it was a nerveless penalty in front of the PSG ultras, this was a quick turn and thunderous low strike beyond Keylor Navas, a finish that deserved to be seen by fans in the ground.

This is a truly tough group but United have made a brilliant start. Unlike last time, this is just the start of their Champions League campaign, not the shock highlight towards its end.

Few would make United true contenders for the trophy, but this at least showed they have the nous to mix it with the favourites. Once again, Rashford was the hero in Paris, but this was Solskjaer's night.

Anthony Martial's own goal saw Manchester United set an unwanted Champions League record during Tuesday's clash with Paris Saint-Germain, though it did not ultimately prove costly.

Martial inadvertently headed Neymar's corner beyond David de Gea in the 55th minute of what proved to be a 2-1 win for United at Parc des Princes, cancelling out Bruno Fernandes' opener.

The France international's own goal was the ninth scored by a United player in the Champions League, the most of any club in the competition's history.

Laurent Blanc was the previous Frenchman to score a Champions League own goal for United, with Martial also becoming the second player from the country to put through his own net versus French opposition, after Jeremy Mathieu did so for Barcelona against PSG in April 2015.

United's opener came from the penalty spot, with Fernandes netting at the second attempt after Keylor Navas encroached off his line.

Since the start of last season, United have been awarded 27 penalties in all competitions, scoring 22 of them, both highs among sides in Europe's big five leagues in that time, while Fernandes has converted 11 spot-kicks since his debut for the club in February.

United retook the lead late on, with Marcus Rashford lashing a brilliant low strike in from the edge of the box to secure a winning start to their European campaign.

The England forward's most recent three Champions League goals have all come away from home, with the past two netted at Parc des Princes. 

Marcus Rashford was Manchester United's hero at the Parc des Princes once more as his late strike secured a 2-1 victory over Paris Saint-Germain in Champions League Group H on Tuesday. 

England international Rashford drilled home a stoppage-time penalty as United claimed a 3-1 win at PSG in the second leg of the last 16 in 2018-19, ensuring they progressed to the quarter-finals on away goals. 

Just as they did on that occasion, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men scored first. Bruno Fernandes tucked home a re-taken penalty after Keylor Navas stepped off his line to save the midfielder's first attempt. 

Anthony Martial's own goal restored parity but Rashford returned to haunt PSG when he fired a fine finish into the bottom-left corner from the edge of the box with three minutes remaining. 

Manchester United have named their 25-man squad for the Premier League season and there is no place for Phil Jones or Sergio Romero.

Last February, Jones signed a new contract at Old Trafford to run until June 2023 and containing the option of a further year.

However, he has not featured in the Premier League since a 2-0 loss to Burnley at Old Trafford in January – a defeat that proved to be United's final reverse in the top flight in 2019-20.

Romero has served as David de Gea's understudy since joining from Sampdoria in 2015 but has slipped down the pecking order since Dean Henderson's return from his successful loan stint at Sheffield United.

Jones and Romero were axed from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's Champions League squad this month along with Marcos Rojo, although the Argentina defender has made the cut this time.

United have endured a mixed start to the Premier League season but bounced back from their humiliating 6-1 loss to Tottenham by beating Newcastle United 4-1 last time out.

Liverpool and Manchester United are in talks over the creation of a breakaway European Premier League, according to a report by Sky News.

The Premier League giants could be among as many as five English clubs to join the competition, and the report claims more than a dozen teams from England, France, Germany, Italy and Spain have been involved in negotiations.

Wall Street bank JP Morgan is said to have prepared a $6billion (£4.6bn/€5.1bn) funding package to help launch the competition.

Sky News said Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham had also been approached over joining.

A Liverpool spokesperson offered no comment on the story when approached by Stats Perform, other than to describe it as "very speculative". City and United are yet to reply to requests for comment.

FIFA was reported to have given its support to the proposals, although the president of world football's governing body, Gianni Infantino, said last December: "FIFA is not backing any project."

UEFA has not gone on the record publicly over what appears to be a challenge to the supremacy of its Champions League. Its president, Aleksander Ceferin, last year condemned the concept of world leagues as "selfish and egotistical".

European football's governing body posted an interestingly timed tweet as the European Premier League reports broke, flagging the confirmed destinations for the next four Champions League finals through to 2024.

The existing Champions League structure is set to be revamped after the 2024 campaign, with plenty of posturing around the elite club game in Europe focused upon what shape this might take, although the backers of the European Premier League purportedly have ambitions to launch as early as 2022.

The latest talk of a European league follows the failure of Project Big Picture in England, a raft of proposed reforms initially backed by Liverpool and United that would have sanctioned a substantial coronavirus bailout package and increased financial support for the English Football League in exchange for increased voting rights on Premier League matters for the 'big six' clubs.

Following an emergency meeting last week, the Premier League said clubs had "unanimously agreed" that Project Big Picture would not be "endorsed or pursued", while committing to a strategic plan to examine the future funding of English football.

The Champions League returns this week after a short hiatus, with beaten finalists Paris Saint-Germain looking to get back up and running – and exact a measure of revenge – against Manchester United.

Juventus begin European competition under new head coach Andrea Pirlo, who faces one of the most experienced coaches in the game in Mircea Lucescu.

Barcelona will endeavour to banish memories of August's 8-2 obliteration by Bayern Munich when they face Ferencvaros for the first time, while Chelsea will hope to improve the poor record Premier League teams have had of late against Sevilla.

Here's the key data from Tuesday's matches in Europe's elite competition...

Dynamo Kiev v Juventus: Pirlo feeling the weight of history

Twice a Champions League winner with Milan in 2003 and 2007, Pirlo's first game in the competition comes away to Dynamo Kiev. None of the previous eight Juve head coaches have lost their first match in charge.

In fact, Juve have only been beaten on matchday one in the competition once in 20 previous seasons, winning 11 of those games and drawing eight. That one defeat was a 3-0 loss at Barcelona three years ago.

Dynamo boss Lucescu will be 75 years and 83 days old on Tuesday, making him the oldest coach in Champions League history, overtaking Jupp Heynckes (who was 72 and 357 days old in May 2018). If he wants to celebrate in style, he will need to inflect just a fifth group-stage defeat on Juve in 34 games.

 

Paris Saint-Germain v Manchester United: Mbappe chasing Messi record

PSG's last home defeat in the competition was that famous loss to United in the 2018-19 round of 16, when Marcus Rashford's late penalty secured a 3-1 win for an understrength Red Devils and sent them through on away goals.

If they are to start their quest for a return to the final with a win, Mbappe might be the man to do it. He has scored 19 goals in the tournament and, at 21 years and 305 days old, he needs just one against United to become the youngest player to reach 20. That would surpass Messi's record, set back in 2010 when he was 22 years and 267 days old.

Of course, if United's unsteady defence focuses on Mbappe, they risk leaving Neymar unchecked. Only Messi (45) had more carries with a take-on in last season's Champions League than Neymar (36), and nobody progressed further with the ball than the Brazil star (1,279 metres).

Barcelona v Ferencvaros: Koeman's worrying numbers

Barca have not lost any of their previous 31 home group games since Rubin Kazan stunned Pep Guardiola's men 2-1 back in October 2009. When you consider Ferencvaros have not been in the competition since 1995-96, when they conceded 19 goals in six matches, you would not expect that Barca run to be stopped.

However, coach Ronald Koeman heads into his first European game in charge with a pretty poor record. The fifth coach to take charge of at least six teams in the competition, after Carlo Ancelotti (eight), Claudio Ranieri (six), Jose Mourinho (six) and Rafael Benitez (six), he has the worst win ratio (26.3 per cent) of anybody to manage at least 50 games in the tournament.

Still, he has Messi. The Barca captain has been involved in at least one goal in 38 of his previous 43 group-stage starts, scoring 56 times and assisting 16.

 

Chelsea v Sevilla: Can Werner lift English spirits?

Sevilla, who knocked United out of last season's Europa League semi-finals, have won all three major European matches against teams from England. Chelsea, meanwhile, have taken one victory from their previous nine Champions League meetings with teams from Spain, drawing five and losing three.

Frank Lampard will hope Timo Werner can make the difference. The forward was involved in nine goals in his last 11 Champions League games for RB Leipzig (seven scored, two assisted) and could become the third German to score for Chelsea in the competition, after Michael Ballack (four goals) and Andre Schurrle (two). He has, however, never scored at home.

Other fixtures:

Lazio v Borussia Dortmund:

3 – Dortmund's last Champions League win in Italy was a 1-0 victory over Milan in March 2003, courtesy of a Jan Koller goal. They have lost all three such visits since.

8 – Only Robert Lewandowski (10) scored more group-stage goals last season than Erling Haaland (eight). Haaland averages a goal or assist every 50 minutes in the competition.

 

RB Leipzig v Istanbul Basaksehir:

6 – Istanbul Basaksehir are the sixth Turkish team to play in the Champions League. Only one of the previous five won their first match – that was Trabzonspor, who beat Inter 1-0 away in September 2011.

14 – RB Leipzig's Hwang Hee-chan created the most chances in open play in the Champions League group stage in 2019-20 (14) when he played for RB Salzburg. He was directly involved in six goals in his six group-stage appearances (three goals, three assists) and was one of two players to both score and assist three goals in the group stage, along with Kylian Mbappe.

 

Rennes v Krasnodar:

2 – Rennes have lost just twice at home in major European games, winning five and drawing seven of those 14 matches, all of which were in the UEFA Cup/Europa League between November 2007 and December last year.

36 – Krasnodar boss Murad Musayev is 36 years and 345 days old, the second-youngest coach in this season's competition (behind Leipzig's Julian Nagelsmann, 33). He could become the fifth-youngest to win his first game and the youngest since Andre Villas-Boas in September 2011.

 

Zenit v Club Brugge:

11 – Artem Dzyuba has been directly involved in 11 goals in his 12 Champions League group-stage matches with Zenit (eight goals, three assists). That run includes goals in both games against Belgian side Gent in 2015-16.

19 – Of the 51 teams to have featured in at least 40 Champions League matches, only Steaua Bucharest (9.5 per cent), Dinamo Zagreb (11.9 per cent) and Anderlecht (16.7 per cent) have a lower win percentage than Club Brugge (19 per cent). They have won just eight of 42 matches.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic could be ready to extend his contract at Milan after a fine start to the season. 

Ibrahimovic returned to the Serie A club in January, extending his deal in August through until the end of the 2020-21 season. 

However, the veteran striker could be set to remain at the club for longer, per speculation in Italy.

 

TOP STORY – IBRAHIMOVIC COULD RENEW AT MILAN UNTIL 2022

Ibrahimovic's agent Mino Raiola is already studying a plan to extend the striker's deal at Milan until 2022, according to Corriere della Sera.

The 39-year-old has scored four goals in two Serie A games for league leaders Milan this season, including a brace in the derby win over rivals Inter at the weekend.

Ibrahimovic netted 10 goals and provided five assists in 18 league appearances in 2019-20.

ROUND-UP

- Unhappy about being left on the bench against Crotone, Paulo Dybala's future at Juventus is again a subject of interest. However, Tuttosport reports the aim is still for the playmaker – who is contracted until 2022 – to renew his deal before January.

- Barcelona could be set for good news. Goal reports Barcelona are working on new deals for Frenkie de Jong and Clement Lenglet after agreeing to a contract with goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen. Meanwhile, AS says Gerard Pique is ready to accept a pay cut.

- Phil Jones is yet to play for Manchester United this season and could leave in January. The Sun reports United could demand £20million for the defender, who is contracted until 2023.

- Maurizio Sarri could be set for a return to coaching. CalcioMercato reports the former Juventus and Chelsea boss is a target for Fiorentina amid pressure on Giuseppe Iachini after the club collected just four points from their opening four Serie A games of the season.

- Out of contract at Marseille at season's end, Florian Thauvin could be set for a move. Le 10 Sport says Milan are interested in the forward.

- With Virgil van Dijk out due to a serious knee injury, Liverpool could be looking for a defender in January. Football Insider says Brighton and Hove Albion defender Ben White remains on the Premier League champions' radar.

Thomas Tuchel labelled Paul Pogba one of the best midfielders in the world ahead of Paris Saint-Germain's clash against Manchester United.

PSG host United in Paris on Tuesday to begin their Champions League campaign in Group H.

Ahead of the clash, Tuchel lauded Pogba, who has been linked with a move to the Ligue 1 champions previously.

"He is one of the best midfielders of the world. That's the key to stopping him," the PSG coach told a news conference.

"Bruno Fernandes who makes a lot of deep passes. One of the best teams in Europe in offensive transition. It's necessary to stop counter-attacks.

"We want to have the ball, we want to play with a lot of possession, we want to impose our style. We have to play with a good structure to play good pressing."

Pogba's former United team-mate, Ander Herrera, also praised the France international.

Herrera, who left the Premier League club for PSG last year, believes Pogba will be a Ballon d'Or contender if United start winning multiple trophies.

"I think he has it all. I've already said that there is no midfielder like him. He can do everything, one-on-one, box-to-box, he can do everything. He has all the qualities," he said.

"He now plays a little deeper than when I was there because Fernandes plays like a number 10. I think he has all the qualities to become one of the best players in the world.

"It's true that when you see the list of players who are candidates for the Ballon d'Or, you have to play in the team that wins everything. I think that if Man United wins titles, he will be in the list for the Ballon d'Or and the end-of-season trophies.

"But, I am a PSG player now, I wish the best for Paul and Man United because they are in my heart but [on Tuesday] I will fight in a different team, we will fight for our team, our place."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer surprised Bruno Fernandes at a joint media conference by announcing he would captain Manchester United against Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday after hailing the Portuguese's recent impact.

Fernandes has been a revelation since his arrival from Sporting CP in the January transfer window, scoring 12 goals in 22 appearances across all competitions during the second half of the 2020-21 season.

He also ended the campaign as the club's joint highest goal creator in the Premier League, sitting alongside Marcus Rashford with seven assists.

The 26-year-old has picked up where he left off this term, with his fine goal in United's 4-1 Premier League win over Newcastle United on Saturday taking his tally to three goals in five appearances. 

With Harry Maguire absent for United's Champions League clash in Paris, Solskjaer had no hesitation in giving the captain's armband to Fernandes after his impressive start to life as a United player.

"Bruno has come in and had great impact with all the stats showing that," he said.

"His performances have been receiving real great praise as well. He has not changed the team, but he has sparked the team."

A visibly surprised Fernandes admitted he had no prior knowledge of Solskjaer's decision, describing it is a major milestone in his career. 

"I was not expecting this, I have found out the same time as you," Fernandes said. "For me it's an honour. I will be captain for my team-mates and to be captain of Manchester United is an important achievement for me.

"But I think everyone is the captain. Everyone needs to help and be a leader in their own way; leadership is different in every player. Tomorrow will not be about me but the team.

"Leading is every day in the training ground, every game and everyone is doing their job to lead the team in the way they think is best."

Tuesday's game will be the first time the sides have met since United's stunning last-16 win over the French giants in March 2019, when Rashford's stoppage-time penalty sealed a 3-1 win in Paris after a 2-0 defeat at Old Trafford in the first leg.

Solskjaer remembers the game fondly but insists it will have no bearing on how the match pans out against Thomas Tuchel's men this time around. 

"Of course, that's history for us," Solskjaer said. "It's in the past. Great history, great game, but it has no impact whatsoever on this game.

"We're a different team, they're a different team. It's a different stage of the competition.

"Of course, also without fans it's going to be a different game. Because in the last game, when we got the first goal early on that impacted the ground, it's a completely new situation."

Manchester United will be without captain Harry Maguire and new signing Edinson Cavani for the Champions League clash with Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday. 

Maguire, whose form has been under intense scrutiny in recent weeks, sustained a minor injury in United's 4-1 Premier League win over Newcastle United on Saturday, a game in which he scored his first goal of the season. 

Cavani, meanwhile, misses the opportunity to make his Red Devils debut against the club he left at the end of the 2019-20 season. 

The Uruguayan trained with United on Sunday for the first time after quarantining for two weeks upon his arrival from France, following United Kingdom government guidelines relating to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, however, says the 33-year-old needs a few more days' training and could be in contention to make his United bow against Chelsea in the Premier League on Saturday.

Mason Greenwood, Eric Bailly and Jesse Lingard have also been left out of United's squad for the trip to Paris.

Thomas Tuchel believes Manchester United have got one of the world's best number nines in Edinson Cavani as Paris Saint-Germain prepare to face the Red Devils without Marco Verratti. 

Cavani joined United on a free transfer in October following the expiration of his contract with PSG, which led him to miss the final three rounds of last season's Champions League. 

The Uruguay international, who trained with his new team-mates for the first time on Monday, is PSG's all-time record goalscorer having found the net 200 times during his seven years with the club. 

PSG could face Cavani on Tuesday when they welcome United to the Parc des Princes for their 2020-21 Champions League opener. 

And coach Tuchel conceded it will be strange to go up against Cavani, whom he has no doubts will be a success at Old Trafford. 

"It was a bit sad about the final eight in Lisbon, as was the case with others. It changes nothing for this meeting," Tuchel told a media conference. 

"He remains PSG's top scorer. He made history here. It is a bit weird to see him with United." 

Asked what United are getting in Cavani, Tuchel replied: "They got a great personality. Very polite, almost kind of a bit shy. Very polite person. 

"A hard worker, he will be there in every training [from the] first minute until last minute, every game first second until last second. 

"He's living for goals, he's living for scoring. When he scores and when he has the confidence, he's one of the best number nines in world football. 

"Hopefully from Wednesday on he can start to convince all of you, tomorrow it's not necessary to prove me right." 

PSG will not be able to call on oft-injured midfielder Verratti, who is reportedly set to be out for three weeks with a thigh issue. 

Leandro Paredes will also be absent with a muscle injury sustained in the 4-0 Ligue 1 win at Nimes, while a knee problem will keep striker Mauro Icardi sidelined. 

Tuchel is, however, hopeful that Marquinhos (groin) and Julian Draxler (hamstring) can feature. 

Page 3 of 113
© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.