Paul Scholes has said ‘struggling’ Manchester United star Anthony Martial should have put his side ahead against Paris Saint-Germain before the Red Devils eventually fell to defeat in the Champions League.
United had been on top in the feisty Group H clash and looked the more likely to take the lead early in the second half with Martial, Marcus Rashford and Edinson Cavani combining to great effect at Old Trafford.
However, the Frenchman wasted a couple of glorious opportunities, the best of which was ballooned over the crossbar when he would have surely scored had he hit the target at the back post with the score at 1-1.
Anthony Martial should have put Man United 2-1 up against PSG, says former star Paul Scholes
The Frenchman missed a glorious chance to put United ahead, but ballooned his shot over
And United legend Scholes has said that the 24-year-old should have done much better with the opportunities presented to him, before the Parisians eventually ran out 3-1 winners.
‘United have paid for their missed chances,’ Scholes told BT Sport after the final whistle.
‘Martial’s chances were the ones, anything on target is a goal. He is struggling for goals at the minute. Martial will know, he doesn’t need telling, he should score.’
However, despite the disappointing result, both Scholes and former United defender Rio Ferdinand agreed that boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be pleased with his side’s performance, even in losing 3-1.
Scholes said Martial is ‘struggling’ and should’ve converted the opportunity presented to him
Scholes and Rio Ferdinand said Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be happy with the performance
United had the French champions on the back foot for much of the contest, but lost their grip on the game following the dismissal of Fred with around 20 minutes remaining.
‘I think he will be pleased with the whole performance. Yes the result wasn’t what he wanted but it was an excellent performance,’ Scholes said.
‘Ole will be pleased with the front three in terms of everything leading up to the chance on goal was beautiful,’ Ferdinand added.
Solskjaer echoed the sentiments of his former team-mates, telling BT Sport that his side needed to be more ‘clinical’ in front of goal.
Soslkjaer bemoaned his side’s lack of cutting edge in front of goal on Wednesday evening
‘It was a very good game of football, which deserved fans first of all,’ he said. ‘When you see the team sheets you think there might be goals in this game.
‘There were chances for both teams. With a bit more clinical finishing we should have finished the game because they were there for the taking. We had some big chances, some big moment.
‘That is the difference, the clinical moments. You can say all the possession in the middle but all games are decided in front of goal.’
United need to go to Leipzig and get a result next week to reach the last-16 of the Champions League.
Solskjaer will be without Fred after he saw red for two yellow cards, the first of which could easily have been a straight red for a headbutt on Leandro Paredes.
Video replays showed Fred headbutting PSG’s Leandro Paredes in Wednesday’s clash
Paredes goes down clutching his face, but Fred avoided a sending off despite a VAR referral
It looks as though Fred is a very lucky boy ��
He appeared to move his head towards Paredes off the ball, the referee took a closer look, and gave a yellow card ⚠️
Already down a goal, that was a close call for Man Utd… pic.twitter.com/4c2JvDhxGO
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) December 2, 2020
‘I thought he was a bit lucky to stay on when the referee decided to give him anything,’ admitted Solskjaer.
‘Fred shouldn’t put his head towards him. I don’t think he touched him but you don’t so that. He was a bit lucky. It’s either nothing or red card.
‘We spoke about staying calm and staying your feet and the second yellow was nowhere near a foul – and Ander knows that as well.
‘It wasn’t a foul. Fred played really disciplined second half but when he makes a tackle light that you can’t fault the boy.’
Manchester United manager Solskjaer refused to criticise the PSG theatrics after the defeat
United captain Harry Maguire sympathised with his team-mate, saying: ‘It’s strange how he gave a yellow card [in the first half].
‘It’s either a red card or nothing. It’s not a yellow card [in the second half]. He wins the ball. I was two yards away, the linesman was five yards. Every time you go to the floor – especially in Europe – you get a booking.’
The decision also perplexed PSG coach Thomas Tuchel.
‘From the sidelines I had the impression that he gave a headbutt to Paredes,’ said the PSG boss.