‘Now we can go all the way’: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer predicts another run to European glory after Manchester United’s stunning win in Paris
- Players chanted Solskjaer’s name after United secured memorable victory
- Sir Alex Ferguson joined the celebrations in the dressing-room afterwards
- Marcus Rashford converted an injury-time penalty to send United through
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer claimed Manchester United can ‘go all the way’ in the Champions League after a stunning comeback win over Paris Saint-Germain.
In scenes reminiscent of Solskjaer’s famous winner over Bayern Munich 20 years ago, Marcus Rashford converted an injury-time penalty to send United through to the quarter-finals.
Sir Alex Ferguson joined the celebrations in the dressing-room afterwards as the players chanted Solskjaer’s name after coming back from 3-1 down on aggregate.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer celebrates with Marcus Rashford after the stunning victory in Paris
‘Of course, we fancy ourselves,’ said Solskjaer. ‘We can go all the way but we just have to wait for the draw and take the game as it comes.
‘We always believed, that’s the thing. This is what we do. That’s Man United. The belief in the boys was what we hoped for.’
Solskjaer paid tribute to Rashford for keeping his cool to beat Gianluigi Buffon after United were dramatically awarded a penalty when Slovenian referee Damir Skomina viewed a late handball incident on VAR.
‘Fearless,’ added the Norwegian. ‘He’s got no doubt. When you’re young, you don’t have any fear. I wasn’t sure we’d score. I’ve been in the Champions League with Molde and we got a last-minute penalty against Basel and missed it.
‘The referee had a big call to make and he made himself bigger so it’s a clear penalty apparently.
‘I didn’t see it (the incident). I hope it’s the right decision. I tried to help the referee to calm my staff down.’
Eric Cantona (left) and Sir Alex Ferguson joined Solskjaer to celebrate after beating PSG
Describing the scenes afterwards, Solskjaer – who was also pictured with Eric Cantona at the Parc des Princes – added: ‘It’s great to see the boss (Fergie) in there. Of course, he’s happy and proud as well. This is how we do things at Man United.’
Solskjaer’s latest success is bound to increase the clamour for him to be given the job full-time, and United co-chairman Avi Glazer was in Paris to witness the jubilant scenes.
‘I keep doing this job as best as I can and see where it takes us,’ said Solskjaer. ‘That’s not my job to answer, not now. I’m just doing the best I can and planning with the club for the future, for us.
‘It doesn’t matter if I’m here or not, I’m still giving my opinion and advice. I don’t really mind that, I’m a supporter, as well, I want the best, so you can ask me any advice any time.’
Marcus Rashford was the hero in Paris, slotting home a late penalty to send United through
United became the first club in European Cup history to progress after losing the first leg 2-0 at home. Their feat was all the more remarkable because Solskjaer was without 10 senior players through injury and suspension.
Romelu Lukaku scored early on and added a second after Juan Bernat had equalised on the night as the Belgium striker took his total to six goals in the last three games.
‘We were confident before the game,’ said Lukaku. ‘It’s natural to us, we keep going until the referee blows the whistle.
‘Me and Marcus knew we could do the business. It was a pleasure to play with him.’
Rashford admitted it was difficult to keep his composure while PSG contested the decision and tried to distract him in the moment before he faced Buffon.
‘The wait before is the hardest thing,’ he said. ‘I was just trying to keep a cool head. Those are the sort of things you practice every day.
Rashford smashed the ball into the top left corner past veteran keeper Gianluigi Buffon
‘Those moments are what we live for. Everything was against us but we are used to surviving in these moments and we proved that again. Ten players out – it’s a great thing.’
The PSG players reacted angrily to the penalty decision, however.
Neymar, who missed both legs through injury, posted on social media: ‘This is a disgrace. They put four people that know nothing about football in charge of looking at the replay for VAR. There is no penalty. How can it be a handball when it hits his back! Go f**k yourselves!’
Captain Thiago Silva asked the fans for forgiveness, saying: ‘It’s difficult to speak. It’s a shame. We played very well over there, but here we didn’t do the things we talked about before the game.
‘We were on a good run and yet again it ends here. That’s football. Nothing worked today. I ask our fans to forgive us.’