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Manchester United face a reality check after Paris St Germain defeat

PSG inflicted Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's first defeat as Manchester Uniter interim manager
PSG inflicted Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's first defeat as Manchester Uniter interim manager

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer faced up to his first defeat as Manchester United interim manager and admitted his side had been given a "reality check" by Paris St Germain.

The French heavyweights were shorn of Edinson Cavani and Neymar for the first leg of this Champions League last 16 tie but still proved too strong for United as Presnel Kimpembe and Kylian Mbappe secured a 2-0 win at Old Trafford.

A loss for the Red Devils was compounded by the late dismissal of Paul Pogba, who will miss the second leg at the Parc des Princes, and Solskjaer lamented a gulf in class between the sides.

Nevertheless, Solskajer, who presided over 10 wins and a draw in his first 11 fixtures, insisted United must learn from such setbacks if they are aspiring once again to be among the cream of the European elite.

He said: "We weren't at the level. This is a level up from what we have played against with the games we've had.

"We've had a great run, we came into this game in a great frame of mind, great form, but of course it was a big step up, they have quality from the keeper to the striker.

Paris Saint-Germain's French defender Presnel Kimpembe grabbed the first goal of the game
Paris Saint-Germain's French defender Presnel Kimpembe grabbed the first goal of the game

"There is a reason behind them being one of the favourites for the Champions League. That's the level we need to aim for at this club.

"Of course it's a reality check. The top four is one thing but we want to be at the top and Manchester United should be at the top.

"This is a top, top team that we played against. Our players are disappointed after the game, of course, but I also think they know that we need to step up our level to get to the level that we want to get to."

United held their own in the first half but were forced into a reshuffle because of injuries just before the interval to Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial.

Alexis Sanchez was introduced at the beginning of the second half but was once again unable to impose himself as his struggles in a United shirt continued.

Solskjaer was in no mood to pull his punches with the Chilean, saying: "I can't do anything about Alexis Sanchez. When he plays he needs to find himself because we know there's a quality player there."

Solskjaer wants United to put the defeat behind them with fixtures against Chelsea and Liverpool in the FA Cup and Premier League respectively up next.

He added: "You can't feel sorry for yourself. Whoever feels sorry for themselves will not play probably against Chelsea."

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Most Read Football

A complete list of every completed summer 2019 transfer window deal1

Transfer Window: Done Deals

Get all the complete signings in the summer 2019 football transfer window from the Premier League, Sky Bet EFL and Europe.

Get all the football gossip from the National Papers2

Paper Talk: PSG Pogba swap?

PSG have approached Manchester United about the possibility of directly swapping Neymar for Paul Pogba according to one of Tuesday's UK newspapers.

Jack Clarke
3

Tottenham close in on Clarke deal

Tottenham are set to complete their first signing in 18 months with the addition of Leeds winger Jack Clarke.

Nick Powell4

Stoke confirm five new signings

A flurry of transfer activity at Stoke saw five new signings announced by the Sky Bet Championship side on Tuesday.

The latest rumour and gossip from the back pages5

Paper Talk: Ole wants £63m man

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has made a personal plea to Ed Woodward for the club to 'speed up' a deal for Sporting's Bruno Fernandes, according to the back pages.

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