Veteran goal keeper Gianluigi Buffon found himself in the spotlight, in the aftermath of Manchester United’s stunning victory in Paris and the Italian’s agent has blamed the ‘wet pitch’ for the goalkeeper’s costly error. Manchester United’s 3-1 win, which knocked out PSG of the Champions League, meant the Red Devils became the first team in Champions League history to progress to the next round having lost by two or more goals at home in the first leg of a knockout match.
And it was the perfect start for United on the night, after a terrible back pass from PSG’s Thilo Kehrer was intercepted by in-form Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku who scored four goals at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Finals in Russia. The Belgian rounded Buffon a bit clumsily and slotting home the first goal after two minutes. But for World Cup winner, Buffon, the worst was yet to come. On the counter attack Manchester United burst forward and Marcus Rashford striked a speculative effort, 22 yards out, towards goal.
The youngster troubled Buffon more than he could have hoped, with the Italian fumbling his long-range effort into the path of Lukaku, who pounced to net his second of the game. It was a costly error from Buffon as United would go on to score late third goal, courtesy of Marcus Rashford, which would secure their place in the Champions League’s Quarter Finals at the expense of the French club.
Buffon was heavily criticised in France in the aftermath of the game and his agent, Silvano Martina, spoke to Calcio Mercato blaming the wet conditions. “There is always a lot (of criticism), especially in Italy. For sure the wet pitch didn’t help him,” he said. “Sometimes there is nobody close to the goal, this time there was Romelu Lukaku ready to score. I am sure Gigi has forgotten it already.”
It’s not the first time this season United have been subject to bizarre reasons why the opposition has struggled against them. Liverpool’s manager, Jurgen Klopp, appeared to blame United’s injuries as an explanation for his side failing to secure three points away at Old Trafford in a 0-0 draw.
Meanwhile, former Real Madrid and PSG manager, Carlo Ancelotti said he would have jumped off a bridge if he was in charge of Paris Saint-Germain after their Champions League capitulation. The former manager of the capital club was left stunned by their exit from the Champions League midweek PSG squandered a first-leg lead as the French champions were sensationally eliminated on away goals by Manchester United in a dramatic last-16 tie on Wednesday.