With Harry Maguire and Eric Bailly both out injured, Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer handed Axel Tuanzebe his first start for the club since December 2019.
The 22-year-old last appeared for the Red Devils in a Carabao Cup tie against Colchester United.
United fans featured for the young defender prior to kick-off, up against the world-class Neymar and Kylian Mbappe, but he exceeded all expectations at the Parc des Princes.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side sealed all three points in Paris thanks to Marcus Rashford’s late winner, but Tuanzebe was arguably the game’s standout performer.
The former England Under-21 international lined up alongside Victor Lindelof and Luke Shaw as part of a three-man central defence, with Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Alex Telles deployed as wing-backs.
And United fans hailed the defender for ‘pocketing’ Mbappe over the course of the 90 minutes.
There was one moment in the first half where Tuanzebe matched Mbappe for pace before sending the forward flying with his strength.
And there was a similar moment in the second half where Mbappe burst away and looked set to find himself one-on-one with David de Gea, only for Tuanzebe to deny the World Cup winner with more outstanding defending.
Watch them here…
Here’s some of the best reaction to Tuanzebe’s performance from social media…
“When you go away to a team like this against Neymar and Mbappé you have to defend well and your keeper will have to make saves,” Solskjaer told BT Sport after the match. “Axel Tuanzebe is a top defender and his first game in 10 months was testament to the quality he has.”
De Gea, meanwhile, added: “He was unbelievable. He did really, really well. He has been in difficult moments but now he has showed he is capable of playing in big games”
Tuanzebe’s performance will certainly have given Solskjaer some food for thought ahead of the matches against Chelsea and RB Leipzig on Saturday and Wednesday, respectively.
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