Julian Draxler believes Paul Pogba’s suspension gives Paris Saint-Germain an extra edge over Manchester United as they take a 2-0 lead into next month’s Champions League last-16 second leg.
PSG won Tuesday’s first leg with a dominant display. Pogba was sent off for a second booking towards the end, ruling him out of the return on 6 March.
Draxler, asked whether this was a big advantage to the French champions, said: “Yes, I think so because for me Paul is the best player of Manchester United. A very important player for the team and you could see he is fantastic. That is why we are very happy he will not play the second leg.”
PSG were able to beat United with ease despite the absence of Neymar and Edinson Cavani.
“If two players like this are missing, everyone is talking about that, that is normal,” Draxler said. “For sure, we are better if Cavani and Neymar are not missing. But we have an excellent team even without them. It is not easy to come to Old Trafford and win and that is why we are very happy and proud and we know we have to finish it in the second leg.”
Goals from Presnel Kimpembe and Kylian Mbappé secured the victory. “We are happy about the result but also the way we were playing,” Draxler said. “We were very confident, especially in the second half and deserved to win.
“I think they started very well so the pressure was not easy for us but in the second half we were more confident and the pressure from Man United was a little bit less. That helped us to improve our game so we found some space on the pitch and we used that very well.”
Uefa has opened disciplinary proceedings against Manchester United after two bottles were thrown from the stands towards Ángel Di María during Paris Saint-Germain’s win at Old Trafford on Tuesday.
Di María, a former United player, picked up a beer bottle and pretended to drink from it. Later a bottle of water was hurled at him and United can expect a fine when the case is dealt with by Uefa on 28 February.
The club have also been charged with having stairways blocked, while PSG face a series of charges over the conduct of their fans: setting off fireworks, throwing objects, acts of damage and crowd disturbance. An item landed at the feet of United’s Luke Shaw in the first half.
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