Manchester United’s long-awaited European bow would come on Tuesday, as Marc Skinner’s Red Devils welcomed Paris Saint-Germain to Leigh Sports Village. Tucked away in a retail park, it’s certainly not the setting that most would associate with elite European competition.
MUN: Earps; George, Le Tissier, Turner, Blundel; Galton, Toone, Zelem, Naalsund, Riviere; García
PSG: Picaud; Karchaoui, de Almeida, Jean-François, le Guilly; Groenen, Albert, Geyoro; Martens, Chawinga, Baltimore
The visitors looked to enjoy the brighter start to life under the lights in Leigh, applying non-stop pressure and forcing a multitude of saves from Mary Earps – who did well to keep her side level throughout the first half.
But as time wore on, the hosts looked to gain control of the fixture and were unlucky not to be awarded a penalty when Lucía García appeared to be felled in the box by Constance Picaud.
Just ten minutes into the second half on a blustery autumnal evening, it was Tabitha Chawinga that opened the scoring – much to the dismay of the United faithful. Latching onto a sublime ball over the top from Sandy Baltimore, she was able to slip an effort past Earps to seize the lead for PSG.
Yet Marc Skinner’s side would respond well, going on to dominate the remainder of the action and restoring parity with twenty minutes remaining. Just four minutes after her introduction from the bench, Melvine Malard connected well with Millie Turner’s header, powering a headed effort of her own past Picaud to level the tie.Embed from Getty Images
The Red Devils were unfortunate to walk away with just a draw ahead of next week’s second leg at the Parc des Princes – with Geyse, Leah Galton and Ella Toone all coming close to firing Manchester United into the lead.
They’ll look to seal progression to the group stages with a win in Paris next Wednesday, with kickoff in the French capital scheduled for 19:00 UK Time. The match will be broadcast live within the UK on MUTV – which requires a subscription.