Young: We can win in Paris
Ashley Young believes Manchester United can write another chapter in a remarkable compilation of comeback stories by beating Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League on Wednesday night.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side are 2-0 down from the Old Trafford leg of a tough last-16 tie. But Saturday’s thrilling 3-2 Premier League win against Southampton has been a reminder, if needed, that United remain capable of producing remarkable recoveries.
Against the Saints, the Reds had to come back from conceding a first-half goal by Jan Valery and then had to dig in again when the visitors equalised with 15 minutes to go. Romelu Lukaku struck his second goal of the game in the 88th minute to sensationally snatch the three points.
So, could the Parc des Princes in Paris be the setting for the next miraculous rescue act?
“We know what we're capable of,
“ said Young. ”People can write us off. People were writing us off at the start of the season and people are writing us off now. It's no different.
“Obviously it's going to be tough in Paris. It's not going to be easy. We've got to go over there, win the game and score goals.
“I've got every faith that if we defend well and if we create the chances that I know we can do, we can win the game.
“We've got to go out there and win the game. We can't worry too much about them, it's all about us.”
French World Cup winner Paul Pogba won’t be able to play on his home soil after being sent off in the first leg. But Young reckons United are proving they can cope with absentees after recently losing Nemanja Matic and Ander Herrera in midfield and Anthony Martial up front for example.
Now interim boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer fears Alexis Sanchez suffered knee ligament damage against Southampton.
“We've had that (absent players) for the last couple of games. There have been players who have been missing and at this time of the season it's not ideal,” Young told reporters after Saturday's game.
“There are players who are ready to come in and fill their boots. Everyone has got to be ready and I'm sure whoever comes in for Paul will go and do their job the best they can.
“It's been tough. It's never easy when you've got so many injuries but it shows the squad that we've got here. There are other people carrying knocks but we're getting through games.
“That's just how the team spirit is. You want to get out there and play and if you've got a little knock or whatever you manage yourself right during the week and get ready for the next match.”
United’s heart-stopping 3-2 win against Southampton has taken the Reds back into the coveted top four berths in the Premier League. Earlier on Saturday, the North London derby between Spurs and Arsenal, rivals for those Champions League qualifying positions, ended all square at 1-1.
“To be honest it was a massive result against Southampton after seeing the Arsenal against Tottenham game,” said Ashley.
“We had to keep the pressure on them and keep winning games. It was tough but I think it just shows the team spirit we've got and the desire to get back into games and win games. I think we showed that we've got that resilience to keep going right to the final whistle.
“That's the club's way, the United way. Never say die. It was a good team performance and a massive three points.”
Man of the match against Southampton was two-goal Romelu Lukaku, to add to his personal award for the same contribution in the 3-1 win at Crystal Palace last Wednesday at Selhurst Park.
“For Rom to get on the scoresheet was fantastic for him, he kept up his scoring from midweek,” added Young.
“He gives us a different presence. I wouldn't want to play against him! It's good to see all the strikers in form, the whole team. It's not just 11 men on the pitch, it's a squad game. Everyone has got to be ready. Everyone has got to be prepared and ready to play when the manager calls on you.
“When you've got competition for places it can only help. Everyone has got to be 100 per cent at it in training. We've still got injuries but we're still managing to get results. Against Southampton we weren't at our 100 per cent best but it just shows where we've come from to where we are now - grinding out performances, not being at our best, but getting wins.
“There are definitely massive positives coming out of the game and we've got to build on that.”