Solskjaer admits to doubts over 'fearless' Rashford's penalty ahead of winning strike

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Shaun Botterill
The Manchester United boss was anything but sure the young forward would have the nerve to put PSG with a late strike from the spot

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admits he was unsure if 21-year-old Marcus Rashford would be able to hit from the spot as Manchester United were handed a controversial late penalty in their 3-1 win over Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday.  

Rashford had never taken a competitive penalty for the club before Wednesday's match but was asked to step forward with a Champions League last-16 tie on the line against the French giants following Presnel Kimpembe 's handball.  

But Rashford left no doubt, hammering home from the spot to hand United an unlikely spot in the Champions League quarter-finals.  

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"There's always doubt about a penalty," he told BT Sport. "I was in the Champions League with Molde against Basel and my player missed then and we went out.  

"Rashford is 21 and the pressure on the boy - there are no nerves - he's fearless. Him and Romelu were fantastic tonight." 

Despite that, Solskjaer was thrilled with the belief shown by his team in becoming the first team to ever overturn a two-goal first-leg home loss to advance in the knockout stages.  

"That's the Champions League, it's what it does," he said. "Last night with Real and Ajax was our team-talk, it was probably theirs too. Last year it was Real and Juventus, there's been PSG and Barca too.  

"It's this club, it's what we do. That's Man Utd. 

"There's always mental doubt. Our boys are young and fresh which gave us more energy when we needed that goal." 

VAR once again came into play with Kimpembe 's hand ball, prompting injured PSG star Neymar to go on a swearing rant about the call, but Solskjaer called it a "clear penalty" when asked about the controversial moment.  

"I had to try and calm everyone down, sit everyone down," he said. "My staff said the defender made himself bigger so it's a clear penalty." 

The 46-year-old also wasn't ready to speak on his future with the club, with speculation mounting that he will be offered the job on a full-time basis this summer.  

"We don't chat now, it's too noisy and there's a great atmosphere in there," he continued. "Until the summer, we will see what happens." 

 

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