Peter Schmeichel believes Manchester United’s defensive frailties were exposed against Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday night in a defeat that proved Jose Mourinho was right to go head-to-head with the board in an attempt to land a new centre-back.
Goals from Presnel Kimpembe and Kylian Mbappe inflicted the first defeat in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s short reign as Red Devils chief, with United now up against it if they’re to reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League particularly as Paul Pogba will be suspended for the trip to the Parc des Princes following a late red card.
Though Solskjaer still remains hopeful his side can turn things around in the away leg, legendary United goalkeeper Schmeichel is convinced that the loss pointed to wider problems at Old Trafford.
Mourinho was sacked at the end of last year after months of publicly rowing with Ed Woodward and the Manchester United board over the lack of defensive reinforcements in the summer and the club didn’t put their hands in their pockets in the January transfer window – Solskjaer’s first in charge.
Paris Saint-Germain’s French striker Kylian Mbappe (R) celebrates scoring his team’s second goal during the first leg of the UEFA Champions League round of 16 football match between Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) at Old Trafford in Manchester, north-west England on February 12, 2019.
And Schmeichel believes United’s defensive problems will only be solved with new recruits at the heart of the defence, something Mourinho knew was the case.
He told BeIn Sports: ‘I don’t think anyone… you can get carried away because you’re a fan, you’re allowed to be carried away with the 10 wins in 11 games but in the broader perspective, we already know Mourinho was fighting to get a centre-half or even two in the summer.
‘He was doing that because there is a problem in centre-half or in central defence.
‘There are a few guys out there who can do the job but that problem hasn’t gone away.
‘That was exploited today.’