Reconverted middle by necessity, the Brazilian is now more than a backup option.
Stop Paul Pogba. It was the mission of Paris Saint-Germain and Thomas Tuchel at Old Trafford, knowing the importance of the world champion in the game of Manchester United. The brains, the turntable, the conductor of these Red Devils have been cheering since the arrival of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on the bench. Do not forget to put your nose in the window (8 goals and 5 assists since the arrival of Solskjaer). "We have players who are able to stop," hammered Julian Draxler before the game. In this case, especially a player, Marquinhos. Like N'Golo Kanté facing Lionel Messi in the quarter-finals of the World Cup, the Brazilian international has not dropped "La Pioche" one sole throughout the meeting. Defensive phase as offensive, he was still in the shadow of the Seine-et-Marnais, helpless, frustrated, annoyed. "Marqui made an incredible match," savored Thiago Silva. "Against Paul, it's very difficult, but Marqui gave it all," says Draxler. He played well without and with the ball. "
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Pogba finally managed to touch only 55 balls, with just over 55% of passes and a single shot. On one of the few times he escaped Marquinhos's "panting marking," he wiped Presnel Kimpembe off the race before a big Mancunian opportunity. History to remind Parisians and Marquinhos in particular that this "file" was a priority. Marco Verratti and Dani Alves got their hands dirty too. And it is also on the occasion of fouls on these two that the French took the two yellow cards that led to his expulsion in the 89th minute.
"I had an important mission. We knew that their game would pass a lot through him. So I had to be vigilant to be able to prevent this offensive transition from MU "
One thing is certain: the reconversion of Marquinhos in the middle looks more and more like a very good pick from Tuchel … We could still doubt after the defeat in Liverpool (3-2) on the first day of C1. But the German coach clung to this idea. It must be said that with the late recruitment of the transfer window and the sidelining of Adrien Rabiot, the options are not legion … But Marquinhos is no longer a choice by default. "I had an important mission, says the person. Pogba came in confidence, he was on very big games with a lot of goals and assists. We knew that their game would pass a lot through him. So I had to be vigilant to be able to prevent this offensive transition from MU. "
And Marquinhos adds, about his new position in the middle: "It's good, I'm having fun, I'm starting to adapt. I try to improve myself, I learn new things in training. I try to do my best. It was a tough match, everyone, in the middle and defense, to bring this result back. "
"We took a big step. We must celebrate, enjoy. It's very hard to make a match like that here, but you have to keep your feet on the ground and do the same thing when you get back. "
A result that opens the doors of the quarterfinals in Marquinhos and Paris Saint-Germain. Charge to Red and Blue to convert the test on March 6, at Parc des Princes. "We took a big step. We must celebrate, enjoy. It's very hard to make a match like that here, but you have to keep your feet on the ground and do the same thing when you come back, "he says. No doubt the 26-year-old will still have work at the Parc des Princes. But he will in any case get rid of the subject Pogba … "He will not be there in the second leg, and that's good news, because he's the best Manchester player," smiled Draxler. A great player that even bigger Marquinhos will have put under bell with authority.