Tuanzebe determined to make big United impact

Even with Harry Maguire and Eric Bailly injured, it was a big call from manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to include the 22-year-old in an unfamiliar back three up against Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Angel Di Maria.

Making his first appearance since the Carabao Cup win against Colchester in December 2019, the United academy graduate stepped up impressively and helped his side to another fine win in the French capital.

Anthony Martial’s own goal cancelled out Bruno Fernandes’ retaken penalty, but Marcus Rashford slammed home at the death to secure a 2-1 victory that Solskjaer’s side deserved from their Group H opener.

“It was good, it was good to get a run out,” Tuanzebe said. “It’s a difficult game to come back to, but I’m just happy we’ve got the win.

“For us, we came here to win. We’re in this competition to compete.

“We showed PSG respect, but ultimately we’re the bigger team and we want to dominate and get the three points.

“We’re a big club and we’re out here to compete. We’re not here for the music or just for the parade.

“We worked hard last season to be in this competition, so we want to be the best we can and we wanted to start off just as we did today and continue that momentum going forward.”

Tuanzebe spoke with the authority he displayed in defence, where one particular challenge with World Cup-winning star Mbappe underlined his capabilities to be a top defender.

Solskjaer lauded the 22-year-old for his “unbelievable performance” in Paris – a display the United boss admitted “almost surprised” the coaching staff as they “know he’s a good player but on a night like this, he was fantastic”.

Tuanzebe completed the full match on his first appearance of 2020 and showed he is capable of starting for United, having shone in the 3-5-2 system that was so effective at the empty Parc des Princes.

“I’m feeling OK,” he said. “You train hard for this.

“I’ve been with the rehab team and they’ve been getting me in every day and working hard for these kind of moments, so it’s finally paid off.

“Obviously to aid the team and it being a difficult game, we tried something new (tactically) and it paid off.

“And we’re happy that it paid off. Three points and happy days.”

Tuanzebe praised Alex Telles for his “solid performance” at left wing-back on his debut, while he was as impressed as everyone else by Rashford after securing a late win at PSG, just as he did 19 months ago.

“I kept telling him through the game, ‘I want my goal, I want my goal!’ and he delivered, so I’m just happy for him,” the defender told MUTV.

“He’s delivering week in, week out for the team and I just want him to keep going and helping the team out.”

Fulham land PSG keeper Alphonse Areola on loan

The Premier League newcomers also hold an option to make the 27-year-old France international’s move permanent.

Areola told FFCtv: “I am very happy everything is done.

“Scott Parker (Fulham manager) called me and I had a good feeling. He said he really wanted me.

“Fulham is a historic club in London and I have heard a lot about the stadium.

“I hope this season will be a good one for us. I want to bring my energy and do everything for this team to keep us where we belong to be.”

Areola has made over 100 appearances for Paris St Germain since making his debut in 2013 and was a member of France’s World Cup-winning squad in 2018.

He spent last season on loan at Real Madrid, where he picked up a LaLiga winner’s medal.

Fulham sporting director Tony Khan said: “I’m thrilled to welcome Alphonse Areola to our Fulham family.

“Alphonse has experience at the very highest level, as he’s played in France’s national team, won the league title with PSG, had success at RC Lens, Bastia and with Villarreal, and most recently he played for Real Madrid as they won LaLiga last season.

“We’re excited that he’s joining us, and he’ll be an excellent addition to our squad for our Premier League campaign ahead.”