Gianluigi Buffon has admitted that he still has “a lot of regrets” about Manchester United’s comeback against PSG in the 2018/19 Champions League.
The two European giants were drawn to play each other in the round of 16 in 2019. PSG appeared to have forged an unassailable lead as they won the first-leg 2-0 at Old Trafford.
This left Man United with plenty to do in the second leg. To advance, they would have become the first team in Champions League history to overhaul a 2-0 home first-leg deficit.
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Man United made the perfect start as Romelu Lukaku put them in front early on. PSG hit back through Juan Bernat, but Lukaku scored again in the 30th minute to restore United’s one-goal lead.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side now needed to score once more and hope that they did not concede again.
As the game was deep into stoppage time, the Red Devils earned themselves a penalty. Marcus Rashford was fearless as he calmly converted the kick to complete the remarkable fightback.
Buffon recently told L’Equipe that this night still haunts him to this day:
“It’s a game that I think about at least three or four times a week. It wakes me up a lot of regrets.
“I was sure that this season we would have reached the final, of that I was sure.
“In Manchester, we won a huge game [2-0 with goals from Kimpembe and Mbappé] with a great show of force. Unfortunately, I blame myself for an incredible mistake.
“A mistake that, with the experience I had, I should not have made.
“We thought it was a formality and I got carried away. It was as if that match was of little value because we had already won 2-0 in the first leg and they, the poor, had two players available and nine young people.
“Mentally, that night, as the match approached, in concentration, I was not the usual “Gigi”.
“I did not have the strength or the energy to perceive that we were preparing this match too lightly. And maybe so as not to be the old man who gets everyone drunk, I didn’t say: ‘Oh guys, we’re not there, we don’t have the right mentality’. Me too, I let myself be taken.
“At Juventus, that would not have happened. I was sure that this season we would have reached the final, I was convinced of it.”