Pogba's dismissal was the culmination of a surprisingly subdued performance from the man who had been so influential in United's revival under Solskjaer. On a mistake, we conceded the first goal. The match, however, played out very differently to what most fans expected.
Only the wildest optimist would suggest that United have a hope of overturning this defeat in three weeks, but there is a bigger picture: the manager's position. Instead it was United who received the only red card of the game when Paul Pogba was dismissed in the 89th minute. United has only scored one goal at home in four Champions League games this season, a 1-0 victory over Young Boys.
When the draw was announced and United were struggling under Jose Mourinho, that perception was the other way round.
But how can a team with Mbappe in it not be considered favourites?
The 31-year-old was booed throughout the contest and appeared to scream "f*** off" to United supporters. Even without Neymar and Cavani the side can still boast an attacking array of talents that would be the envy of most sides.More news: United Kingdom and Switzerland strike trade deal for post-Brexit Britain
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The first competitive encounter between these sides went the way of the visitors at Old Trafford, where the Norwegian's first European game in charge saw the end of his 11-match unbeaten start to life in the hotseat. It looked like a conqueror's banner.
Sanchez told United's coaches at half-time that he had injured his leg in the incident and they made the decision to allow him to warm-up during the interval out on the pitch, instead of being part of the team-talk.
"It was hard from the opening minute but I knew this was going to happen", Di Maria told Cadena Cope radio of the atmosphere as quoted in the Manchester Evening News. He opted for a 3-4-2-1 formation which offered him several things - more defensive solidity in central areas where Rashford and Martial are most risky, Dani Alves got to play as a wing-back, Di Maria was an attacking midfielder with space to roam into and Mbappe had to be the lone striker.
As a unit, the Manchester United players were collectively poor. However, the tempo of their play dropped significantly following the restart and they were deservedly punished.