A rare moment of pure joy in the post-Ferguson era

Where are they now? Solskjaer’s Man Utd XI from the famous win against PSG in 2019

Five years have now passed since Manchester United’s greatest Champions League night since Sir Alex Ferguson retired – the remarkable 3-1 comeback win over Paris Saint-Germain in 2019.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was still officially United’s interim coach, having taken the reins from Jose Mourinho in December 2018. The big win in the French capital played a big role in the Norwegian coach landing the job on a permanent basis, remaining in the post until he was dismissed in November 2021.

United went to Paris looking to overturn a 2-0 deficit from the first-leg defeat at Old Trafford. Romelu Lukaku sparked the famous comeback in just the second minute, before making it 2-1 on the half-hour mark. Solskjaer’s side then completed the unlikely turnaround deep into stoppage time, with Marcus Rashford’s coolly dispatched penalty sparking wild scenes of pandemonium in the away end.

We’ve revisited Manchester United’s starting XI from that famous win to see what they’re up to today.

GK: David de Gea

The long-serving ‘keeper remained at Old Trafford until last summer, when contract renewal negotiations reportedly broke down. He left as a free agent, but remarkably has spent the entire 2023-24 season so far without a club.

De Gea, who made over 500 appearances for the Red Devils, has seemingly spent the past six months mooching around Manchester while tweeting semi-cryptically about his former club. He’s still only 33 and we can’t help but feel it would be a massive waste of his talent if he’s not between the sticks again soon.

QUIZ: Can you name every player to appear for Man Utd under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer?

RB: Eric Bailly (Diogo Dalot, ’36)

You won’t be shocked to recall that Bailly had to be substituted due to injury midway through the first half in Paris.

“It would have been negligent to keep Bailly on the pitch to be honest.” was Rio Ferdinand’s brutal assessment.

“It’s a blessing he got injured and had to come off.”

Bailly was rarely fit and available for a sustained run of games during his time at the club, but he was box office when he was. The Ivorian left for Besiktas last summer but had his contracted terminated there after less than half a season. He’s since rejoined Villarreal.

His replacement that night, Dalot, remains at Old Trafford five years on. The Portuguese defender has had an up-and-down career at United thus far, but finally appears to have found a vein of consistency and is one of the more reliable performers in a stuttering side.

CB: Victor Lindelof

The 29-year-old was originally signed by Jose Mourinho and is now into his seventh season at United. He’s made over 250 appearances for the club and has been frequently written off amid further defensive reinforcements, but he continues to start semi-regularly under Erik ten Hag thanks to a defensive injury crisis.

In December, the Sweden international activated a one-year extension clause to remain at the club until 2025.

CB: Chris Smalling

Smalling hasn’t played for England since 2017, and left Manchester United for Roma in 2019, but he’s enjoyed the latter years of his career after embracing a new start in the Italian capital. He won the inaugural UEFA Conference League in 2022 and finished as a runner-up in the Europa League last term.

He’s struggled with injuries this season, while his pain threshold was called into question by Jose Mourinho (shock horror). But the Giallorossi have looked resurgent under club legend Daniele De Rossi, who has been patient with Smalling’s issues and backed him to turn a corner.

LB: Luke Shaw

Following the departure of De Gea last summer, Shaw is now Manchester United’s longest-serving player. He’s approaching a full decade at the club, having originally been signed by Louis van Gaal in the summer of 2014.

Injury issues have stopped him playing as often as he might’ve, but he’s closing in on 300 appearances for United and remains contracted at the club until 2027.

READ: The 6 players Man Utd signed along with Luke Shaw & how they fared

RW: Ashley Young (Mason Greenwood, ’87)

Veteran winger Young left United back in 2020 but is still playing regularly four years later at the age of 38. He won a Scudetto with Inter, spent two years back at Aston Villa and is now providing experience for Sean Dyche’s relegation-battling Everton.

Greenwood is currently out on loan at Getafe, after the club announced “that it would be most appropriate for him to recommence his career away from Old Trafford” after images and audio recordings posted on social media led to the Crown Prosecution Services charging him with attempted rape, assault, and controlling and coercive behaviour. The charges have since been dropped.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe has since hinted that the forward could be reintegrated at his parent club, stating that there is a “fresh decision” to be made.

CM: Scott McTominay

Handed his debut by Jose Mourinho way back when, McTominay is now into his eighth season at his boyhood club. The 27-year-old Scotland international has had his critics over the years, and has rarely nailed down a spot as an undisputed starter, but he’s been deemed a useful squad player by every manager he’s worked under.

There were rumours of a departure last summer, but United reportedly turned down a £30million bid from West Ham. He’s approaching the final year of his current deal, meaning come the end of the season there’s a decision to be made on whether to cash in or extend his stay.

CM: Fred

Completing the ‘McFred’ axis in the centre of the park, back in 2019 there was still some hope that relatively new partnership could have a successful future for United. A few years later it had grown stale, a byword for the team’s limitations in midfield.

Eventually the club decided to shake things up last summer, and Fred was moved on to Fenerbahce. The Brazilian has received rave reviews for the impact he’s made at the Turkish Super Lig club, who are currently engaged in a relentless title tussle with Galatasaray. Frederbahce have lost once in the league this season.

READ: Comparing Erik Ten Hag’s Man Utd record after 100 matches to Solskjaer, Mourinho & Van Gaal

LW: Andreas Pereira (Tahith Chong, ’80)

A one-cap wonder for Brazil, Pereira was born and raised in Belgium, later developed his skills in PSV’s youth set-up and joined United’s academy as a 16-year-old back in 2011. He progressed to feature semi-regularly, particularly under Solskjaer, but was frequently loaned away.

He spent his final loan away with Flamengo, with whom he made a horrible mistake in the 2021 Copa Libertadores final before lifting the trophy the following year. The winger has since returned to these shores and proven himself a perfectly serviceable Premier League footballer with Fulham.

It’s a similar story for fellow Carrington hopeful Chong, who played a handful of games amid a series of loans. In 2022, he was sold to Birmingham City but only a spent a year at St. Andrew’s before joining newly promoted Luton Town. The Dutchman has been a regular for the plucky Hatters this season.

ST: Marcus Rashford

Rashford continues to have his peaks and troughs when it comes to form, but he’s developed into one of the most senior and important players in the dressing room.

With 129 goals in 392 appearances for his hometown club, Rashford has been one of United’s defining players of the post-Fergie era. The 26-year-old looks set to stay to see in the next phase under Ratcliffe, having last year put pen to paper on a bumper contract that runs through to 2028.

ST: Romelu Lukaku

The Belgian left Old Trafford at the end of the 2018-19 campaign, and the club recouped almost all of their original £75million outlay when they sold him to Inter.

It was at the San Siro that Lukaku went on to enjoy the most fruitful spell of his career, scoring 47 Serie A goals across two seasons and proving pivotal in ending Juventus’ dominance, a standout player in the Nerazzuri’s 2020-21 Scudetto under Antonio Conte.

A big-money return to Chelsea followed, but his time at Stamford Bridge has proven to be a disaster. He only scored eight Premier League goals in 2021-22 after signing for a club-record £97.5million in 2021. Half-decent loans back to Inter and Roma have followed.

READ NEXT: Where are they now? The 12 Man Utd academy graduates to make one appearance for the club since 2010

TRY A QUIZ: Can you name every club Marcus Rashford has scored against for Man Utd?