Cesc Fabregas Comes Out To Defend Manchester United After Claims Champions League Win Was “Without Merit”
A stunning night at the Parc des Princes saw Manchester United receive an overwhelming deluge of plaudits as they overturned a 2-0 home-leg deficit and progressed through to the Quarter-Finals of the Champions League at Paris Saint-Germain’s expense.
However, there’s always a couple of figures emerging out of the woodwork to try and p*ss on the parade.
Responding to a derogatory comment on Twitter by former Real Madrid and Roma player Julio ‘The Beast’ Baptista who denounced the Red Devils as being lucky, Man Utd had an unlikely defender in their corner.
Premier League great Cesc Fabregas, the second highest assist maker in the competition’s history with Arsenal and Chelsea, surprisingly came out swinging for Manchester United on arguably the most glorious night of the post-Sir Alex Ferguson era for the club.
"Manchester United have got to the next round without merit, they just played and defended the whole game, counting on luck to beat PSG," Baptista posted on Twitter (translated by The Metro)
"As good as they are, Manchester United cannot afford play like that if they want to win the Champions League."
Fabregas addressed the Brazilian as his friend and then provided a tempered and diplomatic response, arguing that United were severely depleted through top players out through injury.
That list includes numerous figures such as Ander Herrera, Nemanja Matic, and Anthony Martial. Paul Pogba was also suspended for the tie.
"Each team plays to their strengths and United had at least eight of their top players out," Fabregas said.
"They had to bring on their academy players in the last 20 minutes because they did not have anything else. ‘Have they been lucky? Yes. But they deserve respect for fighting and believing until the end. ‘I am a defender of good football but you always have to adapt to what you have."
Manchester United finished the game with two players from the academy who added up to an age five years younger than opposition goalkeeper Gigi Buffon; Tahith Chong and Mason Greenwood.
17-year-old Greenwood is certainly going to be the cock of the walk when he gets back to school on Friday.