Man Utd vs Paris SG reaction: Game changing Geyse, 'big moment' Melvine Malard and laser focused Mary Earps

Melvine Malard celebrates her equaliser against Paris Saint-Germain with Geyse. Cr. Getty ImagesMelvine Malard celebrates her equaliser against Paris Saint-Germain with Geyse. Cr. Getty Images
Melvine Malard celebrates her equaliser against Paris Saint-Germain with Geyse. Cr. Getty Images | Getty Images
A battling display at Leigh Sports Village saw Manchester United Women grab a 1-1 draw against Paris Saint Germain in the UEFA Champions League qualifiers. Graham Falk looks at three of the biggest talking points from a valiant second half display that leaves the tie with everything still to play for.

Mary Earps big saves - the goalkeeper is a huge character

Let's not beat around the bush here, Manchester United were battered for the opening 45 minutes and could not have complained had they gone in two or three goals down at Leigh Sports Village.

The reason they didn't? Step forward Mary Earps. It has been an uncomfortable summer between Earps and United in many ways. Rumours she wanted to depart the club and the record signing of American goalkeeper Phallon Tullis-Joyce definitely put the future of the world's best under scrutiny. It would be easy to understand if the 30-year-old stopper's head wasn't quite in the right place in recent weeks.

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However, two crucial saves in the first half showed exactly why Earps is so highly rated and said everything about her outstanding character. She is laser focused and was key to United going in level at half time.

'Big moment' Malard is proving to be the difference maker for Man Utd

Before the season started, Marc Skinner was full of praise for the recruitment his side had done in the summer. The 40-year-old head coach had pinpointed that his new signings would bring an ability to turn up in big moments when it mattered most.

He noted that his United team had more than matched all conquering Chelsea in last season's FA Cup final but found themselves defeated by an individual moment from the inevitable Sam Kerr. He wanted that - craved it even - and he appears to have found it with the loan signing of Melvine Malard.

The on-loan Lyon forward climbed off the bench for the second time in five days and immediately found the net with almost her first touch. The 23-year-old has barely played 30 minutes of football for the club and always has already turned into a bit of a cult hero all because United fans can see what she brings to the table. She is a big player and she is already bringing the big moments.

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Game changing Geyse - United's secret weapon in the second leg vs Paris SG

Why she didn't start the game is anyone's guess. Did Skinner believe she may have needed a slight rest, or was it tactical? Either way, she has made her undroppable for the second leg in the French capital.

Introduced for Jayde Riviere at half time, the Brazilian forward made an immediate impact as she spun her centre back and drove towards goal. Her movement, pace and power lifted a crowd that has seen their team pinned back for the first 45 minutes and questioned their visitors for the first time all night.

In truth, Jocelyn Prêcheur's side could not cope with her as she managed to turn the pitch around for Manchester United. Had she not put in the performance she did, there's an argument to say PSG would have left Leigh Sports Village last night in the knowledge that they have nothing to fear in United's ranks ahead of next week's game. Now they do.

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