The centre back started his first game for 10 months having recovered from an injury that has kept him sidelined since December 2019.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hailed his Manchester United heroes after they beat Paris Saint-Germain in their opening Champions League group game.
The United manager joked that Axel Tuanzebe surprised them with his ability, as the centre-back didn’t put a foot wrong in his first appearance for 10 months, and also praised Scott McTominay and Fred for laying the foundations for another impressive win in Paris.
“Axel did fantastic, he’s been out for 10 months so to put in a performance like this against Neymar and Mbappe almost surprised us as well,” Solskjaer said. “We know he’s a good player, but to do it on a night like this is fantastic.
“It’s a better performance this time than last even though last time we won 3-1. I think the performance this time showed we had developed.
“Scott and Fred were outstanding. They are in good form now and played really well against Newcastle and they laid the foundations for the win that game and today as well. Scotty played the first half with only one eye, that was the most impressive thing, because he lost his contact lens.”
Tuanzebe could get another chance to impress at the weekend should Solskjaer deploy a similar three at the back as they welcome Chelsea to Old Trafford.
Harry Maguire missed the game through injury and the United boss confirmed Eric Bailly is expected to be out for a month.
“You might see this system again,” Solskjaer said. “When you win games and perform well you get confidence. We’re going to go into that [Chelsea] game confident.”
After a slow start to the season where questions have been raised about the strength of the squad, Solskjaer believes they made a statement in Paris and it puts them in good stead for the next few weeks.
“I think we have shown today we have a squad that can play different ways and different systems,” he said.
“We played well against Newcastle and Alex (Telles) was very very good in his debut. His delivery was fantastic and we’ve got players back home with Harry (Maguire), Edinson (Cavani), Jesse (Lingard), Eric (Bailly), Mason (Greenwood), so I’m looking forward to the next few months.”