Manchester United bordered past AC Milan at San Siro to place in the last eight UEFA Europa League on a total score of 2-1. The rematch ended with the result 1: 0, with the superstar midfielder Paul Pogba proving to be a player who changed the game of the Red Devils as he came down from the bench and scored the winner.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer named the same team that beat West Ham United 1-0 at Old Trafford and had several big names on the bench of Paul Pogba and Donny van de Beek, who returned from injury. The Rossoneri had several absentees of their own, including Ante Rebic, Mario Mandzukic and captain Alessio Romagnoli.
After a good 10-15 minutes of initial pressure from the Red Devils, AC Milan grew into a game and looked like the side that preferred to score a goal. They saw more ball and were the better side in the half which was deprived of clear chances to score.
Honestly a few Manchester United players, like Scott McTominay, Fred, Marcus Rashford, and to a large extent, even Bruno Fernandes had to forget half because they were mostly ineffective. The two pivots of the midfield eventually performed Milan’s midfield again and gave the ball on numerous occasions.
With Manchester United desperately in need of a goal as Milan have an advantage over away goals, Solskjaer pulled Pogba aside at the expense of tired Rashford and his decision paid off in stunning style.
Just two minutes after entering, Pogba kept calm in the middle of a chaotic sequence of play in the penalty area and with a beautiful shot broke out of the deadlock defeating Gigi Donnarumma from close range, raising the ball above the tall Italian.
The Frenchman’s introduction simply changed Manchester United’s game, as well as the overall result, as the game opened up much more than a restart, making it a much more lively view for the neutrals. Stefano Pioli responded to the situation by sending a former Red Devil and one on loan to Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Diogo Dalot. The couple injected some much-needed directness and urgency into the hosts.
Despite the pressure they began to accumulate on their famous hosts, Manchester United kept their nerves and defended excellently. Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire, were especially great that night, putting their bodies on the line to protect Dean Henderson in goal.
The English goalkeeper was solid the night he was called and saved brilliantly in the 75th minute. Zlatan Ibrahimovic was the target of an early cross into the penalty area, and the Swede hit Luke Shaw to shoot the ball into Henderson’s goal, but the 24-year-old threw the ball over the crossbar with a sharp reflexive refusal.
Manchester United started to hold the ball much more towards the background of the match and won a series of fouls in the middle of Milan, while Franck Kessie, Dalot, Hernandez and others made sudden challenges born of frustration. Pogbi was given a great opportunity to double his and the team’s header in the penalty area after James ’good work, but the Frenchman headed into the net of the net.
Pogba’s brilliant finish proved to be enough for Manchester United to eventually make it through the goal against a very well-punched team from Milan who had a fair share to find the back end of the net. The renewed defensive ability of the guests prevailed during the night when they recorded their sixth net score in the last seven games in all competitions.
Manchester United have joined the Arsenal Premier League in the last eight, while Tottenham Hotspur faced a shock elimination earlier that night. In the meantime, Rossoneri with the elimination of AS Roma remains the only Italian side remaining in the Europa League.
Here are some of the best tweets from the game!