Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's red army marched to the Quarter Finals of the UEFA Europa League with a 2-1 win triumph on aggregate against AC Milan. United did enough across two legs for progression into the last 8. Paul Pogba's goal in the second half of the second leg proved to be pivotal for the Red Devils, in a match which was less than enthusiastic for viewing.
Manchester United commenced the game pretty well but finished the first half poorly. Luke Shaw broke with pace in the early part of the game down the left hand side, looking dangerous as always on the ball. The hosts grew into the game and looked on the front foot themselves late in the first part of the contest with Dean Henderson on hand to deny numerous efforts. Rade Krunic came close just before half time but Victor Lindelof did just enough to force the midfielder to put his right footed strike wide of the left post.
The Manchester side had a better second half coming out of the blocks with clear intentions. Pogba the savour on the night rifling the ball into the roof of the net, the goal a decisive impact for the Red Devils after his appearance off the bench. Milan kept pushing for the equaliser with veteran Zlatan Ibrahimovic coming the closest midway in the second half, latching onto a deep cross intended for the back post, only for the Swede to be denied by a fine save from Henderson, his firm hand coming to his rescue.
Pogba could have made sure of the victory late on coming close nodding just over the bar following a Daniel James cross to the back post. But in the end it wasn't to be in this one for the Italian side who crashed out the competition just before the last 8.
Following the 1-0 win, the United boss spoke to the press and gave his thoughts on progressing through to the last 8.
The Norwegian was thrilled with the victory, United’s last win at the San Siro coming on February 16th 2010 in the UEFA Champions League:
"Very happy of course. We've come through a very difficult tie against a fantastic club and we've overcome some difficulties."
On Dean Henderson's record as the in form goalkeeper registered his fifth clean sheet in his last six competitive games:
"You give yourself a chance to win a game of football when you keep a clean sheet. Dean Henderson made a fantastic save towards the end and I'm very pleased with everyone's defending."
Paul Pogba's return was a boost for the squad, with the star player on the sidelines after suffering a recent hamstring injury against Everton on February 6th in the Premier League at Old Trafford:
"We've missed Paul Pogba. He's been out for almost two months and any team would miss a player like Paul. He is very important for us and he's going to give us a big boost. He makes a very, very big difference to us," Solskjaer said.
He knows United still have many challenges ahead in this competition, the Red Devil’s last winning the UEFA Europa League in the 2016-2017 season:
"There are many good teams left but you've got to be spot on. It's a cup competition and anything can happen. But we are through and we feel confident."
Man United have Leicester City up next on Sunday at the King Power Stadium in the Emirates FA Cup, with Brighton at Old Trafford after the International break to come in the Premier League.