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Europa League – Manchester United 1-1 AC Milan: Stoppage Time Strike Earns Milan Vital Away Goal

Milan came into this game with a number of key players missing but it didn’t appear to be a problem. The Italian giants quickly got into their stride and set the tempo for the game. Milan were pressing United high up the pitch and Solskjaer’s side were struggling to get in to any kind of rhythm.

The pressure was mounting from the away side and on the 12th minute they thought they’d taken the lead. The ball broke to Franck Kessie on the edge of the box and he struck a fantastic shot past Dean Henderson. Thankfully for him and United it was ruled out for handball. Replays show it was a very harsh decision. It was a fantastic goal and Kessie had every right to feel aggrieved.

Video: Kessie volley against Man United disallowed by VAR
Credit: CaughtOffside

This didn’t knock Milan’s confidence and they got back on to the front foot almost immediately. They looked like scoring every time they came forward. With just over half an hour gone United had Dean Henderson to thank after he made a smart save to deny Saelemaekers.

Milan had dominated the first half but it was United who should of took the lead. A Telles corner was flicked on to Maguire who hit the post from a yard out! Incredible miss and one that he won’t want to see again. Despite Milan’s dominance and the sitter for Maguire, the sides went in at half time with the game goalless.

United made a change at the start of the second half with Martial being replaced by youngster Amad Diallo. Martial had picked up a knock towards the end of the first half which had forced him out of the action.

Man Utd in new injury blow as Anthony Martial hobbles off at half-time vs  AC Milan to join Marcus Rashford on sidelines

It didn’t take Diallo long to make an impact. Fernandes picked him out with a sublime ball and the youngster produced a superb headed finish over the outrushing Donnarumma. It was a fantastic goal and he’d put his name up in lights at Old Trafford! Wonderful moment for the youngster.

Man United player ratings: Diallo shows his star potential vs AC Milan -  DUK News
Credit: DUK News
Amad Diallo's special night spoiled as Milan strike late for
Credit: 101 Great Goals

United had started the second half well and were good value for their lead. After the goal Solskjaer’s side had a ten minute period where they put Milan under some serious pressure but they couldn’t double their advantage.

It didn’t take the away side long to get back on top! Kessie was running the game for Milan and you could argue he’d been the best player on the pitch. Along with Saelemaekers he was causing United real problems. It seemed a matter of time before the away side drew level. Every time they came forward they’d got themselves into some real promising positions.

Soccer Football - Europa League - Round of 16 First Leg - Manchester United v AC Milan - Old Trafford, Manchester, Britain - March 11, 2021 AC Milan's Franck Kessie scores their first goal before it is disallowed after a VAR review REUTERS/Phil Noble
Credit: iNews

Milan were turning up the heat and with just over 25 minutes remaining midfielder Rade Krunic saw his header go just over the bar. The away side were getting closer! Although United had been under some heavy pressure they’d defended well and Henderson hadn’t really been overworked.

With 15 minutes left Solskjaer sent on Fred, Brandon Williams and Luke Shaw to add some extra protection to United’s slender 1-0 lead. Still Milan pressed and on the balance of play they deserved something from the game. They’d dominated the first half and had been the better team for large parts of the second.

It looked like Milan were going to leave empty handed but in the 3rd minute of stoppage time Simon Kjaer headed in a deserved equalizer for the away side! Milan were level and it was no more than they deserved. Once again United had conceded from a set piece and Solskajer looked far from impressed!

Kjaer rescues Milan after Diallo bags 1st United goal |
Europa League last 16 result - AC Milan strike late to deny Manchester  United win at Old Trafford - Eurosport
Credit: Eurosport

The final whistle went and a draw was the least Milan deserved. They’d been excellent and were well worth their away goal. United face the prospect of going to Italy next week without Pogba, Cavani, Rashford and Martial. Next Thursday is going to be very interesting.

Man of the Match: Franck Kessie

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Andrew Belcher
34. Sports Coach. Manchester United season ticket holder ⚽

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