Milan strikes late to draw with Man United in Europa League

A stoppage-time header from defender Simon Kjaer earns AC Milan a 1-1 draw at Manchester United.

AC Milan’s Simon Kjaer (centre) celebrates after scoring his side’s goal, at Old Trafford on Thursday.   -  AP

A stoppage-time header from defender Simon Kjaer earned AC Milan a 1-1 draw at Manchester United in its Europa League last-16 first-leg match at Old Trafford on Thursday.

MATCH CENTRE

Teenager Amad Diallo’s 50th-minute goal had put United ahead before Kjaer angled in a fine header from Rade Krunic’s corner in the final moments. The draw was justice for Stefano Pioli’s Milan which had two goals ruled out in the opening 45 minutes as it opened up United with surprising ease.

The 18-year-old Diallo, who joined United from Serie A club Atalanta in January, came on as a halftime substitute and claimed his first goal for the English side five minutes later. The Ivorian winger used clever movement to get behind the Milan defence, was picked out by a lofted ball from Bruno Fernandes and found the target with a smart back-header over Milan keeper Gianluigi Donnarumma.

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United had been fortunate to go in level at the break. Rafael Leao had a fifth-minute effort ruled out for offside and then was very lucky when a Franck Kessie strike was ruled out for a questionable handball call by VAR.

United keeper Dean Henderson had to make several saves but the Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side should have gone ahead in the 39th minute when Harry Maguire somehow hit the post from point-blank range at the back post.

 

Dan James missed another sitter after United had gone in front, turning Mason Greenwood’s cross wide when unmarked and five metres out. Newly crowned Scottish champion Rangers fought back to earn a 1-1 draw at Slavia Prague.

Romanian Nicolae Stanciu fired the Czech side ahead in the sixth minute with a superb strike but Steven Gerrard’s side drew level through Filip Helander. The Scots had keeper Allan McGregor to thank, though, for his fine save in the final moments of the game from Lukas Masopust.

Ajax Amsterdam will be confident of its place in the last eight after beating Switzerland’s Young Boys 3-0 with second- half goals from Davy Klaassen, Dusan Tadic and Brian Brobbey. Spain’s Villarreal enjoyed a 2-0 win at Dynamo Kyiv with Pau Torres poking home the opener on the half-hour mark, before Raul Albiol doubled the lead in the second half.