Paul Pogba goal sends Man United into Europa League last eight

Manchester United beats AC Milan 1-0 at San Siro to reach the quarterfinals of the Europa League.

Paul Pogba celebrates scoring Manchester United’s first goal with Bruno Fernandes.   -  REUTERS

Manchester United reached the Europa League quarterfinals after a brilliantly-taken Paul Pogba goal earned it a 1-0 win at AC Milan to secure a 2-1 aggregate victory in its last-16 tie on Thursday.

MATCH CENTRE

Pogba came off the bench at halftime to make his first appearance for United since February 6, and the France midfielder had an immediate impact as he turned the tie in his side's favour three minutes after the break with a fine goal.

Former United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic came on as a substitute to try to drag Milan back into the match, and he almost equalised in the 74th minute but was denied by a good save from the visitors' goalkeeper Dean Henderson.

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Milan applied plenty of late pressure but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side held on to remain in the hunt to win its first trophy since a Europa League success under Jose Mourinho in 2017.

 

United's away record this season - it is unbeaten on the road in the Premier League in 2020-21 - will have given it confidence ahead of the Milan trip, but Solskjaer's team struggled to find that away goal it needed in the first half.

Milan's Belgian midfielder Alexis Saelemaekers went closest to breaking the deadlock, but was denied by a smart block from Henderson. Pogba replaced Marcus Rashford for United in a surprise switch, but his impact was immediate, as the Frenchman cleverly squeezed a strike in at the near post to score his first goal in European competition this season.

Ibrahimovic, Milan's top scorer this season, was also returning from injury against the club he scored 28 goals for from 2016-18, and the 39-year-old posed a threat, but Henderson’s stop was the closest he came to finding the net.

Pogba almost added a second when he headed just over late on, but one goal was enough for United.

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