Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer praised Dean Henderson after the goalkeeper kept another clean sheet as the Red Devils knocked out Milan in the Europa League.
Paul Pogba returned from a 10-game injury absence to lead United to the quarter-finals on Thursday, his goal within three minutes of his halftime introduction securing a 1-0 victory over Milan at San Siro.
Henderson’s late error gave Milan an away goal and a 1-1 draw in last week’s Manchester opener, but the Englishman – acting in the absence of the regular number one David de Gea – redeemed himself in the second leg, producing a point-blank save to thwart Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Vying with De Gea for a starting spot, Henderson has now kept 11 clean sheets in just 18 appearances for United in all competitions this season, one more than the Spain star has recorded in 29 games (10).
“It’s a stop he should have made last week. It’s very similar, ”Solskjaer said with a smile after being asked about Henderson’s confidence.
“No, very happy for him, of course. Great backup. The team always gives us everything. It starts with the front four with the pressing, very energetic, then of course the back six and the goalie, we know what they can do.
“Very happy with our defensive foundation. It gives us the platform to win matches. “
– Manchester United (@ManUtd) March 19, 2021
United have joined Arsenal, Roma, Ajax, Dinamo Zagreb, Slavia Prague, Villarreal and Granada in the last eight Europa League games.
The Premier League giants have lost just one of their last 20 Europa League knockout games (W12 D7), a 2-1 loss to Sevilla in last season’s semi-finals.
When asked if there was a feeling United could go all the way and claim silverware in 2020-21, Solskjaer replied: “Let’s see who we get in the next draw.
“Of course we are really happy because we have beaten a fantastic club, historically fantastic and a very good team, which is on the rise. “Very happy with everyone. Of course, we want to go all the way. It was hard to lose in the semifinals last season.