Ole Gunnar Solskjaer joked that Dean Henderson’s late save against Milan on Thursday night was similar to the save he should have made in the first leg at Old Trafford.
After catching a downtime leveler last week, the Rossoneri’s away goal gave them the upper hand ahead of the second leg of this round of 16 and the Red Devils struggled at times in the first half .
They improved after the break and under Paul Pogba grabbed the decisive goal of victory.
Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof were solid at the heart of the visitors’ defense, while Henderson made a key save from former United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic a week after allowing Simon Kjaer to level death.
Henderson couldn’t prevent Kjaer’s late header, despite a helping hand last week and Solskjaer pointed out this error on Thursday.
“It’s a save he should have made last week!” Very similar, ”Solskjaer said. “No, very happy for him of course. Great backup. The team always gives us everything you know.
“It started from the front with the pressing, the very energetic front four and of course the back six plus the goalie, we know what they can do.
“Very happy with our defensive foundation. This gives you the platform to win matches. “
Solskjaer brought in Pogba for injured Marcus Rashford at the break and the United midfielder made a dream impact on his return from 40 days with a thigh injury.
The 28-year-old smartly struck home at the near post after coming close to passing just three minutes after being introduced, taking a 1-0 victory at San Siro and an overall triumph of 2-1.
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Dream Pogba returns
“When you win a football game away from home at a stadium like this against a team like this, you are very happy,” said Solskjaer, the hat-trick hero in 1999.
“We started very well, I felt. The first 15-20 minutes I thought we looked like a really good team.
“Then there was a spell halfway through the first half to half time where we rushed things, missed the ball, lost the ball too many times, made a long game.
“I just had to rehearse a few things and in the second half I felt we were doing a lot, a lot better.”
United left-back Luke Shaw said they were ‘horrible’ in the first half but said ‘it always helps when you have a world class player like Paul coming up’.
The France international has certainly added an extra dimension, but Solskjaer believes he is still far below his best match-fit.
“Paul looked like he had been out for six weeks, yeah, sure,” said the United boss, whose side face Leicester in the FA Cup quarter-final on Sunday.
“He worked really hard but when you play football it’s different and you can see he needs… he couldn’t play over 45 and he will get better and better.
“It’s a big boost for us the rest of the season because the boys have done fantastic without him, but we know Paul’s qualities.
Pioli left frustrated
“Marcus had a little pang in his heart that we couldn’t risk him, but I hope he doesn’t hurt too much.
While United can look forward to Friday’s quarter-final draw, Milan boss Stefano Pioli regretted what could have been.
“We are disappointed because in the two sets we played like a great team and we could have scored in the first half,” he said.
“I think the team deserved to keep going (in this competition), but we had to give it a bit more. I don’t think we deserved to go out.
“On both sets we did so well, but the two goals we conceded were more due to our own mistakes – that’s what’s disappointing.
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