MAN UNITED BEAT AC MILAN TO REACH EUROPA QUARTER-FINALS

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Paul Pogba

Paul Pogba

Paul Pogba returned from injury to score the winner as Manchester United beat AC Milan 1-0 on Thursday to advance to the Europa League quarter-finals 2-1 on aggregate.

World Cup winner Pogba had been sidelined for over five weeks with a hamstring injury.

But the 28-year-old Frenchman scored four minutes after coming off the bench at the start of the second half in the last 16, second leg clash at the San Siro.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic also returned from a thigh injury for Milan, the Swede coming on after an hour but despite threatening could not find a way past his former club.

Milan had a slight advantage against 2017 winners United thanks to Simon Kjaer’s stoppage-time away goal in the first leg at Old Trafford.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer named an unchanged side from the first leg, sticking with the team that beat West Ham at the weekend in the Premier League.

Anthony Martial and Edinson Cavani remained out injured but Marcus Rashford returned as a starter, with Pogba and Donny Van De Beek back on the bench.

United put the hosts under pressure early, but the ‘Rossoneri’ got into their stride as the first half progressed.

Franck Kessie had a shot on goal from a distance.

Samu Castillejo pulled a pass back for Kessie after 25 minutes, but a Victor Lindelof sliding tackle averted the danger for United.

Kessie was impressive in midfield, the Ivorian sending through an unmarked Alexis Saelemaekers but Dean Henderson beat away the Belgian’s effort.

Rade Krunic missed a chance to break the deadlock before the break when he shot wide just before half time.

Pogba came off the bench in place of Rashford after the break and had an immediate impact. 

The former Juventus player blasting into the top of the net from close range following a scramble on front of the Milan goal.

Mason Greenwood tried his chance from a distance just after but Gianluigi Donnarumma made a save.

Ibrahimovic came on after 65 minutes in place of Castillejo along with Manchester United loanee Diogo Dalot.

And the Swede almost broke through seven minutes later, getting his head to a Hakan Calhanoglu cross, rising above Luke Shaw with Henderson doing well to punch the header out.

United held on with Pogba almost doubling their account with a header two minutes from time.

AFP

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