It was a story of two headers as Manchester United conceded an injury-time equaliser within the first leg of their Europa League final 16 tie towards AC Milan with the edges taking part in out a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford.
Simon Kjaer’s first objective for Milan late within the recreation cancelled out Amad Diallo’s Fiftieth-minute opening objective for the hosts forward of subsequent week’s second leg on the San Siro.
United supervisor Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made 4 modifications to his beginning line-up from Sunday’s 2-0 win at rivals Manchester City within the Premier League.
In got here Eric Bailly, Alex Telles, Nemanja Matić and Mason Greenwood, with the latter changing an injured Marcus Rashford.
Solskjaer’s aspect had been additionally with out goalkeeper David De Gea, who stays in Spain following the delivery of his first little one, so Dean Henderson continued in objective.
Meanwhile, Milan boss Stefano Pioli made simply two changes to his beginning line-up from the Italian’s win away at Hellas Verona final weekend.
Eventual goalscorer Simon Kjaer began on the again, and former Man City man Brahim Díaz got here in for the guests in an attacking function.
Defender Diogo Dalot was allowed to play regardless of being on mortgage at Milan from United as his dad or mum membership gave permission for him to take action. However, ex-United favorite Zlatan Ibrahimović missed out with a thigh damage.
The guests began the sport brightly and obtained on the entrance foot from the off as that they had the ball at the back of the online inside the first 5 minutes by means of Rafael Leão. The ahead latched onto an extended ball upfield however noticed his objective dominated out for offside.
Anthony Martial then stung the palms of Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma in a uncommon second of promise for United within the opening 45 minutes.
Before the quarter of an hour mark, the Italians thought that they had the lead as soon as once more. Sloppy marking by United allowed Franck Kessié to choose the ball up from a throw-in and volley the ball into the highest nook of the online.
There had been no complaints from any of these in crimson, however a VAR overview discovered that the ball had bounced up onto Kessié’s hand earlier than the Milan man fired dwelling, and a second objective in a matter of minutes was disallowed.
Although this was an enormous let-off for the hosts, they didn’t brighten up and had been virtually punished as Rade Krunić noticed his shot saved by Henderson.
Five minutes earlier than the break, Harry Maguire had the most effective likelihood of the half and no one might fairly imagine how he missed.
A nook from the right-hand aspect was flicked on by midfield maestro Bruno Fernandes, and the ball fell to Maguire to faucet dwelling from not more than two yards out. Maguire appeared to fulfill the ball together with his shin, and it rebounded off the publish and away from hazard.
With the sport someway nonetheless goalless the groups headed in for half-time, and Anthony Martial limped off the sector.
Solskjaer was pressured into the primary substitution of the night, as he opted to interchange Martial with January signing Amad Diallo.
Costing £37 million, the 18-year-old is but to make a Premier League look for United and performed solely a small half towards Real Sociedad within the final spherical of the Europa League, coming off the bench in each video games towards the Spaniards.
However, it took simply 5 minutes for him to have an effect this outing. Fernandes floated a ball into the realm from the center of the pitch, and Diallo was there to move the ball backwards previous an onrushing Donnarumma.
The modern end got here towards the run of play, with Milan dominating the first-half, however the dwelling aspect now had an opportunity to take actual management of not simply the sport but additionally the tie.
Solskjaer’s aspect didn’t do that and allowed the guests again into the sport. Henderson was known as into motion to save lots of a shot from Kessié earlier than Krunić missed a guilt-edge likelihood to stage the sport.
Davide Calabria took the ball on the precise wing, and whipped a cross to the again publish. Krunić beat Aaron Wan-Bissaka and met it within the air, however he couldn’t direct his header goalwards, and it sailed over the bar. Calabria additionally noticed a shot saved by Henderson in what was spell of strain by Milan.
Then got here a golden alternative for United to place the sport to mattress, and concurrently what turned out to be a missed likelihood which the hosts would kick themselves about, come the full-time whistle.
Greenwood beat his man on the sting of the realm and fired a low ball throughout the field into the trail of Daniel James with the objective seemingly at his mercy.
The Welshman did join with the ball however noticed his shot go extensive of the publish. James slumped to the ground together with his head in his fingers, and that was an indication of what was to return.
Substitutions ensued within the last quarter of the sport, and Solskjaer tried to close up store by bringing on Brandon Williams, Luke Shaw and Fred.
Milan had been on high and strain was constructing on the United objective, nevertheless it seemed as if the hosts had been going to outlive the onslaught to take a slender lead into the second leg.
We’ve change into so used to United scoring late objectives in Europe, supervisor Solskjaer a primary instance of this given his earlier goalscoring historical past for the Red Devils. But on this event, it was to be they who would pay the worth.
In the second of three added minutes, Simon Kjaer met a nook taken by Krunić to safe an important equaliser and an away objective.
This was Kjaer’s first-ever objective for the Italian outfit in 47 appearances. On reflection, ‘keeper Henderson will be disappointed that he didn’t put it aside, although his defence didn’t do him any favours given the poor marking from a set-piece.
So, now on the midway mark within the Last 16 tie, it’s all to play for. The two sides will meet once more within the second leg subsequent Thursday – 18th February – on the iconic San Siro, which AC Milan share with their fierce rivals Inter Milan.