One step forward, two steps back: Amad sparkles but old habits die hard for fragile Man Utd
Solskjaer’s side face a difficult second leg next week having conceded to a last-minute set-piece but the form of their teenage winger is encouraging.
This was another example of one step forward and two steps back, which has been the story of Manchester United’s season. The injury-time equaliser they conceded against AC Milan means they have a huge task on their hands to turn around this Europa League last-16 tie at San Siro next week.
Teenage winger Amad Diallo was almost the hero that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side so desperately needed after an insipid first half, as he became the youngest non-British player to score for United in European competition. He came off the bench at the half-time break to head United into the lead.
But old habits die hard. Solskjaer’s side were yet again caught out from a set-piece as Simon Kjaer grabbed the visitors a deserved leveller deep into stoppage time.
The United goalkeeper Dean Henderson should have done better, having been handed the starting shirt, and will come under pressure for the position once David de Gea is back in contention.
Progress is a word that has often been used when discussing the club this season, and the question of whether or not they are making any. In days gone by, this clash between two of Europe’s heavyweights would have been played on a Tuesday or Wednesday night under the Champions League lights. But not now.
Both teams are fighting to get back to where they believe they belong – right at the very top. And after a lethargic and ponderous first-half display from the home side, which led to Harry Maguire screaming at his team-mates to stop giving the ball away, it felt like Stefano Pioli’s men were a lot closer to achieving that dream than Solskjaer’s.
After the derby win against Manchester City at the weekend, Maguire explained how it had reignited the long-standing belief that they can go out there and beat the best. However, they certainly didn’t start the game with that mentality.
Milan are arguably the best team left in this season’s Europa League and United struggled to match them. Maguire missed his side’s best chance from a yard out and the whole team looked off the pace, giving away sloppy passes time and again.
OLE ISSUES UPDATE ON RASHFORD AFTER MILAN DRAW
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has outlined when he hopes to have Marcus Rashford available for selection again.
Marcus missed out on our 1-1 draw with AC Milan at Old Trafford on Thursday, after coming off with a muscle injury 20 minutes before the end of the victory in the Manchester derby at the weekend.
Edinson Cavani was also absent for the duel with the Rossoneri, while Anthony Martial was substituted at half-time for Amad, after suffering a hip problem. full story