AC Milan were knocked out of the Europa League’s last 16 by English side Manchester United, losing 1-0 at the Stadio San Siro on Thursday evening.
Paul Pogba was the author of the only goal of the game, sending Stefano Pioli’s side out of the competition, leaving Roma as Italy’s only remaining European representatives after they progressed to the quarter-finals earlier in the evening.
United were quick out of the traps in search of a goal to reclaim their aggregate lead. As time went on the speed of the game and mistakes increased; as the first third saw attacks quickly followed by counterattacks at both ends but with no threatening end product.
A counterattack found Hakan Calhanoglu running free on the right side of the box just before the end of the first half. The No.10 played a precise cross towards Rade Krunic who failed to keep his effort on target, striking wide off the right post.
As both sides went back to dressing rooms, the score remained the same with the home team looking just on top.
Half-time substitute Pogba made instant impact, though. After a number of unitidy attempts at clearing the ball, the Milan defence gave the ball away. Somehow the Frenchman was given enough time at the edge of the six-yard box to finish.
Pioli opted for an unusual shape with Samu Castillejo up front, a decision that did not prove fruitful. To try and fix that, Zlatan Ibrahimovic came on for the Spaniard bench with 20 minutes left.
The veteran caused a scare for his former side as he was picked out by Calhanoglu, jumping above Luke Shaw to head from point-blank range, it took a quick save from Dean Henderson to preserve United’s lead.
With five minutes of extra time, Milan went all out but all in vain.