AC Milan 0-1 Man Utd (1-2 agg.): Rossoneri punished by defensive mistake and missed chances

Milan managed to get a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford last week and their chances of going through to the next round very decent ahead of tonight’s game. However, Man Utd scored the only goal at San Siro after a mistake at the back by the Rossoneri, who have themselves to blame. 

Much like the first leg, the performance was far from terrible by Stefano Pioli’s side and you could even argue that they were the better side overall. Having said that, when it came to the ever-so-important final touch, it’s clear that Man Utd edged Milan in both of the games. 

The Rossoneri didn’t lack chances and they did well throughout the game to patiently build from the back and eventually find some space in between. You also need to convert your opportunities, though, and without a striker on the pitch for most of the game, they couldn’t do that.

In the first half, Man Utd quickly took control as they were looking for an early goal, by the looks of it. Milan’s defensive backline stood up well, though, and eventually the away side calmed down a bit while the Rossoneri gained more and more space on the pitch, finishing the half as the better side.

There were no big chances in the first half, only half-chances, and that applies to both sides. Milan were without Ante Rebic, Rafael Leao and Zlatan Ibrahimovic while Man Utd didn’t have Edinson Cavani up front. Marcus Rashford may have started, but he was invisible and the attacking struggles were clear for both teams.

The game was turned on its head in the first few minutes of the second half as Paul Pogba came on and completely changed everything. Within just four minutes, he managed to bag himself a goal and put Man Utd in a very comfortable situation. It could have been avoided, though, as Milan somehow didn’t clear the ball.

Once again, a lapse of concentration at the start of the second half cost the Rossoneri dearly, who were forced to push forward for a goal. Ibrahimovic came on after 65 minutes and added another dimension to the play, also getting the best chance of the game with a header that the goalkeeper saved.

Milan didn’t really get any closer than that despite several opportunities that looked very promising, only to end up with nothing. They certainly lacked composure this evening and it’s clear that this needs to be fixed for the top-four race in the league. If you can’t finish your chances, you can’t win the games.

It ended up being a very frustrating night for Milan and their fans as the feeling is that a big opportunity was squandered, considering how well the team played over both legs. Hopefully, they can build on the performance this evening and be more concrete against Fiorentina on Sunday.

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