Paul Pogba scored on his comeback while Dean Henderson and Victor Lindelof impressed as Manchester United beat AC Milan 1-0 at San Siro.

Coming into the game on the back of a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford, the onus was on Manchester United to push for the early goal but they lacked that edge in the final third as the chances did not come. AC Milan, on the other hand, had a few bright moments, with Dean Henderson called into action twice to deny Alexis Saelemaekers and Franck Kessie as half-time arrived with the game still goalless.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made a key change at half-time replacing Marcus Rashford with Paul Pogba and it worked a treat as the Frenchman, within less than three minutes of coming on, found the back of the net with a clever finish after Milan had failed to clear the ball from their box.

The hosts pushed hard for the equaliser, with Saelemaekers and Zlatan Ibrahimovic both being denied by Henderson while Victor Lindelof produced some heroic defending at the back to ensure Manchester United held on to their lead and advanced to the UEFA Europa League quarter-finals on the back of a 2-1 aggregate win. Here’s how we rated the performances of both sets of stars on the night.

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AC Milan

Gianluigi Donnarumma: 6/10

Not a lot he could have done to stop Pogba’s intelligent strike from close range. Made a decent stop from Mason Greenwood soon after. Was not tested a great deal and was always on the lookout to launch attacks quickly.

Pierre Kalulu: 5/10

Needed to do better with his cut-back in the first period when he was played into space. The pattern followed as he failed to offer much of note in attack. While he did manage to keep Marcus Rashford quiet, he he struggled going up against Pogba after the break and was withdrawn soon after he was booked.

Simon Kjaer: 6/10

Won his fair share of balls at the back when Manchester United tried to go long. However, did not make the best use of it when in possession, completing just 78% of his passes. Managed a couple of tackles and interceptions each.

Fikayo Tomori: 7/10

Tomori continued to impress with another strong showing on Thursday. Did not give Dan James or Mason Greenwood an inch throughout, with the former in particular bearing the brunt of the Chelsea loanee’s physical prowess, getting shoved off the ball on a couple of occasions. Made a game-high four tackles and two interceptions as well, while passing well from the back.

Theo Hernandez: 6/10

Key outlet going forward for AC Milan, the Frenchman made a darting run through the United defence in the first half but e could not get his shot away. Continued to probe forward but was not able to make inroads as the visitors held firm.

Soualiho Meite: 5.5/10

Used his physicality well to protect the defence, making three tackles and three interceptions. However, he was culpable for the goal as he dallied on the ball instead of clearing it, allowing Fred to nick it off him.

Franck Kessie: 6/10

Tried to make things happen for the Rossoneri in attack while always being available to help out defensively. Had a shot from distance saved early on and was denied another opportunity by a key block by Lindelof. Sent a header wide in the second half. Energetic but could not turn the tide in his team’s favour.

Alexis Saelemaekers: 6.5/10

A lively customer at the top, the Belgian did ask some questions of the Manchester United defence. Drew saves from Henderson on either side of half-time while also playing in a couple of key passes.

Hakan Calhanoglu: 6.5/10

Played the most number of key passes on the night (5), creating the big chance for Ibrahimovic in the second half that was saved by Henderson. Fashioned opportunities for the likes of Kessie and Saelemaekers too. Bright display, but not quite at his best.

Rade Krunic: 6/10

Worked hard out on the left, as he made two tackles and three interceptions. Did not offer a great deal while on the ball, though, and opted to keep things simple for the most part.

Samu Castillejo: 5/10

Starting in an unfamiliar centre-forward role, it was always going to be difficult for the Spaniard. Still, he made one or two good runs and almost played Kessie in for a chance in the first half. That was as good as it got for him on the night. Made just 19 touches before making way for Ibrahimovic in the 65th minute.

SUBSTITUTES

Zlatan Ibrahimovic: 6/10

On for Castillejo for the last 25 minutes. Provided a focal point in attack that Milan were lacking all game. Had the best chance of the night and did well to rise above Shaw and head goalwards but Henderson was up to the task.

Diogo Dalot: 6/10

Replaced Kalulu in the 65th minute. Showed good energy and aggression. Booked.

Brahim Diaz: 5/10

Came on for Krunic in the 72nd minute. Hardly saw the ball, making just eight touches.

Manchester United

Dean Henderson: 8/10

A top-notch display from the Englishman, redeeming himself for his mistake in the first leg. Straightforward save from Kessie’s long-range effort early on before stopping Saelemaekers. Denied the Belgian again after the break before producing an excellent reaction save to keep Ibrahimovic out. Charged out to tackle Saelemaekers in stoppage time. Must now be given an extended run in the side despite David de Gea’s return.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka: 7/10

Was not able to provide much of an attacking outlet, but the Manchester United right-back held things firm at the back, producing three tackles and two interceptions. Did manage to push forward a few times later on and played one key pass.

Victor Lindelof: 8/10

One of his finest performances of the season. The Swede popped up everywhere to constantly put out fires, making a key challenge on Kessie in the first half then doing just about enough to force Krunic to fire his effort wide. Made another important block to deny Kessie after the break and did not allow his compatriot, Zlatan, much space either.

Finished with a joint game-high five interceptions and five clearances each while he also completed 93% of his attempted passes on the night. Big occasion, big performance.

Harry Maguire: 8/10

Like Lindelof, the Manchester United skipper also rose to the occasion to ensure that Manchester United were able to go through to the quarter-finals. Won his fair share of aerial duels and posted impressive defensive numbers, producing five clearances and interceptions each. Confident on the ball each time he strode out with it. Misplaced just six of his 65 attempted passes.

Luke Shaw: 7.5/10

Another positive performance to celebrate his return to the England national team. A constant outlet down the left flank, Shaw looked the likeliest source to make things happen for Manchester United in the first half. Continued the good work after the break as well, while staying responsible at the back, although he did allow Ibrahimovic get the better of him to take a shot at the goal.

Scott McTominay: 7/10

The Scotsman was coming into the game on the back of some average displays in the last couple of games but stepped it up here. Caught the eye with his immense work-rate, shielding the defence with great gusto. Produced five interceptions and also carried the ball forward well but didn’t have that killer pass in him to unlock the Milan defence.

Fred: 7/10

Despite there being a few moments of sloppiness, in general, it was a solid display from Fred. Did the dirty work in the middle, making three tackles and three interceptions and was progressive with his passes while he himself was not afraid to push forward. Played a hand in the only goal of the game.

Daniel James: 6/10

Worked his socks off for the team but did not offer a great deal in terms of quality on the ball. Constantly let down by poor touch as he lost possession 14 times on the night while playing it safe with his passes. But, he also managed to complete a couple of key passes and won a few fouls late on which helped United run down the clock.

Bruno Fernandes: 5.5/10

A poor display from Manchester United’s talisman, who lost the ball a staggering 28 times on the night, one of which almost led to a chance for Milan in the first half. While he did manage to play a couple of key passes, nothing he tried came off on Thursday. Fired a shot well over from a decent position in the first half and had one blocked in the second.

Marcus Rashford: 5/10

Looked rusty and off the pace as he hardly got involved in anything notable in the first half before making way for Pogba at half-time. Clearly, Manchester United jumped the gun rushing him back from injury.

Mason Greenwood: 6/10

Did not have a lot of chances coming his way but the youngster led the line well for the most part. Pressed well from the front and showed some neat footwork when on the ball. Even tested Donnarumma in the second half.

SUBSTITUTES

Paul Pogba: 8/10

Back from injury, the Frenchman did not start the game but was introduced at half-time and he immediately livened things up for Manchester United. Clever dummy and finish for the only goal of the game. Offered energy and quality at the top, held up the ball well, won some fouls and defended well when needed to. His return will be a huge boost for United ahead of the business end of the season.

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