Thursday March 18, Paul Pogba allowed Manchester United to win on the lawn of AC Milan (0-1) on the occasion of the eighth-final second leg of the Europa League. A victory that propels the Mancuniens into the quarter-finals where AS Roma, Ajax Amsterdam, Arsenal and Dinamo Zagreb also qualified, author of a resounding feat against Tottenham.
Real shock of these knockout stages of the Europa League, the second clash between AC Milan and Manchester United will have kept all its promises in terms of suspense, if not spectacular. Like the first leg at Old Trafford (1-1), the two “big” in Europe have long looked at each other during this decisive meeting. It was therefore not until the entry into play of the French world champion, Paul Pogba, just after the break, to see the game get carried away. Called by Didier Deschamps a few hours earlier to compete in qualifying for the 2022 World Cup, the former Juventus player brought his power, his volume of play and finally his efficiency, very clean, and malicious, in front of the Milan captain Gianluigi Donnarumma (48th ). Enough to send Manchester United to the quarter-finals despite the assaults late in the game from AC Milan.
Who would’ve believed that ? A solid winner in the first leg 2 goals to 0, José Mourinho’s Spurs traveled to Croatia with the feeling of almost accomplished duty. We can not even imagine the boiling stadium of Maksimir, in Zagreb, if the Covid-19 had not been involved in the affair. Because this Thursday evening, the Croats signed one of the finest exploits of their modern era by winning 3 goals to 0, after extra time, against Tottenham. The hero of the evening on the Dinamo side is called Mislav Orsic. Author of a hat-trick (62nd, 83rd, 107th), the 28-year-old Croatian international allowed his team to qualify for the quarter-finals of the Europa League.
Roma can thank their striker. Still irresistible, the striker loaned by Real Madrid, Borja Mayoral, scored a brace (48th and 72nd) this Thursday evening on the lawn of Chakhtior Donetsk (1-2). A victory which allows AS Rome to validate its ticket for the quarter-finals. Above all, the young 23-year-old Spanish center-forward, with seven goals in the competition, joins Yusuf Yacizi (Lille) and Pizzi (Benfica) at the top of the Europa League top scorer ranking.
The Gunners, for their part, 3-1 winners in the first leg at Olympiakos in Piraeus, were surprised by a strike in the area of the Moroccan Youssef El Arabi diverted in his goal by the Brazilian defender Gabriel (51st). El Arabi had already scored, in the first act, the goal of the champions of Greece who played without their French playmaker Mathieu Valbuena, injured. However, this defeat (1-0) did not prevent Arsenal from qualifying for the next round. Same outcome for Ajax Amsterdam who made short work of Young Boys Bern, beaten 2-0 after having already lost the first leg. Finally, Villarreal also took his quarter at the expense of Dynamo Kiev (2-0, 0-2), thanks to a brace from Moreno (13th and 36th) while the Glasgow Rangers, reduced to ten, dropped the flag to the Ibrox Stadium against Slavia Prague (0-2).