Europa League Round of 16 2nd leg; Manchester United and Arsenal progress / Tottenham stunned
2020-21 UEFA Europa League Round of 16 second leg:
AC Milan 0, Manchester United 1 (Manchester United win on aggregate of 2-1)
Pogba winner takes Red Devils to Final 8
Paul Pogba returned from injury to score a brilliant second-half goal at San Siro, Milan to take Manchester United to the Europa League quarter finals.
Until the Pogba strike there was little intensity to United's game in the first half as hosts AC Milan carved out the best of chances in the period. Alexis Saelemaekers’ shot from distance drew a smart save from Jordan Henderson, while Rade Krunic volleyed wide from Saelemaekers' cross on the stroke of half-time.
United's only shot on target before the break, was a speculative effort from Fred that was easily dealt with by Gianluigi Donnarumma while Daniel James's foray into the box was met by a fair challenge from center-back Fikayo Tomori.
Pogba came off the bench at halftime to make his first appearance since early February and the Frenchman made an immediate impact as he turned the tie in his side's favour three minutes after the break with a fine goal.
Fred's pressure on Franck Kessie in the 48th minute led the ball to be pushed onto Pogba who showed great composure in controlling the ball, feinting defenders and dispatching his effort past Milan keeper Donnarumma.
Having not played for nearly six weeks, Pogba could have been forgiven for displaying rustiness in a role wide on the left but the quality of his passing helped United improve and see out a significant win.
Former United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, coming out of a brief injury spell was introduced by Milan boss Stefano Pioli as a substitute in the 65th minute in an attempt to reverse the tide and he almost equalized 9 minutes later but was denied by a good save from Henderson.
Victor Lindelof then made a crucial block to deny Franck Kessie at the near post. Milan exerted pressure in the closing stages, but Henderson was again alert when Theo Hernandez's cross deflected goal wards off Scott McTominay as United secured an impressive away win.
For Henderson this was his 11th clean sheet from 18 appearances for the club and he seems to be making a strong case to be considered over number one custodian David de Gea.
Arsenal 0, Olympiacos 1 (Arsenal win 3-2 on aggregate)
Arsenal were given a scare at the Emirates by Olympiacos but the Gunners's three away goals in the first leg came to their aid as they beat the Greek side on aggregate to reach the Europa League final eight.
Leading 3-1 from the game in Greece, the Gunners were hardly troubled in the first half in London but were jolted from their reverie in the 51st minute after Youssef El-Arabi's shot found the back of the net via a deflection off Gabriel to give the visitors hope.
However, Olympiakos failed to build on El-Arabi's strike as Arsenal managed to tide over the remainder of the tie adequately to progress to the next stage. Arsenal had their moments in the game with substitute Martin Odegaard firing over and Nicolas Pepe having a goal bound effort deflected away even as the Gunners made it to the quarterfinals for the fourth time in their last five Europa League/UEFA Cup campaigns.
Dinamo Zagreb 3, Tottenham Hotspur 0 (Dinamo Zagreb win 3-2 on aggregate)
Mislav Orsic hat-trick turns the tables on Spurs
Tottenham were knocked out of the Europa League courtesy a sensational hat-trick from Mislav Orsic that completed a remarkable second-leg turnaround from Dinamo Zagreb.
Leading 2-0 from a one-sided show in London a week ago, Mourinho made seven changes to the side in the course of the game at Zagreb, but to little effect as Spurs put up a shambolic performance against their Croatian hosts.
Mislav Orsic, the hero of the day, deservedly got the opener in the 62nd minute with a curling finish from the edge of the box and helped his side draw level on aggregate as he swept home a Iyayi Atiemwen cross in the 82nd. Tottenham twice almost snatched the game and looked o progress at the end of both normal and extra time, but Harry Kane was thwarted on each occasion by superb saves from Dinamo keeper Dominik Livakovic.
Orsic completed his hat trick in the 106th minute of play with a driving run through the heart of the Tottenham defense and let loose a shot from distance that beat Lloris all ends up at his near post.
There were desperate attempts from Tottenham to get back into the tie as they unleashed a flurry of shots on the Zagreb goal in the closing minutes of extra time, but the home side custodian Livakovic stood firm and saw his side through to a famous win.
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