Ole Gunnar Solskjaer conceded Manchester United fell well short of the standards set against Manchester City at the weekend as Simon Kjaer’s late header secured a 1-1 draw for Milan in their Europa League last-16 first leg.
United were in fine form on Sunday as they brushed aside Premier League leaders City on their own ground, yet the Red Devils were well off the pace against Stefano Pioli’s side at Old Trafford on Thursday.
Amad Diallo became the youngest non-British player to score for United in major European competition (aged 18 years and 243 days), netting with his first ever attempt for the Red Devils in the 50th minute, but Kjaer scored a vital away goal for the Rossoneri deep into stoppage time.
It was the first Europa League goal United have conceded in the 90th minute or later, while they have been eliminated from six of their past eight ties in European competition when they have failed to win the first leg at home, most recently against Barcelona in the 2018-19 Champions League.
United could not complain Milan’s leveller was undeserved, though, the visitors having enjoyed 15 shots to their hosts’ seven, and Solskjaer could not hide his disappointment.
“I’m very disappointed to concede with one of the last kicks of the ball,” he told BT Sport. “That makes it harder, of course, but it was always going to go down to the second game.
“We were a long way [from the performance against City]. Possession-wise, 50-50, we were a bit too slow with the possession, though.
we are Manchester and we will fight for another 90 minutes pic.twitter.com/z8NjqXNdOU
— Amad (@Amaddiallo_19) March 11, 2021
“It’s sometimes hard, on the back of a game like we had, but that’s the learning we have to get into ourselves. We have to perform every single week because we’re playing against good teams and these are definitely a good team.”
While Solskjaer accepted a draw was a fair result, Harry Maguire and Daniel James were guilty of shocking misses for United.
“The one with Dan James, second half, it happens at times, you don’t connect with the ball as you want to,” Solskjaer added.
“We could have scored one or two more, but they had loads of attempts, especially the header second half [from Rade Krunic], back stick, could have gone in. Probably, a draw is a fair result.”