Second in Serie A, however trying effectively positioned to play within the Champions League subsequent season, AC Milan left it late to safe the draw — defender Simon Kjær scored a dramatic late equalizer in stoppage time to stun United — however the Rossoneri totally deserved to drag degree.
Milan supervisor Stefano Pioli, who has helped convey again a number of the worry issue that used to encompass Milan throughout the membership’s heyday, known as Thursday’s recreation “a great performance and a great result.”
“I maintain repeating to my gamers that I’m not teaching a standard group. This a rare group, the lads all the time give their 100% in each recreation, they’re simply unimaginable.
“Before the game we would have been very happy with a 1-1 draw. Tonight we know that we could have earned even more after this performance.
“The spirit of this crew is just superb. We need to take management of each recreation, we’re working arduous to take action.
“The way we want to play needs a great commitment by everyone in the team and despite playing so often, the lads never relax a bit. I cannot say enough to praise them.”
Kjær despatched a bullet header over goalkeeper Dean Henderson within the 92nd minute to degree the sport at 1-1 with the second leg in Milan coming subsequent week.
A controversial video assistant referee assessment for an obvious handball denied Franck Kessie what would’ve been a chic opener and Milan appeared extra snug regardless of the youth of the facet — talisman Zlatan Ibrahimović was lacking by way of damage.
However, it was the hosts who broke the impasse towards the run of play, and it got here from a little bit of magic from a substitute.
The 18-year-old Amad Diallo, who had solely come on 5 minutes beforehand, produced a beautiful backwards header from a pinpoint Bruno Fernandes cross to drift the ball over Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma.
But Milan did not hand over simply, dominating the possession from there on in and Kjær’s purpose offers Milan an all-important away purpose.
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The Real Madrid loanee picked up the ball round 25 yards from the Olympiacos purpose, turned, and unleashed a “venomous” strike which powered previous the despairing Jose Sa in purpose.
Although the Greek hosts equalized within the second half, two late objectives from Gabriel and Mohamed Elneny gave Arsenal a commanding 3-1 lead, with the second leg to return in London on March 18.
For the Norwegian midfielder, who’s on mortgage from the Spanish giants till the tip of the season, his first purpose for Arsenal was a “big moment” as a result of he admits he “feels at home here.”
However, after but extra sloppy defending supplied loads of alternatives for Olympiacos to tug itself again into the match, Arsenal supervisor Mikel Arteta burdened the significance of eliminating errors with the North London derby towards Tottenham developing on Sunday.
“So to go to the next level, we have to stop doing that and be more ruthless — and when you are that dominant and playing that well, just kill the game.
“The objectives or the possibilities that we have now conceded are coming from ourselves. That is basically optimistic as a result of the second we cease it we will probably be even stronger. “But the reality is that we have to stop it immediately because if not the games are always there to drop points.”