Manchester United Reunited With Zlatan In Mouth-Watering Europa League Tie
In the tie of the round, Manchester United have been drawn against AC Milan in a Europa League round of 16 that will see them match up with former friend Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
The first match will take place at Old Trafford on March 11, with the return leg in Milan a week later.
On loan defender Diogo Dalot is eligible to play for Milan, in a match up that manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes has a Champions League feel to it.
“It’s a nice birthday gift, isn’t it? To watch that draw! We do have the tradition of making it hard for ourselves in draws. It’s one of the those draws again that you feel could be a Champions League game. It’s good for us to have these games to look forward to. This team needs challenges and we enjoy challenges and we embrace them.”
“The tradition and history of AC Milan, it’s a great club that we welcome and it’s a great stadium that we go to there, and we’re looking forward to it.”
“Zlatan, of course, I’ve been so impressed, I’ve got to say, by how his career has gone. He had a career-threatening injury when he was here but came back from that and went to [the] MLS, then came back to Milan and has really lifted them. They’re on the up and have done really well this season. I’ve been so impressed by him, and Diogo we know. He went there to get some experience at a big club and he’s learned a lot.”
“He’s played a lot more games this season, kept fit and, hopefully, we can give him some bother!” said Solskjaer.
The addition of the showdown with Milan is another in a long list of big match ups in March, beginning with this weekends match against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
“We just have to focus and tick one game off at a time and, as you say, the [next] three games are massive.”
“We’ve got Chelsea just behind us, we’ve got City away in front of us and of course we can’t let them run further away if we have ambitions of catching them and we can’t give Chelsea too much hope of catching us either.”
“Every game is important and from now until the international break will be a big period. We always say, let’s look at April and May and see how we are then, so let’s get to the international break and then we can focus on the run-in.”
While the beginning of March is crucial to the clubs fortunes in 2021, the manager believes there will still be plenty of twists and turns in the later months of 2020/21.
“Yes, I think it is going to be a long-running [battle in the league]. I don’t think the positions will be decided early.”
“The season is unpredictable, we’ve seen teams go through bad phases and turn it around. Who knows what’s going to happen with injuries and with how players react to the circumstances because it is the shortest long season ever with the amount of games.”
“For me, every game is massive. Of course, Chelsea, we know how difficult that’s going to be and how important that’s going to be.”
“It is still 38 games for every team so if you get a run, either good or bad, it’s going to impact you.”
“Of course, our group and the culture, bouncing back after a couple of setbacks we’ve had, going through now, it is an important period. Our group mentality is really good, and we look forward to these big games.”