Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer praised Dean Henderson after the goalkeeper kept another clean sheet as the Red Devils eliminated Milan in the Europa League.
Paul Pogba returned from a 10-game injury absence to lead United into the quarter-finals on Thursday, his goal within three minutes of being introduced at half-time securing a 1-0 win over Milan at San Siro.
Henderson’s late error gifted Milan an away goal and 1-1 draw in last week’s opening leg in Manchester but the Englishman – deputising in the absence of regular number one David de Gea – redeemed himself in the return fixture, producing a close-range save to thwart Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Vying with De Gea for a starting berth, Henderson has now kept 11 clean sheets in just 18 appearances for United in all competitions this season, one more than the Spanish star has registered in 29 games (10).
“It’s a save he should have made last week. It’s very similar,” Solskjaer said with a smile after being asked about Henderson’s confidence.
“No, very pleased for him, of course. Great save. The team is always giving us everything. It starts from the front four with the pressing, really high energy pressing, and then of course the back six and the keeper, we know what they can do.
“Very happy with our defensive foundation. That gives us the platform to go and win games.”
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) March 19, 2021
United joined Arsenal, Roma, Ajax, Dinamo Zagreb, Slavia Prague, Villarreal and Granada in the Europa League last eight.
The Premier League giants have only lost one of their past 20 knockout-stage matches in the Europa League (W12 D7), a 2-1 defeat to Sevilla in last season’s semi-final.
Asked if there is feeling that United can go all the way and claim silverware in 2020-21, Solskjaer replied: “Let’s see who we get in the next draw.
“Of course, we’re really happy because we’ve beaten a fantastic, historically fantastic club and a very good team, that is on the way up. “Very pleased with everyone. Of course, we want to go all the way. It was hard to lose in the semi-final last season.”
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