Manchester United was “awful,” according to Luke Shaw, and only made it to the Europa League quarter-finals due to the intervention of “world-class” replacement Paul Pogba.
The French midfielder’s comeback goal against AC Milan early in the second half secured United’s victory, but Shaw remained unimpressed.
Shaw, who has been recalled to Gareth Southgate’s England squad, said, “We were not good at all, particularly in the first half, we were horrible. We switched off, we were rusty, we kept giving the ball away, and maybe we got lucky. It looked a little better in the second half, and it really o see a world-class player like Paul come on and make a difference. He did it, and it’s great to have him back… Yet we know we will do more than we did tonight.”
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was less rough on his players after Pogba’s narrow-angle shot earned United a 2-1 aggregate victory in his first outing since early February.
“We came across a tough tie against a great team,” said the ecstatic United boss.
“Paul has been missed” (Pogba). He’s been gone for nearly two months, and he’s crucial to us. He might only manage 45 minutes, so he’ll get better and better, which is a massive help for us.”
United are now heavy favorites to win the Europa League, but they must first focus on an FA Cup quarter-final against Leicester City on Sunday.
And Solskjaer is optimistic that Marcus Rashford, who substituted Pogba at halftime, will be available.
“Marcus has a little twinge, and we couldn’t take a chance with him, so hopefully it won’t be too bad,” he explained.