Maguire on the ball against Milan at Old Trafford

Maguire says United must do better in Italy

Thursday 11 March 2021 21:35

Harry Maguire says Manchester United must improve if they are to complete the Italian Job in Milan next Thursday night in the Europa League last 16.

A disappointing climax at Old Trafford saw AC Milan snatch a stoppage-time equaliser and take a valuable away goal back home for the second leg.

The Reds drew 1-1 with teenager Amad heading home a superbly executed goal in the 50th minute for his first United senior goal but Simon Kjaer powered in a 92nd-minute equaliser just when it looked like we would travel to the San Siro with victory.

Now a place in the quarter-finals is in the balance and captain Maguire remains upbeat but fires a warning to the Reds.

Harry Maguire hits a post from close range in the first half.

“It is only halfway and we have to stay positive, but we need to play better,” he told BT Sport.

“It is disappointing to concede in the last minute, especially at a set-play when we didn’t play well, we didn’t play at our best but were comfortable in the game.

“They didn’t create, they had a lot of possession after we scored the first goal but they didn’t create chances and it looked like we were going to see it out 1-0 and to concede the way we did, is really poor.

“We need to play better [in Italy] that what we have done tonight. I felt we did enough to win 1-0 although they probably had the majority of the game but we had the best chances of the game.

“But we need to play better and we know we can play better. It is going to be an exciting tie next Thursday and an important one for us. We have got to go there and play a lot better than we did tonight and we can go through.”

Milan certainly gave Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side a heads up that they meant business in Manchester when they had one goal chalked off for offside and another controversially ruled out by VAR for handball in the first 11 minutes.

“I haven’t seen them back but I am sure the offside one was offside so we kept a good line there,” Harry said.

"The handball goal was a silly goal to concede from a throw-in and it was a great strike from him [Franck Kessie]. I haven’t seen it back so I can’t comment on that.”

Maguire: No excuses for our missed chances Video

Maguire: No excuses for our missed chances

Harry admits we should have finished better against Milan, but remains very positive about going to Italy...

Our skipper had a glorious chance to put the Reds ahead just before half-time when he hit a post from only a yard out. And he was kicking himself for the miss.

“I should have scored,” he admitted. “I am not making any excuses for that one. I should have scored. I should have put it in the net. That’s why I am a defender and not a forward! But no excuses I have got to score.”

What Maguire couldn’t do just before the break, Amad did superbly just after the interval with his header, only for Kjaer to have the final say.