Zlatan Ibrahimovic won’t have been surprised that it was Paul Pogba who was Manchester United’s match-winner in their Europa League clash against AC Milan.
And the substitution proved to be a masterstroke by Solskjaer as within three minutes, Pogba had given his side a 2-1 aggregate lead with his angled shot from the left of the box.
It was a lead United would hold on to – with Zlatan denied by a superb save from Dean Henderson late in the second half.
It wasn’t to be for the Milan ace – who has previously hailed Pogba as a man for the big games in European football.
Back in 2019, former Red Devils striker Zlatan predicted Pogba could make the difference for Solskjaer’s side in their Champions League quarter-final against Barcelona.
Speaking ahead of United’s Champions League quarter-final with Barcelona in 2019, Zlatan said: “Obviously, Messi makes the difference in each game he plays, it’s no secret.
“I think for United, you have Pogba making the difference there.
“It will be more of a battle between Messi and Pogba, even if it’s a collective sport.
“I think in these games it’s all about the teams, not an individual player, but these are the players that make the difference so it will be interesting.”
Pogba didn’t live up to his former team-mate’s prediction on that occasion, with Barcelona winning the tie 4-0 on aggregate.
But he certainly made the difference against Milan on Thursday.
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And Solskjaer was glad to have him back as United turn their attention to the FA Cup next ahead of Sunday’s quarter-final clash away to Leicester City.
After Thursday’s win, the United boss told BT Sport: “We’ve missed Paul. He’s been out for almost two months and any team would miss a player like Paul Pogba.
“He is very important for us and he’s going to give us a big boost. He makes a very, very big difference to us.”