Man Utd: Maguire says winning trophies is next step
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Manchester United drew 1-1 with AC Milan in the first leg of their Europa League last 16 tie, with Amad giving United the lead before Simon Kjaer equalised with a late header. Milan thought they had taken the lead when Franck Kessie scored in the 12th minute with a stunning strike, only for a VAR review to rule the goal out for handball.
Amad gave United the lead in the second-half with a spectacular back-header to lob Gianluigi Donnarumma, before Kjaer put Milan level in injury time.
Dean Henderson was handed his third start in a row in all competitions in the match, with David de Gea on paternity leave.
De Gea’s wife has given birth to their first child and the Spaniard’s absence has afforded Henderson the opportunity of a regular run of games.
The 23-year-old has largely impressed, keeping back-to-back clean sheets in Premier League games against Crystal Palace and Manchester City, but against Milan he should have saved Kjaer’s header to keep his third consecutive clean sheet.
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Recent reports have linked De Gea with a move away and Henderson’s recent good form in the league meant Solskjaer was faced with a difficult decision over who to back as his number one.
Speaking before the game on BT Sport, former United midfielder Paul Scholes was asked about the goalkeeper situation and he claimed that the next few weeks are “pivotal” and will “probably decide David’s future”.
“This is his [Henderson’s] big opportunity to cement his place in the team,” Scholes said.
“I love David. He’s been a sensational goalkeeper for this club for many years.
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“But after the Everton game, three or four weeks ago, when he conceded a couple of goals he probably shouldn’t have I thought it was time for Henderson to come in.
“Ole obviously disagreed and kept faith with David and I still thought in them games he looked a little suspect.
“I actually watching that game on Sunday, I know City didn’t create a lot, which is a great credit to the defence, I felt safe with him. I felt if they get a chance I think he’ll save it.
“He just felt comfortable, nice and relaxed, nice and composed. Didn’t want to get involved when he didn’t have to.
“This is a big chance for him, not just for United. If he does well in his next few games he’s No.1 for United and No.1 for England.”
He added: “The next few weeks are pivotal. They will probably decide David’s future. He won’t sit around and be a No.2. Neither of them can do. If Henderson continues to put in performances like the ones he has in United’s last three games, then it will be increasingly difficult for De Gea.”
Henderson’s error against Milan was a rare one but, like Scholes said, it has come at a “pivotal” time with the 23-year-old competing with De Gea.
As Scholes said after the game, Henderson’s error “just gives a little opening again for David.”
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