AC Milan manager Stefano Pioli was delighted to leave Old Trafford with a draw and admitted he was happy to face Manchester United in the last-16.
The two European giants are among the favourites to win the competition and a late Simon Kjaer equaliser cancelled out Amad Diallo’s opener to give Milan a vital away goal.
That leaves the tie finely poised heading to the San Siro for next week’s second leg and Pioli insists his side are ready to take on any opponent as they chase the Europa League title.
And he revealed he thought Manchester United were the ‘right opponent’ for his outfit when they were drawn against each other.
‘The team played with personality. We suffered in the difficult moments. We knew they have quality, but this performance must boost our self-confidence,’ Pioli told Sky Sport Italia.
‘When we were drawn with Manchester United I though they were the right opponent for us.
‘We are working to improve and try to win again. We want to take Milan where we belong and these are the games where you can improve,” he continued.
‘We want to go all the way through and to do so we have to beat these teams.
‘Today’s result is positive, but we have another tough game ahead. The job is not done. They are a great team.
‘I am satisfied. I keep repeating my players I am not training a regular group. This is an extraordinary group, under any aspect.
‘The team’s spirit was great, we wanted to dominate the game and give our best. We must have a high level of application to play as we do.
‘We’ve been playing one game every four days since September, but these guys never give up. We must continue, it’s a crucial part of the season.
‘Now, we have three big games coming next: Napoli, Manchester United and Fiorentina. Then we’ll have time to rest, at least those who won’t join the national teams.’