Tuesday , April 16 2024

Sevilla dump Man United out of Europa League

 

The record six-time winners thoroughly outplayed Erik ten Hag’s side, who repeatedly shot themselves in the foot again, having scored two own goals in the first leg.

 

Harry Maguire, guilty of one of those calamitous moments, endured another as he gave the ball away on the edge of his own area and Youssef En-Nesyri pounced to break the deadlock early on.

Loic Bade headed home the second from a corner in the first minute of the second half, with Jose Luis Mendilibar’s side meriting their advantage, which they defended adroitly.

 

En-Nesyri rolled home his second goal into an empty net after United goalkeeper David de Gea put the ball on a plate for him with a mishit clearance while outside his area.

 

“The truth is I’m very happy for the two goals, and because of the fans – I’ve never seen an atmosphere like this in my life,” En-Nesyri told Movistar after his brace.

“That’s how it should always be. I want to thank my team-mates, the staff, if we go together, we will go far.”

Sevilla will face Italian giants Juventus in the semi-finals after the Old Lady beat Sporting Lisbon 2-1 on aggregate.

“It’s clear that when we make such mistakes, it’s very difficult to win a football game. We have to do better. That’s a demand,” said United coach Ten Hag.

Ten Hag started with Marcus Rashford and Luke Shaw on the bench with the duo on their way back from injury.

 

 

With the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan rocking, Sevilla threw themselves into the game with great intensity and were swiftly rewarded by Maguire.

With Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane injured, Ten Hag had no choice but to start with the Englishman at centre-back alongside Victor Lindelof.

Maguire rolled the ball back to goalkeeper De Gea and called to receive it again from the Spanish goalkeeper, seemingly nonplussed about the three Sevilla players buzzing around him.

As Maguire tried to pass the ball, former Tottenham winger Erik Lamela intercepted it and En-Nesyri took charge of the situation and stroked it past De Gea at his near post.

United tried to fight back but created few chances of note, shorn of suspended playmaker Bruno Fernandes.

Sevilla thought they had netted a second goal when Lucas Ocampos rammed home to ignite the Pizjuan again but VAR showed a tight offside against Marcos Acuna in the build-up.

A second goal would not have flattered the hosts or their fans, who looked every bit the Europa League experts their outstanding record illustrates, rather than their domestic version, battling relegation.

Ten Hag threw on Shaw and Rashford at the break, the latter with licence to get in behind Sevilla’s 37-year-old defender Jesus Navas.

 

However Sevilla started the second half just as they ended the first, on the front foot, and Bade immediately steered home a looping header from Rakitic’s corner.

Back on home soil, De Gea might have done more to keep out Bade’s effort, with some also criticising him for his role in Sevilla’s opener – worse was yet to come.

Anthony Martial, who made no impact on loan at Sevilla last season, made way for Wout Weghorst, as Ten Hag turned to Plan B.

However Sevilla killed the game with 10 minutes remaining when De Gea ran out of his box and mishit an attempted clearance, and Morocco international En-Nesyri took full advantage to stroke home.

Sevilla’s Europa League adventure is the highlight of their campaign, with the Andalucians 13th in Spain, eight points above the relegation zone.

Mendilibar is unbeaten in five games across all competitions since being appointed to replace Jorge Sampaoli.

United must pick themselves up to play in the FA Cup semi-final against Brighton at Wembley on Sunday.

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