Dismal Manchester United crash out to Sevilla in Old Trafford horror show
Champions League last 16 second leg, Old Trafford - Manchester United 1 (Lukaku 84') Sevilla 2 (Ben Yedder 74' 78')
An embarrassing performance from Manchester United saw them deservedly eliminated from the Champions League - by a Sevilla side who were scarcely better. Every other side in the last eight will want to draw them, and rightly so.
United started slowly, sitting off limited opposition for reasons appreciated solely by Jose Mourinho. In midfield, Marouane Fellaini made his first start in three months with Paul Pogba left on the bench, while the matchwinner against Liverpool, Marcus Rashford, was inexplicably moved from left to right wing to suit the horrifically out of form Alexis Sanchez.
As such, United mustered one chance in the first half, Fellaini shooting too close to Sergio Rico, while Sevilla failed to muster even that.
The game opened up a little in the second half, Sevilla having the better of the play as United toiled, and on 73 minutes, replaced Luis Muriel with Wissam Ben Yedder. It took him a minute to effectively settle the tie, smacking Ever Banega's pass past David De Gea, and four minutes later scored again, heading home following a corner as United panicked.
United did manage to pull one goal back, Romelu Lukaku, who tried his best with limited service, hooking home after a corner, but in the time that remained, Sevilla came closer to extending their lead than United did to pulling it back.
Manchester United’s Alexis Sanchez looks dejectedReuters
Why were United so conservative? United had the attacking talent to blow Sevilla away, but set up like they were playing Read Madrid of 1955-1960 and played with fear. This is not even a matter of "philosophy", though they were an embarrassment to the traditions of their club. Rather, attacking was the practical option, the best way of winning. Mourinho made the game close when it had no need to be and was duly, deservedly punished.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Wissam Ben Yedder (Sevilla): Clement Lenglet was excellent, but you can't argue with two goals in five minutes after coming off the bench. I've no idea why he didn't start.
Sevilla’s Steven N'Zonzi and Wissam Ben Yedder celebrate after the matchReuters
38’ - Some football! Fellaini does brilliantly, rattling into Banega just outside the Sevilla box and playing a one-two off Sanchez ... he's in, left side of the box! He smashes his shot with Lukaku screaming for a square pass, and it's fairly easy for Rico to shove around the post. The corner comes to nowt.
48’ - WHAT A CHALLENGE ERIC BAILLY! Sevilla break and Nzonzi finds a nice pass out to Sarabia down the left. He crosses quickly, and Correa is in space, away from Fellaini, but out of nowhere, Bailly launches into a slide-tackle that averts the danger. That is brilliant defending, and Vazquez slices the loose ball miles away.
74’ - GOAL! Manchester United 0-1 Sevilla (Ben Yedder) That's been coming. Valencia gives it away, Matic isn't strong enough, Sarabia finds Banega and he quickly feeds Ben Yedder. One touch takes the ball away from Bailly, and the second thumps a low finish past De Gea! United need to score twice in 17 minutes!
78’ - GOAL! Manchester United 0-2 Sevilla (Ben Yedder) Sevilla win a corner and no one bothers to mark Correa on the near post. He heads across goal, and no one has bothered to mark Ben Yedder on the far post. He heads firmly, and though De Gea makes a valiant effort to save, he can't stop the ball crossing the line. United are a disgrace.
Sevilla players celebrate victory after the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 Second Leg match between Manchester United and Sevilla FC at Old Trafford on March 13, 2018 in Manchester, United Kingdom.Getty Images
- Including the 2011 final, Manchester United have only won one of their last nine Champions League knockout games (D3 L5).
- After progressing from the Last 16 in five successive seasons – Man Utd have now been eliminated at this stage in two of their last three Champions League campaigns (2012-13 and 2017-18).
- This was the first defeat of a Premier League club by a La Liga club in the Champions League in 2017-18, at the ninth attempt (two wins for PL clubs, six draws).
- Sevilla are just the third side to score 2+ goals at Old Trafford against Man Utd under Jose Mourinho (Manchester City, twice and Burnley).
- Sevilla attempted 21 shots in this match – the most that Manchester United have allowed an opposition side at Old Trafford in a competitive match since Real Madrid attempted 22 in March 2013 (Champions League).
- In fact, Manchester City are the only other side to beat Manchester United at Old Trafford in Mourinho’s tenure at the club (1-2 in September 2016 and 1-2 in December 2017).
- David de Gea has conceded more goals in this match (2) than in his previous five Champions League games this season (1).
- Romelu Lukaku has scored five goals in the Champions League this season, the most by a Man Utd player in the competition since Wayne Rooney (5) in 2009-10.
- Wissam Ben Yedder’s first goal was the fastest scored by a substitute in the Champions League this season (87 seconds).
- Ben Yedder has scored the most Champions League goals without providing an assist so far in the competition (8).