Manchester United’s dream of winning the Champions League this season has ended after a 2-1 defeat to Vincenzo Montella’s Sevilla side, and Jose Mourinho has congratulated the Spanish side.
Manchester United dominated the early stages of the game and also had their fair share of chances, with opportunities falling to Romelu Lukaku and Marcus Rashford, but Sevilla defended well, especially some impressive work from the Frenchman, Clement Lenglet.
Then, the pendulum swung and Sevilla had their chances, both of which fell to Joaquin Correa. The first came from an Ever Banega corner, from which the Argentine headed over the bar, and the second was blocked by Eric Bailly.
For 25 minutes up till half-time, the game was open, and full of chances for both sides. Rashford and Maroune Fellaini had numerous opportunities, but Simon Kjaer and Lenglet were both solid at the back, shutting United out.
In the second-half, United were having the majority of possession but Sevilla were looking threatening on the counter-attack, with chances falling to Lingard and Rashford, but Bailly had to show his defensive qualities to deny Luis Muriel and Correa of any goal scoring opportunity.
But, after 74 minutes, the visitors were ahead through the substitute Wissam Ben Yedder. The Frenchman was played in by Sarabia, and his feint was enough to fool Bailly and give him time to have a shot, which crept in past David De Gea’s left post.
And, four minutes later, Sevilla’s lead was doubled and again, it was Ben Yedder to heap misery on the Red Devils. Ever Banega’s corner picked out Correa at the near post, who was left open after some appauling United marking, the flick on was met by Ben Yedder who headed the ball into the net, after some delay as there was uncertainty whether the ball crossed the line, but thanks to technology the goal was rightly awarded.
United could’ve been back in the game instantly from an Ashley Young set piece, which was crossed in, and deflected by Franco Vazquez before Chris Smalling had a shot off target, which surely affected his attempt.But, five minutes from time, Lukaku did pull one back for the hosts. Rashford’s corner picked out Nemanja Matic at the near post, and the flick on was met by Lukaku, who skilfully powered the ball past Sergio Rico with a nice scissor kick.
Unfortunately for them, United didn’t have the opportunity to add a second and Sevilla showed comfortable composure to keep the ball until the final whistle, meaning that the Red Devils were elininated whilst the Spaniards progress to the next round.
“I think the first goal was always going to be important, not just because of the first leg result but also the profile of the match,” the former Real Madrid boss told BT Sport.
“We tried to be aggressive and intense from the first minute. We didn’t score and Sevilla progressively kept the ball, and they controlled the game well.
“We had good chances to score, but they scored one goal and from that moment everything became much more emotional. The second goal made it impossible.
“We had good periods, we didn’t have great control over the game, but I can’t say there was anything wrong with my players and their intention to play.
“That’s football, we lost, but tomorrow is another day and Saturday is another match.
“I’m pleased the players aren’t hiding their sadness, but we have no time for drama.”
United now face Brighton in the FA Cup at the weekend their only hope of winning any silverware this season.