Three talking points from Sevilla’s famous victory over Manchester UnitedMarch 14, 2018
Sevilla stunned Manchester United to reach their first European Cup quarter-final in 60 years and send their opponents tumbling out of the Champions League, thanks to substitute striker Wissam Ben Yedder’s two second-half goals.
The Frenchman – who was kept on the bench for the goalless first leg at the Estadio Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán – scored his first within two minutes after coming onto the field to replace Luis Muriel at Old Trafford.
Manchester United forward Romelu Lukaku struck late on to give the home side hope, but the Andalusians held on for an historic result.
Let’s look at some of the talking points from Sevilla’s memorable win.
Lenglet leads assured defensive line
Coping with the physical threat of Lukaku is not an easy task, but Sevilla’s French centre-back Clément Lenglet outwitted his Belgian opponent with some precise defensive positioning on the night.
Apart from a late consolation from Lukaku, Lenglet – accompanied by Gabriel Mercado, Simon Kjær and Sergio Escudero – stood out in a back four that dealt well with the host’s attack. The Frenchman was calm in possession, and was typical of a team unfazed by the pressure of the occasion.
Goalkeeper Sergio Rico was also on hand to make key saves when called upon, especially from winger Jesse Lingard.
Correa shows promise, but once again lacks killer instinct
For all Joaquín Correa’s tidy footwork, the young attacker failed to make the most of some very promising attacking situations.
The 23-year-old Argentine has found the net only twice this season. He proved to be a useful outlet in Sevilla’s approach play, but despite retaining possession well, his final pass and especially his shooting was weak and indecisive. For a player of such balance and poise, he must improve his productivity in the attacking final third.
Montella’s Ben Yedder gamble pays dividends
Coach Vincenzo Montella’s decision to bench Sevilla’s top scorer Ben Yedder in the first 90 minutes in Spain was a surprise to many.
In the first game, Sevilla created enough chances to win, but were without Ben Yedder to make the difference in front of goal.
With a quarter of the game remaining in Manchester, Montella brandished his prized asset for the first time, and the former Toulouse forward responded immediately with a calm finish beyond goalkeeper David de Gea.
Minutes later, he thrust home an instinctive header at the far post following a corner to send Sevilla fans into dreamland and, perhaps even save his manager’s blushes.