As they say, it’s goals that win matches. When Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was asked how they can stop Sevilla, which were then unbeaten in 19 games, he replied, tongue in cheek, that they needed to score more goals than them. United and Sevilla’s only two prior meetings were in the last 16 of the 2017-18 Champions League, with Sevilla winning 2-1 at Old Trafford in the second leg, after a goalless draw in the first leg. Sevilla, which finished fourth in La Liga this season, are however five-time winners of the Europa League.
In the end it was not to be United’s night. Sevilla had just three shots on target during the whole match, scoring in two of them, compared to United’s seven shots on target from twenty shots at goal. Fortune certainly did not favour United, even if Bruno Fernandes was given the opportunity to convert United’s 22nd penalty of the campaign. Sevilla’s opening goal came from a throw-in that should have been awarded United’s way. Fernandes then had a very good case for a second penalty before the first half was through.
In the second half United came out flying. How United did not retake the lead in the early stages of the half might be deemed a mystery; some would argue that this felt like a repeat of the previous round against Copenhagen.
In the end, Luuk de Jong’s late goal condemned Manchester United to a 2-1 defeat.
I consider Fred to be the United player that had the most impact of the match. He was certainly one of United’s better players, his mobility underpinning United’s counter-attacks and possession-based play. He was much more progressive than he was against Copenhagen, putting in a box-to-box performance which would have been capped with a goal had he had a little more composure.
This was United’s 61st game – and the last – of the season. The Red Devils have now lost in all three semi-finals they have played in this season, the EFL Cup and FA Cup being the other two.
Article contributed by Contributor Kenneth. Comments are appreciated on our Facebook page.