Manchester United were knocked out of the UEFA Champions League by Sevilla after a 2-1 defeat at Old Trafford. The first half of the game was goalless and it took substitute Wassim Ben Yedder to score two goals in just over two minutes late in the second half to spoil the evening and possibly the season for United. Romelu Lukaku did score a consolation goal, which was not enough.
Jose Mourinho made two changes from the team which beat Liverpool in the Premier League at Old Trafford on Saturday afternoon. Marouane Fellaini replaced Scott McTominay and Jesse Lingard replaced Juan Mata. Paul Pogba was fit enough to take a place on the bench for this important match which United must win.
United started the game well, creating chances from the start. Romelu Lukaku was unlucky not to get his name on the score sheet after some good interplay with Jesse Lingard. In the sixth minute of the match, United won a free-kick in the final third after Ever Banega fouled Alexis Sanchez and was booked, meaning he will miss the next game for Sevilla, whether it is this season or whenever.
In the ninth minute of the match, Sevilla from a corner, nearly scored but the shot was off target with the ball careering over the crossbar after Joaquin Correa reached the cross from the corner with a header. In the 12th minute, United’s defence did not look the best as they were welcoming Sevilla to attack and the Spanish side looked to be ready to take any opportunity to score.
In the 14th minute, United were still sloppy in defence and Sevilla, through good interplay between Correa and Luis Muriel, had another shot on goal, which Muriel took but the shot was well off target. United needed to do so much better so far in the game. They started brightly but soon lost that edge they needed to see them through the match and into the quarter-final stages.
In the 22nd minute, Marcus Rashford had a run on the ball, up the right flank and into the box, attempting to create something for United. When the 20-year-old tried to pass to a teammate, Sevilla regained possession and attempted an attack of their own. Sevilla had another chance in the 28th minute with Muriel firing a shot across goal which was just off target.
United had a change at the other end of the pitch but Lukaku was unable to catch the ball the threaten the Spanish side. The tempo of the game then changed and the supporters sprung into life, for both teams. United had a chance in the 33rd minute after Lingard put a lovely ball to pick Marouane Fellaini out but the Belgian’s header did not find a teammate. Banega then fired wide for the visitors.
In the 38th minute, Fellaini picked up the ball in the final third, ran into the box and forced a save from Sergio Rico, winning a corner. Rashford then had a moment of joy on the ball but the referee stopped play as the ball apparently crossed the line for a Sevilla throw-in. United won a corner in the 43rd minute after Lingard tried to create something, his pass being blocked and put out of play.
The corner came to nothing, although United still had possession of the ball, running into their own half before attacking again through Sanchez. The half ended 0-0 with all still left to play for. United seemed to be getting warmed up halfway into the half. They would need to be a little bit more ruthless in the second half, finding an early goal, or two, in order to win the tie.
At the start of the second half, there were no changes for either team. United did go out on the attack through Sanchez, unable to get anything from the game immediately from the whistle. United had a few early chances in the second half with Rashford looking as lively as he did against Liverpool at the weekend.
In the 54th minute, Sanchez set Rashford loose down the right flank but the 20-year-olds cross was over hit with the ball going out of play. Sevilla had shown that they were just as capable of threatening too but United seemed more determined so far. Sevilla then attacked in the 57th minute, breaking forward and getting a shot which was wide of the target.
In the 60th minute of the match, Mourinho made his first substitution with Paul Pogba coming on for Fellaini. Pogba was poor ever since he came on, misplacing passes and losing possession. He needed to do so much better. So far, his mistakes have not cost United anything but that is not the point.
Rashford was fouled on the edge of the box in the 67th minute, earning United a free-kick in a dangerous area. Rashford was going to take the set-piece which was a disappointing effort, aiming for the far post, whether it was a shot or a cross, heading out of play for a goal kick. United needed to be more ruthless, taking no prisoners.
Sevilla made their first substitution with Luis Muriel being replaced by Wissam Ben Yedder. Straight away, the French attacker looked to create something for his side, being thwarted by David De Gea. Sevilla then took the lead in the match through Ben Yedder, going 1-0 up in the tie, meaning United needed to score twice to make the quarter-finals of the competition.
United made a double substitution in the 77th minute of the match with Juan Mata and Anthony Martial replacing Jesse Lingard and Antonio Valencia. Shortly after the change, Sevilla scored their second goal, meaning United now needed to score three goals to win the tie. United won a free-kick on the edge of the box, coming close to scoring, but not able to make it count.
United got a goal back in the 84th minute through Romelu Lukaku, assisted by Rashford who whipped in the corner and the Belgian was there to slam the ball past Rico. United needed two more goals tonight. United did have some other chances, which did not come and there was some controversy with a possible back pass to the goalkeeper, but nothing was given by the Dutch referee.
There were four minutes of time to be added at the end of the match with United vying for their lives in the Champions League. Chris Smalling had a chance just after Sevilla were through on goal but De Gea made the save with his feet and United went on the attack with Smalling missing a header, which was not on target anyway. Rashford was booked for a challenge.
Sevilla had another chance at the end of the game, pressuring this United side who did not seem that great with Pogba on the pitch, shooting at goal and the ball being deflected out of play. That was it in the Champions League this season for United. Sevilla were through into the quarter-final winning 2-0. United’s only chance of a trophy this season will be in the FA Cup.
38′ – Marouane Fellaini forced a fine save from Sergio Rico after winning the ball just outside the box, running into the box and striking his shot towards the near post. The Sevilla goalkeeper made the save, stopping what could have been a great goal by the Belgian.
60′ – Paul Pogba replaced Marouane Fellaini, the first substitution of the match. The Frenchman was soon misplacing passes and losing the ball. Not the best start for the Frenchman.
74′ – Wassim Ben Yedder opened the scoring after Ever Banega turned in midfield feeding Pablo Sarabia who then looked up to find Ben Yedder who scored with his superb effort into the bottom right corner past David De Gea. Manchester United were seemingly heading out of the Champions League.
77′ – Manchester United conceded another goal, with Wassim Ben Yedder the scorer again. Joaquin Correa crossed the ball from the left, there was a weak header towards the goal and David De Gea looked to tip the ball over. The ball touched the crossbar and just crossed the line. The referee gave the goal after it being confirmed by his assistant.
84′ – Manchester United scored a consolation goal through Romelu Lukaku, his 24th goal of the season, assisted by Marcus Rashford. The 20-year-old whipped his corner into the box with the Belgian at close-range slamming his shot past Sergio Rico. It was just not going to be enough for United though.
Goals: Romelu Lukaku 84′
Assists: Marcus Rashford 84′
Manchester United: De Gea; Valencia (Mata 77′), Bailly, Smalling, Young; Matic, Fellaini (Pogba 60′); Lingard (Martial 77′), Sanchez, Rashford; Lukaku
Substitutes Not Used: Romero; Lindelof, Darmian; McTominay
Bookings: Marcus Rashford 90+3′