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Ratings: De Gea the Man of the Match; Pogba rusty in Sevilla draw

Manchester United drew 0-0 with Sevilla in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League round of 16 clash. David De Gea became the man of the evening after making a few great saves to deny the home side from taking the lead in the match. United, with De Gea in goal, have kept 19 clean sheets this season – 20 being the most for him in a season. This match will now be decided at Old Trafford.

Key Moments:

16′ Ander Herrera injured himself whilst running into the Sevilla box. He immediately took his left boot off and sat down – unable to continue. Paul Pogba warmed himself up and was brought on within a minute to aid United.

42′ David De Gea made a save by diving to his left to deny Joaquin Correa from scoring the opening goal of the match.

45′ Victor Lindelof made a huge challenge on the edge of the box cutting out Sergio Escudero’s pass giving Sevilla a corner. David De Gea made a superb save to deny Steven N’Zonzi scoring at the end of the half, tipping the shot over the crossbar.

Man of the Match: David De Gea

The Spanish goalkeeper was the man of the moment for United, keeping them in the game after a great striker by Lucas Muriel was dealt with by an even better save. This was where De Gea would be the hero of the game in an important match in the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League – and it has been a long wait for that – five years to be exact.

Match Statistics:

Manchester United

1 David De Gea

Man of the Match for me. The Spanish number one made a great save to deny Muriel just before half time. This was his 19th clean sheet of the season - the most he's had is 20 clean sheets in a season.

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25 Antonio Valencia

Valencia played well at times but going forward left the defence exposed at times with him being caught out of position.

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2 Victor Lindelof

The Swede played well but a mistake between him and De Gea could have seen the hosts take the lead. Needs to play a lot more to build his confidence after arriving last summer.

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Chris Smalling

The England defender was made to put in a shift after Sevilla's attack saw him have to put his heart into his game.

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18 Ashley Young

I would rather see Luke Shaw at left-back. Young was stretched defensively and lost possession of the ball too many times to be efficient in his role.

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21 Ander Herrera

The Spaniard lasted 17 minutes after suffering an injury when United were on the attack with Herrera running into the box and pulling up.

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31 Nemanja Matic

Matic made a few fouls and was lucky not to be booked. Played well with McTominay in midfield and Herrera before he was injured which saw Pogba come on.

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39 Scott McTominay

McTominay played a great game. He is not world class but is of United standard. Not the star but a player with the ability to get involved. Had a first half shot saved and was very tidy in possession.

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8 Juan Mata

The Spanish attacking midfielder was busy throughout the game but there was no real end product fro United's attacking.

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Romelu Lukaku

Got stuck into the game and worked hard throughout. The Belgian volleyed an effort over the crossbar in the first half and did score in the second half, but it was denied for handball after hitting the top of his arm.

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Alexis Sanchez

The Chilean was full of energy and determination to win. Booked late in the first half for pulling back Navas.

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Substitutes

6 Paul Pogba

Replaced Herrera 17'. Seemed rusty. Had a chance to get himself back into the side ahead of Sunday's Chelsea clash. Failed to prove a point but did put in a shift.

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10 Marcus Rashford

Replaced Sanchez 75'. Came on late in the game. Took a free-kick which was just wide but could not change the game for United.

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9 Anthony Martial

Replaced Mata 80'. Had ten minutes plus stoppage time. Navas will remember him.

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Manchester United: De Gea; Valencia, Lindelof, Smalling, Young; Herrera (Pogba 17′), Matic, McTominay; Mata (Martial 80′), Lukaku, Sanchez (Rashford 75′)

Substitutes Not Used: Romero; Bailly, Darmian; Lingard

Bookings: Alexis Sanchez 41′

Report: David De Gea shone with superb save in Sevilla stalemate

Manchester United drew 0-0 with Sevilla in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League round of 16 clash. David De Gea became the man of the evening after making a few great saves to deny the home side from taking the lead in the match. United, with De Gea in goal, have kept 19 clean sheets this season – 20 being the most for him in a season. This match will now be decided at Old Trafford.

Jose Mourinho made a few changes from the side which beat Huddersfield Town in the Emirates FA Cup at the weekend, the biggest shock being that Paul Pogba was on the bench. After reading some discontent on social media, it made me realise how pathetic people really are. If you start a war, you don’t fire all your bullets in the first 45 minutes, you save some, make plans and hold things back.

United started poorly with Sevilla taking control of the game and having the lion’s share of possession, also dominating in United’s final third – a similar approach United adopted against Huddersfield at the weekend. Sevilla are in great form at home but they have not kept a clean sheet in six knockout stage Champions League matches, so there is a way to break in and find a goal or two.

United started to get involved in the attacking aspect of the game in the ninth minute but nothing became of it. A few minutes later Alexis Sanchez was passed the ball and he ran into the box to get a shot but was dispossessed. At the other end of the pitch, Sevilla, through Jesus Navas had another shot on goal which did not really threaten David De Gea.

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In the 16th minute of the match, Ander Herrera suffered an injury and could not continue which meant Paul Pogba was soon to be involved in the match. Herrera made way for the Frenchman in the 17th minute of the match. Twenty minutes into the game, United were still not fully in the game with Sevilla getting stuck in and trying to find the first goal of the game.

Steven N’Zonzi was booked for a challenge on Alexis Sanchez in the 21st minute of the match. The free-kick nothing of it for United. Romelu Lukaku had a great chance to open the scoring in the 25th minute of the match after Sanchez picked him out. The Belgian had the time to react and fire United ahead but his first touch was poor as he sent his shot into the stand behind the goal.

After a period where both teams battled in the middle of the pitch, with a few fouls, Scott McTominay had a shot on goal from outside of the box after a driving run from Ashley Young. The Sevilla goalkeeper manager to make the save though. A minute or so later, Sevilla won a corner, which came to nothing, after a spell in possession pressuring United.

With five minutes of the half remaining, United were on the attack and Navas dispossessed Sanchez but the Chilean tracked back to recover the ball, making a foul by pulling Navas back, earning a yellow card. A minute later, De Gea made yet another save to deny Sevilla from taking the lead at this stage of the game.

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Sevilla broke forward from a United corner, gaining ground with Victor Lindelof defending and deflecting the ball behind for a corner. The Spanish side aimed to take the lead with an acrobatic attempt on goal just being tipped over the crossbar by De Gea. De Gea then made an error in the box with the ball but recovered with Lucas Muriel firing a shot at the end of the half, De Gea making the save.

There were no changes for either team at the start of the second half of the game. Sevilla won another corner in the 53rd minute of the match after getting forward through Muriel and having a shot on goal which was deflected. It was Sevilla’s 11th corner of the game and De Gea made a comfortable catch to thwart the home side from gaining anything from the set piece.

Sevilla had another shot on goal in the 58th minute of the match through Muriel but De Gea stood and watched the effort go wide of the target. United won a free-kick int he 60th minute of the match after N’Zonzi fouled Sanchez – lucky not to be booked for the challenge. Lukaku took the free-kick – which came to nothing.

Sevilla won a free-kick in United’s half after Correa was fouled by Antonio Valencia. The set piece was sent into United’s box, a header was attempted with no power and De Gea made another save to deny the Spanish side from taking the lead in the match. Sevilla had another shot moments later which was off target and posed to threat to United nor De Gea.

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Sevilla won another free-kick in United’s half by the resulting kick was straight to De Gea and posed no threat to him. United immediately powered to the other end of the pitch winning a corner themselves, which came to nothing. With just over twenty minutes remaining, Mourinho had Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard warming up.

Sevilla won another free-kick, on the replay, there was no contact on the player. Sevilla had a good chance to take the lead in the 71st minute of the match by Muriel was unable to get into the danger area quick enough, missing the connection with the ball which could have seen the home side take the lead in the match.

Mourinho made his second substitution of the game in the 75th minute with Marcus Rashford making his return from injury and Sanchez coming off. After a purple patch in the game, Mourinho made his final substitution with Anthony Martial replacing Juan Mata in the 80th minute of the match.

United found the back of the net in the 83rd minute through Lukaku but the goal was disallowed after the ball seemed to hit the Belgian strikers arm. United had a change after breaking forward in the 87th minute of the game, moments after Navas performed a dive in the box. United were unable to capitalise by scoring a goal though.

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United won a free-kick in the 89th minute of the match with Rashford stepping up to take the kick. The shot on goal was just wide of the target. At the end of the second half, there were two minutes of stoppage time added. It was going to be a 0-0 draw in Spain, which was a good result but an away goal could have been beneficial for Mourinho’s side.

Key Moments:

16′ Ander Herrera injured himself whilst running into the Sevilla box. He immediately took his left boot off and sat down – unable to continue. Paul Pogba warmed himself up and was brought on within a minute to aid United.

42′ David De Gea made a save by diving to his left to deny Joaquin Correa from scoring the opening goal of the match.

45′ Victor Lindelof made a huge challenge on the edge of the box cutting out Sergio Escudero’s pass giving Sevilla a corner. David De Gea made a superb save to deny Steven N’Zonzi scoring at the end of the half, tipping the shot over the crossbar.

Man of the Match: David De Gea

The Spanish goalkeeper was the man of the moment for United, keeping them in the game after a great striker by Lucas Muriel was dealt with by an even better save. This was where De Gea would be the hero of the game in an important match in the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League – and it has been a long wait for that – five years to be exact.

Match Statistics:

Manchester United: De Gea; Valencia, Lindelof, Smalling, Young; Herrera (Pogba 17′), Matic, McTominay; Mata (Martial 80′), Lukaku, Sanchez (Rashford 75′)

Substitutes Not Used: Romero; Bailly, Darmian; Lingard

Bookings: Alexis Sanchez 41′

Confirmed Starting XI: Pogba on the bench; De Gea, Valencia & Herrera return

Manchester United return to action in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday evening in the round of 16 first leg of the elite European competition. Sevilla are the side United will have to contest to head into the last eight of the competition this season, which is what Jose Mourinho’s side will be tasked to do.

United have not reached the round of 16 stage of the competition since the 2013/14 season where the club did so in the beleaguered season under David Moyes, who was sacked as manager of the club before the end of that season.

United are currently second in the Premier League but trail leaders Manchester City by 16 points which gives them an impossible task to challenge for the title this season, which is something Mourinho has already conceded.

Manchester United:

De Gea;

Valencia, Lindelof, Smalling, Young;

Herrera, Matic, McTominay;

Mata, Lukaku, Sanchez

Substitutes:

Romero; Bailly, Darmian; Pogba, Lingard; Martial, Rashford

Manchester United and Sevilla have not yet faced each other competitively in any competition so therefore Wednesday’s fixture will be the very first competitive match between the two clubs.

However, United have met Sevilla in the last five years for Rio Ferdinand’s testimonial which ended with a 3-1 defeat for David Moyes’ United side. United have played 23 matches in Spain but do not have the best form, winning only two of those matches.

Recently though, United have played eight matches in Spain – losing only one of those. Last season in the UEFA Europa League, United face Celta Vigo in Spain, winning 1-0. This match will mark United’s 50th in European competition against a Spanish side, United have won 13, drawn 20 and lost 16 times of the 49 played so far.

How Manchester United could look in a 4-3-3 formation against Sevilla in the UEFA Champions League

Manchester United face Sevilla in the round of 16 first leg of the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday evening. This is the first time since the 2013/14 season that United have reached the knockout stages of the elite European competition and it will be Jose Mourinho’s task to ensure they reach the last eight of the competition this season, which will be seen positively in terms of the club seeking to reach the dizzy heights of glory which was served up by Sir Alex Ferguson during his near-27 year reign at the Theatre of Dreams. In their last six matches, in all competitions, United have won four and lost twice – meaning they will need to continue fighting to earn the plaudits this season.

Starting XI Formation and Prediction: Mourinho to field a 4-3-3 formation with Paul Pogba playing in his favoured role?

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Goalkeeper: David De Gea

The Spanish number one was rested in the Emirates FA Cup victory over Huddersfield Town with Sergio Romero coming in for the United shot-stopper. Mourinho confirmed that De Gea was the only player rested from that match with the club suffering many injuries in the run-up to the game. De Gea is the player who could be the difference between United winning and losing in his native Spain. Being back in the Champions League is where De Gea will want to be and it will also be something he will want to win with the Old Trafford club.

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Back Four: Antonio Valencia, Victor Lindelof, Eric Bailly, Luke Shaw

United’s defence has not been the best recently with the comedy duo Chris Smalling and Phil Jones doing what they do best – not performing. Smalling did play much better in the victory over Huddersfield at the weekend, but he was not all that convincing. Now that Bailly is back, it will be a welcome addition. With Marcos Rojo out of action due to injury, having both Lindelof and Bailly involved could be a blessing. Lindelof played at the weekend, but he has not played a lot recently. The defensive duo could be flanked by Valencia and Shaw, which is my first-choice fullback pairing.

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Three-Man Midfield: Ander Herrera, Michael Carrick, Paul Pogba

The midfield has been short of players recently with Marouane Fellaini, Pogba and Herrera all out of action, the Belgian for the foreseeable future. With Herrera and Pogba seemingly back in the squad for this important match, it would be fitting that alongside Carrick, the trio form a three-man midfield with Pogba able to play a more advanced role, which is where he excelled at stages this season. United need to control the midfield which will leave one less attacking player but with the three attackers I have chosen here, there should be enough to contend with Sevilla and possibly return to Manchester with multiple away goals and a foot in the door for the next round.

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Forward Three: Alexis Sanchez, Romelu Lukaku, Anthony Martial

United have some great attacking players. Martial must play on the left as it is his favoured position. Having Sanchez on the left against Huddersfield left Shaw exposed as the Chilean seldom tracked back to help him. In time, that will change, which means United will need to play the strongest players in their strongest positions. Playing Sanchez on the right is not his favoured role, but he could drift into a more central position. Valencia, playing as the right-back will not need as much support as Shaw would on the left, meaning the Ecuadorian would be fine if the Chilean drifted into a central role, where he could help United drive for victory.

Preview: Mourinho to set Manchester United up to challenge Sevilla in Spain?

Sevilla -v- Manchester United

Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, Seville, Spain

UEFA Champions League 2017/18

Wednesday 21st February 2018; KO 19:45 GMT

Live on BT Sport

Manchester United return to action in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday evening in the round of 16 first leg of the elite European competition. Sevilla are the side United will have to contest to head into the last eight of the competition this season, which is what Jose Mourinho’s side will be tasked to do. United have not reached the round of 16 stage of the competition since the 2013/14 season where the club did so in the beleaguered season under David Moyes, who was sacked as manager of the club before the end of that season. United are currently second in the Premier League but trail leaders Manchester City by 16 points which gives them an impossible task to challenge for the title this season, which is something Mourinho has already conceded.

Last season, United won the EFL Cup, now the Carabao Cup but their participation in that competition ended before the end of 2017 with Bristol City beating them. United have two chances to win some silverware this season; the Emirates FA Cup, of which they are in the last eight and face Brighton and Hove Albion at Old Trafford next month and the UEFA Champions League, which will be the toughest of the two tasks. One thing that goes in United’s favour is that the club will only need to worry about two matches in each round and depending on how much the team wants to win it, will depend on whether they actually get close to that. Realistically, United would be happy with a place in the quarter-final or even a semi-final place.

Form: Manchester United have won more in their last six matches but Sevilla have only been beaten once in their last six matches

Manchester United: WLWLWW – Huddersfield Town 2-0 W, Newcastle United 1-0 L, Huddersfield Town 2-0 W, Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 L, Yeovil Town 4-0 W, Burnley 1-0 W

Sevilla: WWWLDD – Las Palmas 2-1 W, Girona 1-0 W, Leganés 2-0 W, Eibar 5-1 L, Leganés 1-1 D, Getafe 1-1 D

Previous Matches: United do not have the best form in Spain in the past, but more recently they have only lost once in eight visits

Manchester United and Sevilla have not yet faced each other competitively in any competition so therefore Wednesday’s fixture will be the very first competitive match between the two clubs. However, United have met Sevilla in the last five years for Rio Ferdinand’s testimonial which ended with a 3-1 defeat for David Moyes’ United side. United have played 23 matches in Spain but do not have the best form, winning only two of those matches. Recently though, United have played eight matches in Spain – losing only one of those. Last season in the UEFA Europa League, United face Celta Vigo in Spain, winning 1-0. This match will mark United’s 50th in European competition against a Spanish side, United have won 13, drawn 20 and lost 16 times of the 49 played so far.

Team News: Mourinho boosted by the return of Bailly, Valencia, Pogba, Herrera, and Rashford ahead of Sevilla clash

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has been boosted recently with the return from injury of Eric Bailly, who came off the bench late in the 2-0 victory over Huddersfield Town in the Emirates FA Cup at the weekend. Bailly could make his 50th appearance for the club if he plays against Sevilla. It has been confirmed by the media that Antonio Valencia, Ander Herrera, Paul Pogba, and Marcus Rashford have all travelled to Seville – all of whom had missed the FA Cup match at the weekend, some have missed much longer periods due to injury. Zlatan Ibrahimovic was pictured in training at the AON Training Complex in Carrington this morning but it does not look like he has travelled to Spain.

Predicted Starting XI: Mourinho to field a 4-3-3 formation with a midfield able to challenge the Spanish side?

Predicted Score: 

Sevilla 1-2 Manchester United

copyright: JW