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Player Ratings: Sevilla beat United 2-1; Fernandes did not give up; Lindelof not good enough

Manchester United were beaten 2-1 by Sevilla in the semi-final of the UEFA Europa League. United took the lead in the game after Marcus Rashford won a penalty which Bruno Fernandes scored. Sevilla equalised through Suso 17 minutes later. United looked lively at times but poor finishing cost them after they had many attacking chances on the bounce at the start of the second half, then looked tired. Luuk de Jong scored what turned into the winner in the 78th minute with United running empty.

United started well on the attack, aiming to find an early goal. In the seventh minute of the match United won a penalty after Anthony Martial flicked the ball further into the box with Marcus Rashford running through and his shot being saved. However, an off the ball foul on Rashford happened with a penalty being awarded, United’s 22nd of the season, Bruno Fernandes took the spot kick, putting United 1-0 up in the ninth minute of the match, scoring his 12th goal for the club this season.

In the 26th minute of the match, Sevilla equalised through Suso which had been coming with both teams attacking fluidly throughout the match so far. Lucas Ocampos slipped a great pass into Sergio Reguilon with Aaron Wan-Bissaka a yard behind with the ball being played to Suso who waiting to tap home at the near post. It was an unfortunate goal for United and they were going to need to do a lot more the get the win in this game, with a place in the final up for grabs.

It was 1-1 at the break with United still trying to find the goal to put them in the lead again. Rashford was lively for the reminder of the half but Sevilla were countering everything that United did, trying to fins the goal to put them ahead in the game also. Solskjaer would need to look at his tactics going into the break to try and find a way for United to nullify certain players for Sevilla which could be the key to winning the game. United have seemingly done everything right so far.

From the very start of the second half, United were the team going to try and take the match by the scruff of the neck, searching for that goal to put them ahead once again. The Sevilla goalkeeper, Yassine Bounou was impressive in stoping United from taking the lead for the second time in the match. United had more of the attacking in the first ten minutes of the half. The match the. started to level with end to end football. Rashford was booked for dissent in the 66th minute of the match.

Luuk de Jong took the lead for Sevilla in the 78th minute of the match with United’s defence sleeping and Victor Lindelof running towards the ball, stopping then seemingly blaming Fernandes. In the 87th minute, Solskjaer made a triple substitution with Tim Fosu-Mensah, Daniel James and Juan Mata replacing Brandon Williams, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Rashford. Six minutes of added time was to be played at the end of the match with United running out of time to find an equaliser. United were beaten and their season, which started a year ago, is now over.

Manchester United

1 David De Gea

Conceded two goals with both down to poor defending at fullback and with Lindelof not doing his job for the second. He will be disappointed.

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29 Aaron Wan-Bissaka

Needs to find some improvement at fullback as he has seemed sleepy, especially for both Sevilla goals. Solskjaer will not be impressed with the right-back. He was replaced by James in the 87th minute.

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2 Victor Lindelof

Started the game in good stead but for Sevilla's second goal, he ran towards the ball, stopped and seemed to blame Fernandes. Poor defensively when it matters in this match.

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5 Harry Maguire

Will be disappointed after playing a lot of football this season. The defeat is not ideal but has happened. The defence has improved this season but was poor in this match. Time for a break then getting ready for the new season.

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33 Brandon Williams

Dug deep against Sevilla and did some good work on the ball, getting forward a lot. He was replaced by Fosu-Mensah in the 87th minute. Williams did not hold his head down once.

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17 Fred

Had a good game playing as the holding midfielder against Sevilla. Covered plenty of the pitch and tried to push United forward.

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11 Mason Greenwood

One of the stars of the match and could have been the difference in the game on more than one occasion. He will not like the taste of defeat but at least United did not rely on winning this competition to get Champions League football.

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18 Bruno Fernandes

Scored his 12th goal of the season for United, scoring the clubs 22nd penalty. It was also his 49th goal contribution in 50 matches this season, for both United and Sporting. This guy is a class act.

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6 Paul Pogba

Had a better match against Sevilla and seemed more ready to play with the ball at his feet. Lost the ball at times but it was an end to end game much of the time.

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10 Marcus Rashford

Needed to do better after his last few matches and did just that. Won United a penalty in the seventh minute of the match which Fernandes scored in the ninth minute. Was one of the players looking to put United forward from the start of the second half, pushing for that win. Booked for dissent in the 66th minute for bouncing the ball in frustration. He was replaced by Mata in the 87th minute.

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9 Anthony Martial

Looked lively early in the match but United seemed to be poor at taking their chances. United had a good period of play to find a second goal but it never came.

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Substitutes

8 Juan Mata

Replaced Rashford 87'. Made little impact after coming on late in the game.

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21 Daniel James

Replaced Wan-Bissaka 87'. Had chances to help get United level but did not take the risk. This is where he needs to improve, a lot.

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24 Timothy Fosu-Mensah

Replaced Williams 87'. Provided cover at left-back with United's depth in the position lacking. Did what he needed to do.

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25 Odion Ighalo

Replaced Greenwood 90+3'. Came on at the death with United having three minutes

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Goals: Suso 26′, Luuk de Jong 78′; Bruno Fernandes 9′ (penalty)

Assists: Sergio Reguilon 26′, Jesus Navas 78′

Manchester United: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka (James 87′), Lindelof, Maguire, Williams (Fosu-Mensah 87′); Fred; Greenwood (Ighalo 90+3′), Fernandes, Pogba, Rashford (Mata 87′); Martial

Substitutes Not Used: Romero, Grant; Bailly, Mengi; Lingard, Pereira, Matic, McTominay

Bookings: Diego Santos Silva 21′, Munir 86′; Brandon Williams 17′, Marcus Rashford 66′, Harry Maguire 86′

Written by John Walker

Confirmed XI: De Gea, Lindelof and Fred start against Sevilla; Europa League final or bust

Manchester United have reached the semi-final stage of the UEFA Europa League this season and will face Spanish side Sevilla at the RheinEnergieSTADION in Cologne on Sunday evening. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side will be seeking to get the better of Julen Lopetegui’s side, who have done well this season and have beaten both AS Roma and Wolverhampton Wanderers in their last matches in the competition. United will have a tough match on their hands.

United and Sevilla have met twice in European competition, playing in the round of 16 stage of the UEFA Champions League during the 2017/18 season, in which they qualified for the completion by lifting the Europa League at the end of the 2016/17 season, beating Ajax 2-0 in the final. It was a 0-0 draw at the Estadio Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán in Sevilla followed by a 2-1 defeat at Old Trafford, Manchester, which resulted in United exiting from the competition. United will need to do much better.

Both United and Sevilla have good records in the UEFA Europa League with the Spanish club winning the competition five times in the past 15 years, winning back to back titles on the 2005/06 and 2006/07 seasons then winning three in a row in the 2013/14, 2014/15, and 2015/16 seasons. Sevilla have made the semi-final stage five times, winning all of them and all five finals. United have reached one semi-final and final, winning both in the 2016/17 season. One of the club will lose their 100% record on Sunday evening in Cologne.

Manchester United:

De Gea;

Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Williams;

Fred;

Greenwood, Fernandes, Pogba, Rashford;

Martial

Substitutes:

Romero, Grant; Bailly, Fosu-Mensah, Mengi; Mata, Lingard, Pereira, James, Matic, McTominay; Ighalo

Sevilla:

Bounou;

Navas, Kounde, Carlos, Reguilon;

Banega, Fernando, Jordan;

Suso, En-Nesyri, Ocampos

Substitutes:

Vaclik, Sanchez, Gomez, Munir, Gudelj, Escudero, de Jong, Torres, Vazquez, Alonso, Genaro, Perez

United and Sevilla have met twice before, playing in the round of 16 in the UEFA Champions League in the 2017/18 season. On the 21 February 2018, it was a 0-0 draw in Seville with United failing to score an away goal, which was bad news for Jose Mourinho’s side. Three weeks later at Old Trafford, the Spanish side won 2-1 with Wassim Ben Yedder scoring a brace in the 74th and 78th minute with Romelu Lukaku scoring a consolation goal in the 84th minute of the match, exiting the competition.

Sevilla have played many times against English opposition; beating Wolverhampton Wanderers earlier this week. They have faced Liverpool, Manchester City, and Leicester City in the past five years and further back have faced Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, Middlesbrough and Bolton Wanderers. United have played many teams from Spain including Barcelona, Real Madrid, Valencia, Celta Vigo, Real Sociedad, and Athletic Club in the past decade with a few more clubs from Spain going back further in time.

Written by John Walker

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer tells his players to ‘step up’ in their UEFA Europa League semi-final against Sevilla

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has told his players that it is the time to step up in Sunday’s UEFA Europa League semi-final against Sevilla in Cologne. United earned their place in the last four of the competition with a 1-0 extra time victory over FC Copenhagen on Monday evening in which Anthony Martial won a 94th minute penalty which was scored by Bruno Fernandes, his 11th goal of the season for United. It will be the third semi-final United have appeared in this season.

United reached the semi-final of the Carabao Cup, which was a two-legged tie. Solskjaer’s side lost 3-1 at Old Trafford but won 1-0 at the Etihad, losing 3-2 on aggregate with City reaching the final, beating Aston Villa 2-1 at Wembley on the 1 March 2020. United then reached the semi-final of the Emirates FA Cup and were beaten 3-1 by Chelsea in a match that David De Gea will not be happy to watch back. It was a poor result for United. Could it be third time lucky for United?

Sevilla are currently on a 19-match unbeaten run with United beaten once in 24 matches – both teams will be weary of facing each other in this match. This will be United’s second semi-final appearance in the Europa League – in the 2016/17 season, they beat Celta Vigo 1-0 in the first leg then drew 1-1, winning 2-1 on aggregate in a difficult two matches. United went to their first Europa League final, beating Ajax 2-0. Sevilla have made five semi-final appearances, winning them all and winning all five finals, winning two in consecutive years (2005/06 and 2006/07) when winning three in a row (2013/14, 2014/15, and 2015/16).

Solskjaer will not have been happy with United’s performance against FC Copenhagen on Monday evening with many underestimating the Danish side, who dealt with United very well. The Norwegian manager will be expecting the likes of Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford, Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes to perform in this match, carrying United to the final, which will either be against Inter Milan or Shakhtar Donetsk. United have the players to do the business but so do Sevilla so it will be a tough match for both teams. Speaking in his pre-match press conference on Saturday, Solskjaer, as reported by The Mirror, said:

“You know that when you come to a semi-final you’re playing against good teams, big teams with quality. So it’s time for big players to step up.

“In big games moments you need 100 per cent focus, because any little moment can win, lose or change the game and we’ve learnt it’s very painful to lose a semi-final.

“Sevilla are a good well organised team, always pressing, with very good individuals, so we’ll have to play our best game. We’ll need to keep the ball when we can, play out of their press, and we’ll have to be clever, creative and step up in big moments.

“These games will be decided so often on a set-piece or a piece of individual brilliance by some players. We’ve had a few good days now preparing and recovering. It’s not very often we have six days between games, so we’re ready.

“Physically, we’re definitely ready, and mentally the boys will be ready. It’s a semi-final so everyone will want to take part. I just want them to enjoy it and for me, I’m looking forward to it. We’ve been to two semis this season.

“We’re happy with going as far as we have, but we want to go one step further.”

Bruno Fernandes is the top scorer in the UEFA Europa League so far this season, scoring seven goals in the competition so far, assisting four more goals playing for both Sporting Clube de Portugal and United in the competition this season. Two of the goals and one assist have been scored whilst playing for United. Solskjaer feels the player is in full confidence as he talked about the acquisition of the player during the January transfer window, saying:

“When a club pays €55million for a player, I think you have the confidence from the club. The coach speaks to me all the time and has told me to play my game and do what I already did in Sporting – to have the same confidence, try the same things.”

Written by John Walker

Predicted XI: [4-2-3-1] Martial, Rashford, Fernandes and Greenwood to start against Sevilla

Manchester United have reached the semi-final stage of the UEFA Europa League this season and will face Spanish side Sevilla at the RheinEnergieSTADION in Cologne on Sunday evening. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side will be seeking to get the better of Julen Lopetegui’s side, who have done well this season and have beaten both AS Roma and Wolverhampton Wanderers in their last matches in the competition. United will have a tough match on their hands.

United and Sevilla have met twice in European competition, playing in the round of 16 stage of the UEFA Champions League during the 2017/18 season, in which they qualified for the completion by lifting the Europa League at the end of the 2016/17 season, beating Ajax 2-0 in the final. It was a 0-0 draw at the Estadio Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán in Sevilla followed by a 2-1 defeat at Old Trafford, Manchester, which resulted in United exiting from the competition. United will need to do much better.

Both United and Sevilla have good records in the UEFA Europa League with the Spanish club winning the competition five times in the past 15 years, winning back to back titles on the 2005/06 and 2006/07 seasons then winning three in a row in the 2013/14, 2014/15, and 2015/16 seasons. Sevilla have made the semi-final stage five times, winning all of them and all five finals. United have reached one semi-final and final, winning both in the 2016/17 season. One of the club will lose their 100% record on Sunday evening in Cologne.

How United have faired against Sevilla and other Spanish opposition in European competition.

United and Sevilla have met twice before, playing in the round of 16 in the UEFA Champions League in the 2017/18 season. On the 21 February 2018, it was a 0-0 draw in Seville with United failing to score an away goal, which was bad news for Jose Mourinho’s side. Three weeks later at Old Trafford, the Spanish side won 2-1 with Wassim Ben Yedder scoring a brace in the 74th and 78th minute with Romelu Lukaku scoring a consolation goal in the 84th minute of the match, exiting the competition.

Sevilla have played many times against English opposition; beating Wolverhampton Wanderers earlier this week. They have faced Liverpool, Manchester City, and Leicester City in the past five years and further back have faced Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, Middlesbrough and Bolton Wanderers. United have played many teams from Spain including Barcelona, Real Madrid, Valencia, Celta Vigo, Real Sociedad, and Athletic Club in the past decade with a few more clubs from Spain going back further in time.

Here is my predicted starting XI to face Sevilla in the UEFA Europa League semi-final at the RheinEnergieSTADION in Cologne on Sunday evening…

Goalkeeper: Sergio Romero

I believe that Sergio Romero should keep his place in the team for the remainder of United’s season, whether their participation in the Europa League ends against Sevilla, or they reach the final of the competition this summer. The Argentinian has done well when he has been called upon this season, with 12 clean sheets and five conceded goals in 17 appearances, which have all been in the cup competitions this season. David De Gea has made 42 appearances, all 38 in the Premier League with the remaining four in the Carabao Cup (two) and the Emirates FA Cup and Europa League (one in each) but he has conceded 42 goals, keeping 15 clean sheets. In Romero we trust – he has done this before and could do it again.

Defenders: Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire, Brandon Williams

United’s defence will need to be on top of their game against Sevilla. Eric Bailly started against Copenhagen with Victor Lindelof coming on later in the match. The Swede should be starting, partnering Harry Maguire in the semi-final of the Europa League with both Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Brandon Williams in the fullback positions, giving United extra width on the attack. Wan-Bissaka has his defensive position nailed on this season and has, along with the addition of Maguire, helped to solve a problem. Going forward though, the English defender will need to provide more going forward. He has four assists, all in the Premier League this season and should be looking to add to that either during the remainder of this season and definitely next season.

Midfield: Paul Pogba, Nemanja Matic

Against FC Copenhagen, Solskjaer started Fred and Paul Pogba together in the centre of midfield. Personally, I do not think it was the best partnership and later in the match, Nemanja Matic was brought on to do the job that he needed to do. This season, the duo of Matic and Pogba is the best option that United have right now. Against Sevilla, it will be important that United have more control of the midfield and I feel that playing Fred from the start will not do that – which is nothing against the Brazilian but he’s a squad player – nothing more right now. Late in the match, Fred might work but from the start, Pogba and Matic would be the best partnership based on what they have done in the latter stages of the season. Pogba needs to stand up as another leader in the pack, with a trophy close to United’s grasp.

Attacking Midfield: Mason Greenwood, Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford

In the three positions behind the striker, United have been dangerous over the course of the season. Mason Greenwood has scored 17 goals, assisting five more, Bruno Fernandes has scored 12 goals and eight assists with Marcus Rashford on 22 goals and 10 assists. This season, Fernandes has played 49 matches, scored 26 goals and 22 assists (for both Sporting and United), meaning that he has been involved in 48 goals in 49 matches, which is not a bad statistic. At this moment in time though, Rashford is the weakest link in this trio as he has not scored in his last three matches, scoring and assisting against Crystal Palace close to the end of the domestic season. Rashford will know what he has to do.

Striker: Anthony Martial

Anthony Martial has scored 23 goals and 12 assists this season, which is his best season at United in the five years that he has played for the club. It is fair to say that the Frenchman is in form at this stage of the season but that he could be more ruthless in front of goal. Obviously, things come in stages and his improvement this season has been easy to see and he could continue that next season, bringing in his ruthless streak which could make him one of the best attacking players in the league. Martial will be seeking to score more goals this season, impressing his manager and his teammates, and of course the clubs supporters.

Substitutes: David De Gea; Eric Bailly, Tim Fosu-Mensah, Teden Mengi; Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard, Andreas Pereira, Fred, Daniel James, James Garner, Scott McTominay; Odion Ighalo

With five substitutes allowed for the remainder of this competition, Solskjaer will have plenty of options should he need them against Sevilla. I expect David De Gea to remain on the bench once again. In defence, Eric Bailly, Tim Fosu-Mensah and Teden Mengi could be called upon should they be needed. In midfield, where Solskjaer has a lot of depth, Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard, Andreas Pereira, Fred, Daniel James, James Garner and Scott McTominay should be available. In attack, with Tahith Chong’s loan spell seemingly getting closer, Odion Ighalo might be the only attacking player available.

Written by John Walker

Preview: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United need to squash Sevilla for Europa League final place

Sevilla -v- Manchester United

UEFA Europa League

RheinEnergieSTADION, Cologne, Germany

Sunday 16 August 2020, KO 20:00 BST

Referee: Felix Brych Assistants: Mark Borsch, Stefan Lupp 

Fourth Official: Daniel Siebert

VAR: Bastian Dankert Assistant VAR: Marco Fritz

Manchester United have reached the semi-final stage of the UEFA Europa League this season and will face Spanish side Sevilla at the RheinEnergieSTADION in Cologne on Sunday evening. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side will be seeking to get the better of Julen Lopetegui’s side, who have done well this season and have beaten both AS Roma and Wolverhampton Wanderers in their last matches in the competition. United will have a tough match on their hands.

United and Sevilla have met twice in European competition, playing in the round of 16 stage of the UEFA Champions League during the 2017/18 season, in which they qualified for the completion by lifting the Europa League at the end of the 2016/17 season, beating Ajax 2-0 in the final. It was a 0-0 draw at the Estadio Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán in Sevilla followed by a 2-1 defeat at Old Trafford, Manchester, which resulted in United exiting from the competition. United will need to do much better.

Both United and Sevilla have good records in the UEFA Europa League with the Spanish club winning the competition five times in the past 15 years, winning back to back titles on the 2005/06 and 2006/07 seasons then winning three in a row in the 2013/14, 2014/15, and 2015/16 seasons. Sevilla have made the semi-final stage five times, winning all of them and all five finals. United have reached one semi-final and final, winning both in the 2016/17 season. One of the club will lose their 100% record on Sunday evening in Cologne.

Form: United and Sevilla are both in good form; Sevilla are on a 19-match unbeaten run with United defeated just once in 24 matches.

Manchester United: WWDLWD

FC Copenhagen 1-0 W, Linzer ASK 2-1 W, Leicester City 2-0 W, West Ham United 1-1 D, Chelsea 3-1 L, Crystal Palace 2-0 W

Sevilla: WWWDWW

Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-0 W, AS Roma 2-0 W, Valencia 1-0 W, Real Sociedad 0-0 D, Mallorca 2-0 W, Athletic Club 2-1 W

Top Scorers: Sevilla have scored 71 goals this season with Anthony Martial (23), Marcus Rashford (22) and Mason Greenwood (17) scoring 62 goals between them. United to outscore their opposition?

Manchester United Goals: 23 – Anthony Martial, 22 – Marcus Rashford, 17 – Mason Greenwood, 11 – Bruno Fernandes, 5 – Odion Ighalo, Scott McTominay, 4 – Daniel James, Jesse Lingard, 3 – Harry Maguire, Juan Mata, 2 – Fred, Own Goal, Andreas Pereira, 1 – Diogo Dalot, Phil Jones, Victor Lindelof, Nemanja Matic, Paul Pogba, Luke Shaw, Brandon Williams, Ashley Young

United have 90 minutes of football standing between them and a second UEFA Europa League final in three years. The club has one defeat in their last 24 matches, which is a great record for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and United and they will be seeking to extend that to one defeat in 25 matches. Normally playing in a 4-2-3-1 formation, United will need to get the better of this Sevilla side from the start of the match to get revenge for that last match, which was a completely different United team, but revenge will still be needed. United should go all out to win.

Sevilla Goals: 15 – Lucas Ocampos, 10 – Munir El Haddadi, 6 – Luuk de Jong, Youssef En-Nesyri, 5 – Franco Vázquez, 4 – Óliver Torres, 3 – Éver Banega, Sergio Reguilón, Munas Dabbur, Nolito, Javier Hernández, 2 – Fernando, Joan Jordán, Diego Carlos, 1 – Bryan Gil, Suso, Sergio Escudero, Jules Koundé

Sevilla are unbeaten in their last 19 matches and seem to be hitting form at the right time, which could see them reach the final of the UEFA Europa League this season, should they beat United. Sevilla showed patience in breaking down Wolves earlier this week, scoring very late in the game and taking the spoils. United waited late against Copenhagen too. Sevilla play in a 4-3-3 formation, which United will have to break with Éver Banega one of the players that they need to shut down.

Team News: United and Sevilla ready for battle on Sunday evening? Three injuries for United, none for Sevilla. Solskjaer to reign supreme in Cologne?

United look set to continue without Phil Jones, Luke Shaw and Axel Tuanzebe for the match against Sevilla and do not seem to have suffered any more injuries from the 1-0 victory over FC Copenhagen on Monday, which is good news. Assistant manager Mike Phelan speaking to the official Manchester United website about this match against Seville being like a proper European fixture, said:

“Yes, it sounds European! [Smiles] We know how Sevilla operate, they’re a very good outfit with very good technical players and great possession of the ball which they showed against Wolves in the last game. They’re a team to be reckoned with, both in their own domestic league and in Europe but particularly in this cup, they have some history in it. I think it’s two football teams going head-to-head in what could be a really good semi-final.”

Sevilla do not seem to have any injury or suspension concerns ahead of the semi-final of the UEFA Europa League when they take on United on Sunday evening. They will be looking forward to the match and a possible sixth final in the competition, which would be a great achievement for them. Speaking about United and how well they have done domestically this season to the official UEFA Europa League website, Sevilla manager Julen Lopetegui said:

“[United haven’t] lost a Premier League game since January, so they’re obviously a top team with great strength, but these are the semi-finals of the Europa League, and the only thing that will help us through any difficulty or situation that we come across at this high level is ambition, excitement and the desire to compete, with the aim of overcoming a great opponent. We’re all delighted with the team’s work, discipline, responsibility and ambition throughout the year. That’s how we want to be.”

Predicted Starting XI: Solskjaer to hit Sevilla with his strongest team, hoping to play to their advantages and knock the Spanish side from the competition ensuring no European trophies head to Spain this year.

Against FC Copenhagen, Solskjaer did not put out his strongest outfield team, opting for Fred instead of Nemanja Matic, presumably keeping the Serbian as fresh as he could for the semi-final and beyond. The Norwegian got the better of his compatriot Ståle Solbakken on Monday evening, needing extra time to get the better of the Danish opposition. United will need to be firing on all cylinders to beat this Spanish side who seem to be full of confidence.

Match Prediction: United did not do too well against Sevilla the last time they met enduring a lacklustre 0-0 draw followed by a 2-1 defeat. United will be seeking revenge and a place in the Europa League final.

United and Sevilla have met twice before, playing in the round of 16 in the UEFA Champions League in the 2017/18 season. On the 21 February 2018, it was a 0-0 draw in Seville with United failing to score an away goal, which was bad news for Jose Mourinho’s side. Three weeks later at Old Trafford, the Spanish side won 2-1 with Wassim Ben Yedder scoring a brace in the 74th and 78th minute with Romelu Lukaku scoring a consolation goal in the 84th minute of the match, exiting the competition.

Sevilla have played many times against English opposition; beating Wolverhampton Wanderers earlier this week. They have faced Liverpool, Manchester City, and Leicester City in the past five years and further back have faced Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, Middlesbrough and Bolton Wanderers. United have played many teams from Spain including Barcelona, Real Madrid, Valencia, Celta Vigo, Real Sociedad, and Athletic Club in the past decade with a few more clubs from Spain going back further in time.

Sevilla 1-2 Manchester United

Written by John Walker

Manchester United could be tempted by £36 million fee for Sevilla striker Wissam Ben Yedder if Romelu Lukaku leaves

Manchester United are reported to be considering what would be seen as a shock swoop for Sevilla striker Wissam Ben Yedder this summer. The 28-year-old is also linked to both Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona. It is suggested that both PSG and Barcelona may not be able to offer his guaranteed football but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could if Romelu Lukaku leave the club this summer.

France Football has already claimed that a £36 million bid could prompt Sevilla manager, Julen Lopetegui to let the Frenchman leave the club this summer. United would only delve into the market for a striker if Lukaku did leave the club this summer. So far, Inter Milan hold an interest in the player but seem to want to dictate the fee they pay United, baulking at the price United have set.

Ben Yedder has spent the last three seasons playing for Sevilla, making a total of 136 appearances in all competitions, scoring 70 goals, which is around one goal every two matches. Whilst he might not be the first choice striker at United, with Marcus Rashford taking that role off Lukaku and the chances of Anthony Martial playing as a central striker, not to mention the development of Mason Greenwood.

Last season alone, the 28-year-old made a total of 54 appearances, playing in La Liga, the Supercopa, the Copa del Rey and the UEFA Europa League, including the qualification stages. He scored a total of 30 goals in all competitions, 18 of those in La Liga alone. A further 11 goals were assisted, showing that he is not a selfish striker and will tee up goals when it matters. In terms of ability to find the back fo the net, you can see why United, PSG and Barcelona are interested in the player.

Ben Yedder can play as the main striker, or one of two strikers playing in the central positions, also as the second striker, in the hole like Wayne Rooney was favoured to play in all them years ago. He cannot be utilised on the wings so he would not be a utility player – just one with a sole purpose – scoring and assisting goals. He could have the influence of Zlatan Ibrahimovic or even Robin van Persie.

The 28-year-old was a handful against United in the UEFA Champions League when they lost 2-1 at Old Trafford, scoring twoce in four minutes (74′ and 78′) which saw United exit the competition in the round of 16 stage. The first leg, in Seville, was a 0-0 draw and it was one of the worst results at the club under Jose Mourinho at the time. United might not have been able to win the Champions League that season but they should have had more fight against Sevilla.

Clement Lenglet will make a decision by the end of the month with Manchester United and Barcelona interested

Manchester United and Barcelona are interested in signing Sevilla defender Clement Lenglet this summer. It was already known that the Catalan club is interested in the player and that they are willing, and able to pay the players €35 million release clause this summer. United manager Jose Mourinho is seeking a more solid defender this summer with Toby Alderweireld linked to the club but reports suggesting that Tottenham Hotspur want more than £55 million for the Belgian, who will be available for a £25 million fee next summer.

Lenglet played against United twice as Sevilla knocked the Old Trafford club out of the UEFA Champions League this season. The 22-year-old Frenchman, who will not be playing in the FIFA World Cup in Russia this summer, has impressed in La Liga and will become a well-rounded defender in the not too distant future. United will be seeking experience and composure at the back this summer, to strengthen the defence and lead from the back. Despite his age, Lenglet could maybe do this job, if United really are interested in the player.

Sevilla know that they will likely lose the player this summer and for such a low fee, considering the time we live in where mediocre players seem to cost a lot of money, the potential available here for just shy of £31 million is pretty good. Lenglet, in a defence which consists of Victor Lindelof, Eric Bailly, Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo, Chris Smalling, and Axel Tuanzebe, would be a good fit. The latter might be loaned out again next season. Lenglet’s agent, Gregory Dakad told ESPN FC:

“He [Lenglet] knows he has to think a lot about it and he will take a decision by the end of the month. We have offers from clubs in various countries and he is thinking about what the best decision is. He is not ruling out any country in Europe.”

It suggests that the player has a decision to make. Diario Gol in Spain reported on Wednesday that Lenglet would prefer a move to Barcelona, remaining in La Liga, but Sevilla would probably prefer that he moves away from Spain, so that he does not have to play again them in La Liga. Who knows what the player will decide. It is not certain that United are actually interested in the player as reports only surfaced a few days back with L’Equipe stating United’s interest.

One thing is for sure, United will need to find a defender who is attainable, one who will improve the back line. It is possible that Mourinho is seeking to change the formation of the squad this summer, playing a three at the back formation variation which could see a more attacking United side next season and one more confident at the back and less reliant of Spanish goalkeeper David De Gea. It does not seem to be a quick transfer here, so I guess we will just have to wait and see what materialises. I feel the player will remain in Spain though.

Clement Lenglet linked to Manchester United by reports in France but Barcelona have been linked for a while

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has a big task on his hands this summer in order to assemble a team able to take on reigning Premier League champions Manchester City in the battle to win the league next season. United have been linked with many players already this summer with a deal for Fred being announced on Tuesday and a move for FC Porto right-back Diogo Dalot close to being completed, according to reports. United have been strongly linked with Tottenham Hotspur defender Toby Alderweireld and are now being linked to Sevilla’s Clement Lenglet.

The 22-year-old French defender is highly regarded as one of the best young defenders in Europe at this moment in time and has been linked with Barcelona for much of the summer. United were linked to Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti but he recently signed a new contract at the club which will keep him at the Nou Camp until the summer of 2023 with a €500 million release clause written into the new contract. It was suggested that the Catalan club would bring in Lenglet to replace Umtiti if he left the club this summer.

However, it is suggested by some that Barcelona still hold an interest in Lenglet despite Umtiti signing a new contract and are willing and able to pay his €35 million release clause from Sevilla this summer. French newspaper, L’Equipe has reported that United are now interested in the 22-year-old and his fee would work out in the region of £31 million. which is around £24 million less than the speculated transfer of Alderweireld to the Theatre of Dreams.

United are no stranger for Lenglet after playing Sevilla in the round of 16 in the UEFA Champions League this season, drawing 0-0 in Spain and losing at Old Trafford with the Spanish side knocking United out of the competition, which Real Madrid ended up winning, their third Champions League trophy in three years and their thirteenth in the history of the club. United had a good season when you look at their defensive statistics in the Premier League, conceding one more goal than the eventual champions, Manchester City.

Mourinho still sees the need to strengthen at the back though, which may change his style of play, especially if he trusts the defensive players to do what they need to do, something I myself am not confident from the players at the club right now. There are some who just do not fit the profile of a Manchester United defender and by that, I mean the likes of Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic, Gary Pallister, Jaap Stam and many others over the years.

United already have Victor Lindelof (brought in last summer), Eric Bailly (brought in during the summer of 2016), Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo, and Chris Smalling at his disposal. Daley Blind is expected to leave the Old Trafford club this summer with Inter Milan holding an interest in the player. Some may say this is a good enough squad of players in this position, others will disagree after seeing the injuries Jones has suffered over the years and the lack of improvement from Lindelof, Rojo and more recently Bailly, who has seen himself on the periphery.

A more commanding defender is something that would work well in the squad, someone to lead from the back, as now there seems to be no leader in the squad at all, now that Michael Carrick, the club captain has retired and now occupies a position on Mourinho’s coaching team, alongside former U18 coach, Kieran McKenna in a backroom overhaul this summer. Which is something that both Mourinho and United needed to do in order to have some change, which can only be a good thing after Rui Faria left the club immediately after the Emirates FA Cup final.

Lenglet only signed for Sevilla in January 2017, spending just 18-months at the club and having around three years left on his current contract. There is a release clause written into his contract with is just shy of £31 million, a good deal in the current market, especially when you factor in the fact that Bailly and Lindelof cost around the same amount over the last two summer transfer windows. This is a fee that United would not struggle with, considering they had been reported as willing to spend £50 million plus on Alderweireld if they could strike a deal with Spurs.

During the past season, Lenglet made 51 appearances for his club in all competition, playing more than 3,000 minutes in La Liga alone. He scored four goals, also assisting another. His passing averaged at around 85%, which is something United would benefit from, something they are also good at based on their own statistics. Defensively, Lenglet averages (per 90 minutes) 1.9 tackles, 1.2 interceptions, 1.5 fouls, 4.1 clearances and 0.8 blocks.

Offensively, the 22-year-old Frenchman does not offer much, as would be expected but it is still admirable for a defensive-minded player. Over the past season, he averaged (per 90 minutes) 0.5 shots on goal, 0.2 key passes, 0.3 dribbles, also scoring three goals and assisting a further goal. The majority of his appearances were as a starter, making two substitute appearances in all competitions. Lenglet is described as having strengths in for form of tacking, which will be good at the back, also his concentration, also an upgrade for some in the squad.

United may need to move quickly if they are interested in Clement Lenglet as Barcelona seem really interested in signing him this summer. United may not be all that interested in the 22-year-old as he may not fit the bill as the experienced leader at the back the club has been crying out for, but for £31 million he would be a great buy if he reached his potential. Alderweireld would be my first choice this summer, but if another player, other than Blind was to leave this summer, Lenglet would be a good player to factor into the club.

Ratings: Pogba poor, Sanchez poor, Lukaku worked hard – that should be the ethic but it is not!

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.

Key Moments:

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.

Match Statistics:

Manchester United

1 David De Gea

The Spanish number one hardly had anothing to do for the majority of the match. He was unlucky for the first goal but could have perhaps done more to deter the second. Not all his fault though. A goalkeeper is only as good as his defence, and this season, there are some careers which are questionable.

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25 Antonio Valencia

Defensively, Valencia was solid and did what he needed to do the majority of the time. Attacking wise, which is one of his strong points, he just did not do enough to threaten.

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3 Eric Bailly

Put in a perfectly times challenge to deny Correa. He was poor in possession during the game though. It was an awakening for him after Saturday's victory over Liverpool.

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Chris Smalling

Too many shaky displays. Seems unable to be confident. Gave away too many silly fouls. Still not convinced.

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18 Ashley Young

Defensively, Young was rarely dealt with a problem. His distribution though was questionable. I still think Luke Shaw needs to be given a decent crack of the whip.

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31 Nemanja Matic

Had more defensive duties and will have missed McTominay. Isolated at times but he was the one rallying the troops at times. United lacked any urgency, even when it was too late.

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27 Marouane Fellaini

The Belgian had a bright start for United despite four months on the sidelines. Had a decent shot on goal late in the first half, forcing a save by Rico. He faded into the second half and was replaced by Pogba.

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14 Jesse Lingard

Started the game well, had an effort on goal saved and had some decent link-up play with Lukaku. He faded into the game though.

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Alexis Sanchez

Everything seems to be changed for Sanchez and if he doesn't perform, it should not be the case. Needs to be dropped after a string of poor performances.

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10 Marcus Rashford

After hitting the headlines against Liverpool, it was a spectacular fall from grace for Rashford. Switched from the left to the right may have been the problem. He assisted for Lukaku, albeit from a corner.

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Romelu Lukaku

The Belgian workes tirelessly and was let down by his teammates with a distinct lack of service. His hold up play is getting stronger and he had a great chance to open the scoring early in the game. Eventually scored United's only goal of the game.

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Substitutes

6 Paul Pogba

Replaced Fellaini 60'. Was a let down. Lost possession, misplaced passes. Just didn't look all that interested.

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8 Juan Mata

Replaced Valencia 77'. Should have started the game. He helps the attack, perhaps not with his pace but with his ability and mind.

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9 Anthony Martial

Replaced Lingard 7'. The Frenchman added some spark in attack but it was too late to change the game.

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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′

Report: Manchester United crash out of the Champions League after poor performance against Sevilla

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Key Moments:

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.

Match Statistics:

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′

copyright: JW