Football

Sevilla 3 – 0 Manchester United

Manchester United were dumped out of the Europa League following a dreadful performance in defeat to Sevilla.

The Spanish side led after eight minutes when Youssef En-Nesyri finished following an error from Harry Maguire.

Sevilla doubled their advantage with a looping header from defender Loic Bade, before En-Nesyri again capitalised on a mistake – from goalkeeper David de Gea – to complete the win.

United were well below their best as they exited Europe with a whimper.

This is the first of a series of potentially season-defining games for United – they take on Brighton at Wembley in the FA Cup semi-finals on Sunday and face a key Premier League match at Tottenham on 27 April – and Erik Ten Hag’s side completely failed this test.

Sevilla meanwhile will play Juventus in a two-legged semi-final on 11 and 18 May. The Italian side beat Sporting 2-1 on aggregate in their quarter-final.

Maguire blunder begins United nightmare

Having given Sevilla a big helping hand back into the tie with the second own goal in the first leg at Old Trafford, United captain Maguire was found wanting for the opener here.

He was not helped by his goalkeeper, as De Gea played a short pass to him on the edge of the area as three Sevilla players converged in an impressively co-ordinated press.

However Maguire should have done better than play a pass off Erik Lamela, just two yards in front of him. The ball rebounded to En-Nesyri – one of the stars of Morocco’s 2022 World Cup exploits – who finished past the hapless De Gea.

It set the mood for the first half, where Sevilla were roared on by the deafening crowd at Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium and against a nervous and uncreative United.

Sevilla may sit 13th in La Liga and have spent the majority of a poor season battling relegation, but they looked reinvigorated under Jose Luis Mendillibar, their third permanent manager of the season.

A stunning rabona cross from Nemanja Gudelj after half an hour demonstrated their confidence, while Luis Ocampos appeared to have doubled the lead before the break with a fine finish from the edge of the area only for a lengthy video assistant referee check to determine Marcos Acuna had been narrowly offside in the build-up.

Raucous crowd roar Sevilla into final four

United meanwhile looked bereft of attacking prowess without the suspended Bruno Fernandes or Marcus Rashford, who was on the bench following a groin injury. Anthony Martial started up front against the side where he spent part of last season on loan, but was forced off injured early in the second half.

Rashford, United’s top scorer this season, was sent on at half-time to replace the ineffective Jadon Sancho but before he could even have a touch of the ball his side were two goals down.

Ivan Rakitic’s corner came off the shoulder of former Nottingham Forest loanee Bade, looped over De Gea and went in off the crossbar.

It summed up a dreadful off-night all around for United – Casemiro was uncharacteristically poor in possession, while in defence the injury enforced absences of Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane left gaping chasms of confidence.

But the worst was saved until last. With United chasing the game late on, De Gea rushed out of his goal to try to clear a long ball, only to slice his attempted half-volley and allow En-Nesyri to slot into an empty goal.

Sevilla have now progressed in all seven Uefa Cup and Europa League quarter-finals they have played in, having won all six competitions when they have reached this stage previously.

BBC

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