Man United left to rue missed chances vs Sevilla as Solskjaer’s men crash out of 3rd semi-final this season

Man United vs Sevilla

The Europa League returned to our screens on Sunday evening, with the first of two semi-final clashes.

Manchester United faced off with Sevilla, with the winner set to take on either Inter Milan or Shakhtar Donetsk in the tournament’s showpiece.

The Red Devils no doubt headed into the tie full of confidence, having lost just one of their last 24 outings across all competitions.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer also opted to field arguably his strongest available XI, barring perhaps Nemanja Matic.

However, the Manchester powerhouse were also no doubt well aware of the threat posed by Sevilla, especially in the Europa League.

The Spaniards have won the competition a record-breaking five times, and seen off two English teams in previous finals.

They were also on a club-record 19-game unbeaten run ahead of kick-off on Sunday.

Another Man United penalty

Man United started the clash much brighter than they did in the last round vs Copenhagen, getting a couple of shots off inside the opening minutes.

As for Sevilla, they started out in uncharacteristically nervy fashion, with a number of misplaced passes.

It was also the Spanish outfit who made the first mistake of the evening, as Diego Carlos, the man who gave away a penalty in the last round vs Wolves, chopped down Marcus Rashford inside seven minutes.

Bruno Fernandes, as expected, stepped up to convert the ensuing spot-kick in typically calm fashion.

The midfield maestro then came close to turning provider shortly after, playing in Fred, who sliced his effort wide.

Sevilla would respond fairly well to going 1-0 down, though, with David de Gea forced into a good save by Lucas Ocampos after 15 minutes.

However, the La Liga outfit were struggling to deal with United’s counterattacking prowess, with the aforementioned Carlos looking particularly shaky.

Sevilla’s pressure after going 1-0 down was soon rewarded, however, as attack-minded left-back Sergio Reguilon burst down the flank to slot a ball across the box to Suso, who went on to fire past David de Gea.

United were left feeling altogether aggrieved by the game’s equaliser, though, as a throw-in was awarded in the wrong direction just moments prior.

Sevilla continued to dominate after scoring, though Anthony Martial did have a great chance to put United back in front 32 minutes in, when Paul Pogba played the ball to his fellow countryman on the edge of the box.

However, Martial’s curling effort flew over.

A fiery first 45 drew to a close with the score locked at one apiece.

Man United lose another semi-final

The second-half began much like the first 45, with the Red Devils on top. Bruno Fernandes’ cute ball to Mason Greenwood quickly saw the youngster force a solid save from Sevilla goalkeeper Bono.

And Sevilla’s no.1 was soon called on once more, incredibly keeping out four efforts from Anthony Martial, all coming in the space of five minutes.

United’s relentless pressure on the Sevilla goal continued, though, with the Spaniards having barely managed to get out of their own half in the opening 15 minutes of the second-half.

However, nothing would come of this dominance, which lasted until around the 70th minute.

Sevilla would then, much like in the first-half, grow into proceedings, pressing high and causing Solskjaer’s men a number of problems.

And, unsurprisingly, United were soon made to rue their slew of missed chances.

Julen Lopetegui’s men took the lead after 78 minutes. Ex-Manchester City man Jesus Navas floated a lovely ball into Luuk de Jong, who wasn’t picked up by either of Victor Lindelof or Wan-Bissaka, allowing the Dutchman an easy tap-in past de Gea.

It is very easy to blame Lindelof, or perhaps AWB, for costing United the game.

But the Red Devils, as detailed above, really should have added at least one more goal during the early exchanges of the second 45.

United finished the tie with a staggering 20 attempts on goal. Meanwhile, Sevilla’s first effort on target during the second-half came in the form of their 2nd goal, 12 minutes from time.

Man United had a similar issue finding the net in the last round, with a Fernandes penalty their only goal versus Copenhagen, too.

But unlike in the competition’s last-8, Europa League specialists Sevilla managed to make the Premier League outfit pay.

Sunday’s defeat also, of course, means that Manchester United’s campaign has finally come to an end.

And whilst finishing 3rd in the Premier League is an achievement in itself, fans of the Reds will be no doubt be left to wonder how their side didn’t manage to secure any silverware this term, or even make it to a final.

United made it to a trio of semi-finals in 2019/20, but fell to defeat in all three.

See also: Bruno Fernandes responds to comparisons with Man United legend Cantona

Man City’s Kevin De Bruyne named Premier League Player of the Season

This article was edited by Conor Laird.

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2 Manchester City FC 38 67 81
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4 Chelsea FC 38 15 66
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7 Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 38 11 59
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Sterling, Raheem Manchester City FC 20
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 19
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Kane, Harry Tottenham Hotspur FC 18
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Martial, Anthony Manchester United FC 17
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