Manchester, Wednesday @Peoplesports11
By the time the last Manchester United player left the pitch, the stadium was already close to being empty. Only one pocket of noise and jubilation remained, Sevilla’s support, bouncing and boisterous, singing in Spanish to the same melody that accompanies ‘Will Grigg’s on fire’. Wissam Ben Yedder’s on fire doesn’t scan, but he was and as a result Manchester United are out of Europe.
An excellent performance by the away team, full of the ambition United failed to show over two matches, was only half the tale, though. It is well known that a 0-0 first leg is a dangerous score, but it is not as dangerous as United made it look on Tuesday night with a performance lacking in all the qualities that once made them such a force in this competition, a club that won it, twice, under Sir Alex Ferguson and often went deep. United haven’t travelled beyond this stage since 2014 and didn’t really look like doing it on Tuesday night, either.
If Sevilla could have found their range earlier, this tie would not have taken so long to conclude. As it was, the addition of Ben Yedder, a striker rejected by West Ham for being too small, apparently, changed the game.
He has been Sevilla’s top scorer in Europe this season, but has not started either game against United. Once introduced in the 72nd minute, however, he gave Sevilla a momentum and impetus United did not demonstrate in three hours of knockout football.
Sevilla got what they deserved; United, too. The numbers show the perils of 0-0 for the team at home in the second leg; in 70 per cent of Champions League matches the club in Manchester United’s position has gone out.
Jose Mourinho picked a midfield in Marouane Fellaini and Nemanja Matic that lacked creation and those farther forward, Alexis Sanchez and Jesse Lingard, could not get into the game. It was crying out for Juan Mata but by the time he was introduced the tie was as good as over. He made a goal for Romelu Lukaku but by then there were seven minutes remaining and United needed two more. -DAILYMAIL