Manchester United’s hopes of a European title were crushed by Sevilla, who defeated them 5-2 on aggregate to advance to the semi-finals. The defeat was an extraordinary act of self-destruction from United, who made mistake after mistake, assisting Sevilla in their goals. The match ended with nine minutes left on the clock when David de Gea, a long way from his line, stumbled and fell, leaving the ball at the feet of Youssef En-Nesyri, who scored his third goal of the quarter-final from 30 yards to finish the match.
United had scored two goals for Sevilla in the first leg, and they “assisted” the rest here, giving the ball away for the first and the third goals, both scored by En-Nesyri. At the end of the night, it was Sevilla that deservedly advanced to the semi-finals, while United had nothing to suggest that they could continue.
Sevilla Dominates the Match
Sevilla had simplified everything under their third manager, José Luis Mendilibar, who wanted his team to be intense, direct, and error-free. The opener was not an own goal, but it might as well have been, as bad in conception as it was in execution. De Gea’s pass to Harry Maguire put the centre-back under pressure on the edge of his area, and he was hunted down by Erik Lamela and En-Nesyri, who stole the ball and scored. United looked fearful, and Sevilla felt it, dominating the match and creating numerous chances.
United needed something big, but they had nothing to offer, and their opponents continued to dominate. The only thing the visitors created was for their opponents: another mistake, and there was En-Nesyri and an open goal, United handing Sevilla their fate on a silver platter. The nature of the defeat was almost as absurd as the first leg, and it invited fatalism, a feeling that if Sevilla survived, some deeper force must be at play, a call from destiny. The defeat was a reminder that the European title is Sevilla’s competition, and they are still the team to beat.