Sevilla welcomed Manchester United to Spain with the aggregate score of the two’s Europa League quarterfinal tie level at two. A collapse at the end of the first leg for Manchester United prevented a two-goal lead. That same form from the first leg leaked into the second, as Sevilla thrashed Manchester United 3-0 to advance to the semifinals.
Manchester United was without Bruno Fernandes, Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez. The Portuguese had a yellow card suspension, while the two defenders were among a long list of injuries at Old Trafford. Even the halftime returns of Marcus Rashford and Luke Shaw could not help contain a Sevilla side that looked like the back-to-back-to-back Europa League winners of years prior.
Hosts come out hungry
From the first whistle, Sevilla fed off the vivacious energy around the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán stadium. A fiery press and perhaps a nervy Manchester United led to Sevilla’s opener. While trying to play out of the back, a heavily criticized Harry Maguire was caught in possession. The ball eventually squirmed free to Youssef En-Nesyri. Alone on goal against David de Gea, the Moroccan just had to pass the ball into the corner.
After that, and for much of the first half, Sevilla continually pushed for a second. The hosts thought it found one with a superb effort. En-Nesyri played Marcos Acuña down the left wing after a Manchester United turnover. The Argentine World Cup winner played a ball back to Lucas Ocampos. Ocampos settled the ball and blasted one into the top right corner. However, VAR deemed Acuña was narrowly offside.
Sevilla dominates in second half to advance in Europa League
While the second goal did not come in the first half, it only took a minute in the second half. A standard corner off the boot of Ivan Rakitic met the rising head of Loïc Badé. The ball looped up and over David de Gea, glancing off the crossbar and into the Manchester United net.
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Manchester United only had a couple of attempts in the second half. On each occasion, either Bono was equal to it in the Sevilla net, or United would miss wide. Capping off a celebratory night in Sevilla was Youssef En-Nesyri, who bagged his second in a somewhat similar fashion to Sevilla’s first. David de Gea failed to deal with a simple clearance. En-Nesyri was the first to pounce on the loose ball, scoring past a diving de Gea, who was out of his goalkeeper’s box to begin with.
That made it 3-0 on the night and 5-2 on aggregate with just nine minutes remaining. Manchester United was truly out of it.
This is the sixth-straight year Manchester United exits the knockout stages of European competition to a Spanish side. Three of those occasions were to Sevilla, including this 2022/23 Europa League quarterfinals. Sevilla is back in the Europa League semifinals, looking to capture its seventh Europa League triumph. This is particularly remarkable given Sevilla’s domestic form, where it is 13th in LaLiga.
PHOTO: IMAGO / PA Images
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