Manchester United and Sevilla played a thrilling 2-2 draw Thursday night in a Europa League matchup at Old Trafford. The match was the Premier League side’s first fixture without leading goal-scorer Marcus Rashford. The star forward has been ruled for a few weeks due to a groin injury. Anthony Martial, a player that spent part of last season at Sevilla on loan, led United’s front line.
The hosts had the ball in the back of the net inside 30 seconds of the match. Jadon Sancho made a good run between the opposing defenders and slotted past the goalkeeper. However, the England international was offside. Video replays confirmed the premature run by Sancho.
Bayern loanee grabs first brace in three years
Nevertheless, Marcel Sabitzer put United ahead in the 15th minute. Martial started the move with some quick footwork. Bruno Fernandes provided the assist though with a clever pass into the Austrian’s feet. The central midfielder took up a dangerous position at the edge of the box and eventually put the deflected shot over Yassine Bounou.
Sabitzer doubled United’s lead within six minutes. Martial, once again at the heart of the move, played a gorgeous through ball into the Austrian’s path. Sabitzer’s finish was nearly as good as the pass by his teammate. Bounou didn’t have much of a chance to save. It was Sabitzer’s first multi-goal game since netting a brace against Tottenham Hotspur in March of 2020.
Sevilla nearly got on the board just moments before the halftime break. However, David de Gea made a crucial save from a corner kick. Center back Raphael Varane, who seemingly struggled with a minor injury minutes earlier, then cleared the ball off of the line with a vital header away. Harry Maguire would enter the fray after the halftime break in place of Varane.
Sevilla force draw in second half at United
The visitors came out more on the front foot in the second half. While they looked a bit lackluster in the opening period, Sevilla put United under more pressure in the final half. Substitute Jesus Navas finally created a goal for the Spanish side in the 84th minute. Tyrell Malacia allowed the ball to reach Navas deep into the United box. The Spaniard fired in a cross towards the middle of the area, but the ball deflected off of Malacia and de Gea and into the net.
Perhaps even more worrying for United fans was another injury in defense. Lisandro Martinez had to be carried off of the pitch in the moments following the goal. The Argentine went down without any contact from an opposing player. United manager Erik ten Hag, however, could not introduce another defender as he already made all of his substitutions.
Sevilla completed the incredible comeback in added time with yet another own goal from the hospitable hosts. Youssef En-Nesyri miscued a header inside United’s box, but the ball ricocheted off of Maguire’s face and past a diving de Gea for the goal.
The two teams will face off again for the return leg of the quarterfinal matchup next week. United will have to travel to Spain without Bruno Fernandes, though. The playmaker was booked on Thursday night for a handball blocking a goalscoring chance in the first half, leading to a suspension after accumulation of yellow cards.
PHOTO: IMAGO / PA Images
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