Manchester United are in trouble after their UEFA Europa League Quarterfinal first leg draw with Sevilla.
The Reds surrendered a 2-0 lead at Old Trafford, allowing the Spanish side back in with two comical/unlucky/whatever you want to call them, goals in the dying minutes. They were on top for 83 minutes of the match, but now go to Spain with everything to do again as well as another slew of injuries to deal with.
United played some liquid football early in the game, and were rewarded with their goals. They nearly scored in the first minute after winning the ball high and sending Sancho through, but he was correctly judged offside after putting the ball in the back of the net.
The first goal came off of another good bit of pressing high. Martial kept possession by skillfully dribbling out of trouble and finding Casemiro. the ball fell for Bruno Fernandes, who slid a pass in for Marcel Sabitzer to turn and shoot past Bounou for 1-0.
Sabitzer found the net again a short while later, receiving an excellent through ball from Martial on a fast break attack and again firing past the Sevilla keeper.
The one-way traffic early felt like an indication of things to come, but Sevilla gathered themselves and put the pressure on to end the first half of action. It came with some foul play as well to slow down United, and Erik Lamela was lucky not to see red after stamping on Casemiro. What made things more frustrating was the yellow card given to Bruno Fernandes for a handball he could do little about. He blocked a shot from point blank range, and it was deemed to be intentional. He will miss the second leg because of it.
David De Gea was tested on the verge of halftime with a corner firing in close, and he was forced to make a save. He palmed the ball high into the air, and it came down close to a crowded goal line. It needed clearing, and Raphael Varane was the man for the job, heading it backwards away from danger.
Harry Maguire replaced Varane after the break, indicating he may have suffered a knock in the hectic close to the first frame, but the Englishman continued a string of good performances. The pressure was lightened by good midfield play as well, with Casemiro showing just what his side have missed out on domestically during his four-game suspension.
Even after a wave of substitutions United should have scored a third, Malacia and Weghorst each had missed chances, but they couldn’t convert clinically. Eventually the inability to finish off the Spaniards came back to bite them.
Sevilla were handed their first goal after Malacia switched off, allowing Jesus Navas space on the right. He attempted a powerful cutback pass, but Malacia’s touch sent it past De Gea at the near post.
In the wake of the chaos the cameras panned out and revealed that Lisandro Martinez was down after a non-contact injury. Unable to walk off himself, he was helped off by Argentinian teammates from Sevilla.
Sevilla’s second goal followed in stoppage time, another unlucky deflection but a chance invited on by their inability to kill the game off. En-Nesyri got on the end of a cross, heading it downward onto Maguire’s head, and the ball pinged the other way past De Gea.
A draw in the end, but felt like a loss.
Should be winning 4-0 against 10 men.— Brent (@logoffbrent) April 13, 2023
Instead, we scored 2 own goals, both first choice CBs are injured, and our most important player is suspended for the second leg.
They go again next week in Seville, and it will be a big ask without Bruno and Martinez, and potentially also without Varane, Rashford, and Shaw.