#MANSEV: Sevilla knock Man Utd out of Champions League

Sevilla players celebrate after knocking Manchester United out of the Champions League to progress to the quarter-final

Manchester United were knocked out of the Champions League at the last-16 stage after an awful performance ended in a 2-1 home defeat by Sevilla.

Substitute Wissam Ben Yedder was the match-winner for the Spanish side, shooting from inside the area just two minutes after coming on and heading in at the back post from a corner.



After posing little threat in the goalless first leg, United again looked second best against the La Liga side, though Marouane Fellaini’s thumping effort did draw Sergio Rico into a save and the away goalkeeper kept out Jesse Lingard’s low strike.

Romelu Lukaku lashed home from close range with seven minutes remaining, but it proved to be merely a consolation.

United exit the competition along with Tottenham, but Premier League leaders Manchester City and Liverpool progressed to Friday’s quarter-final draw. Chelsea can join them if they beat Barcelona on Wednesday.

Muddled Mourinho

United entered the competition after winning last season’s Europa League final, but they lag well behind the continent’s elite in Europe.

READ: Arsenal monitoring Juventus coach Allegri, Barcelona back for Griezmann

Manager Jose Mourinho has often been criticised by his own supporters for his cautious style of play and the approach proved extremely costly on this occasion. At one point, the home fans were chanting “attack, attack, attack” towards their own players.

Romelu Lukaku pulled one goal back for Manchester United but it was a little too late

His side looked devoid of ideas for large periods of the two matches, playing pedestrian football for much of it, and his selection and tactics for this game seemed muddled too.

Midfielder Fellaini was off the pace having been given a first start since November, while Marcus Rashford played from the right, despite scoring twice and causing so many problems for Liverpool in their previous game from the opposite flank.

Mourinho also needs to work out how best to use the talents of January signing Alexis Sanchez, who played from the left, but failed to make an impression on the contest.

Twice a winner of the Champions League with Porto and Inter Milan, Portuguese Mourinho exited at this stage of the competition for only the fourth time in 12 seasons.

There was optimism for the Red Devils going into the game after collecting impressive victories over Jurgen Klopp’s men, Chelsea and coming from 2-0 down to beat Crystal Palace in recent games.

Substitute Wiss Ben Yedder score winner as Sevilla knock Manchester United out of the Champions League

But their best spell was the opening five minutes of the game at Old Trafford, when they were on the front foot and striker Lukaku struck wide and had an effort blocked from close range.

The hosts failed to build on their positive start and, although Lukaku scored his 24th of the season late on, the damage had already been done.

Sevilla win midfield battle

With three draws and a defeat, Sevilla had never won a Champions League game in England, until this match at Old Trafford.

Over the two legs, they were the better side and deserved the victory, with manager Vincenzo Montella and his substitutes running on to the pitch at the final whistle to celebrate with the players.

“We were just excellent, very good,” said Montella. “A lot of those players played the game of their lives.

“In spite of the fact we didn’t create chances in the first half, we were good, very good, up until the final third, and we gave United very little chance near our goal.”

Ben Yedder will get the plaudits for his well-taken goals and he could even have sealed a hat-trick as United fell apart, allowing the Frenchman to run clear but shooting straight at David de Gea.

But the contribution of central midfielders Steven N’Zonzi and Ever Banega cannot be understated as they controlled the middle of the park, overrunning Fellaini, Nemanja Matic and Paul Pogba when he came on.

Ex-Blackburn and Stoke man N’Zonzi has been linked with a move back to the Premier League and he had more passes (94) than any other player, while partner Banega won possession of the ball back 13 times, the best tally on the field.

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