Monday, June 17, 2024

Manchester United 2-2 Sevilla: What Were The Key Talking Points As United Suffer A Europa League Collapse At Old Trafford?

Tom Dunstan in Editorial, UEFA Europa League 14 Apr 2023

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While Manchester United might have been minutes away from claiming a crucial Europa League first-leg advantage on Thursday night, Erik ten Hag’s side eventually had to settle for a stunning 2-2 draw against Sevilla.

Although United might have breezed their way to an early 2-0 lead as Marcel Sabitzer bagged a quickfire brace in the opening 17 minutes, the Premier League giants will be ruing what was a missed golden opportunity at Old Trafford.

Despite Brazilian international Antony going close on either side of the half-time break, United suffered major Europa League heartbreak on home soil as both Tyrell Malacia and Harry Maguire turned into their own net in the final 10 minutes.

With the Old Trafford supporters visibly stunned by an almighty collapse in Manchester, ten Hag’s side will now have to go about things the hard way when they travel out to Spain next week.

On a night that will be remembered for United’s last-gasp collapse, we have taken a look at the main talking points from Thursday’s Europa League showdown.

United don’t have time to feel sorry for themselves

While Old Trafford might have been left stunned as Maguire turned into his own net in the final moments, ten Hag and his star-studded squad will know that they don’t have time to feel sorry for themselves.

With Thursday’s hosts desperate to complete a silverware sweep this season after ending their six-year drought at Wembley in this year’s EFL Cup on February 26th, United still have plenty left to play for.

Involved in what has quickly become a heavyweight top-four scrap and with an FA Cup semi-final showdown against Brighton fast approaching, stability is key for the Premier League giants over the coming weeks.

Making the trip to relegation scrappers Nottingham Forest on Sunday afternoon before they travel out to Spain in seven days time, United will be desperate to prove that their dramatic collapse here was nothing more than a minor blip.

With it no secret that the Europa League is now ten Hag’s top priority, the Red Devils will know that they have plenty of pressure on their shoulders when they arrive at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium next week.

A season-ending blow for Martinez?

While ten Hag might have been quick to play down his side’s Europa League wobble on Thursday night, the former Ajax boss was far more concerned by what looks set to be a season-ending blow to one of his key defensive stars.

Although Lisandro Martinez might have continued to gain a string of plaudits since following ten Hag over from Amsterdam last summer, the 25-year-old was clearly left in real agony after picking up a second-half knock.

Helped off the pitch and then taken down the tunnel in a stretcher, ten Hag stated after Thursday’s 2-2 draw that the potential Achilles injury “does not look that great”.

Knowing that they now face a real second-leg struggle when they make the trip out to Spain in seven days time, fans around Old Trafford will be worried by what is quickly becoming a mounting injury list.

Unable to call upon the red-hot Marcus Rashford after the England international limped off in last weekend’s 2-0 victory against Everton, United have already confirmed that their attacking talisman will miss at least the foreseeable future.

Sevilla will now believe they can cause a real Europa League upset

While Sevilla might have made the trip to Manchester on Thursday night knowing that they faced a major first-leg struggle at Old Trafford, there is no doubt that Los Nervionenses will take a huge amount of positives away from their remarkable late comeback.

However, although Jose Luis Mendilibar’s men might now be dreaming of the chance to spring a heavyweight Europa League upset next week, the one-time Athletic Bilbao boss has seen his side endure some rather public issues this season.

Shockingly still looking over their shoulder at a looming La Liga relegation scrap, the midweek guests have mustered just a trio of wins from any of their last 11 appearances across all competitions – a run that stems back to February 16th.

Nevertheless, although Sevilla might have known that they were lucky to have left Old Trafford with the scoreline still level, their Europa League campaign has offered a real rest bite.

Not suffering a single Europa League campaign at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium since back in 2014, Mendilibar’s side will be glad to make a return to Andalusia next week.

Match Report

Manchester United: De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Martinez, Malacia, Casemiro, Fernandes, Antony, Sabitzer, Sancho, Martial

Subs: Maguire, Eriksen, Weghorst, Pellistri, Elanga

Sevilla: Bono, Montiel, Nianzou, Marcao, Acuna, Gudelj, Fernando, Oliver, Rakitic, Ocampos, Lamela

Subs: Gomez, Navas, En-Nesyri, Suso

Goals: Manchester United: Sabitzer (14′, 21′) – Sevilla: Malaca OG (84′), Maguire OG (90+2)

Yellow Cards: Manchester United: Fernandes, Antony, Pellistri – Sevilla: Lamela, Rakitic, Gudelj, Montiel, Acuna

Red Cards: N/A

Referee: Felix Zwayer

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom has spent the past six years as one of our senior writers and betting experts. Alongside working with numerous publications from across the globe, Tom also graduated from the University of Falmouth in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Digital Media.
Spending almost the past decade working in countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada, he has also spent time featuring in sports radio. Tom can be followed on Instagram - @iamtomdunstan

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