United and Mourinho got what they deserved vs Sevilla

Man Utd have gone out of the Champions League after a disastrous defeat vs Sevilla at Old Trafford that caused some fans to turn on Jose Mourinho

United and Mourinho got what they deserved vs Sevilla

Man Utd have gone out of the Champions League after a disastrous defeat vs Sevilla at Old Trafford that caused some fans to turn on Jose Mourinho

14 mart 2018 Wednesday 12:46
United and Mourinho got what they deserved vs Sevilla

Manchester United had not scored more than once in a Champions League tie against a Spanish side since April 2003 and that unwanted run continued under Jose Mourinho, who presided over the club's most humiliating knockout elimination from the competition this century amid a mutinous atmosphere.

Wissam Ben Yedder's 74th-minute arrow into David de Gea's left-hand corner was sufficient punishment for an indefensible approach in the first leg.

United secured a goalless draw against a side who had shipped five on five separate occasions and have a minus goal difference in La Liga. Sevilla are sixth.

"You don't want to pay too much respect to them, they don't deserve it, they're not good enough," Rio Ferdinand bullishly proclaimed before the game.

Mourinho should have shown such fortitude in Spain three weeks earlier.

Instead, he invited Sevilla to play in a carefree environment, backed by the euphoric followers. The selection of Marouane Fellaini over Paul Pogba, Marcus Rashford's positioning on the right flank and Jesse Lingard as the playmaker were a few more contentious decisions.

Mourinho vainly attempted to arrest the stagnation by introducing Pogba just before the hour but all that did was loosen United's defense, inviting Sevilla to seize the initiative amid the uncertainty the home players and fans exhibited.

Ben Yedder's second on 78 minutes sparked a mass exodus and by that stage, United supporters had attempted to dictate the team's tactics through their chanting.

Mourinho, a vexed presence in the technical area all evening, spontaneously introduced Anthony Martial and Juan Mata to salvage the tie following the opener and Romelu Lukaku did volley in on 83 minutes but the deficit proved insurmountable.

Ironically, Mourinho benefited from a tense Old Trafford with Porto in 2004, where United buckled late on. Now he was the victim of it and his clout as a Champions League coach is at an all-time low.

He treated Sevilla, a club synonymous with the Europa League, with as much respect one would reserve for Real Madrid.

Mourinho's behavior over Pogba, named on the bench at the expense of Fellaini, making his fifth start of the season and second for United in five months, was classic hubris.

The willingness to accommodate Alexis Sanchez, subdued for the majority, is also a growing issue. Despite recent positive results and an auspicious chance of FA Cup success, United are at times rudderless and aimless.

United had an awful night

The tone was set before kick-off as Sevilla supporters sang to the tune of the French national anthem and Freed From Desire whereas anxiety rose in the the home section early in the game.

The lateral passing and sterile domination made for an edgy atmosphere among United supporters.

Mourinho recalled Lingard and Fellaini, maybe the most aggressive pressers in the United squad. Their returns came at the expense of Rashford's momentum after he scored twice from his favoured left-sided role against Liverpool.

Against Sevilla he was switched to the right, United's problem position they do not have a solution for, and Rashford regressed.

The accommodation of Sanchez, starting on the left, was not vindicated and some United fans yelled at Rashford 'take him on', impatient at the caginess. the pessimistic Paul Scholes remarked: "Jose Mourinho must be coming to the end of his tether with Sanchez now."

United went 2-0 down

The J stand chanted 'Attack, attack, attack' in the 37th minute. A minute later Fellaini exchanged passes with Sanchez and finally forced Sergio Rico into making a save in an agricultural half of football that was dominated by the Belgian's tussles with fellow beanpole midfielder Steven Nzonzi.

United were almost galvanised by a mere tackle in the 48th minute. Joaquin Correa was so advanced inside United's penalty area Rashford had scrambled back to halt him but the Sevilla winger shimmied and appeared poised to test David de Gea until Eric Bailly slid in stirringly to applause from United fans and Mourinho. Three minutes later, Lingard's shot was creeping into the right-hand corner but for Rico's fingertips.

That was the last noteworthy effort United had before Ben Yedder collected the ball on the edge of the area, used Bailly as a screen and diverted the ball past De Gea. That all but killed the game, his second killed the tie.

As Mourinho approached the Stretford End tunnel, he seemed to be booed. Mutiny and misery.

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