Manchester United threw away a two goal lead against Sevilla tonight, with the Red Devils’ Europa League quarter-final first leg tie ending 2-2 at Old Trafford.
Erik Ten Hag’s side thought they had got off to the perfect start when Jadon Sancho scored after just 30 seconds, but VAR stepped in and ruled out the English winger’s strike for offside.
United wouldn’t have to wait too long to take the lead though, with the increasingly impressive Marcel Sabitzer putting them ahead after 14 minutes. A flowing team move ended with Bruno Fernandes playing a perfect through ball to Sabitzer who took a touch and fired confidently past Sevilla ‘keeper Bono.
Seven minutes later and Sabitzer made it two nil with an almost copycat strike. This time it was Anthony Martial who split the Sevilla defence with a fine pass for Sabitzer to once again take a touch and clinically fire home.
Despite dominating proceedings Manchester United had their goalkeeper David de Gea to thank for maintaining their two goal lead, the Spaniard pulling off a superb save to stop a header from Sevilla defender Tanguy Nianzou in first-half injury time.
This is a poor Sevilla side, however, and United really should have put the game to bed during the second period and their continued sloppiness would come back to haunt them in the 84th minute.
Tyrell Malacia made the fatal mistake of allowing a cross to drift in behind him only for former Man City winger Jesus Neves to steal in behind and cannon the ball off the Dutch defender and into the roof of the home side’s net.
Things really started to unravel for United straight after they had conceded, with influential centre-back Lisandro Martinez crumpling to the ground untouched – with what looks like a season-ending injury – leaving Ten Hag’s side to finish the game with 10 men after their five subs had been made.
Lisandro Martinez was carried off the pitch by Argentina teammates Montiel and Acuña following an injury vs. Sevilla 🤕 pic.twitter.com/BDzxP1Nqn6
— B/R Football (@brfootball) April 13, 2023
Then in the 92nd minute, United’s implosion from a commanding position was complete. Morrocan attacker Youssef En-Nesyri rose highest in the area to smash a header off the face of the hapless Harry Maguire and agonisingly past De Gea.
Speaking afterwards United boss Ten Hag was clearly unhappy with how the evening transpired.
“We had the game in our hand. We were 2-0 up and should’ve scored three or four – the game was totally on us. Unlucky moments with injuries, we had to make some subs with injuries then we lost the control,” Ten Hag told BT Sport.
“We conceded two own goals, that’s bad luck but we have to deal with it. We have to learn and have to kill the game but everything is open.
“When we didn’t get the third and got some injuries we lost the rhythm in the game. We played well in the first half with a lot of belief, scored two great goals for Sabitzer and we could’ve scored even more, then after half time we lost control of the game.
“I know we can do better with these players in the last part of the game and we needed to be more composed, it was not a nice night.”
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