Mour­inho: Heartache not new for Red Devils

New Straits Times - - SPORT -

MANCH­ESTER: kick-off by re­call­ing Marouane Fel­laini at the ex­pense of Pogba, who had also been dropped for the first game.

Sevilla dom­i­nated the vast ma­jor­ity of the first leg only to be de­nied by some stun­ning saves from David de Gea.

How­ever, it was way­ward fin­ish­ing rather than the Span­ish num­ber one that pre­vented the vis­i­tors mak­ing the most of their as­cen­dency for most of the match.

In­deed, of Sevilla’s 10 ef­forts on goal in the first pe­riod only one weak Muriel ef­fort forced De Gea into mak­ing a save.

Mour­inho’s gam­ble on Fel­laini ap­peared to have largely back­fired as he failed to im­pose his phys­i­cal pres­ence on Sevilla’s ball play­ers in mid­field.

Yet, the Bel­gian nearly made the break­through with United’s best move of the open­ing pe­riod when he latched onto Alexis Sanchez’s lay­off and his pow­er­ful ef­fort was turned be­hind by Ser­gio Rico.

The sec­ond pe­riod be­gan in the same vein as the first with Sevilla on the front foot, and only a bril­liant last-ditch tackle by Eric Bailly de­nied Cor­rea a clear sight of goal.

Pogba, who cost United a then­world record £89 mil­lion (RM485 mil­lion) in 2016, was even­tu­ally in­tro­duced just af­ter the hour mark with Fel­laini sac­ri­ficed.

How­ever, even the French­man couldn’t kick­start the hosts and they were even­tu­ally made to pay.

Ben Yed­der had only been on the pitch for two min­utes af­ter re­plac­ing Muriel when he fi­nally broke the dead­lock in the tie with a bril­liant fin­ish low into De Gea’s bot­tom left-hand cor­ner.

“Manch­ester United have ex­pe­ri­ence in the Cham­pi­ons League, it was a spe­cial game for us,” said Ben Yed­der.

“But I be­lieved in my­self, be­lieved in the team and we showed we are a great team.”

Mour­inho re­sponded by throw­ing on An­thony Mar­tial and Juan Mata, but their at­tack­ing edge was needed far ear­lier as Ben Yed­der soon put the out­come be­yond any doubt when he forced home a cor­ner at the far post de­spite a de­spair­ing ef­fort by De Gea.

Lukaku fi­nally got United on the board six min­utes from time when he swept home Mar­cus Rash­ford’s cor­ner.

But it was to lit­tle avail as United have now failed to reach the quar­ter-fi­nals for four straight years.


Sevilla’s Wis­sam Ben Yed­der cel­e­brates af­ter scor­ing against Manch­ester United on Tues­day.

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