Feeble Man U bow out of Europe
Frustrated and feeling increasingly uneasy, Manchester United fans unleashed a loud cry of ‘‘attack, attack, attack’’ with their team’s Champions League fate hanging in the balance against Sevilla.
It was the Spanish side who answered the call.
Within eight minutes, Sevilla had scored two goals and were heading into the quarterfinals of Europe’s top competition for the first time in 60 years.
In the biggest surprise of the last 16, Sevilla eliminated United by winning the second leg 2-1 at Old Trafford yesterday, thanks to two goals in four minutes by substitute Wissam Ben Yedder.
In the other match, Roma advanced after Edin Dzeko scored early in the second half to secure a 1-0 home win over Shakhtar Donetsk, overturning a 2-1 first-leg defeat to advance on away goals.
It was a historic night for Sevilla and an embarrassing one for United, who managed only four shots on target in 180 minutes against one of the weakest defences left in the competition.
‘‘I don’t want to make a drama out of it,’’ United manager Jose Mourinho said, struggling for an explanation for his team’s feeble performance. ‘‘That’s football. It’s not the end of the world.’’
United were lucky to escape from the first leg with a 0-0 draw, which always felt a dangerous scoreline.
The longer it went scoreless, the more nervy it got inside Old Trafford. The ‘‘attack, attack, attack’’ chant - made famous during the glory years under Alex Ferguson - came after 70 minutes, and Sevilla’s response was to throw on Ben Yedder two minutes later.
The French striker gave the visitors a cutting edge the man he replaced - Luis Muriel - didn’t offer. Another two minutes later, he ran onto Pablo Sarabia’s precise through-ball, got half a metre on marker Eric Bailly and drove a low shot inside the post.
De Gea had no chance with that goal, but could have done more about the second. A Sevilla corner was flicked onto the back post where Ben Yedder stooped to send in a header that De Gea tried to palm over the bar but succeeded only in diverting it into his own net.
Ben Yedder moved to eight goals in this season’s competition and missed a chance for a hat-trick as United’s defence fell apart in the latter stages. Only Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo - with 12 goals - has more.
Romelu Lukaku pulled one back for United from close range in the 84th but a late rally couldn’t prevent United slipping out of the competition in meek fashion.
‘‘I sat in this chair twice in the Champions League,’’ Mourinho said after the match. ‘‘I knock out Manchester United at home at Old Trafford. I sit in this chair with Porto [in 2004], Man United out. I sit in this chair with Real Madrid, Man United out. I don’t think it’s something new for the club.’’
Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku, left, cuts a dejected figure afte missing a chance while Sevilla players, right, celebrate their opening goal in the Spanish team’s 2-1 Champions League triumph.