David De Gea was at his brilliant best, as Manchester United managed to hold Sevilla to a 0-0 draw at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan
Manchester United were spared a disappointing defeat at the hands of Sevilla in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League round of 16 tie, thanks to some heroics from goalkeeper David De Gea.
The Spaniard made a number of brilliant stops to keep the Spanish side out on Wednesday night, but his acrobatic reflex save to deny Luis Muriel’s free header from close to six yards out, on the verge of half-time was easily the best of the lot.
.@ManUtd have progressed the last 3 times they have drawn 0-0 in a @ChampionsLeague 1st leg knockout away tie – v Barcelona in 2007-08, Inter in 2008-09, and Marseille in 2010-11. They went on to reach the CL final on all 3 occasions (1 win, 2 defeats). pic.twitter.com/7rrtlwbh9W
— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) February 21, 2018
United though, struggled to create a lot of opportunities going forward, with none of their star attackers standing out. However, the result does put them in an advantageous position going into the second leg at the Old Trafford next month and manager Jose Mourinho will be confident of going through to the next phase of the competition.
And here we bring you our player ratings for the Manchester United players from the trip to Sevilla;
David De Gea: 8/10
Sevilla had eight shots on target in the game and the Spaniard never really looked uncomfortable or flustered between the sticks. Calm and zen like he always is, De Gea just went about his business without any fuss and kept the home side at bay. His superb save to deny Luis Muriel will go down as one of his best.
Antonio Valencia: 5.5/10
Returning to the starting line-up after being rested for the FA Cup win over Huddersfield Town over the weekend, Manchester United’s captain on the day struggled to make an impact on the game. Looked troubled by the tricky Joaquin Correa and did not offer his side a lot of impetus going forward either. Has seen much better days.
Where would Manchester United be without David de Gea in net? pic.twitter.com/dhvVegUwA2
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) February 21, 2018
Victor Lindelof: 5/10
Started ahead of the fit-again Eric Bailly in the heart of the defence, the Swedish summer signing did not look all that assured at the back and had one very hairy moment in the first-half, which almost led to a goal for Sevilla. However, redeemed himself somewhat after the break, but still looks susceptible to errors and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him left out for the game against Chelsea.
Chris Smalling: 6/10
The much-maligned England international fared slightly better than his defensive partner on the night in Spain. Was commanding in challenges, winning important headers and making a couple of crucial blocks. Should have done better to stick with Muriel leading to the chance which De Gea spectacularly saved.
Ashley Young: 5.5/10
Showed good industry going forward from the left-back area, but was unable to make an impact in the attacking half of the pitch. Was not offered a lot of cover defensively, which made it a bit difficult for him, but still managed to stay pretty solid throughout, without any major mistakes.
Ander Herrera: N/A
The Spaniard had only returned from injury and was handed a start ahead of Paul Pogba for the game. Things were looking positive for him, until he pulled his hamstring only 16 minutes into the game and had to be taken off. Big blow for Mourinho.
Nemanja Matic: 6/10
The giant Serb went about doing the dirty work in the middle of the park, breaking up play regularly, giving away tactical fouls to thwart his opponents. But, his use of possession once again was not all that effective and one felt he should have done more to get his team forward with the ball.
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) February 21, 2018
Scott McTominay: 6.5/10
The 21-year old academy graduate continues to impress at every opportunity that comes his way. Handed his Champions League knockout stages’ debut, McTominay repaid his manager’s faith with a solid, if not spectacular, display. Shadowed Ever Banega well throughout, showed good discipline and distribution was decent as well.
Juan Mata: 4.5/10
Never really looked like he could make a difference to the game, going up against a Sevilla side playing with high intensity. There were a few passes that threatened to open up the opposition defence in the first period, but that was as good as it got for Mata, as he faded with time and was inevitably hooked off in the second half.
Alexis Sanchez: 5.5/10
The Chilean once again found himself trying to do all by himself to change the course of the game, but to little avail. Dropped deeper and deeper to get himself on the ball and as a result, left Romelu Lukaku isolated at the top. There was good intent and energy shown by Alexis, but that did not translate into an impactful performance.
Romelu Lukaku: 5/10
Fired a shot high and wide in the 25th minute of the game. Found himself isolated at the tip of the 4-3-3 for most of the match. Worked hard, as usual, chasing every ball and trying to pressurize the Sevilla defence, but all to little avail.
— Mirror Football (@MirrorFootball) February 21, 2018
Paul Pogba: 5/10
Benched by the manager for the game, the Frenchman came on to replace Herrera very early in the game. Failed to take the chance to prove Jose wrong though, as he struggled to get into the game.
Marcus Rashford: N/A
Replaced Alexis with fifteen minutes left to be played. Looked a positive addition to the field, but lacked time to make a bigger impact.
Anthony Martial: N/A
Came on to replace Mata for the last ten minutes. Similar to Rashford, looked up for the challenge, but not enough time to change things around.