Manchester United crashed out of the Champions League at Old Trafford on Tuesday as they were beaten 2-1 on aggregate by Sevilla in the Round of 16.
The hosts struggled to retain possession of the ball for long periods and as a result, the chances came few and far between. Sevilla, on the other hand, took more shots without troubling David De Gea in the Manchester United goal.
The Red Devils picked up the tempo post the break, but the elusive first goal of the match didn’t come, until the final quarter of an hour. Wissam Ben Yedder came on two score two goals in quick succession as he made Manchester United for poor defending.
FT: #MUFC 1 Sevilla 2.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) March 13, 2018
Romelu Lukaku pulled one back with six minutes left on the clock, but it was too little too late as the hosts went crashing out of the UEFA Champions League. The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over Jose Mourinho’s men after an abject performance on Tuesday.
David De Gea: 5/10
Sevilla may have taken 21 shots on his goal, but De Gea had very little glove work to do, with most of the visitors’ attempts being off target. When they finally took a good enough shot, there was very little the Spaniard could have done to stop Ben Yedder. But, he could only parry the Frenchman’s header into his own net.
Antonio Valencia: 4/10
In what has been a recurring theme of late, the Manchester United was caught out of position several times on Tuesday, and had his hands full with Joaquin Correa. Going forward, he did very little, with his wayward deliveries rarely reaching their man. Needs to up his game.
Eric Bailly: 5/10
Bailly ended the game as he had started it, as a nervous wreck, leaving too much space for the attackers and sloppy on the ball. The hour in between saw him stand tall to keep the Sevilla attack at bay, with a last-ditch effort in particular the standout moment. But, he hesitated in closing down Ben Yedder, who duly obliged by scoring past De Gea.
Chris Smalling: 4/10
If Bailly had his fair share of moments to forget on Tuesday, Smalling wasn’t far behind either. The Englishman’s levels dropped as the match progressed. In the second half, he was guilty of not converting two chances, and was caught out of position when Ben Yedder scored his first. A night to forget.
Ashley Young: 4/10
Much like the fortunes of his side, the Ashley Young from Saturday was nowhere to be seen as Pablo Sarabia had a field day against him. The veteran was defensively suspect all through the night and his deliveries left a lot to be desired, not one cross reaching its desired target.
Marouane Fellaini: 4/10
Fellaini was a surprise name on the team sheet as he was handed his first start of 2018 by Mourinho. The Belgian did start the game brightly as he provided the supporting act up front. But, his lack of match fitness became palpable and he soon became a liability, failing to add to the numbers in midfield and leaving Nemanja Matic stranded on his own.
While Fellaini did have one decent effort at goal, that was as good as it got on a forgettable evening. Scott McTominay, who’s in good form and is growing in confidence, would have been a better choice in hindsight.
Nemanja Matic: 5/10
As iterated earlier, Matic often had a lot to do in midfield, with Fellaini not providing enough support in the middle. One area when he can be singled out is his work on the ball as Matic failed to up the tempo of the game by rotating the ball quickly.
Alexis Sanchez: 3/10
Tuesday was a night when it was agonising to watch Alexis Sanchez, who produced arguably his worst performance in a Manchester United shirt. The Chilean looked nowhere near the game changer that the hosts needed on the night as he lacked ideas, drive and understanding with his teammates to make any sort of impact.
“He looks a shadow of the player he was, he looks a stranger in this team…”
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) March 13, 2018
Ineffective in his preferred role on the left, ineffective in the middle, there was absolutely no positives for Sanchez, who woefully lost the ball at an alarming regularity. At what point does Mourinho stop and wonder if he should actually drop Sanchez for being poor game after game?
Jesse Lingard: 4/10
Lingard, like Sanchez, had a night to forget, in what was one of his poorer outings this season. Deployed in three different roles, the Englishman just couldn’t get going after a bright start, when he set Lukaku up for a chance. Other than that, he worked hard off the ball, but couldn’t produce much with it.
Marcus Rashford: 4.5/10
After a match-winning brace against Liverpool, conventional wisdom would have suggested that Rashford would start on the left side of the Manchester United attack once again. But, in a baffling decision by Mourinho, that did not happen till the second half, and it was clear that the position wasn’t made for him.
When he finally came to the left side, Rashford looked much improved, but the spark was missing, especially in his decision making. Rashford’s set-piece delivery wasn’t the best either, with powerful driving balls failing to have much effect.
Romelu Lukaku: 7/10
Perhaps the only Manchester United player who can hold his head up high after Tuesday, if only just. Lukaku scored the only goal of the game for Manchester United, which was the 200th of his career, but it was too little too late.
Lukaku’s game by number vs. Sevilla:
1 key pass
4 aerial duels won
5 dribbles completed
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) March 14, 2018
Additionally, the Belgian striker created a lot of space with his ever-improving hold-up play and movement off the ball. But, the fact that Lukaku missed a few key chances as well contributed to the result as well, and it turned out to be a mixed bag for him.
Paul Pogba: 4/10
Off the bench for the final half an hour, Pogba could not create any sort of impact at all. While the Frenchman was sloppy in possession, he also left the Sevilla attacker a lot of space, which would ultimately end up being one of the reasons for conceding the first goal.
Juan Mata: 5/10
On for the final 15 minutes, Mata was a bright spark, which suggested he should have started. But, his impact was too little, too late.
Anthony Martial: 5/10
Like Mata, Martial provided the spark for Manchester United late on. But, it wasn’t going to be enough in the end.