Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba were the only positives for Manchester United as Sevilla booted them out of the UEFA Europa League on Sunday
The first half was an engaging affair, with Manchester United creating more chances than Sevilla, who still took the game to the Red Devils at every opportunity. However, it was United who broke the deadlock, as Bruno Fernandes converted from the spot after Marcus Rashford was brought down in the Sevilla box by Diego Carlos.
Sevilla, though, hit back midway through the first half, as Suso levelled things up with a near-post finish from close range, as the Manchester United defence was caught napping. Thereafter, United dominated the game, conjuring up chance after chance, only for Sevilla goalkeeper Bono and a stubborn defence to thwart them every single time.
The next goal came against the run of play, as Sevilla completed their comeback with 12 minutes left in regulation time. Luuk de Jong put the Spanish giants ahead with a tap-in from point-blank range, thanks to some more sloppy defending by Manchester United, who crashed out of the UEFA Europa League. The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men.
David de Gea: 6/10
Yet again, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer decided to prefer David de Gea to Sergio Romero in a semi-final. However, unlike the FA Cup game against Chelsea last month, the Spaniard was not to blame this time for Manchester United’s defeat. With his side dominating the game, de Gea had little to do and made just 1 save. But he could not have done anything to stop either of the two Sevilla goals.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka: 3/10
Something is terribly wrong with Wan-Bissaka. While some of his defensive numbers – 4 tackles, 2 clearances, 4 interceptions – are impressive, he was culpable for both goals. To be fair, he should have been supported better by Mason Greenwood when Sergio Reguilon slipped Suso in with a low cross. But, no excuses for switching off when Luuk de Jong scored the winner. Needs to improve.
Victor Lindelof: 4/10
Unlike Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof was to blame for just one of the two Sevilla goals. However, he inexplicably lost track of de Jong for the second Sevilla goal, choosing to let the ball sail past him before the Dutchman scored the winner. Before that moment, the Swede was actually having a good game and kept a check on the Sevilla attack expertly. Caught napping when it mattered, though.
Harry Maguire: 5/10
Much like Lindelof, Maguire enjoyed a fairly solid outing, if one takes out the two moments leading up to Sevilla’s goals. However, when you take an overall view of his performance, it is clear that the Manchester United captain ought to have done better to stop the crosses for both the goals. Hardly let anything past him otherwise. Needs to start organising his backline better from next season.
Brandon Williams: 5/10
A game of two halves (on the pitch) for Williams. While the youngster showed a lot of desire to win the ball higher up the pitch and impressed by winning 10 duels, he failed to react to Reguilon’s low cross, thereby leaving Suso unmarked and in plenty of space to score the equaliser. Otherwise, it was a decent effort by Williams, who was a constant outlet down the left flank and made 1 key pass.
Paul Pogba: 8/10
Paul Pogba’s game by numbers vs. Sevilla:
89% pass accuracy
25 final third passes
12 ball recoveries
9 successful take-ons
4 chances created
3 tackles won
1 big chance created
An excellent individual performance on a frustrating night overall. 🙌 pic.twitter.com/yclNU6mygH
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) August 16, 2020
One of only two Manchester United players who can hold their head up high on a frustrating night. Pogba’s only shortcoming came in the moments he lost the ball cheaply in the middle of the park. However, along with Bruno Fernandes, Pogba made the joint-most key passes (4), pulling the strings smartly from midfield. Won 14 duels and supported the defence too. Just was not his day.
Surprisingly favoured over Nemanja Matic in the defensive midfield role once again, Fred turned in a far better performance than the one against FC Copenhagen last week. In fact, the Brazilian opened up play quite smartly, completing 6/8 long balls while misplacing just 6 passes all game.
But, one moment of poor decision making inside the Sevilla box takes his rating down as Manchester United squandered a fine opening. Defensively, though, Fred put in the hard yards and won the midfield battle along with Pogba. Here are some of his numbers – 7 accurate tackles, 12 duels won, 1 clearance. Could he soon become Manchester United’s first-choice holding midfielder?
Mason Greenwood: 5/10
After enjoying stupendous success in the Premier League, the last month or so has been a leveller for Greenwood, who needs to learn the ropes of playing on the right wing. Should have helped Wan-Bissaka in the build-up to the first Sevilla goal while his finishing was not always on point. Back to the drawing board for the prodigious teenager, who can and probably will do better.
Bruno Fernandes: 8/10
Bruno Fernandes scores his 12th goal of the season for Man Utd.
He only joined in January 😳 pic.twitter.com/myZJOvBWDN
— B/R Football (@brfootball) August 16, 2020
This was Bruno Fernandes’s best performance in quite some time. The Portuguese made no error in converting yet another penalty before spending the rest of the game trying to carve open the Sevilla defence. Fernandes did so superbly most of the times, only to see the forwards failing to finish. The Manchester United talisman was himself denied 4 times as well, in what was a frustrating night.
Marcus Rashford: 5/10
Rashford made an electric start to the game and looked much better when taking on the defenders. Won the penalty after being fouled by Diego Carlos. Thereafter, a couple of poor dribbling attempts sapped the momentum of promising counters while he, too, was denied by the indomitable Bono. Had one too many moments of sloppiness. Desperately needs to rediscover his best form.
Anthony Martial: 5/10
When Rashford and Greenwood were failing to find the back of the net, there still would have been hope for Manchester United as the man in form, Anthony Martial was leading the line. However, the Frenchman wasted his opportunities as well, skying one effort while having two other shots saved.
Made a couple of key passes, though, including a cheeky exchange with Rashford leading up to the penalty decision early on. Having said that, this was quite a disappointing performance by Martial, who would know that he can do far better.
Timothy Fosu-Mensah: N/A
On for Williams in the 87th minute, Fosu-Mensah kept things simple, as Manchester United pushed for the equaliser.
Daniel James: N/A
James was a part of a triple substitution, including Fosu-Mensah and Juan Mata. However, unlike the other two, the Welshman hardly saw the ball, getting just 3 touches on it.
Juan Mata: N/A
Mata came on for the underperforming Rashford and looked to change the course of the game. But, there was very little time for that change to come, as Sevilla held on for the narrow win.
Odion Ighalo: N/A
A last minute introduction, Ighalo never really got a look-in.