Dismal Manchester United dumped out of Europe by sensational Sevilla


Yousseff En-Nesyri of Sevilla FC runs with the ball whilst under pressure from Victor Lindelof of Manchester United during the UEFA Europa League Quarterfinal Second Leg match between Sevilla FC and Manchester United at Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan on April 20, 2023 in Seville, Spain. 

No one anticipated that it would happen, but Spanish side Sevilla, who sit 13th in La Liga, have knocked 20-time English champions Manchester United out of the Europa League thanks to a well-deserved 3-0 triumph at home, and will take on Italian powerhouse Juventus in a two-legged semifinal on May 11 and 18.

The stunning victory at their boisterous Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan stadium on Thursday night means Sevilla have now come out on top in all seven UEFA Cup and Europa League quarterfinals they have competed, having won all six competitions when they have reached this stage previously.

United, meanwhile, have seen their dream of a treble of trophies this season ruthlessly dashed. It is imperative that the Red Devils make swift adjustments to their current form. They are set to face high-flying Brighton in the FA Cup semifinals on Sunday and visit Tottenham on April 27.

The primary cause of United’s humiliating exit from Europe can be attributed to a disastrous performance of the goalkeeper David de Gea, who had made 15 errors leading to a goal over the last 5 seasons, and tied with Jordan Pickford for the most by any goalkeeper in Europe’s top 5 leagues in that span.

“We were not composed, not calm. We didn’t beat the press, when you do there are so many spaces behind, and it was obvious at the start how to do it,” fumed United manager Erik ten Hag.

“We lost the battles, they had more passion, more desire, more willingness. This was a great opportunity, a great occasion, to win something and we gave it away – we have to blame ourselves. It’s gone, we can’t change it.

“We have to pick the players up. But we also have to face that we let ourselves down, we have let the fans down. If you want to win trophies, if you want to be successful, you need character.

“I have had this situation many times: City, Liverpool, Brentford. And every time we bounced back. We have good mental skills, but on some occasions we are not there. What we have to accept now is that it is unacceptable. Everyone can see that the demands and the standard has to be higher in a club such as Manchester United.

“We have seen we can do it against Forest. We had the desire then and today we didn’t. You can expect that Manchester United players do it more consistently. Too often we have a really poor performance and that can’t be.”

In sharp contrast, Sevilla looked revitalized under Jose Mendilibar, their third head coach of the season. They played with confidence and a brutal aggression and United simply could not cope.

Their top scorer Youssef En-Nesyri, who twice capitalized on De Gea’s errors on Thursday, has netted 13 goals since January. Among players from major European leagues, only Erling Haaland, Karim Benzema, Marcus Rashford and Victor Osimhen have scored more in that period.

“I have never seen an atmosphere like this in my entire life,” said En Nesyri after the win. “I am very happy for the two goals and for the fans who supported us until the end. We have to stay together, with the fans, because that’s how we’ll go far.”

Next up for Sevilla is a tantalizing date with Juventus, who edged out Lisbon Sporting 2-1 on aggregate in their quarterfinal.

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