Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag reviews the Sevilla game
Sevilla coach Jose Luis Mendilibar has taunted Manchester United by claiming his team didn’t break a sweat in sweeping aside Erik ten Hag’s men after their 3-0 victory on Thursday. United paid a heavy price for two disastrous errors as the six-time Europa League winners advanced to the semi-finals at their expense at Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, and it was an easy ride for Mendilibar’s side after United’s defensive calamity.
United – without the suspended Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford on the bench – slumped to a disappointing defeat after drawing 2-2 in the first leg at Old Trafford, with David de Gea and Harry Maguire responsible for two costly mistakes.
De Gea’s pass to Maguire put the captain under pressure and he gave it straight to Youssef En-Nesyri, who made no mistake in slotting past the Spanish goalkeeper. Loic Bade then doubled the lead on the night just minutes after the break and United’s misery was compounded when De Gea miscontrolled a long ball forward and En-Nesyri stroked home into an empty net from 35 yards.
After celebrating with his players, Mendilibar aimed a dig at United, suggesting Sevilla did not have to work too hard to overcome their English opponents.
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“It’s surprising for us to win a game against Manchester United without struggling and with such forcefulness,” Mendilibar said, as quoted by Spanish outlet AS.
Sevilla were impressive in how they attacked the game, pressing high to force Maguire into his error and providing aggression, despite fielding a starting lineup with an average age of 30. And Mendilibar praised his side for their efforts in front of a packed-out crowd in Seville.
“It’s not easy. I think the squad should be very pleased with how they played these 90 minutes,” he added. “We were better than Manchester United. They believed in themselves and they looked good on the field. I think they did more than just score goals, I think the players deserved this.”
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It means Sevilla are still unbeaten in the five games that Mendilibar has taken charge of, after the experienced Spaniard replaced Jorge Sampaoli in March.
At that time, the Andalusian side were languishing in the bottom three with the threat of relegation looming. The La Liga outfit have struggled domestically and are still down in 13th place, but their Europa League exploits have again demonstrated why they are one of the most feared teams in Europe.
They dropped down to their favoured competition after finishing third in their Champions League group and have since beaten Fenerbahce, PSV Eindhoven and now United on the road to the last four.
Sevilla will face Juventus next with the first leg taking place in Turin on May 11, with the winners of the tie set to face Bayer Leverkusen or AS Roma in the final in Budapest.
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