Champions League

Toothless Man Utd limp out of Champions League

2018-03-13 23:51
Jose Mourinho.(Getty Images)

Manchester - Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho insisted European disappointment is nothing new for the English giants after losing 2-1 to Sevilla at Old Trafford to crash out of the Champions League by the same scoreline on aggregate.

Wissam Ben Yedder struck twice in four second-half minutes on Tuesday to send Sevilla into the quarterfinals for the first time in 60 years as United suffered a first European home defeat since Alex Ferguson's Champions League farewell in 2013.

Mourinho was on the winning side that night as Real Madrid manager and also sent United out of the last 16 when Porto boss in 2004.

"I've sat in this chair twice before with Porto, Manchester United out, and Real Madrid, Manchester United out, so I don't think it's anything new for the club," said Mourinho, who bristled at questions over his tactical approach.

"I don't want to make a drama of it. We have no time to be sad for more than 24 hours, that's football. It's not the end of the world."

The visitors were deserving winners as they controlled the game throughout, but had to wait for Ben Yedder's introduction as a substitute 18 minutes from time to add a clinical finish by taking his Champions League tally for the season to eight goals in seven appearances.

Ben Yedder put Sevilla in front two minutes later when he blasted into the bottom corner before heading in a second shortly after.

Romelu Lukaku reduced United's arrears, but it was too little, too late with Mourinho's decision to once again drop Paul Pogba certain to be scrutinised.

"In the first half we played a good game apart from the last 30 metres," said Sevilla coach Vincenzo Montella.

"In the second half we were more clinical with Ben Yedder, he made the difference today."

Mourinho sprang a surprise before kick-off by recalling Marouane Fellaini at the expense of Pogba, who had also been dropped for the first game.

Sevilla dominated the vast majority of the first leg only to be denied by some stunning saves from David de Gea.

However, it was wayward finishing rather than the Spanish No 1 that prevented the visitors making the most of their ascendency for most of the match.

Indeed, of Sevilla's 10 efforts on goal in the first period only one weak Muriel effort forced De Gea into making a save.

Fellaini Gamble Backfires

Mourinho's gamble on Fellaini appeared to have largely backfired as he failed to impose his physical presence on Sevilla's ball players in midfield.

Yet, the Belgian nearly made the breakthrough with United's best move of the opening period when he latched onto Alexis Sanchez's layoff and his powerful effort was turned behind by Sergio Rico.

The second period began in the same vein as the first with Sevilla on the front foot, and only a brilliant last-ditch tackle by Eric Bailly denied Correa a clear sight of goal.

Pogba, who cost United a then-world record £89 million in 2016, was eventually introduced just after the hour mark with Fellaini sacrificed.

However, even the Frenchman couldn't kickstart the hosts and they were eventually made to pay.

Ben Yedder had only been on the pitch for two minutes after replacing Muriel when he finally broke the deadlock in the tie with a brilliant finish low into De Gea's bottom left-hand corner.

"Manchester United have experience in the Champions League, it was a special game for us," said Ben Yedder.

"But I believed in myself, believed in the team and we showed we are a great team."

Mourinho responded by throwing on Anthony Martial and Juan Mata, but their attacking edge was needed far earlier as Ben Yedder soon put the outcome beyond any doubt when he forced home a corner at the far post despite a despairing effort by De Gea.

Lukaku finally got United on the board six minutes from time when he swept home Marcus Rashford's corner.

But it was to little avail as United have now failed to reach the quarterfinals for four straight years.


What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Tuesday, 03 April 2018
Juventus v Real Madrid, Allianz Stadium 20:45
Sevilla v Bayern Munchen, Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan 20:45
Wednesday, 04 April 2018
Liverpool v Manchester City, Anfield 20:45
Barcelona v Roma, Camp Nou 20:45
Tuesday, 10 April 2018
Manchester City v Liverpool, Etihad Stadium 20:45
Roma v Barcelona, Stadio Olimpico 20:45
Wednesday, 11 April 2018
Bayern Munchen v Sevilla, Allianz-Arena 20:45
Real Madrid v Juventus, Estadio Santiago Bernabeu 20:45
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team

Which English Premier League club will progress furthest in this season's Champions League?

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.