Manchester United drew 0-0 against Sevilla in Spain on Wednesday night in Champions League knockout round first leg match. It was a dire and unconvincing performance from the Red Devils, as Sevilla were miles ahead in this clash. The Spanish club failed on numerous occasions to take advantage from United’s inability to be dangerous.
Manchester United Are Far From Europe’s Elite
This was a good opportunity for Manchester United to show everyone how much they can rise to the occasion. It was a chance to show much they enjoy big European nights and Sevilla were a decent opponent to prove that. Yet, Jose Mourinho’s team was far from good and it was a big achievement to snatch a 0-0 draw.
And that says a lot about how Man United played. Sevilla were far better rival, creating chances throughout the match, only to be denied by David De Gea. United’s midfield of Nemanja Matic, Scott McTominay and Ander Herrera – and then Paul Pogba instead of him, after the Spaniard got injured, was not good enough to offer stability in front of the back four, nor to create anything worthwhile for the front trio.
Alexis Sanchez Is Not Fitting In Yet
Everything was slowly building up for this statement and now it is clear – Alexis Sanchez still feels like a misfit in this Manchester United team. The Chilean has not been playing in the way United fans hoped he would when he signed for the Devils this January. Alexis made a single key pass in 75 minutes on the pitch, while losing possession five times.
It all felt similar to previous matches, when Sanchez was unable to make impact on how the game will be played. Mourinho needs to find a way how to make the Chilean gel with his team-mates, but so far it all felt unconvincing.
Jose Mourinho Keeps Doing His Thing
This was another Jose Mourinho night. Not that he managed to earn a huge away win, like he did with Inter against Barcelona in 2010. Nor did he find a way to outclass Sevilla’s manager like he did against Ajax in Europa League final last season. No, this was Mourinho in his natural habitat of recent years, picking fights when it is not necessary to do so.
On Tuesday, he said Pogba is ready and fit to play the next day. Yet, on Wednesday, he opted for McTominay in a midfield three, alongside Herrera and Matic. This was clearly a message for the Frenchman who really has not been up to his level recently, but it still hard to say Pogba was not supposed to be in the starting XI. There will be a lot of talk about all this in coming days.
David De Gea Means Too Much To This Team
And that is not good news. On the night when he made eight saves, David De Gea once again proved how valuable he is to Manchester United. Yet, all of that once again showed how poor Manchester United have been for most part of the season, conceding too many chances and too many shots.
On several occasions that was obvious in the Premier League and now against Sevilla it was clear right from the start. United need more defensive cohesion and it is not good that Mourinho’s side is not great at something his previous things always have been – basic defending.