Manchester United 2-2 Sevilla: Four Things We Learned

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Manchester United were in a great position for the most part of their first leg match against Sevilla, in the Europa League quarter-final, but will have to head to Spain without a lead, as the two teams drew 2-2 at Old Trafford.

The Thursday night clash was never going to be easy, but it felt comfortable when Marcel Sabitzer scored twice after 21 minutes. The Devils, however, failed to ‘kill the game’ and two late own goals from Tyrell Malacia and Harry Maguire mean this will be an entirely different tie by the time of the return leg on 20 April.

Sabitzer Proves His Worth

Erik Ten Hag has shown recently he knows how to make a surprise or two and one of those came when he installed Marcel Sabitzer in the number 10 role, pulling Bruno Fernandes in the more withdrawn central midfield role instead. The Dutchman did that again and Sabitzer duly delivered. The Austrian keeps showing why United should buy him permanently from Bayern Munich, after a lovely strike 14 minutes in. He was also sharp to make it 2-0 after Anthony Martial’s assist, which will consequently lead to Man United staff and board thinking about potentially keeping him around for the next season.

Attack Does Well Without Rashford

There are always going to be questions about how United’s attack will look without Marcus Rashford on the pitch, especially when he is having the best season of his career. But Ten Hag’s pre-match confidence was there for a reason, as United did well. The idea to put Sabitzer in a more advanced position worked like charm, while there were also other good performances. Martial did a fine job, adding an assist to his name, while Antony and Jadon Sancho for the most part of the match did add threat.

United Get Sevilla Back In The Tie

When you play Sevilla in the Europa League, you always have to be wary, so when United had a 2-0 lead 80 minutes into the match, it seemed as if this tie was going their way quite comfortably. Sevilla were not very good on the occasion, but United’s sloppiness and self satisfaction meant they did not score the third and ‘kill the tie’. The Devils eased off instead of finishing things off and Sevilla were lucky to score twice, but it also highlighted how meek United can be at times. That is why the trip to Spain will be much more nervous.

Personnel Issues Ahead Of Return Leg

Man United could have more personnel issues ahead of the second match against Sevilla. Bruno Fernandes will miss the game after he got booked, but both Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez got injured. Hopefully their problems are not serious and were more precautionary moves, but if they are not, the team will have to step up in Spain. They have shown they were the better team on the night – but not only was that not enough this time, they are also playing the team that is slowly becoming the ‘Real Madrid of Europa League’.

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