Talking Points: Sevilla v Man Utd
Manchester United’s marathon 2019/20 season ended with an agonising 2-1 defeat in the semi-final of the UEFA Europa League.
The Reds stated well in Cologne and went ahead through Bruno Fernandes’s penalty, before Suso equalised on 26 minutes and then Luuk de Jong grabbed the winner late in the second half.
While it was a disappointing outcome for United, there were plenty of positives to take from a good performance against Sevilla and we've compiled some of them below with other points of interest.
BRUNO’S SCORING RUN
Fernandes put United in front when he coolly slotted his ninth-minute spot-kick past Bono. That brought his tally up to eight European goals for the season - five for Sporting, three for the Reds and two more in total than any other player in the competition. Given that there are only two matches left in this season’s Europa League, the midfielder is in with a great chance of finishing top scorer. Of the players still left in the tournament, Sevilla's Munir has five strikes to his name, while Internazionale’s Romelu Lukaku and Junior Moraes of Shakhtar Donetsk have four.
Check out these pics from a dramatic Europa League clash in Cologne.
Prior to Sunday, United had conceded just four goals in the whole of the tournament this season, while Sevilla had let in one in their last eight in all competitions. Therefore, many had anticipated a tense, tight affair in Germany, but it proved to be anything but. Solskjaer's men dominated for long spells in the game and registered 20 shots, while the Spanish side produced nine. Both sides gave their all and provided an attacking spectacle for the TV audience.
It’s easy to forget what a remarkable 12 months Brandon Williams has had. A year on from starting the 2019/20 season with the Under-23s, the young full-back played in his third senior cup semi-final for the Reds, and his first in Europe. With the rapid Suso bearing down on him and the adventurous Jesus Navas overlapping from defence, our no.53 certainly had his work cut out and after picking up an early booking, he did well to avoid a second caution and stay on the pitch until he was substituted in the 87th minute.
Take a look at the trending stats and opinions after a disappointing defeat in Cologne.
Defeat to Sevilla means United’s prolonged campaign ends with our 61st game. Incredibly, that’s a year and five days after 2019/20 began for us with a 4-0 win over Chelsea on the opening weekend. Despite the disappointing conclusion, the Reds' progress has been positive overall with three semi-finals reached in the cup competitions and third place secured in the Premier League - a position that takes us back into the Champions League next season.
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ANOTHER INCREDIBLE GOALKEEPER
The Reds met a stubborn stopper in Karl-Johan Johnsson when we locked horns with FC Copenhagen in the quarter-final, as the Scandinavian limited us to just one goal, and it was a similar story in the tie against Sevilla with Bono putting in a superb showing between the sticks. In particular, the goalkeeper made several excellent saves at the beginning of the second half to deny Anthony Martial. The Moroccan was probably Sevilla’s best player on the night and his contribution went a long way to determining the outcome of this game.
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