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Dublin: 6°C Thursday 26 November 2020


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Sevilla 2-1 Man United

Hello, and welcome to tonight’s liveblog.

Man United have a chance to improve what already can be deemed a successful season under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, after they sealed Champions League qualification against Leicester on the final day of the Premier League season.

However, it won’t be easy if the Red Devils are to progress to the final of the Europa League.

They take on a Sevilla side who finished fourth in La Liga — behind third-place Atletico Madrid on goal difference only.

The Spanish outfit were impressive in the previous round, deservedly winning 1-0 on Tuesday against Wolves, who themselves finish only seven points behind Man United in seventh amid the belated conclusion of the Premier League season.

The Red Devils, meanwhile, looked a little rusty and needed extra-time to overcome a dogged FC Copenhagen 1-0 on Monday.

Who do you think will go through to the final?

Poll Results:

Man United (583)
Sevilla (481)

For me Cantona was an amazing player for the club. I need to do much, much better to be compared to him.”

Bruno Fernandes gave his thoughts on being compared to a Man United legend ahead of tonight’s game. Read the full interview here.

We’re underway…

It’s been a positive start by Man United.

They win a corner inside the opening minute. Shortly thereafter, Maguire gets on the end of a Pogba cross, but the defender is penalised for a foul as he attacks the ball.


Martial plays a clever reverse pass to Rashford, whose finish is well saved by Bono.

However, the England striker is brought down after taking the shot and the referee points to the spot.

Fernandes steps up and confidently slots the ball into the top corner.

That’s the Portuguese star’s ninth Europa League goal this season — he’s the competition’s top scorer.

Big chance!

Bruno Fernandes plays it to Fred, who goes past Santos Silva, before slicing his one-on-one finish.

United are well on top at the moment.

Sevilla have started to look more threatening.

After nice link-up play around the area, Ocampos’ shot from a tight angle is parried away by De Gea.

This is a really entertaining game so far.

Both sides are getting bodies forward and look threatening on the counter-attack.

United have used the ball better though and are deservedly ahead.

Lovely link-up play down the left between Ocampos and Sergio Reguilon. The latter’s cross to the far post allows former Liverpool man Suso to slot home unmarked.

Sevilla have responded really well since going behind.

Another chance for United!

Pogba tees up Martial for a shot on the edge of the area, but the French attacker curls his first-time effort over.

That’s a disappointing finish by his high standards.

fc-seville-manchester-united Lukas Podolski taking pictures of the trophy during tonight's game. Source: DPA/PA Images

A reminder of why some Irish viewers can’t watch tonight’s game…

Rashford charges forward but can’t find the target with his shot from the edge of the area.

This game is finely poised as we approach half-time.

The second half has begun…

Straight away, Man United miss a glorious chance.

Fernandes plays a perfectly weighted through pass to put through Greenwood, but Bono gets down well to make the save.

Fernandes crosses for Martial, whose shot is well saved by Bono.

Moments later, Rashford sees his goal-bound effort blocked after good work in the build-up from Martial.

This is another good spell for United.

Pogba plays in Martial, but the goalkeeper Bono’s trailing leg comes to the rescue, to keep the Frenchman’s shot out.

Sevilla are really under the cosh at the moment.

Sevilla make two changes.

Ocampos — Sevilla’s top scorer in all competitions — is replaced by Munir, who has one Spanish cap.

In addition, former Newcastle loan player Luuk de Jong comes on for En-Nesyri.

It’s hardly a major surprise, as both outgoing attackers have struggled to have a significant impact on this game.

Bono has been having a great game in goals so far for Sevilla.

If he emerges as the hero, expect endless U2-related puns in the ensuing match reports.

Marcus Rashford gets booked for petulantly slamming the ball to the ground after an officiating decision goes against him.

The England striker has not been at his best, experiencing a disappointing night so far.

Jesus Navas showing part of the reason why, at 34, he’s still a relatively rare case of a winger playing at a high level.

He initially stops the run of Rashford, before putting in a terrific tackle on Williams.

Defensively, the former Man City man has put in an excellent shift tonight.

Appeals for a penalty, as a Jordán free kick hits the arm of Fernandes. However, replays show the arm is not in an unnatural position and VAR rightly dismisses the Spaniards’ claims.

Meanwhile, Sevilla make another change — Vasquez replaces the goalscorer Suso.

Sevilla are in front for the first time in this game, with just over 10 minutes of normal time remaining.

It’s poor defending from a United perspective.

Navas produces a sumptuous cross for an unmarked De Jong — the former Newcastle man — to convert from close range on the half volley.

Fernandes and Lindelof are picked up by the camera arguing with one another following that setback.

Here’s a look at what could be the winning goal…

Fernandes goes down in the box under a challenge, but the referee says ‘no’ after consulting VAR.

It looked the right call — judging by replays, the Portuguese star appeared to go down far too easily.

Dan James, Mata and Fosu-Mensah are on for Williams, Rashford and Wan-Bissaka.

Sevilla also make a change, with Gudelj replacing Jordán.

There will be six minutes of stoppage time.

Can Man United find an equaliser?

A final throw of the dice for United, as Ighalo replaces the ineffectual Greenwood…

A post-match poll for you. Who do you see winning the Europa League now?

Poll Results:

Inter Milan (583)
Sevilla (481)
 Shakhtar Donetsk (7)

So that’s that.

Some ropey defending, combined with sub-par finishing, contributed to United’s downfall tonight.

Sevilla, without ever really dominating, took their chances and managed the game well. They have a number of technically superb players and many will now fancy them to overcome Inter or Shakhtar Donetsk in the final.

United, despite now going three years without a major trophy — which actually was the Europa League under Jose Mourinho — can take consolation from the fact that they had a decent season domestically, better than many pundits expected, and have secured the crucial financial boost of Champions League qualification.

Right, that’s all from me.

You can read our match report here, and we’ll have more reaction to follow.

Thanks for reading and commenting.

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About the author:

Paul Fennessy


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