Maguire, De Gea’s mistakes doom Man United to exit as Sevilla’s UEL love affair goes on

SEVILLE, Spain — Manchester United endured a disastrous night in Spain as they were dumped out of the Europa League by Sevilla. United were thumped 3-0 at the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium as they lost their quarterfinal tie 5-2 on aggregate.

Youssef En-Nesyri scored twice after taking advantage of calamitous mistakes from Harry Maguire and then David de Gea either side of Loic Bade‘s header. Erik ten Hag’s side, who dominated most of last week’s first leg at Old Trafford, could only manage three shots on target as they were out-played and out-fought by a team who are struggling at the wrong end of the LaLiga table.

Meanwhile, Sevilla, who knocked United out of the Champions League in 2018 and the Europa League in 2020, are into the semifinals as they chase a seventh Europa League title.

Rapid reaction

1. United only have themselves to blame for a shock European exit

This is a big week for United and it’s started in the worst way possible. Their hopes of a cup treble are over after they were dumped out of the Europa League by Sevilla and now Ten Hag must pick up his players for their FA Cup semifinal against Brighton at Wembley on Sunday and a crucial Premier League clash at Tottenham four days later.

There has been lots to like about Ten Hag’s first season in charge — particularly winning a first trophy since 2017 — but United’s performance at the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium will raise fears that injuries and a hectic schedule are beginning to take their toll and the campaign is in danger of drifting towards a disappointing end.

This defeat will sting even more given that United, who missed the suspended Bruno Fernandes and injured duo Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane, were in control of the tie for more than an hour of the first leg at Old Trafford before conceding two soft own goals in the final six minutes. It gave Sevilla a lifeline to finish the job in front of their own fans and, despite sitting 13th in LaLiga, they made Ten Hag’s team look like the one struggling in mid-table. Sevilla deserved to win but United only have themselves to blame.

2. Maguire makes a strong case to move on

The more pessimistic United fans were predicting the end of their season when Martinez and Varane were ruled out with injuries and Maguire will have done nothing to ease their nerves. His early mistake was comical, first asking for the ball from De Gea and then trying to flick a first-time pass out wide with apparently very little understanding of what was around him. Maguire was left scrabbling when the ball hit Erik Lamela and he could do nothing as En-Nesyri rifled his shot into the bottom corner.

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After a season in the shadows, Maguire — still the most expensive defender in the world — looks devoid of any confidence and it will be a relief to many United supporters that their club captain is suspended for the game against Brighton at Wembley.

He looks to have reached a stage in his career at Old Trafford where it feels very unlikely that there’s a way back. His manager prefers other players in his position and the fans have lost all trust. There will be interest from other clubs in the summer and it might be time for Maguire to move on. A change of scenery at a club where the spotlight isn’t as bright may well do him some good.

3. Sevilla love the Europa League

Sevilla saw their opportunity and took it, and the Kings of the Europa League are back doing what they do best.

Jose Luis Mendilibar looked like a coach with other things on his mind when he turned up at Old Trafford last week, making changes to a team which still isn’t safe from the drop in Spain. But after two late goals earned a 2-2 draw in Manchester and a 2-0 win over Valencia on Sunday to ease their relegation fears, Sevilla looked far more like a team that want to win the Europa League for a seventh time since 2006. They played with energy and a ferocious aggression and United couldn’t cope.

It started well before kick-off with Sevilla fans welcoming the team coach with flares and smoke bombs and by the time the match started, the stadium was a pulsing mass of bouncing white shirts and red flags. Marcel Sabitzer was heaved into the advertising boards during a frantic opening which turned up the temperature even further and when Maguire was hounded into his early mistake, Sevilla looked well set to knock United out of Europe for the third time since 2018.

It’s been a dismal domestic season for Sevilla, who are used to challenging for the Champions League places, but winning the Europa League again will make it an instant success.

Best and worst performers

Best: Ivan Rakitic, MF, Sevilla

Calm and composed in midfield and got the assist for Sevilla’s second goal from a corner.

Best: Youssef En-Nesyri, ST, Sevilla

Only on the bench at Old Trafford, he was back in the team here and took his early chance well and then got a second late on.

Best: Loic Bade, DF, Sevilla

Scored the crucial goal and kept United very quiet at the other end.

Worst: Harry Maguire, DF, Man United

Only in the team because of injuries to Martinez and Varane, he gifted Sevilla an early goal with a horrible mistake.

Worst: Jadon Sancho, FW, Man United

Struggled to have any influence in the first half and was replaced at half-time with Marcus Rashford.

Worst: David De Gea, GK, Man United

Had a role in the opening goal and made a shocking error for Sevilla’s third goal.

Highlights and notable moments

A woeful start from Manchester United resulted in an an early goal for Sevilla’s Youssef En-Nesyri who capitalized on De Gea and Maguire’s mistake.

Within two minutes of the second half, Sevilla doubled their lead with a looping header by Bade.

The night went from bad to worse as De Gea gifted Sevilla their third goal to finish the match.

After the match: What the managers and players said

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag to BT Sport: “We have to do better, that’s the demand. We were not composed, not calm. We didn’t beat the press, when you do there are so many spaces behind, and it was obvious at the start how to do it.

“We can’t run away from it. On Sunday we have another opportunity and have to step up and show more character and personality. “It’s not about them [the players they were missing], it’s about the players on the pitch. They have to perform, I believe in them and trust them but they have to show it and they were not good enough.”

Key stats (provided by ESPN Stats & Information research)

  • Youssef En-Nesyri has scored 13 goals in all competitions since January. Among players from Europe’s top 5 leagues, only Erling Haaland, Karim Benzema, Marcus Rashford and Victor Osimhen have scored more goals in that span.

  • Man United have allowed 10 goals on corner kicks this season, tied with Tottenham and Chelsea for the 2nd-most in all competitions among Premier League teams this season (Bournemouth has allowed 14 goals from corners).

  • David de Gea: 15th error leading to a goal over the last 5 seasons, tied with Jordan Pickford for the most by any goalkeeper in Europe’s top 5 leagues in that span (all competitions).

Up next

Manchester United: The Red Devils turn their attention to the FA Cup semifinal against an in-form Brighton side on Sunday, April 23 (stream live on ESPN+ at 11:30 a.m. ET) before facing Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League as they fight to secure a top four spot ahead of the final stretch of the season.

Sevilla: Los Nervionenses will return to action in LaLiga, hosting Villarreal on Sunday, April 23 (stream live on ESPN+ at 3 p.m. ET).

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