Ambush at Old Trafford - Sevilla oust Man U from Champions League

Tyler Owen
March 15, 2018

Listless, dire and abject all aptly the performance produced by Jose Mourinho's side at a packed Old Trafford on Tuesday. Fellaini goes in for instead of Mata.

After an underwhelming debut season in England a year ago, Guardiola has City on the verge of a Premier League title - having won 26 of their 30 games so far - having already won the Carabao Cup and with a place in the Champions League quarter-finals already confirmed. Jose Mourinho has never been known as a man obsessed with creating the ideal attacking aesthetic, but he does deliver trophies.

The loss was arguably United's most disappointing this season. They did attack but it was without guile or craft, charging at the Spanish defence in the hope it would simply collapse under pressure.

Wenger also downplayed the thousands of empty seats that have been seen at the Emirates in recent games as season ticket holders have stayed away to show their displeasure with the team's results - saying Arsenal have sold out most games since he became manager. United fans will demand a response from their under-performing side and FA Cup progress in a match when the manager's selection and approach will be under scrutiny. But rather than simply a blip, this has become the norm at Old Trafford. That's changed a bit under Mourinho, United have only lost one game in the last 15 months at Old Trafford, and that was against Manchester City, and the previous defeat was against Manchester City. That is the backdrop against which Mourinho works. "So I don't think it's anything new for the club", the Portuguese said curtly.

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The shot-stopper won three successive Player of the Year awards for United between 2013 and 2016 as the team's overall threat waned post-Sir Alex Ferguson, and he is in the running for another this term with his quality in between the sticks not being replicated in other areas of the field.

"True, he did go closer than his teammates to breaking the deadlock but if picking him always felt like turning up at a party with a baseball bat, United were duly lacking in any subtlety".

However yesterday he asked for permission to enter Sevilla's dressing room, before congratulating the players on their brilliant performance and wishing them good luck for the rest of the competition. To add to it all, it is possible for City to clinch and celebrate the Premier League title with a victory against United in their derby at the Etihad on April 7.

Even if they win the competition, it will only serve to paper over some worrying cracks, as the EFL Cup and Europa League triumphs did past year. His longest period at one club was 1,205 days in his first spell in charge at Chelsea from 2004.

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