Manchester United’s Europa League dreams were ended in Seville on Thursday as they were dumped out of the competition after a 3-0 defeat to Sevilla.
Here are four things that United’s manager, Erik ten Hag, got wrong on the night:
Failing to kill the atmosphere
The intimidating atmosphere at the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium was certainly a factor in Manchester United’s defeat to Sevilla in the Europa League.
The crowd was hostile and passionate, and it seemed to have a psychological impact on the United players.
The early goal from Sevilla may have stemmed from the atmosphere, as the pressure seemed to have gotten to the United players. Additionally, United struggled to take the sting out of the game and failed to control the tempo, which allowed Sevilla to dictate the match. Overall, the atmosphere was a significant factor in United’s defeat and showed the importance of mental strength in high-pressure situations.
The Jadon Sancho dilemma
It’s worth noting that Jadon Sancho only joined Manchester United in the summer of 2021, so it hasn’t been two years since he signed for the club.
Additionally, while he hasn’t yet had a huge impact at United, it may be premature to label him a disappointment after just one season.
It’s also important to consider that football is a team sport, and a player’s individual performance can be impacted by factors such as tactics, team chemistry, and opposition quality.
That being said, it’s understandable that fans may be frustrated with his performance in certain matches.
Lack of discipline
After falling behind early, United began to play slowly, and their heads dropped, leading to small fouls creeping into their game.
Marcel Sabitzer committed a foul on a Sevilla player, while Antony received a booking for kicking out at Acuna in a fit of petulance. He even sarcastically shook the referee’s hand. Casemiro also received a booking for a professional foul.
As the game progressed, United became increasingly frustrated. It wasn’t until after the hour mark that the Red Devils managed to create an attempt of note, which was blocked by Wout Weghorst’s shot.
Not starting Fred
The Red Devils’ best player this season has been Fred, and although he had an excellent performance in the first leg, he was rewarded with a spot on the bench.
By the time he was introduced to the field, his two-goal salvo in Manchester had become a distant memory. Instead of selecting the Brazilian, Ten Hag chose Sabitzer, Casemiro, and Cristian Eriksen, who were all largely static.
Although Fred brought some much-needed energy to the midfield, it was too late, as Sevilla had already taken complete control of the tie.