Manchester United Must Break Record to Advance to Europa League Semi-Final

Manchester United Must Break Record to Advance to Europa League Semi-Final
Sevilla's Youssef En-Nesyri (second right) celebrates their side's second goal of the game, an own goal scored by Manchester United's Harry Maguire during the UEFA Europa League quarter-final first leg match at Old Trafford, Manchester. Picture date: Thursday April 13, 2023. - Photo by Icon sport

Manchester United must defeat Sevilla for the first time ever tonight at the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium if the English side are to advance to the Europa League semi-finals.

In their previous four meetings in major European competitions, the Red Devils have drawn two and lost two with their Spanish opponents.

Marcel Sabitzer’s brace put them up 2-0 against the La Liga side at Old Trafford last Thursday, and they appeared to be on track to end their dismal record against them.

However, late own goals from Tyrell Malacia and Harry Maguire threw the quarter final contest wide open prior to the second leg at Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.


United Face Into Tough Task Away in Seville

And that home ground has been a fortress for six-time Europa League champions Sevilla, who have won 23 of their last 26 home games in the competition.

Jose Luis Mendilibar is Sevilla’s seventh manager in the Europa League, and five of the prior six have won their opening home game in the competition.

However, United’s Europa League away record is encouraging. They have lost just one of their last 12 away matches, a 3-2 loss to Roma in May 2021, while winning seven and drawing four.

Sevilla’s LaLiga record of nine wins, eight draws, and twelve losses showcases the La Liga side’s rollercoaster season in 2022/23.

A crucial 2-0 victory at Valencia on the road helped them move further away from the relegation zone and extend their current unblemished streak to four games.

However, the majority of their recent losses have occurred away from home.

United, meanwhile, reverted to winning ways against Nottingham Forest on Sunday and have not lost in four games since April 2’s 2-0 loss at Newcastle. In fact, that is their only defeat since the 7-0 thrashing at Liverpool; since then, they have won six games and drawn two.


Sevilla’s Argentinean fullback Gonzalo Montiel is suspended after receiving three yellow cards in the Europa League this season.

Left-back Alex Telles will also be available to the Spaniards despite presently being on loan from United.

Bruno Fernandes, Ten Hag’s standout player, will be unavailable due to his three bookings, the most recent for handball last week.

The Red Devils have received a significant boost as leading scorer Marcus Rashford has returned to training and traveled to Sevilla.

Sabitzer is also questionable after being withdrawn from the starting lineup for Sunday’s match against Nottingham Forest due to a warm-up injury.

Erik ten Hag’s side will also be without Alejandro Garnacho, Donny van de Beek, Lisandro Martinez, and Raphael Varane, who both suffered injuries in the first leg at Old Trafford.

Stars on Both Sides Should Make for Engaging Contest

Ivan Rakitic, an experienced midfielder, is Sevilla’s star player in the center of the field.

However, substitutes Youssef En-Nesyri and Jesus Navas caused difficulties for Manchester’s two goals.

All eyes will be on Casemiro to keep the midfield together in the absence of Fernandes and possibly Sabitzer; having Christian Eriksen alongside him could be a boost.

Up front, Antony will be eager to build on his goal against Forest and stand up when his team needs him

Whoever advances will face either Italian powerhouse Juventus, who have just had their Serie A points deduction overturned, or Sporting Lisbon in what would be an enticing semi final matchup.

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