Sevilla of Spain overcame an early scare in the semi final of the Europa League in which Manchester United FC were awarded their 22nd penalty kick of the season in all competitions, when youngster Marcus Rashford was fouled in the Sevilla goal area with only just above seven minutes played. Bruno Fernandes, as usual, made no mistakes to convert the spotkick, his 14th penalty of the season since he joined the Red Devils. But on the 25th minute, former Liverpool FC forward Suso, whipped the equaliser beyond David deGea. On the 78th minute, Luuk de Jong pounced on a cross by Jesus Navas to give the Spanish team their qualification for their sixth Europa League/UEFA Cup final, and a date with either of Inter Milan or Ukrainian Shakhtar Donetsk. The victory is reminiscent of the UCL knockout tie between Sevilla and Manchester United FC when Sevilla also netted a 78th minute winner to eliminate Manchester United in 2018. The English club is still trophyless since that time.
In a game that the Sevilla goalkeeper could be seen as hero, the English club’s young attack could not find the cutting edge to beat Yassine Bounou in the Sevilla. In fact, the goalkeeper made six saves on the night to deny the rampaging Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford. Paul Pogba did have some measure of control in the midfield but the lapse in concentration in the defence allowed Navas to cross and gave enough time and space for de Jong to convert.
Luuk de Jong ended his goal drought with the winner against Manchester United FC in the German city of Cologne. The Dutchman had fired blank in his previous eleven matches.
The match was ridden with several incidents of blatant diving by players on both sides.
The loss is the third consecutive time Manchester United have been eliminated from Europe by Spanish clubs. Twice by Sevilla.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, the Manager of Manchester United, will now need to concentrate on his task of returning the club to its former glory by making aggressive deals in the summer transfer window.
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