Aberdeen

Aberdeen slideshow

<p>Celtic&#39;s Tom Rogic made his 10th Scottish Premiership start for Celtic this season against Aberdeen.</p>
Celtic's Tom Rogic made his 10th Scottish Premiership start for Celtic this season against Aberdeen.

Celtic's Tom Rogic made his 10th Scottish Premiership start for Celtic this season against Aberdeen.

The French-Malian was on target once and laid another for his teammate at the Pittodrie Stadium
Dembele stars as Celtic defeat Aberdeen
The French-Malian was on target once and laid another for his teammate at the Pittodrie Stadium
Aberdeen 0 Celtic 2: Hosts&#39; lamentable run against Scottish champions elect ends in 10th successive loss
Aberdeen 0 Celtic 2: Hosts' lamentable run against Scottish champions elect ends in 10th successive loss
Aberdeen 0 Celtic 2: Hosts' lamentable run against Scottish champions elect ends in 10th successive loss
Aberdeen 0 Celtic 2: Hosts&#39; lamentable run against Scottish champions elect ends in 10th successive loss
Aberdeen 0 Celtic 2: Hosts' lamentable run against Scottish champions elect ends in 10th successive loss
Aberdeen 0 Celtic 2: Hosts' lamentable run against Scottish champions elect ends in 10th successive loss
Aberdeen’s lamentable history against Celtic – who they last ­defeated in February 2016, when Ronny Deila was in charge at Parkhead – continued with a 10th successive loss to the champions, for whom Moussa Dembele and Kieran Tierney scored late in each half. To add to the hosts’ dismay, they could not take advantage of Mikael Lustig’s dismissal with quarter of an hour left to play and, indeed, had Sam Cosgrove sent off shortly after his arrival as a substitute. Aberdeen now trail Rangers by three points and are 12 points adrift of Celtic. Celtic arrived in the Granite City with the benefit of a perfect record under Brendan Rodgers of eight wins from as many meetings with the team who finished runners-up in all three domestic competitions last season. By contrast, Aberdeen’s response to the challenge of crucial contests was in question, not only because of their run of defeats against the champions but also because of three losses to Rangers in this campaign plus a trip to Easter Road which saw them well beaten by Hibernian a week previously, a setback which ended a run of six successive league victories. Derek McInnes was not aided by the absence of his captain, Graeme Shinnie, serving the second game of a two-match suspension, or that of loanee Ryan Christie, prohibited from playing against his parent club. The Aberdeen manager made two changes from the side defeated in Edinburgh and replaced Adam Rooney and Christie with Stevie May and Kari Arnason respectively. Rodgers also switched personnel after the 3-0 defeat by Zenit St Petersburg in the Europa League on Thursday, with Eboue Kouassi and Callum McGregor benched and Tom Rogic and Scott Sinclair given starts. Celtic deployed three at the back – Lustig, Jozo Simunovic and Kris Ajer – but Aberdeen could only exploit the flank space intermittently, principally on their left, where Gary Mackay-Steven was able to get to the corner flag on a couple of occasions. But his most promising delivery was wasted ­because none of his colleagues had made it into the box when the ball arrived. Celtic outmuscled Aberdeen in what has become a nightmare fixture for the Dons Credit: Jeff Holmes/PA Kenny McLean was even more frustrated on the other wing, first when he saw a wicked free-kick ­delivery fall perfectly towards the back post for Arnason. The most fractional touch would have brought a goal, but the Icelandic defender somehow failed to make the crucial contact. An equally clever overhead lofted ball from McLean skipped just beyond May’s straining boot, with only Dorus de Vries to beat. These alarms woke Celtic from their post-Zenit torpor and Sinclair almost forced an improbable breakthrough with a corner-kick which skipped off the top of the crossbar. Dembele and Rogic came to life, too, each seeing efforts blocked in the box before Olivier Ntcham beat Freddie Woodman, but not the woodwork, with a shot which clipped the goalkeeper’s left-hand post. Aberdeen’s vulnerability was exploited nine minutes before the break when James Forrest got beyond Andrew Considine for a cross which eluded Woodman to be met towards the back post by Dembele, who had slipped away from Arnason to end a sequence of five games without a goal when he headed home almost on the line. The hour mark, normally the time for Rogic to make way, found Celtic with other concerns when Simunovic and Ajer clashed heads to leave the latter prone on the turf, in need of prolonged treatment before being allowed to continue with a bandage wrapped around his head. Celtic&#39;s Mikael Lustig is sent off Credit: Jeff Holmes/PA Rogic’s departure time arrived in the 72nd minute, when he was ­replaced by McGregor, whose ­presence helped stabilise the Celtic midfield after scares which saw McLean, Niall McGinn and ­Anthony O’Connor have attempts blocked in front of goal. The leaders, however, swiftly had another problem to ­address when Lustig, who had been cautioned in the first half, clattered Mackay-Steven and was shown the inevitable red card. Aberdeen, sensing a change in fortune, began to pour forward, but the parity they achieved was not the one they sought. Instead, they were also reduced to 10 men when Cosgrove, who had been on the field for only eight minutes, scythed Scott Brown and was dismissed. Between times, they had suffered an even more damaging blow when Celtic broke upfield and Dembele fed Tierney for a shot on the run which swept beyond Woodman to guarantee yet further Aberdeen dismay in this fixture. Match details Aberdeen (4-1-4-1): Woodman; Logan, Arnason (Maynard 90) McKenna, Considine; O’Connor; McGinn, McLean, Nwakali (Rooney 82), Mackay-Steven; May (Cosgrove 76). Subs (unused): Rogers (g), Reynolds, Ball, Wright. Booked: McKenna. Sent off: Cosgrove. Celtic (3-4-2-1): De Vries; Lustig, Simunovic, Ajer; Forrest (Hendry 77), Ntcham, Brown, Tierney; Rogic (McGregor 72), Sinclair (Edouard 80); Tierney. Subs (unused): Bain (g), Miller, Kouassi, Musonda. Booked: Lustig. Sent off: Lustig. Referee: John Beaton.
Aberdeen 0 Celtic 2: Hosts' lamentable run against Scottish champions elect ends in 10th successive loss
Aberdeen’s lamentable history against Celtic – who they last ­defeated in February 2016, when Ronny Deila was in charge at Parkhead – continued with a 10th successive loss to the champions, for whom Moussa Dembele and Kieran Tierney scored late in each half. To add to the hosts’ dismay, they could not take advantage of Mikael Lustig’s dismissal with quarter of an hour left to play and, indeed, had Sam Cosgrove sent off shortly after his arrival as a substitute. Aberdeen now trail Rangers by three points and are 12 points adrift of Celtic. Celtic arrived in the Granite City with the benefit of a perfect record under Brendan Rodgers of eight wins from as many meetings with the team who finished runners-up in all three domestic competitions last season. By contrast, Aberdeen’s response to the challenge of crucial contests was in question, not only because of their run of defeats against the champions but also because of three losses to Rangers in this campaign plus a trip to Easter Road which saw them well beaten by Hibernian a week previously, a setback which ended a run of six successive league victories. Derek McInnes was not aided by the absence of his captain, Graeme Shinnie, serving the second game of a two-match suspension, or that of loanee Ryan Christie, prohibited from playing against his parent club. The Aberdeen manager made two changes from the side defeated in Edinburgh and replaced Adam Rooney and Christie with Stevie May and Kari Arnason respectively. Rodgers also switched personnel after the 3-0 defeat by Zenit St Petersburg in the Europa League on Thursday, with Eboue Kouassi and Callum McGregor benched and Tom Rogic and Scott Sinclair given starts. Celtic deployed three at the back – Lustig, Jozo Simunovic and Kris Ajer – but Aberdeen could only exploit the flank space intermittently, principally on their left, where Gary Mackay-Steven was able to get to the corner flag on a couple of occasions. But his most promising delivery was wasted ­because none of his colleagues had made it into the box when the ball arrived. Celtic outmuscled Aberdeen in what has become a nightmare fixture for the Dons Credit: Jeff Holmes/PA Kenny McLean was even more frustrated on the other wing, first when he saw a wicked free-kick ­delivery fall perfectly towards the back post for Arnason. The most fractional touch would have brought a goal, but the Icelandic defender somehow failed to make the crucial contact. An equally clever overhead lofted ball from McLean skipped just beyond May’s straining boot, with only Dorus de Vries to beat. These alarms woke Celtic from their post-Zenit torpor and Sinclair almost forced an improbable breakthrough with a corner-kick which skipped off the top of the crossbar. Dembele and Rogic came to life, too, each seeing efforts blocked in the box before Olivier Ntcham beat Freddie Woodman, but not the woodwork, with a shot which clipped the goalkeeper’s left-hand post. Aberdeen’s vulnerability was exploited nine minutes before the break when James Forrest got beyond Andrew Considine for a cross which eluded Woodman to be met towards the back post by Dembele, who had slipped away from Arnason to end a sequence of five games without a goal when he headed home almost on the line. The hour mark, normally the time for Rogic to make way, found Celtic with other concerns when Simunovic and Ajer clashed heads to leave the latter prone on the turf, in need of prolonged treatment before being allowed to continue with a bandage wrapped around his head. Celtic's Mikael Lustig is sent off Credit: Jeff Holmes/PA Rogic’s departure time arrived in the 72nd minute, when he was ­replaced by McGregor, whose ­presence helped stabilise the Celtic midfield after scares which saw McLean, Niall McGinn and ­Anthony O’Connor have attempts blocked in front of goal. The leaders, however, swiftly had another problem to ­address when Lustig, who had been cautioned in the first half, clattered Mackay-Steven and was shown the inevitable red card. Aberdeen, sensing a change in fortune, began to pour forward, but the parity they achieved was not the one they sought. Instead, they were also reduced to 10 men when Cosgrove, who had been on the field for only eight minutes, scythed Scott Brown and was dismissed. Between times, they had suffered an even more damaging blow when Celtic broke upfield and Dembele fed Tierney for a shot on the run which swept beyond Woodman to guarantee yet further Aberdeen dismay in this fixture. Match details Aberdeen (4-1-4-1): Woodman; Logan, Arnason (Maynard 90) McKenna, Considine; O’Connor; McGinn, McLean, Nwakali (Rooney 82), Mackay-Steven; May (Cosgrove 76). Subs (unused): Rogers (g), Reynolds, Ball, Wright. Booked: McKenna. Sent off: Cosgrove. Celtic (3-4-2-1): De Vries; Lustig, Simunovic, Ajer; Forrest (Hendry 77), Ntcham, Brown, Tierney; Rogic (McGregor 72), Sinclair (Edouard 80); Tierney. Subs (unused): Bain (g), Miller, Kouassi, Musonda. Booked: Lustig. Sent off: Lustig. Referee: John Beaton.
Aberdeen’s lamentable history against Celtic – who they last ­defeated in February 2016, when Ronny Deila was in charge at Parkhead – continued with a 10th successive loss to the champions, for whom Moussa Dembele and Kieran Tierney scored late in each half. To add to the hosts’ dismay, they could not take advantage of Mikael Lustig’s dismissal with quarter of an hour left to play and, indeed, had Sam Cosgrove sent off shortly after his arrival as a substitute. Aberdeen now trail Rangers by three points and are 12 points adrift of Celtic. Celtic arrived in the Granite City with the benefit of a perfect record under Brendan Rodgers of eight wins from as many meetings with the team who finished runners-up in all three domestic competitions last season. By contrast, Aberdeen’s response to the challenge of crucial contests was in question, not only because of their run of defeats against the champions but also because of three losses to Rangers in this campaign plus a trip to Easter Road which saw them well beaten by Hibernian a week previously, a setback which ended a run of six successive league victories. Derek McInnes was not aided by the absence of his captain, Graeme Shinnie, serving the second game of a two-match suspension, or that of loanee Ryan Christie, prohibited from playing against his parent club. The Aberdeen manager made two changes from the side defeated in Edinburgh and replaced Adam Rooney and Christie with Stevie May and Kari Arnason respectively. Rodgers also switched personnel after the 3-0 defeat by Zenit St Petersburg in the Europa League on Thursday, with Eboue Kouassi and Callum McGregor benched and Tom Rogic and Scott Sinclair given starts. Celtic deployed three at the back – Lustig, Jozo Simunovic and Kris Ajer – but Aberdeen could only exploit the flank space intermittently, principally on their left, where Gary Mackay-Steven was able to get to the corner flag on a couple of occasions. But his most promising delivery was wasted ­because none of his colleagues had made it into the box when the ball arrived. Celtic outmuscled Aberdeen in what has become a nightmare fixture for the Dons Credit: Jeff Holmes/PA Kenny McLean was even more frustrated on the other wing, first when he saw a wicked free-kick ­delivery fall perfectly towards the back post for Arnason. The most fractional touch would have brought a goal, but the Icelandic defender somehow failed to make the crucial contact. An equally clever overhead lofted ball from McLean skipped just beyond May’s straining boot, with only Dorus de Vries to beat. These alarms woke Celtic from their post-Zenit torpor and Sinclair almost forced an improbable breakthrough with a corner-kick which skipped off the top of the crossbar. Dembele and Rogic came to life, too, each seeing efforts blocked in the box before Olivier Ntcham beat Freddie Woodman, but not the woodwork, with a shot which clipped the goalkeeper’s left-hand post. Aberdeen’s vulnerability was exploited nine minutes before the break when James Forrest got beyond Andrew Considine for a cross which eluded Woodman to be met towards the back post by Dembele, who had slipped away from Arnason to end a sequence of five games without a goal when he headed home almost on the line. The hour mark, normally the time for Rogic to make way, found Celtic with other concerns when Simunovic and Ajer clashed heads to leave the latter prone on the turf, in need of prolonged treatment before being allowed to continue with a bandage wrapped around his head. Celtic&#39;s Mikael Lustig is sent off Credit: Jeff Holmes/PA Rogic’s departure time arrived in the 72nd minute, when he was ­replaced by McGregor, whose ­presence helped stabilise the Celtic midfield after scares which saw McLean, Niall McGinn and ­Anthony O’Connor have attempts blocked in front of goal. The leaders, however, swiftly had another problem to ­address when Lustig, who had been cautioned in the first half, clattered Mackay-Steven and was shown the inevitable red card. Aberdeen, sensing a change in fortune, began to pour forward, but the parity they achieved was not the one they sought. Instead, they were also reduced to 10 men when Cosgrove, who had been on the field for only eight minutes, scythed Scott Brown and was dismissed. Between times, they had suffered an even more damaging blow when Celtic broke upfield and Dembele fed Tierney for a shot on the run which swept beyond Woodman to guarantee yet further Aberdeen dismay in this fixture. Match details Aberdeen (4-1-4-1): Woodman; Logan, Arnason (Maynard 90) McKenna, Considine; O’Connor; McGinn, McLean, Nwakali (Rooney 82), Mackay-Steven; May (Cosgrove 76). Subs (unused): Rogers (g), Reynolds, Ball, Wright. Booked: McKenna. Sent off: Cosgrove. Celtic (3-4-2-1): De Vries; Lustig, Simunovic, Ajer; Forrest (Hendry 77), Ntcham, Brown, Tierney; Rogic (McGregor 72), Sinclair (Edouard 80); Tierney. Subs (unused): Bain (g), Miller, Kouassi, Musonda. Booked: Lustig. Sent off: Lustig. Referee: John Beaton.
Aberdeen 0 Celtic 2: Hosts' lamentable run against Scottish champions elect ends in 10th successive loss
Aberdeen’s lamentable history against Celtic – who they last ­defeated in February 2016, when Ronny Deila was in charge at Parkhead – continued with a 10th successive loss to the champions, for whom Moussa Dembele and Kieran Tierney scored late in each half. To add to the hosts’ dismay, they could not take advantage of Mikael Lustig’s dismissal with quarter of an hour left to play and, indeed, had Sam Cosgrove sent off shortly after his arrival as a substitute. Aberdeen now trail Rangers by three points and are 12 points adrift of Celtic. Celtic arrived in the Granite City with the benefit of a perfect record under Brendan Rodgers of eight wins from as many meetings with the team who finished runners-up in all three domestic competitions last season. By contrast, Aberdeen’s response to the challenge of crucial contests was in question, not only because of their run of defeats against the champions but also because of three losses to Rangers in this campaign plus a trip to Easter Road which saw them well beaten by Hibernian a week previously, a setback which ended a run of six successive league victories. Derek McInnes was not aided by the absence of his captain, Graeme Shinnie, serving the second game of a two-match suspension, or that of loanee Ryan Christie, prohibited from playing against his parent club. The Aberdeen manager made two changes from the side defeated in Edinburgh and replaced Adam Rooney and Christie with Stevie May and Kari Arnason respectively. Rodgers also switched personnel after the 3-0 defeat by Zenit St Petersburg in the Europa League on Thursday, with Eboue Kouassi and Callum McGregor benched and Tom Rogic and Scott Sinclair given starts. Celtic deployed three at the back – Lustig, Jozo Simunovic and Kris Ajer – but Aberdeen could only exploit the flank space intermittently, principally on their left, where Gary Mackay-Steven was able to get to the corner flag on a couple of occasions. But his most promising delivery was wasted ­because none of his colleagues had made it into the box when the ball arrived. Celtic outmuscled Aberdeen in what has become a nightmare fixture for the Dons Credit: Jeff Holmes/PA Kenny McLean was even more frustrated on the other wing, first when he saw a wicked free-kick ­delivery fall perfectly towards the back post for Arnason. The most fractional touch would have brought a goal, but the Icelandic defender somehow failed to make the crucial contact. An equally clever overhead lofted ball from McLean skipped just beyond May’s straining boot, with only Dorus de Vries to beat. These alarms woke Celtic from their post-Zenit torpor and Sinclair almost forced an improbable breakthrough with a corner-kick which skipped off the top of the crossbar. Dembele and Rogic came to life, too, each seeing efforts blocked in the box before Olivier Ntcham beat Freddie Woodman, but not the woodwork, with a shot which clipped the goalkeeper’s left-hand post. Aberdeen’s vulnerability was exploited nine minutes before the break when James Forrest got beyond Andrew Considine for a cross which eluded Woodman to be met towards the back post by Dembele, who had slipped away from Arnason to end a sequence of five games without a goal when he headed home almost on the line. The hour mark, normally the time for Rogic to make way, found Celtic with other concerns when Simunovic and Ajer clashed heads to leave the latter prone on the turf, in need of prolonged treatment before being allowed to continue with a bandage wrapped around his head. Celtic's Mikael Lustig is sent off Credit: Jeff Holmes/PA Rogic’s departure time arrived in the 72nd minute, when he was ­replaced by McGregor, whose ­presence helped stabilise the Celtic midfield after scares which saw McLean, Niall McGinn and ­Anthony O’Connor have attempts blocked in front of goal. The leaders, however, swiftly had another problem to ­address when Lustig, who had been cautioned in the first half, clattered Mackay-Steven and was shown the inevitable red card. Aberdeen, sensing a change in fortune, began to pour forward, but the parity they achieved was not the one they sought. Instead, they were also reduced to 10 men when Cosgrove, who had been on the field for only eight minutes, scythed Scott Brown and was dismissed. Between times, they had suffered an even more damaging blow when Celtic broke upfield and Dembele fed Tierney for a shot on the run which swept beyond Woodman to guarantee yet further Aberdeen dismay in this fixture. Match details Aberdeen (4-1-4-1): Woodman; Logan, Arnason (Maynard 90) McKenna, Considine; O’Connor; McGinn, McLean, Nwakali (Rooney 82), Mackay-Steven; May (Cosgrove 76). Subs (unused): Rogers (g), Reynolds, Ball, Wright. Booked: McKenna. Sent off: Cosgrove. Celtic (3-4-2-1): De Vries; Lustig, Simunovic, Ajer; Forrest (Hendry 77), Ntcham, Brown, Tierney; Rogic (McGregor 72), Sinclair (Edouard 80); Tierney. Subs (unused): Bain (g), Miller, Kouassi, Musonda. Booked: Lustig. Sent off: Lustig. Referee: John Beaton.
Aberdeen 0 Celtic 2: Hosts&#39; lamentable run against Scottish champions elect ends in 10th successive loss
Aberdeen 0 Celtic 2: Hosts' lamentable run against Scottish champions elect ends in 10th successive loss
Aberdeen 0 Celtic 2: Hosts' lamentable run against Scottish champions elect ends in 10th successive loss
Aberdeen’s lamentable history against Celtic – who they last ­defeated in February 2016, when Ronny Deila was in charge at Parkhead – continued with a 10th successive loss to the champions, for whom Moussa Dembele and Kieran Tierney scored late in each half. To add to the hosts’ dismay, they could not take advantage of Mikael Lustig’s dismissal with quarter of an hour left to play and, indeed, had Sam Cosgrove sent off shortly after his arrival as a substitute. Aberdeen now trail Rangers by three points and are 12 points adrift of Celtic. Celtic arrived in the Granite City with the benefit of a perfect record under Brendan Rodgers of eight wins from as many meetings with the team who finished runners-up in all three domestic competitions last season. By contrast, Aberdeen’s response to the challenge of crucial contests was in question, not only because of their run of defeats against the champions but also because of three losses to Rangers in this campaign plus a trip to Easter Road which saw them well beaten by Hibernian a week previously, a setback which ended a run of six successive league victories. Derek McInnes was not aided by the absence of his captain, Graeme Shinnie, serving the second game of a two-match suspension, or that of loanee Ryan Christie, prohibited from playing against his parent club. The Aberdeen manager made two changes from the side defeated in Edinburgh and replaced Adam Rooney and Christie with Stevie May and Kari Arnason respectively. Rodgers also switched personnel after the 3-0 defeat by Zenit St Petersburg in the Europa League on Thursday, with Eboue Kouassi and Callum McGregor benched and Tom Rogic and Scott Sinclair given starts. Celtic deployed three at the back – Lustig, Jozo Simunovic and Kris Ajer – but Aberdeen could only exploit the flank space intermittently, principally on their left, where Gary Mackay-Steven was able to get to the corner flag on a couple of occasions. But his most promising delivery was wasted ­because none of his colleagues had made it into the box when the ball arrived. Celtic outmuscled Aberdeen in what has become a nightmare fixture for the Dons Credit: Jeff Holmes/PA Kenny McLean was even more frustrated on the other wing, first when he saw a wicked free-kick ­delivery fall perfectly towards the back post for Arnason. The most fractional touch would have brought a goal, but the Icelandic defender somehow failed to make the crucial contact. An equally clever overhead lofted ball from McLean skipped just beyond May’s straining boot, with only Dorus de Vries to beat. These alarms woke Celtic from their post-Zenit torpor and Sinclair almost forced an improbable breakthrough with a corner-kick which skipped off the top of the crossbar. Dembele and Rogic came to life, too, each seeing efforts blocked in the box before Olivier Ntcham beat Freddie Woodman, but not the woodwork, with a shot which clipped the goalkeeper’s left-hand post. Aberdeen’s vulnerability was exploited nine minutes before the break when James Forrest got beyond Andrew Considine for a cross which eluded Woodman to be met towards the back post by Dembele, who had slipped away from Arnason to end a sequence of five games without a goal when he headed home almost on the line. The hour mark, normally the time for Rogic to make way, found Celtic with other concerns when Simunovic and Ajer clashed heads to leave the latter prone on the turf, in need of prolonged treatment before being allowed to continue with a bandage wrapped around his head. Celtic&#39;s Mikael Lustig is sent off Credit: Jeff Holmes/PA Rogic’s departure time arrived in the 72nd minute, when he was ­replaced by McGregor, whose ­presence helped stabilise the Celtic midfield after scares which saw McLean, Niall McGinn and ­Anthony O’Connor have attempts blocked in front of goal. The leaders, however, swiftly had another problem to ­address when Lustig, who had been cautioned in the first half, clattered Mackay-Steven and was shown the inevitable red card. Aberdeen, sensing a change in fortune, began to pour forward, but the parity they achieved was not the one they sought. Instead, they were also reduced to 10 men when Cosgrove, who had been on the field for only eight minutes, scythed Scott Brown and was dismissed. Between times, they had suffered an even more damaging blow when Celtic broke upfield and Dembele fed Tierney for a shot on the run which swept beyond Woodman to guarantee yet further Aberdeen dismay in this fixture. Match details Aberdeen (4-1-4-1): Woodman; Logan, Arnason (Maynard 90) McKenna, Considine; O’Connor; McGinn, McLean, Nwakali (Rooney 82), Mackay-Steven; May (Cosgrove 76). Subs (unused): Rogers (g), Reynolds, Ball, Wright. Booked: McKenna. Sent off: Cosgrove. Celtic (3-4-2-1): De Vries; Lustig, Simunovic, Ajer; Forrest (Hendry 77), Ntcham, Brown, Tierney; Rogic (McGregor 72), Sinclair (Edouard 80); Tierney. Subs (unused): Bain (g), Miller, Kouassi, Musonda. Booked: Lustig. Sent off: Lustig. Referee: John Beaton.
Aberdeen 0 Celtic 2: Hosts' lamentable run against Scottish champions elect ends in 10th successive loss
Aberdeen’s lamentable history against Celtic – who they last ­defeated in February 2016, when Ronny Deila was in charge at Parkhead – continued with a 10th successive loss to the champions, for whom Moussa Dembele and Kieran Tierney scored late in each half. To add to the hosts’ dismay, they could not take advantage of Mikael Lustig’s dismissal with quarter of an hour left to play and, indeed, had Sam Cosgrove sent off shortly after his arrival as a substitute. Aberdeen now trail Rangers by three points and are 12 points adrift of Celtic. Celtic arrived in the Granite City with the benefit of a perfect record under Brendan Rodgers of eight wins from as many meetings with the team who finished runners-up in all three domestic competitions last season. By contrast, Aberdeen’s response to the challenge of crucial contests was in question, not only because of their run of defeats against the champions but also because of three losses to Rangers in this campaign plus a trip to Easter Road which saw them well beaten by Hibernian a week previously, a setback which ended a run of six successive league victories. Derek McInnes was not aided by the absence of his captain, Graeme Shinnie, serving the second game of a two-match suspension, or that of loanee Ryan Christie, prohibited from playing against his parent club. The Aberdeen manager made two changes from the side defeated in Edinburgh and replaced Adam Rooney and Christie with Stevie May and Kari Arnason respectively. Rodgers also switched personnel after the 3-0 defeat by Zenit St Petersburg in the Europa League on Thursday, with Eboue Kouassi and Callum McGregor benched and Tom Rogic and Scott Sinclair given starts. Celtic deployed three at the back – Lustig, Jozo Simunovic and Kris Ajer – but Aberdeen could only exploit the flank space intermittently, principally on their left, where Gary Mackay-Steven was able to get to the corner flag on a couple of occasions. But his most promising delivery was wasted ­because none of his colleagues had made it into the box when the ball arrived. Celtic outmuscled Aberdeen in what has become a nightmare fixture for the Dons Credit: Jeff Holmes/PA Kenny McLean was even more frustrated on the other wing, first when he saw a wicked free-kick ­delivery fall perfectly towards the back post for Arnason. The most fractional touch would have brought a goal, but the Icelandic defender somehow failed to make the crucial contact. An equally clever overhead lofted ball from McLean skipped just beyond May’s straining boot, with only Dorus de Vries to beat. These alarms woke Celtic from their post-Zenit torpor and Sinclair almost forced an improbable breakthrough with a corner-kick which skipped off the top of the crossbar. Dembele and Rogic came to life, too, each seeing efforts blocked in the box before Olivier Ntcham beat Freddie Woodman, but not the woodwork, with a shot which clipped the goalkeeper’s left-hand post. Aberdeen’s vulnerability was exploited nine minutes before the break when James Forrest got beyond Andrew Considine for a cross which eluded Woodman to be met towards the back post by Dembele, who had slipped away from Arnason to end a sequence of five games without a goal when he headed home almost on the line. The hour mark, normally the time for Rogic to make way, found Celtic with other concerns when Simunovic and Ajer clashed heads to leave the latter prone on the turf, in need of prolonged treatment before being allowed to continue with a bandage wrapped around his head. Celtic's Mikael Lustig is sent off Credit: Jeff Holmes/PA Rogic’s departure time arrived in the 72nd minute, when he was ­replaced by McGregor, whose ­presence helped stabilise the Celtic midfield after scares which saw McLean, Niall McGinn and ­Anthony O’Connor have attempts blocked in front of goal. The leaders, however, swiftly had another problem to ­address when Lustig, who had been cautioned in the first half, clattered Mackay-Steven and was shown the inevitable red card. Aberdeen, sensing a change in fortune, began to pour forward, but the parity they achieved was not the one they sought. Instead, they were also reduced to 10 men when Cosgrove, who had been on the field for only eight minutes, scythed Scott Brown and was dismissed. Between times, they had suffered an even more damaging blow when Celtic broke upfield and Dembele fed Tierney for a shot on the run which swept beyond Woodman to guarantee yet further Aberdeen dismay in this fixture. Match details Aberdeen (4-1-4-1): Woodman; Logan, Arnason (Maynard 90) McKenna, Considine; O’Connor; McGinn, McLean, Nwakali (Rooney 82), Mackay-Steven; May (Cosgrove 76). Subs (unused): Rogers (g), Reynolds, Ball, Wright. Booked: McKenna. Sent off: Cosgrove. Celtic (3-4-2-1): De Vries; Lustig, Simunovic, Ajer; Forrest (Hendry 77), Ntcham, Brown, Tierney; Rogic (McGregor 72), Sinclair (Edouard 80); Tierney. Subs (unused): Bain (g), Miller, Kouassi, Musonda. Booked: Lustig. Sent off: Lustig. Referee: John Beaton.
Despite Celtic’s advance on a second successive domestic treble, Scottish football is getting more competitive at its top level, according to Graeme Murty. The Rangers manager made his case after Saturday’s 2-0 win at home to Heart of Midlothian, which saw his side move to within six points of Celtic ahead of the leaders’ meeting with Aberdeen at Pittodrie on Sunday. Although Celtic have faltered during this campaign, those sides closest to them in the table have previously been unable to close the gap because of their own stumbles. Murty, though, cited the fact that the champions’ points advantage is significantly less than half of what it was a year ago. He said: “Their nearest rivals are closer than for a long time and getting closer to the league that we all want it to be. So, regardless of what Celtic do, our job is to push ourselves further and improve and make sure that, come the end of the season, we’re still talking about title races and challenges at the top of the table and in the Scottish Cup. “We want to be right at the top of the table and involved in every competition we compete in. I’m sure Derek McInnes is saying that at Aberdeen, Neil Lennon is saying that at Hibs and Craig Levein is saying that at Hearts. We want to be closer to what Celtic have done over the last period and, whilst being respectful to them, we want to make sure the season isn’t over by March. “We’re closer but we’re not where we need to be. We’re still improving, we’re still gelling and getting the group tighter and quicker with the ball and more cohesive in all departments.” Alfredo Morales, Rangers’ Colombian striker, stated last week that his aim was to move to an English club, a declaration which Murty declared laudable. “Yes. We want ambitious players here – players that are hungry to get to that next level,” he said. “We have just signed contracts with Josh Windass and James Tavernier, who are ambitious, still hungry to go and play at the highest level, but they understand that this place, this environment, gives them a fantastic platform. “We play in front of masses and masses of people at home. Our fans travel in their thousands away and we get fantastic coverage in the media, so there are not many places in Britain which get better coverage than we get and if Alfredo wants to go to England, he’s got things he has to do here that will bring that closer to being a reality for him. “He wants to be on the pitch scoring goals and I think that his last few performances have shown that he’s a real asset to the team. He’s shown good enthusiasm, good quality and that predatory instinct that we love. “At the moment, fatigue hasn’t become an issue. What we do have is a really, really good squad that means that, if we get the opportunity, or we need to, we can freshen things up. “As I keep on reiterating, though, this group has not finished growing yet. You’ve seen it just at the very, very start of its journey and we have to continue that growth. “There will be setbacks along the way. There will be knockbacks. We just have to understand what we are building. We are closer than we have been recently. But close doesn’t appease people. We want to be in front.” Rangers scored late in each half, taking the lead just before the break from Jamie Murphy and securing their three points two minutes before full- time when Russell Martin netted his first for the club with a tap-in. Elsewhere, Hibernian stunned Kilmarnock at Rugby Park with a first-minute strike by Florian Kamberi and a header by Ryan Porteous and by the interval the visitors could claim that they were unfortunate not to have doubled their advantage. Kilmarnock, though, responded with a swift double on their own account, first with a Jordan Jones shot and then with a penalty kick by Kris Boyd, in a match which finished 2-2. At the other end of the table, Ross County remained bottom when they lost 2-0 to St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park, where Murray Davidson netted a double and a poor day for the Staggies deteriorated when Craig Curran was sent off in the closing stages. Partick Thistle dropped into the relegation play-off place when their habit of conceding last-gasp goals materialised again with David Templeton’s injury time winner in a 2-1 defeat at Hamilton, who leapfrogged the Jags into 10th spot. Accies are now two points behind Dundee, whose fans were noisily unhappy at losing to Motherwell at Dens Park, where Craig Tanner scored the only goal.
Scottish football is getting more competitive at the top, insists Rangers manager Graeme Murty
Despite Celtic’s advance on a second successive domestic treble, Scottish football is getting more competitive at its top level, according to Graeme Murty. The Rangers manager made his case after Saturday’s 2-0 win at home to Heart of Midlothian, which saw his side move to within six points of Celtic ahead of the leaders’ meeting with Aberdeen at Pittodrie on Sunday. Although Celtic have faltered during this campaign, those sides closest to them in the table have previously been unable to close the gap because of their own stumbles. Murty, though, cited the fact that the champions’ points advantage is significantly less than half of what it was a year ago. He said: “Their nearest rivals are closer than for a long time and getting closer to the league that we all want it to be. So, regardless of what Celtic do, our job is to push ourselves further and improve and make sure that, come the end of the season, we’re still talking about title races and challenges at the top of the table and in the Scottish Cup. “We want to be right at the top of the table and involved in every competition we compete in. I’m sure Derek McInnes is saying that at Aberdeen, Neil Lennon is saying that at Hibs and Craig Levein is saying that at Hearts. We want to be closer to what Celtic have done over the last period and, whilst being respectful to them, we want to make sure the season isn’t over by March. “We’re closer but we’re not where we need to be. We’re still improving, we’re still gelling and getting the group tighter and quicker with the ball and more cohesive in all departments.” Alfredo Morales, Rangers’ Colombian striker, stated last week that his aim was to move to an English club, a declaration which Murty declared laudable. “Yes. We want ambitious players here – players that are hungry to get to that next level,” he said. “We have just signed contracts with Josh Windass and James Tavernier, who are ambitious, still hungry to go and play at the highest level, but they understand that this place, this environment, gives them a fantastic platform. “We play in front of masses and masses of people at home. Our fans travel in their thousands away and we get fantastic coverage in the media, so there are not many places in Britain which get better coverage than we get and if Alfredo wants to go to England, he’s got things he has to do here that will bring that closer to being a reality for him. “He wants to be on the pitch scoring goals and I think that his last few performances have shown that he’s a real asset to the team. He’s shown good enthusiasm, good quality and that predatory instinct that we love. “At the moment, fatigue hasn’t become an issue. What we do have is a really, really good squad that means that, if we get the opportunity, or we need to, we can freshen things up. “As I keep on reiterating, though, this group has not finished growing yet. You’ve seen it just at the very, very start of its journey and we have to continue that growth. “There will be setbacks along the way. There will be knockbacks. We just have to understand what we are building. We are closer than we have been recently. But close doesn’t appease people. We want to be in front.” Rangers scored late in each half, taking the lead just before the break from Jamie Murphy and securing their three points two minutes before full- time when Russell Martin netted his first for the club with a tap-in. Elsewhere, Hibernian stunned Kilmarnock at Rugby Park with a first-minute strike by Florian Kamberi and a header by Ryan Porteous and by the interval the visitors could claim that they were unfortunate not to have doubled their advantage. Kilmarnock, though, responded with a swift double on their own account, first with a Jordan Jones shot and then with a penalty kick by Kris Boyd, in a match which finished 2-2. At the other end of the table, Ross County remained bottom when they lost 2-0 to St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park, where Murray Davidson netted a double and a poor day for the Staggies deteriorated when Craig Curran was sent off in the closing stages. Partick Thistle dropped into the relegation play-off place when their habit of conceding last-gasp goals materialised again with David Templeton’s injury time winner in a 2-1 defeat at Hamilton, who leapfrogged the Jags into 10th spot. Accies are now two points behind Dundee, whose fans were noisily unhappy at losing to Motherwell at Dens Park, where Craig Tanner scored the only goal.
Derek McInnes was the first West Brom player to ever be sent off in the Premier League. He laughs. “I’ve been sent off twice in my career. Once against Berwick Rangers and once against Man Utd!” If you’re going to do something, do it with gusto. McInnes is the much-coveted manager in charge of Aberdeen, an ex-Scotland international who began his playing career at Greenock Morton, appeared in the Champions League for Rangers and captained West Brom in the Premier League along a journeyman-like path. In charge at Pittodrie since March 2013, the 46-year-old has taken the club from a middling stay in the Scottish Premiership to winning silverware and offering a genuine challenge in a one-horse title race. How? “I think you’ve got to have an idea, an identity to your team,” says McInnes, who is preparing his side to host league leaders Celtic on Sunday. “I’ve always felt a team is an extension of the manager really. I wanted a team with attitude, pace, energy. “In every team I played in there were always better players than me in it but I knew the importance that I felt from my teammates towards me and what I could bring to them. McInnes is a man on a mission Credit: PA “You need certain types in your dressing room. It’s not all about being a good player.” As a player, McInnes was a natural leader. Neat and tidy on the ball, he worked tirelessly off it – qualities evident in his current captain, Graeme Shinnie, a player who operates as a physical manifestation of McInnes on the pitch: “He demonstrates everything I want my team to be.” Shinnie, like McInnes, has been largely overlooked at international level, struggling to break into a Scotland squad relatively flush with central midfielders. But Scottish football is not what it once was. If McInnes were a player in 2018, does he think he’d have earned more than just two caps? “Yeh I do, aye. I think I was a long time really getting any recognition but I understand why. I was at Morton a long, long time in the Championship and you look at the players ahead of me then: Gary McAllister, Paul McStay, Stuart McCall. “We always seem to produce good central midfield players in Scotland, even now. I don’t have any gripes about it, I was in about eight or nine squads but only managed to get on the pitch twice. I was grateful for that, there were a lot of better players than me that never got picked.” McInnes “always wanted to be a manager” and took his first steps towards doing so while a youth player at Morton, earning his Uefa B license at the age of just 22. Will McInnes get the better of Brendan Rodgers on Sunday? Credit: Reuters “At the end of the season most young players would be away on holiday or wanting to unwind, but for me it was just brilliant. I loved being immersed in all this coaching, seeing players I’d been playing against, senior players you’d recognise, international players absolutely shaking with nerves trying to put on sessions!” Gary Megson signed and appointed him as captain in then-Championship West Brom’s promotion bid in 2001/02. Where better to cut leadership teeth than in the situation McInnes found himself in during the notorious Battle of Brammall Lane, a match abandoned as Neil Warnock’s Sheffield United had five players sent off. “I think the team deserved a lot of credit for not taking the bait. It wasnae a day I remember fondly, it was in poor taste. It was a strange game. Bizarre. We could see the intention of what was happening, unfolding and I remember Eddie Walstenholme, Ken’s boy – the old BBC commentator – and I was trying to keep him calm as well!” West Brom were awarded a 3-0 victory that day, winning promotion to the Premier League. “I remember Gary Megson saying to me ‘you need to decide whether you want to be a coach or a manager because there’s a distinct difference’ and I get what he meant. I always wanted to be a manager. I wanted that final say, wanted the decision to be mine, the consequences of the results good or bad to be my responsibility.” The next of his decisions is how to beat Celtic on Sunday, the type of game in which Aberdeen have struggled during McInnes’ time at Pittodrie. Celtic have won the last nine meetings between the two teams and he agrees that rivals raise their game now. Aberdeen are third in the Scottish Premiership Credit: Getty Images “I think [Celtic] see it as a big game, a chance to slap us down. I think you normally find the strongest, most motivated Celtic to take us on. We have to overcome that.” “We’re judged against Rangers and Celtic. The criticism comes when we don’t beat them but it pleases me that’s the perception now. We’ve been to three cup finals the last four years, at least we’re getting criticised for getting in the position to be successful rather than threatening not even to be there, diddling along not making any impact.” Financial disparity threatens to spoil title races in most European leagues and Scotland has it bad. Celtic’s most recent financial report shows net cash in the bank of £30.9million, with pre-tax profit at £19.5million. Aberdeen’s turnover last year was £15.28million. Is it even possible to bridge the gap? “I don’t think you can ever say never, because we’re probably as close to them now in terms of points than we’ve ever been. “If [Celtic] meet their standards it should keep them ahead of everyone else. If their standards drop there might be enough teams who are encouraged by that and you never know.” McInnes has turned down moves to Sunderland and Rangers in the previous two seasons, with the latter a controversial saga which dragged on far too long. If a financial ceiling is preventing McInnes achieving all he wants at Aberdeen and there are plenty of would be suitors, what keeps him at the club? “You work for clubs… but you actually work for people. When you’ve got options to consider you have to go with your gut feeling and ascertain who am I gonna be working closely with here, how much trust is there, does the club work properly… “A manager can drive it, can get his team going, get the dressing room right and bring people in but the enthusiasm and motivation and expertise in leadership must come from above or the manager is just a consequence of that. “A manager is judged on the pitch but how your club works is normally how it plays out on the pitch. “The opportunity to work down south will come again, I’m confident it will. “I’ve got a plan for myself where I want to manage, how I want to go about things. It would need to take something that would grab me to want to leave here.” Does the Premier League interest him in the future? “Yeh! Now!” he laughs. “This club when I came in, people probably thought you go to Aberdeen and that’s some sort of guarantee of a chance to be successful… but a club’s only a name. It’s the people within the club who brought the success, not the name. “I think clubs are about people and I don’t think we should ever forget that.”
Exclusive interview: I'm sure I will get chance to work down south again, says Aberdeen's in-demand manager Derek McInnes
Derek McInnes was the first West Brom player to ever be sent off in the Premier League. He laughs. “I’ve been sent off twice in my career. Once against Berwick Rangers and once against Man Utd!” If you’re going to do something, do it with gusto. McInnes is the much-coveted manager in charge of Aberdeen, an ex-Scotland international who began his playing career at Greenock Morton, appeared in the Champions League for Rangers and captained West Brom in the Premier League along a journeyman-like path. In charge at Pittodrie since March 2013, the 46-year-old has taken the club from a middling stay in the Scottish Premiership to winning silverware and offering a genuine challenge in a one-horse title race. How? “I think you’ve got to have an idea, an identity to your team,” says McInnes, who is preparing his side to host league leaders Celtic on Sunday. “I’ve always felt a team is an extension of the manager really. I wanted a team with attitude, pace, energy. “In every team I played in there were always better players than me in it but I knew the importance that I felt from my teammates towards me and what I could bring to them. McInnes is a man on a mission Credit: PA “You need certain types in your dressing room. It’s not all about being a good player.” As a player, McInnes was a natural leader. Neat and tidy on the ball, he worked tirelessly off it – qualities evident in his current captain, Graeme Shinnie, a player who operates as a physical manifestation of McInnes on the pitch: “He demonstrates everything I want my team to be.” Shinnie, like McInnes, has been largely overlooked at international level, struggling to break into a Scotland squad relatively flush with central midfielders. But Scottish football is not what it once was. If McInnes were a player in 2018, does he think he’d have earned more than just two caps? “Yeh I do, aye. I think I was a long time really getting any recognition but I understand why. I was at Morton a long, long time in the Championship and you look at the players ahead of me then: Gary McAllister, Paul McStay, Stuart McCall. “We always seem to produce good central midfield players in Scotland, even now. I don’t have any gripes about it, I was in about eight or nine squads but only managed to get on the pitch twice. I was grateful for that, there were a lot of better players than me that never got picked.” McInnes “always wanted to be a manager” and took his first steps towards doing so while a youth player at Morton, earning his Uefa B license at the age of just 22. Will McInnes get the better of Brendan Rodgers on Sunday? Credit: Reuters “At the end of the season most young players would be away on holiday or wanting to unwind, but for me it was just brilliant. I loved being immersed in all this coaching, seeing players I’d been playing against, senior players you’d recognise, international players absolutely shaking with nerves trying to put on sessions!” Gary Megson signed and appointed him as captain in then-Championship West Brom’s promotion bid in 2001/02. Where better to cut leadership teeth than in the situation McInnes found himself in during the notorious Battle of Brammall Lane, a match abandoned as Neil Warnock’s Sheffield United had five players sent off. “I think the team deserved a lot of credit for not taking the bait. It wasnae a day I remember fondly, it was in poor taste. It was a strange game. Bizarre. We could see the intention of what was happening, unfolding and I remember Eddie Walstenholme, Ken’s boy – the old BBC commentator – and I was trying to keep him calm as well!” West Brom were awarded a 3-0 victory that day, winning promotion to the Premier League. “I remember Gary Megson saying to me ‘you need to decide whether you want to be a coach or a manager because there’s a distinct difference’ and I get what he meant. I always wanted to be a manager. I wanted that final say, wanted the decision to be mine, the consequences of the results good or bad to be my responsibility.” The next of his decisions is how to beat Celtic on Sunday, the type of game in which Aberdeen have struggled during McInnes’ time at Pittodrie. Celtic have won the last nine meetings between the two teams and he agrees that rivals raise their game now. Aberdeen are third in the Scottish Premiership Credit: Getty Images “I think [Celtic] see it as a big game, a chance to slap us down. I think you normally find the strongest, most motivated Celtic to take us on. We have to overcome that.” “We’re judged against Rangers and Celtic. The criticism comes when we don’t beat them but it pleases me that’s the perception now. We’ve been to three cup finals the last four years, at least we’re getting criticised for getting in the position to be successful rather than threatening not even to be there, diddling along not making any impact.” Financial disparity threatens to spoil title races in most European leagues and Scotland has it bad. Celtic’s most recent financial report shows net cash in the bank of £30.9million, with pre-tax profit at £19.5million. Aberdeen’s turnover last year was £15.28million. Is it even possible to bridge the gap? “I don’t think you can ever say never, because we’re probably as close to them now in terms of points than we’ve ever been. “If [Celtic] meet their standards it should keep them ahead of everyone else. If their standards drop there might be enough teams who are encouraged by that and you never know.” McInnes has turned down moves to Sunderland and Rangers in the previous two seasons, with the latter a controversial saga which dragged on far too long. If a financial ceiling is preventing McInnes achieving all he wants at Aberdeen and there are plenty of would be suitors, what keeps him at the club? “You work for clubs… but you actually work for people. When you’ve got options to consider you have to go with your gut feeling and ascertain who am I gonna be working closely with here, how much trust is there, does the club work properly… “A manager can drive it, can get his team going, get the dressing room right and bring people in but the enthusiasm and motivation and expertise in leadership must come from above or the manager is just a consequence of that. “A manager is judged on the pitch but how your club works is normally how it plays out on the pitch. “The opportunity to work down south will come again, I’m confident it will. “I’ve got a plan for myself where I want to manage, how I want to go about things. It would need to take something that would grab me to want to leave here.” Does the Premier League interest him in the future? “Yeh! Now!” he laughs. “This club when I came in, people probably thought you go to Aberdeen and that’s some sort of guarantee of a chance to be successful… but a club’s only a name. It’s the people within the club who brought the success, not the name. “I think clubs are about people and I don’t think we should ever forget that.”
Exclusive interview: I&#39;m sure I will get chance to work down south again, says Aberdeen&#39;s in-demand manager Derek McInnes
Exclusive interview: I'm sure I will get chance to work down south again, says Aberdeen's in-demand manager Derek McInnes
Exclusive interview: I'm sure I will get chance to work down south again, says Aberdeen's in-demand manager Derek McInnes
Derek McInnes was the first West Brom player to ever be sent off in the Premier League. He laughs. “I’ve been sent off twice in my career. Once against Berwick Rangers and once against Man Utd!” If you’re going to do something, do it with gusto. McInnes is the much-coveted manager in charge of Aberdeen, an ex-Scotland international who began his playing career at Greenock Morton, appeared in the Champions League for Rangers and captained West Brom in the Premier League along a journeyman-like path. In charge at Pittodrie since March 2013, the 46-year-old has taken the club from a middling stay in the Scottish Premiership to winning silverware and offering a genuine challenge in a one-horse title race. How? “I think you’ve got to have an idea, an identity to your team,” says McInnes, who is preparing his side to host league leaders Celtic on Sunday. “I’ve always felt a team is an extension of the manager really. I wanted a team with attitude, pace, energy. “In every team I played in there were always better players than me in it but I knew the importance that I felt from my teammates towards me and what I could bring to them. McInnes is a man on a mission Credit: PA “You need certain types in your dressing room. It’s not all about being a good player.” As a player, McInnes was a natural leader. Neat and tidy on the ball, he worked tirelessly off it – qualities evident in his current captain, Graeme Shinnie, a player who operates as a physical manifestation of McInnes on the pitch: “He demonstrates everything I want my team to be.” Shinnie, like McInnes, has been largely overlooked at international level, struggling to break into a Scotland squad relatively flush with central midfielders. But Scottish football is not what it once was. If McInnes were a player in 2018, does he think he’d have earned more than just two caps? “Yeh I do, aye. I think I was a long time really getting any recognition but I understand why. I was at Morton a long, long time in the Championship and you look at the players ahead of me then: Gary McAllister, Paul McStay, Stuart McCall. “We always seem to produce good central midfield players in Scotland, even now. I don’t have any gripes about it, I was in about eight or nine squads but only managed to get on the pitch twice. I was grateful for that, there were a lot of better players than me that never got picked.” McInnes “always wanted to be a manager” and took his first steps towards doing so while a youth player at Morton, earning his Uefa B license at the age of just 22. Will McInnes get the better of Brendan Rodgers on Sunday? Credit: Reuters “At the end of the season most young players would be away on holiday or wanting to unwind, but for me it was just brilliant. I loved being immersed in all this coaching, seeing players I’d been playing against, senior players you’d recognise, international players absolutely shaking with nerves trying to put on sessions!” Gary Megson signed and appointed him as captain in then-Championship West Brom’s promotion bid in 2001/02. Where better to cut leadership teeth than in the situation McInnes found himself in during the notorious Battle of Brammall Lane, a match abandoned as Neil Warnock’s Sheffield United had five players sent off. “I think the team deserved a lot of credit for not taking the bait. It wasnae a day I remember fondly, it was in poor taste. It was a strange game. Bizarre. We could see the intention of what was happening, unfolding and I remember Eddie Walstenholme, Ken’s boy – the old BBC commentator – and I was trying to keep him calm as well!” West Brom were awarded a 3-0 victory that day, winning promotion to the Premier League. “I remember Gary Megson saying to me ‘you need to decide whether you want to be a coach or a manager because there’s a distinct difference’ and I get what he meant. I always wanted to be a manager. I wanted that final say, wanted the decision to be mine, the consequences of the results good or bad to be my responsibility.” The next of his decisions is how to beat Celtic on Sunday, the type of game in which Aberdeen have struggled during McInnes’ time at Pittodrie. Celtic have won the last nine meetings between the two teams and he agrees that rivals raise their game now. Aberdeen are third in the Scottish Premiership Credit: Getty Images “I think [Celtic] see it as a big game, a chance to slap us down. I think you normally find the strongest, most motivated Celtic to take us on. We have to overcome that.” “We’re judged against Rangers and Celtic. The criticism comes when we don’t beat them but it pleases me that’s the perception now. We’ve been to three cup finals the last four years, at least we’re getting criticised for getting in the position to be successful rather than threatening not even to be there, diddling along not making any impact.” Financial disparity threatens to spoil title races in most European leagues and Scotland has it bad. Celtic’s most recent financial report shows net cash in the bank of £30.9million, with pre-tax profit at £19.5million. Aberdeen’s turnover last year was £15.28million. Is it even possible to bridge the gap? “I don’t think you can ever say never, because we’re probably as close to them now in terms of points than we’ve ever been. “If [Celtic] meet their standards it should keep them ahead of everyone else. If their standards drop there might be enough teams who are encouraged by that and you never know.” McInnes has turned down moves to Sunderland and Rangers in the previous two seasons, with the latter a controversial saga which dragged on far too long. If a financial ceiling is preventing McInnes achieving all he wants at Aberdeen and there are plenty of would be suitors, what keeps him at the club? “You work for clubs… but you actually work for people. When you’ve got options to consider you have to go with your gut feeling and ascertain who am I gonna be working closely with here, how much trust is there, does the club work properly… “A manager can drive it, can get his team going, get the dressing room right and bring people in but the enthusiasm and motivation and expertise in leadership must come from above or the manager is just a consequence of that. “A manager is judged on the pitch but how your club works is normally how it plays out on the pitch. “The opportunity to work down south will come again, I’m confident it will. “I’ve got a plan for myself where I want to manage, how I want to go about things. It would need to take something that would grab me to want to leave here.” Does the Premier League interest him in the future? “Yeh! Now!” he laughs. “This club when I came in, people probably thought you go to Aberdeen and that’s some sort of guarantee of a chance to be successful… but a club’s only a name. It’s the people within the club who brought the success, not the name. “I think clubs are about people and I don’t think we should ever forget that.”
Exclusive interview: I'm sure I will get chance to work down south again, says Aberdeen's in-demand manager Derek McInnes
Derek McInnes was the first West Brom player to ever be sent off in the Premier League. He laughs. “I’ve been sent off twice in my career. Once against Berwick Rangers and once against Man Utd!” If you’re going to do something, do it with gusto. McInnes is the much-coveted manager in charge of Aberdeen, an ex-Scotland international who began his playing career at Greenock Morton, appeared in the Champions League for Rangers and captained West Brom in the Premier League along a journeyman-like path. In charge at Pittodrie since March 2013, the 46-year-old has taken the club from a middling stay in the Scottish Premiership to winning silverware and offering a genuine challenge in a one-horse title race. How? “I think you’ve got to have an idea, an identity to your team,” says McInnes, who is preparing his side to host league leaders Celtic on Sunday. “I’ve always felt a team is an extension of the manager really. I wanted a team with attitude, pace, energy. “In every team I played in there were always better players than me in it but I knew the importance that I felt from my teammates towards me and what I could bring to them. McInnes is a man on a mission Credit: PA “You need certain types in your dressing room. It’s not all about being a good player.” As a player, McInnes was a natural leader. Neat and tidy on the ball, he worked tirelessly off it – qualities evident in his current captain, Graeme Shinnie, a player who operates as a physical manifestation of McInnes on the pitch: “He demonstrates everything I want my team to be.” Shinnie, like McInnes, has been largely overlooked at international level, struggling to break into a Scotland squad relatively flush with central midfielders. But Scottish football is not what it once was. If McInnes were a player in 2018, does he think he’d have earned more than just two caps? “Yeh I do, aye. I think I was a long time really getting any recognition but I understand why. I was at Morton a long, long time in the Championship and you look at the players ahead of me then: Gary McAllister, Paul McStay, Stuart McCall. “We always seem to produce good central midfield players in Scotland, even now. I don’t have any gripes about it, I was in about eight or nine squads but only managed to get on the pitch twice. I was grateful for that, there were a lot of better players than me that never got picked.” McInnes “always wanted to be a manager” and took his first steps towards doing so while a youth player at Morton, earning his Uefa B license at the age of just 22. Will McInnes get the better of Brendan Rodgers on Sunday? Credit: Reuters “At the end of the season most young players would be away on holiday or wanting to unwind, but for me it was just brilliant. I loved being immersed in all this coaching, seeing players I’d been playing against, senior players you’d recognise, international players absolutely shaking with nerves trying to put on sessions!” Gary Megson signed and appointed him as captain in then-Championship West Brom’s promotion bid in 2001/02. Where better to cut leadership teeth than in the situation McInnes found himself in during the notorious Battle of Brammall Lane, a match abandoned as Neil Warnock’s Sheffield United had five players sent off. “I think the team deserved a lot of credit for not taking the bait. It wasnae a day I remember fondly, it was in poor taste. It was a strange game. Bizarre. We could see the intention of what was happening, unfolding and I remember Eddie Walstenholme, Ken’s boy – the old BBC commentator – and I was trying to keep him calm as well!” West Brom were awarded a 3-0 victory that day, winning promotion to the Premier League. “I remember Gary Megson saying to me ‘you need to decide whether you want to be a coach or a manager because there’s a distinct difference’ and I get what he meant. I always wanted to be a manager. I wanted that final say, wanted the decision to be mine, the consequences of the results good or bad to be my responsibility.” The next of his decisions is how to beat Celtic on Sunday, the type of game in which Aberdeen have struggled during McInnes’ time at Pittodrie. Celtic have won the last nine meetings between the two teams and he agrees that rivals raise their game now. Aberdeen are third in the Scottish Premiership Credit: Getty Images “I think [Celtic] see it as a big game, a chance to slap us down. I think you normally find the strongest, most motivated Celtic to take us on. We have to overcome that.” “We’re judged against Rangers and Celtic. The criticism comes when we don’t beat them but it pleases me that’s the perception now. We’ve been to three cup finals the last four years, at least we’re getting criticised for getting in the position to be successful rather than threatening not even to be there, diddling along not making any impact.” Financial disparity threatens to spoil title races in most European leagues and Scotland has it bad. Celtic’s most recent financial report shows net cash in the bank of £30.9million, with pre-tax profit at £19.5million. Aberdeen’s turnover last year was £15.28million. Is it even possible to bridge the gap? “I don’t think you can ever say never, because we’re probably as close to them now in terms of points than we’ve ever been. “If [Celtic] meet their standards it should keep them ahead of everyone else. If their standards drop there might be enough teams who are encouraged by that and you never know.” McInnes has turned down moves to Sunderland and Rangers in the previous two seasons, with the latter a controversial saga which dragged on far too long. If a financial ceiling is preventing McInnes achieving all he wants at Aberdeen and there are plenty of would be suitors, what keeps him at the club? “You work for clubs… but you actually work for people. When you’ve got options to consider you have to go with your gut feeling and ascertain who am I gonna be working closely with here, how much trust is there, does the club work properly… “A manager can drive it, can get his team going, get the dressing room right and bring people in but the enthusiasm and motivation and expertise in leadership must come from above or the manager is just a consequence of that. “A manager is judged on the pitch but how your club works is normally how it plays out on the pitch. “The opportunity to work down south will come again, I’m confident it will. “I’ve got a plan for myself where I want to manage, how I want to go about things. It would need to take something that would grab me to want to leave here.” Does the Premier League interest him in the future? “Yeh! Now!” he laughs. “This club when I came in, people probably thought you go to Aberdeen and that’s some sort of guarantee of a chance to be successful… but a club’s only a name. It’s the people within the club who brought the success, not the name. “I think clubs are about people and I don’t think we should ever forget that.”
Exclusive interview: I&#39;m sure I will get chance to work down south again, says Aberdeen&#39;s in-demand manager Derek McInnes
Exclusive interview: I'm sure I will get chance to work down south again, says Aberdeen's in-demand manager Derek McInnes
Exclusive interview: I'm sure I will get chance to work down south again, says Aberdeen's in-demand manager Derek McInnes
Exclusive interview: I&#39;m sure I will get chance to work down south again, says Aberdeen&#39;s in-demand manager Derek McInnes
Exclusive interview: I'm sure I will get chance to work down south again, says Aberdeen's in-demand manager Derek McInnes
Exclusive interview: I'm sure I will get chance to work down south again, says Aberdeen's in-demand manager Derek McInnes
Derek McInnes was the first West Brom player to ever be sent off in the Premier League. He laughs. “I’ve been sent off twice in my career. Once against Berwick Rangers and once against Man Utd!” If you’re going to do something, do it with gusto. McInnes is the much-coveted manager in charge of Aberdeen, an ex-Scotland international who began his playing career at Greenock Morton, appeared in the Champions League for Rangers and captained West Brom in the Premier League along a journeyman-like path. In charge at Pittodrie since March 2013, the 46-year-old has taken the club from a middling stay in the Scottish Premiership to winning silverware and offering a genuine challenge in a one-horse title race. How? “I think you’ve got to have an idea, an identity to your team,” says McInnes, who is preparing his side to host league leaders Celtic on Sunday. “I’ve always felt a team is an extension of the manager really. I wanted a team with attitude, pace, energy. “In every team I played in there were always better players than me in it but I knew the importance that I felt from my teammates towards me and what I could bring to them. McInnes is a man on a mission Credit: PA “You need certain types in your dressing room. It’s not all about being a good player.” As a player, McInnes was a natural leader. Neat and tidy on the ball, he worked tirelessly off it – qualities evident in his current captain, Graeme Shinnie, a player who operates as a physical manifestation of McInnes on the pitch: “He demonstrates everything I want my team to be.” Shinnie, like McInnes, has been largely overlooked at international level, struggling to break into a Scotland squad relatively flush with central midfielders. But Scottish football is not what it once was. If McInnes were a player in 2018, does he think he’d have earned more than just two caps? “Yeh I do, aye. I think I was a long time really getting any recognition but I understand why. I was at Morton a long, long time in the Championship and you look at the players ahead of me then: Gary McAllister, Paul McStay, Stuart McCall. “We always seem to produce good central midfield players in Scotland, even now. I don’t have any gripes about it, I was in about eight or nine squads but only managed to get on the pitch twice. I was grateful for that, there were a lot of better players than me that never got picked.” McInnes “always wanted to be a manager” and took his first steps towards doing so while a youth player at Morton, earning his Uefa B license at the age of just 22. Will McInnes get the better of Brendan Rodgers on Sunday? Credit: Reuters “At the end of the season most young players would be away on holiday or wanting to unwind, but for me it was just brilliant. I loved being immersed in all this coaching, seeing players I’d been playing against, senior players you’d recognise, international players absolutely shaking with nerves trying to put on sessions!” Gary Megson signed and appointed him as captain in then-Championship West Brom’s promotion bid in 2001/02. Where better to cut leadership teeth than in the situation McInnes found himself in during the notorious Battle of Brammall Lane, a match abandoned as Neil Warnock’s Sheffield United had five players sent off. “I think the team deserved a lot of credit for not taking the bait. It wasnae a day I remember fondly, it was in poor taste. It was a strange game. Bizarre. We could see the intention of what was happening, unfolding and I remember Eddie Walstenholme, Ken’s boy – the old BBC commentator – and I was trying to keep him calm as well!” West Brom were awarded a 3-0 victory that day, winning promotion to the Premier League. “I remember Gary Megson saying to me ‘you need to decide whether you want to be a coach or a manager because there’s a distinct difference’ and I get what he meant. I always wanted to be a manager. I wanted that final say, wanted the decision to be mine, the consequences of the results good or bad to be my responsibility.” The next of his decisions is how to beat Celtic on Sunday, the type of game in which Aberdeen have struggled during McInnes’ time at Pittodrie. Celtic have won the last nine meetings between the two teams and he agrees that rivals raise their game now. Aberdeen are third in the Scottish Premiership Credit: Getty Images “I think [Celtic] see it as a big game, a chance to slap us down. I think you normally find the strongest, most motivated Celtic to take us on. We have to overcome that.” “We’re judged against Rangers and Celtic. The criticism comes when we don’t beat them but it pleases me that’s the perception now. We’ve been to three cup finals the last four years, at least we’re getting criticised for getting in the position to be successful rather than threatening not even to be there, diddling along not making any impact.” Financial disparity threatens to spoil title races in most European leagues and Scotland has it bad. Celtic’s most recent financial report shows net cash in the bank of £30.9million, with pre-tax profit at £19.5million. Aberdeen’s turnover last year was £15.28million. Is it even possible to bridge the gap? “I don’t think you can ever say never, because we’re probably as close to them now in terms of points than we’ve ever been. “If [Celtic] meet their standards it should keep them ahead of everyone else. If their standards drop there might be enough teams who are encouraged by that and you never know.” McInnes has turned down moves to Sunderland and Rangers in the previous two seasons, with the latter a controversial saga which dragged on far too long. If a financial ceiling is preventing McInnes achieving all he wants at Aberdeen and there are plenty of would be suitors, what keeps him at the club? “You work for clubs… but you actually work for people. When you’ve got options to consider you have to go with your gut feeling and ascertain who am I gonna be working closely with here, how much trust is there, does the club work properly… “A manager can drive it, can get his team going, get the dressing room right and bring people in but the enthusiasm and motivation and expertise in leadership must come from above or the manager is just a consequence of that. “A manager is judged on the pitch but how your club works is normally how it plays out on the pitch. “The opportunity to work down south will come again, I’m confident it will. “I’ve got a plan for myself where I want to manage, how I want to go about things. It would need to take something that would grab me to want to leave here.” Does the Premier League interest him in the future? “Yeh! Now!” he laughs. “This club when I came in, people probably thought you go to Aberdeen and that’s some sort of guarantee of a chance to be successful… but a club’s only a name. It’s the people within the club who brought the success, not the name. “I think clubs are about people and I don’t think we should ever forget that.”
Exclusive interview: I'm sure I will get chance to work down south again, says Aberdeen's in-demand manager Derek McInnes
Derek McInnes was the first West Brom player to ever be sent off in the Premier League. He laughs. “I’ve been sent off twice in my career. Once against Berwick Rangers and once against Man Utd!” If you’re going to do something, do it with gusto. McInnes is the much-coveted manager in charge of Aberdeen, an ex-Scotland international who began his playing career at Greenock Morton, appeared in the Champions League for Rangers and captained West Brom in the Premier League along a journeyman-like path. In charge at Pittodrie since March 2013, the 46-year-old has taken the club from a middling stay in the Scottish Premiership to winning silverware and offering a genuine challenge in a one-horse title race. How? “I think you’ve got to have an idea, an identity to your team,” says McInnes, who is preparing his side to host league leaders Celtic on Sunday. “I’ve always felt a team is an extension of the manager really. I wanted a team with attitude, pace, energy. “In every team I played in there were always better players than me in it but I knew the importance that I felt from my teammates towards me and what I could bring to them. McInnes is a man on a mission Credit: PA “You need certain types in your dressing room. It’s not all about being a good player.” As a player, McInnes was a natural leader. Neat and tidy on the ball, he worked tirelessly off it – qualities evident in his current captain, Graeme Shinnie, a player who operates as a physical manifestation of McInnes on the pitch: “He demonstrates everything I want my team to be.” Shinnie, like McInnes, has been largely overlooked at international level, struggling to break into a Scotland squad relatively flush with central midfielders. But Scottish football is not what it once was. If McInnes were a player in 2018, does he think he’d have earned more than just two caps? “Yeh I do, aye. I think I was a long time really getting any recognition but I understand why. I was at Morton a long, long time in the Championship and you look at the players ahead of me then: Gary McAllister, Paul McStay, Stuart McCall. “We always seem to produce good central midfield players in Scotland, even now. I don’t have any gripes about it, I was in about eight or nine squads but only managed to get on the pitch twice. I was grateful for that, there were a lot of better players than me that never got picked.” McInnes “always wanted to be a manager” and took his first steps towards doing so while a youth player at Morton, earning his Uefa B license at the age of just 22. Will McInnes get the better of Brendan Rodgers on Sunday? Credit: Reuters “At the end of the season most young players would be away on holiday or wanting to unwind, but for me it was just brilliant. I loved being immersed in all this coaching, seeing players I’d been playing against, senior players you’d recognise, international players absolutely shaking with nerves trying to put on sessions!” Gary Megson signed and appointed him as captain in then-Championship West Brom’s promotion bid in 2001/02. Where better to cut leadership teeth than in the situation McInnes found himself in during the notorious Battle of Brammall Lane, a match abandoned as Neil Warnock’s Sheffield United had five players sent off. “I think the team deserved a lot of credit for not taking the bait. It wasnae a day I remember fondly, it was in poor taste. It was a strange game. Bizarre. We could see the intention of what was happening, unfolding and I remember Eddie Walstenholme, Ken’s boy – the old BBC commentator – and I was trying to keep him calm as well!” West Brom were awarded a 3-0 victory that day, winning promotion to the Premier League. “I remember Gary Megson saying to me ‘you need to decide whether you want to be a coach or a manager because there’s a distinct difference’ and I get what he meant. I always wanted to be a manager. I wanted that final say, wanted the decision to be mine, the consequences of the results good or bad to be my responsibility.” The next of his decisions is how to beat Celtic on Sunday, the type of game in which Aberdeen have struggled during McInnes’ time at Pittodrie. Celtic have won the last nine meetings between the two teams and he agrees that rivals raise their game now. Aberdeen are third in the Scottish Premiership Credit: Getty Images “I think [Celtic] see it as a big game, a chance to slap us down. I think you normally find the strongest, most motivated Celtic to take us on. We have to overcome that.” “We’re judged against Rangers and Celtic. The criticism comes when we don’t beat them but it pleases me that’s the perception now. We’ve been to three cup finals the last four years, at least we’re getting criticised for getting in the position to be successful rather than threatening not even to be there, diddling along not making any impact.” Financial disparity threatens to spoil title races in most European leagues and Scotland has it bad. Celtic’s most recent financial report shows net cash in the bank of £30.9million, with pre-tax profit at £19.5million. Aberdeen’s turnover last year was £15.28million. Is it even possible to bridge the gap? “I don’t think you can ever say never, because we’re probably as close to them now in terms of points than we’ve ever been. “If [Celtic] meet their standards it should keep them ahead of everyone else. If their standards drop there might be enough teams who are encouraged by that and you never know.” McInnes has turned down moves to Sunderland and Rangers in the previous two seasons, with the latter a controversial saga which dragged on far too long. If a financial ceiling is preventing McInnes achieving all he wants at Aberdeen and there are plenty of would be suitors, what keeps him at the club? “You work for clubs… but you actually work for people. When you’ve got options to consider you have to go with your gut feeling and ascertain who am I gonna be working closely with here, how much trust is there, does the club work properly… “A manager can drive it, can get his team going, get the dressing room right and bring people in but the enthusiasm and motivation and expertise in leadership must come from above or the manager is just a consequence of that. “A manager is judged on the pitch but how your club works is normally how it plays out on the pitch. “The opportunity to work down south will come again, I’m confident it will. “I’ve got a plan for myself where I want to manage, how I want to go about things. It would need to take something that would grab me to want to leave here.” Does the Premier League interest him in the future? “Yeh! Now!” he laughs. “This club when I came in, people probably thought you go to Aberdeen and that’s some sort of guarantee of a chance to be successful… but a club’s only a name. It’s the people within the club who brought the success, not the name. “I think clubs are about people and I don’t think we should ever forget that.”
Exclusive interview: I&#39;m sure I will get chance to work down south again, says Aberdeen&#39;s in-demand manager Derek McInnes
Exclusive interview: I'm sure I will get chance to work down south again, says Aberdeen's in-demand manager Derek McInnes
Exclusive interview: I'm sure I will get chance to work down south again, says Aberdeen's in-demand manager Derek McInnes
Derek McInnes was the first West Brom player to ever be sent off in the Premier League. He laughs. “I’ve been sent off twice in my career. Once against Berwick Rangers and once against Man Utd!” If you’re going to do something, do it with gusto. McInnes is the much-coveted manager in charge of Aberdeen, an ex-Scotland international who began his playing career at Greenock Morton, appeared in the Champions League for Rangers and captained West Brom in the Premier League along a journeyman-like path. In charge at Pittodrie since March 2013, the 46-year-old has taken the club from a middling stay in the Scottish Premiership to winning silverware and offering a genuine challenge in a one-horse title race. How? “I think you’ve got to have an idea, an identity to your team,” says McInnes, who is preparing his side to host league leaders Celtic on Sunday. “I’ve always felt a team is an extension of the manager really. I wanted a team with attitude, pace, energy. “In every team I played in there were always better players than me in it but I knew the importance that I felt from my teammates towards me and what I could bring to them. McInnes is a man on a mission Credit: PA “You need certain types in your dressing room. It’s not all about being a good player.” As a player, McInnes was a natural leader. Neat and tidy on the ball, he worked tirelessly off it – qualities evident in his current captain, Graeme Shinnie, a player who operates as a physical manifestation of McInnes on the pitch: “He demonstrates everything I want my team to be.” Shinnie, like McInnes, has been largely overlooked at international level, struggling to break into a Scotland squad relatively flush with central midfielders. But Scottish football is not what it once was. If McInnes were a player in 2018, does he think he’d have earned more than just two caps? “Yeh I do, aye. I think I was a long time really getting any recognition but I understand why. I was at Morton a long, long time in the Championship and you look at the players ahead of me then: Gary McAllister, Paul McStay, Stuart McCall. “We always seem to produce good central midfield players in Scotland, even now. I don’t have any gripes about it, I was in about eight or nine squads but only managed to get on the pitch twice. I was grateful for that, there were a lot of better players than me that never got picked.” McInnes “always wanted to be a manager” and took his first steps towards doing so while a youth player at Morton, earning his Uefa B license at the age of just 22. Will McInnes get the better of Brendan Rodgers on Sunday? Credit: Reuters “At the end of the season most young players would be away on holiday or wanting to unwind, but for me it was just brilliant. I loved being immersed in all this coaching, seeing players I’d been playing against, senior players you’d recognise, international players absolutely shaking with nerves trying to put on sessions!” Gary Megson signed and appointed him as captain in then-Championship West Brom’s promotion bid in 2001/02. Where better to cut leadership teeth than in the situation McInnes found himself in during the notorious Battle of Brammall Lane, a match abandoned as Neil Warnock’s Sheffield United had five players sent off. “I think the team deserved a lot of credit for not taking the bait. It wasnae a day I remember fondly, it was in poor taste. It was a strange game. Bizarre. We could see the intention of what was happening, unfolding and I remember Eddie Walstenholme, Ken’s boy – the old BBC commentator – and I was trying to keep him calm as well!” West Brom were awarded a 3-0 victory that day, winning promotion to the Premier League. “I remember Gary Megson saying to me ‘you need to decide whether you want to be a coach or a manager because there’s a distinct difference’ and I get what he meant. I always wanted to be a manager. I wanted that final say, wanted the decision to be mine, the consequences of the results good or bad to be my responsibility.” The next of his decisions is how to beat Celtic on Sunday, the type of game in which Aberdeen have struggled during McInnes’ time at Pittodrie. Celtic have won the last nine meetings between the two teams and he agrees that rivals raise their game now. Aberdeen are third in the Scottish Premiership Credit: Getty Images “I think [Celtic] see it as a big game, a chance to slap us down. I think you normally find the strongest, most motivated Celtic to take us on. We have to overcome that.” “We’re judged against Rangers and Celtic. The criticism comes when we don’t beat them but it pleases me that’s the perception now. We’ve been to three cup finals the last four years, at least we’re getting criticised for getting in the position to be successful rather than threatening not even to be there, diddling along not making any impact.” Financial disparity threatens to spoil title races in most European leagues and Scotland has it bad. Celtic’s most recent financial report shows net cash in the bank of £30.9million, with pre-tax profit at £19.5million. Aberdeen’s turnover last year was £15.28million. Is it even possible to bridge the gap? “I don’t think you can ever say never, because we’re probably as close to them now in terms of points than we’ve ever been. “If [Celtic] meet their standards it should keep them ahead of everyone else. If their standards drop there might be enough teams who are encouraged by that and you never know.” McInnes has turned down moves to Sunderland and Rangers in the previous two seasons, with the latter a controversial saga which dragged on far too long. If a financial ceiling is preventing McInnes achieving all he wants at Aberdeen and there are plenty of would be suitors, what keeps him at the club? “You work for clubs… but you actually work for people. When you’ve got options to consider you have to go with your gut feeling and ascertain who am I gonna be working closely with here, how much trust is there, does the club work properly… “A manager can drive it, can get his team going, get the dressing room right and bring people in but the enthusiasm and motivation and expertise in leadership must come from above or the manager is just a consequence of that. “A manager is judged on the pitch but how your club works is normally how it plays out on the pitch. “The opportunity to work down south will come again, I’m confident it will. “I’ve got a plan for myself where I want to manage, how I want to go about things. It would need to take something that would grab me to want to leave here.” Does the Premier League interest him in the future? “Yeh! Now!” he laughs. “This club when I came in, people probably thought you go to Aberdeen and that’s some sort of guarantee of a chance to be successful… but a club’s only a name. It’s the people within the club who brought the success, not the name. “I think clubs are about people and I don’t think we should ever forget that.”
Exclusive interview: I'm sure I will get chance to work down south again, says Aberdeen's in-demand manager Derek McInnes
Derek McInnes was the first West Brom player to ever be sent off in the Premier League. He laughs. “I’ve been sent off twice in my career. Once against Berwick Rangers and once against Man Utd!” If you’re going to do something, do it with gusto. McInnes is the much-coveted manager in charge of Aberdeen, an ex-Scotland international who began his playing career at Greenock Morton, appeared in the Champions League for Rangers and captained West Brom in the Premier League along a journeyman-like path. In charge at Pittodrie since March 2013, the 46-year-old has taken the club from a middling stay in the Scottish Premiership to winning silverware and offering a genuine challenge in a one-horse title race. How? “I think you’ve got to have an idea, an identity to your team,” says McInnes, who is preparing his side to host league leaders Celtic on Sunday. “I’ve always felt a team is an extension of the manager really. I wanted a team with attitude, pace, energy. “In every team I played in there were always better players than me in it but I knew the importance that I felt from my teammates towards me and what I could bring to them. McInnes is a man on a mission Credit: PA “You need certain types in your dressing room. It’s not all about being a good player.” As a player, McInnes was a natural leader. Neat and tidy on the ball, he worked tirelessly off it – qualities evident in his current captain, Graeme Shinnie, a player who operates as a physical manifestation of McInnes on the pitch: “He demonstrates everything I want my team to be.” Shinnie, like McInnes, has been largely overlooked at international level, struggling to break into a Scotland squad relatively flush with central midfielders. But Scottish football is not what it once was. If McInnes were a player in 2018, does he think he’d have earned more than just two caps? “Yeh I do, aye. I think I was a long time really getting any recognition but I understand why. I was at Morton a long, long time in the Championship and you look at the players ahead of me then: Gary McAllister, Paul McStay, Stuart McCall. “We always seem to produce good central midfield players in Scotland, even now. I don’t have any gripes about it, I was in about eight or nine squads but only managed to get on the pitch twice. I was grateful for that, there were a lot of better players than me that never got picked.” McInnes “always wanted to be a manager” and took his first steps towards doing so while a youth player at Morton, earning his Uefa B license at the age of just 22. Will McInnes get the better of Brendan Rodgers on Sunday? Credit: Reuters “At the end of the season most young players would be away on holiday or wanting to unwind, but for me it was just brilliant. I loved being immersed in all this coaching, seeing players I’d been playing against, senior players you’d recognise, international players absolutely shaking with nerves trying to put on sessions!” Gary Megson signed and appointed him as captain in then-Championship West Brom’s promotion bid in 2001/02. Where better to cut leadership teeth than in the situation McInnes found himself in during the notorious Battle of Brammall Lane, a match abandoned as Neil Warnock’s Sheffield United had five players sent off. “I think the team deserved a lot of credit for not taking the bait. It wasnae a day I remember fondly, it was in poor taste. It was a strange game. Bizarre. We could see the intention of what was happening, unfolding and I remember Eddie Walstenholme, Ken’s boy – the old BBC commentator – and I was trying to keep him calm as well!” West Brom were awarded a 3-0 victory that day, winning promotion to the Premier League. “I remember Gary Megson saying to me ‘you need to decide whether you want to be a coach or a manager because there’s a distinct difference’ and I get what he meant. I always wanted to be a manager. I wanted that final say, wanted the decision to be mine, the consequences of the results good or bad to be my responsibility.” The next of his decisions is how to beat Celtic on Sunday, the type of game in which Aberdeen have struggled during McInnes’ time at Pittodrie. Celtic have won the last nine meetings between the two teams and he agrees that rivals raise their game now. Aberdeen are third in the Scottish Premiership Credit: Getty Images “I think [Celtic] see it as a big game, a chance to slap us down. I think you normally find the strongest, most motivated Celtic to take us on. We have to overcome that.” “We’re judged against Rangers and Celtic. The criticism comes when we don’t beat them but it pleases me that’s the perception now. We’ve been to three cup finals the last four years, at least we’re getting criticised for getting in the position to be successful rather than threatening not even to be there, diddling along not making any impact.” Financial disparity threatens to spoil title races in most European leagues and Scotland has it bad. Celtic’s most recent financial report shows net cash in the bank of £30.9million, with pre-tax profit at £19.5million. Aberdeen’s turnover last year was £15.28million. Is it even possible to bridge the gap? “I don’t think you can ever say never, because we’re probably as close to them now in terms of points than we’ve ever been. “If [Celtic] meet their standards it should keep them ahead of everyone else. If their standards drop there might be enough teams who are encouraged by that and you never know.” McInnes has turned down moves to Sunderland and Rangers in the previous two seasons, with the latter a controversial saga which dragged on far too long. If a financial ceiling is preventing McInnes achieving all he wants at Aberdeen and there are plenty of would be suitors, what keeps him at the club? “You work for clubs… but you actually work for people. When you’ve got options to consider you have to go with your gut feeling and ascertain who am I gonna be working closely with here, how much trust is there, does the club work properly… “A manager can drive it, can get his team going, get the dressing room right and bring people in but the enthusiasm and motivation and expertise in leadership must come from above or the manager is just a consequence of that. “A manager is judged on the pitch but how your club works is normally how it plays out on the pitch. “The opportunity to work down south will come again, I’m confident it will. “I’ve got a plan for myself where I want to manage, how I want to go about things. It would need to take something that would grab me to want to leave here.” Does the Premier League interest him in the future? “Yeh! Now!” he laughs. “This club when I came in, people probably thought you go to Aberdeen and that’s some sort of guarantee of a chance to be successful… but a club’s only a name. It’s the people within the club who brought the success, not the name. “I think clubs are about people and I don’t think we should ever forget that.”
A disappointed Celtic party flew into Glasgow on Friday to learn that they would have been drawn against Red Bull Leipzig in the last 16 of the Europa League had they been able to capitalise on the 1-0 lead they took to St Petersburg for their encounter with Zenit. Instead, although their most recent trips to Russia allowed them to nourish hope, they were undone by a pallid performance strewn with defensive errors which consigned them to a 3-0 defeat in the old imperial capital. Brendan Rodgers and his players, however, have no time to indulge contemplation of what might have been, because the demands of the domestic fixture list send them on another stopover trip, this time to face Aberdeen on Sunday at Pittodrie in the Scottish in Premiership. The Dons, too, were victims of a setback last time out, in their case a 2-0 loss to Hibernian at Easter Road. Aberdeen have at least had a week to recover from their below-par performance in Edinburgh, but Kristoffer Ajer, Celtic’s 19-year-old central defender, discounted the notion that the champions would be vulnerable after their setback in St Petersburg and the long journeys to and fro. “We performed well in the first leg at Celtic Park, but the target was to get through and we didn’t do that so we were disappointed,” he said. “We need to learn from these games and look at what we could have done better and take that experience into future European games. Celtic were dumped out of the Europa League by Zenit Saint Petersburg Credit: REUTERS “Now we have to look towards Sunday. It’s a big game for us and a big game for Aberdeen. They’ve done really well this season so it will be a tough game for us. “We stayed overnight in Russia after the game and we recovered well today so we’ll be 100 per cent ready for the game at Pittodrie.” Celtic are entitled to travel to the Granite City with confidence in their record against Aberdeen since Rodgers has been in charge – eight wins from as many meetings, six in the league and two in the domestic cup finals. The Dons have also lost three times to Rangers this season, prompting doubts about their mentality in games against the Glasgow pair. Indeed, Celtic’s 3-0 victory at Pittodrie in October was arguably their most accomplished domestic performance under Rodgers last year. “Against us, their big players are always on the pitch and fully motivated as they see the importance of playing against Aberdeen - normally their closest rivals - and trying to give us a slap down,” said McInnes “That, in turn, makes it more difficult for our players but our players should relish the challenge of that and take that as a compliment.” Rodgers will freshen his side for this contest and there is likely to be a starting place for Tom Rogic in midfield. Rangers edged ahead of Aberdeen into second place on goal difference on Sunday and now face a test of their staying power with today’s visit of Hearts, who left Ibrox with a goalless draw in August, when the hapless Pedro Caixinha was still in charge in Govan. Under Graeme Murty – then caretaker boss – Rangers performed well to beat Hearts 3-1 at Murrayfield in October. Hearts’ fortunes picked up on their return from the home of Scottish rugby to Tynecastle, where they subsequently inflicted Celtic’s first domestic defeat under Rodgers and, after Celtic, they have shipped fewer goals than any other side in the top six. “It has been fairly well covered how few goals they concede,” Murty said. “They are happy and content to have a really good structure and shape. We have to make sure we are aware of that and we are aware of what they want to do without the ball as well as with it, but we have to be good enough and bright enough and clever enough to pull their shape apart and cause them problems. “I think, in the form that we’re in and with the players that we have, we have options that can cause them problems whatever formation or shape they choose to play. We need to be more patient and have a better structure at home sometimes. “Teams aren’t going to come to us and be open and expansive – we have to understand that and so do our fans. What we have to be content with is that, over 90-odd minutes, we will create chances and pull teams apart. We just have to choose the right time and the right method to do that. “If it takes 95 minutes to get a 1-0 and it’s been a bit scrappier than we’d have liked, we have to be professional and pragmatic enough to accept that it might be what gets us closer to where we want to be.”
Celtic hope to avoid Europa League hangover against dangerous Aberdeen
A disappointed Celtic party flew into Glasgow on Friday to learn that they would have been drawn against Red Bull Leipzig in the last 16 of the Europa League had they been able to capitalise on the 1-0 lead they took to St Petersburg for their encounter with Zenit. Instead, although their most recent trips to Russia allowed them to nourish hope, they were undone by a pallid performance strewn with defensive errors which consigned them to a 3-0 defeat in the old imperial capital. Brendan Rodgers and his players, however, have no time to indulge contemplation of what might have been, because the demands of the domestic fixture list send them on another stopover trip, this time to face Aberdeen on Sunday at Pittodrie in the Scottish in Premiership. The Dons, too, were victims of a setback last time out, in their case a 2-0 loss to Hibernian at Easter Road. Aberdeen have at least had a week to recover from their below-par performance in Edinburgh, but Kristoffer Ajer, Celtic’s 19-year-old central defender, discounted the notion that the champions would be vulnerable after their setback in St Petersburg and the long journeys to and fro. “We performed well in the first leg at Celtic Park, but the target was to get through and we didn’t do that so we were disappointed,” he said. “We need to learn from these games and look at what we could have done better and take that experience into future European games. Celtic were dumped out of the Europa League by Zenit Saint Petersburg Credit: REUTERS “Now we have to look towards Sunday. It’s a big game for us and a big game for Aberdeen. They’ve done really well this season so it will be a tough game for us. “We stayed overnight in Russia after the game and we recovered well today so we’ll be 100 per cent ready for the game at Pittodrie.” Celtic are entitled to travel to the Granite City with confidence in their record against Aberdeen since Rodgers has been in charge – eight wins from as many meetings, six in the league and two in the domestic cup finals. The Dons have also lost three times to Rangers this season, prompting doubts about their mentality in games against the Glasgow pair. Indeed, Celtic’s 3-0 victory at Pittodrie in October was arguably their most accomplished domestic performance under Rodgers last year. “Against us, their big players are always on the pitch and fully motivated as they see the importance of playing against Aberdeen - normally their closest rivals - and trying to give us a slap down,” said McInnes “That, in turn, makes it more difficult for our players but our players should relish the challenge of that and take that as a compliment.” Rodgers will freshen his side for this contest and there is likely to be a starting place for Tom Rogic in midfield. Rangers edged ahead of Aberdeen into second place on goal difference on Sunday and now face a test of their staying power with today’s visit of Hearts, who left Ibrox with a goalless draw in August, when the hapless Pedro Caixinha was still in charge in Govan. Under Graeme Murty – then caretaker boss – Rangers performed well to beat Hearts 3-1 at Murrayfield in October. Hearts’ fortunes picked up on their return from the home of Scottish rugby to Tynecastle, where they subsequently inflicted Celtic’s first domestic defeat under Rodgers and, after Celtic, they have shipped fewer goals than any other side in the top six. “It has been fairly well covered how few goals they concede,” Murty said. “They are happy and content to have a really good structure and shape. We have to make sure we are aware of that and we are aware of what they want to do without the ball as well as with it, but we have to be good enough and bright enough and clever enough to pull their shape apart and cause them problems. “I think, in the form that we’re in and with the players that we have, we have options that can cause them problems whatever formation or shape they choose to play. We need to be more patient and have a better structure at home sometimes. “Teams aren’t going to come to us and be open and expansive – we have to understand that and so do our fans. What we have to be content with is that, over 90-odd minutes, we will create chances and pull teams apart. We just have to choose the right time and the right method to do that. “If it takes 95 minutes to get a 1-0 and it’s been a bit scrappier than we’d have liked, we have to be professional and pragmatic enough to accept that it might be what gets us closer to where we want to be.”
A disappointed Celtic party flew into Glasgow on Friday to learn that they would have been drawn against Red Bull Leipzig in the last 16 of the Europa League had they been able to capitalise on the 1-0 lead they took to St Petersburg for their encounter with Zenit. Instead, although their most recent trips to Russia allowed them to nourish hope, they were undone by a pallid performance strewn with defensive errors which consigned them to a 3-0 defeat in the old imperial capital. Brendan Rodgers and his players, however, have no time to indulge contemplation of what might have been, because the demands of the domestic fixture list send them on another stopover trip, this time to face Aberdeen on Sunday at Pittodrie in the Scottish in Premiership. The Dons, too, were victims of a setback last time out, in their case a 2-0 loss to Hibernian at Easter Road. Aberdeen have at least had a week to recover from their below-par performance in Edinburgh, but Kristoffer Ajer, Celtic’s 19-year-old central defender, discounted the notion that the champions would be vulnerable after their setback in St Petersburg and the long journeys to and fro. “We performed well in the first leg at Celtic Park, but the target was to get through and we didn’t do that so we were disappointed,” he said. “We need to learn from these games and look at what we could have done better and take that experience into future European games. Celtic were dumped out of the Europa League by Zenit Saint Petersburg Credit: REUTERS “Now we have to look towards Sunday. It’s a big game for us and a big game for Aberdeen. They’ve done really well this season so it will be a tough game for us. “We stayed overnight in Russia after the game and we recovered well today so we’ll be 100 per cent ready for the game at Pittodrie.” Celtic are entitled to travel to the Granite City with confidence in their record against Aberdeen since Rodgers has been in charge – eight wins from as many meetings, six in the league and two in the domestic cup finals. The Dons have also lost three times to Rangers this season, prompting doubts about their mentality in games against the Glasgow pair. Indeed, Celtic’s 3-0 victory at Pittodrie in October was arguably their most accomplished domestic performance under Rodgers last year. “Against us, their big players are always on the pitch and fully motivated as they see the importance of playing against Aberdeen - normally their closest rivals - and trying to give us a slap down,” said McInnes “That, in turn, makes it more difficult for our players but our players should relish the challenge of that and take that as a compliment.” Rodgers will freshen his side for this contest and there is likely to be a starting place for Tom Rogic in midfield. Rangers edged ahead of Aberdeen into second place on goal difference on Sunday and now face a test of their staying power with today’s visit of Hearts, who left Ibrox with a goalless draw in August, when the hapless Pedro Caixinha was still in charge in Govan. Under Graeme Murty – then caretaker boss – Rangers performed well to beat Hearts 3-1 at Murrayfield in October. Hearts’ fortunes picked up on their return from the home of Scottish rugby to Tynecastle, where they subsequently inflicted Celtic’s first domestic defeat under Rodgers and, after Celtic, they have shipped fewer goals than any other side in the top six. “It has been fairly well covered how few goals they concede,” Murty said. “They are happy and content to have a really good structure and shape. We have to make sure we are aware of that and we are aware of what they want to do without the ball as well as with it, but we have to be good enough and bright enough and clever enough to pull their shape apart and cause them problems. “I think, in the form that we’re in and with the players that we have, we have options that can cause them problems whatever formation or shape they choose to play. We need to be more patient and have a better structure at home sometimes. “Teams aren’t going to come to us and be open and expansive – we have to understand that and so do our fans. What we have to be content with is that, over 90-odd minutes, we will create chances and pull teams apart. We just have to choose the right time and the right method to do that. “If it takes 95 minutes to get a 1-0 and it’s been a bit scrappier than we’d have liked, we have to be professional and pragmatic enough to accept that it might be what gets us closer to where we want to be.”
Celtic hope to avoid Europa League hangover against dangerous Aberdeen
A disappointed Celtic party flew into Glasgow on Friday to learn that they would have been drawn against Red Bull Leipzig in the last 16 of the Europa League had they been able to capitalise on the 1-0 lead they took to St Petersburg for their encounter with Zenit. Instead, although their most recent trips to Russia allowed them to nourish hope, they were undone by a pallid performance strewn with defensive errors which consigned them to a 3-0 defeat in the old imperial capital. Brendan Rodgers and his players, however, have no time to indulge contemplation of what might have been, because the demands of the domestic fixture list send them on another stopover trip, this time to face Aberdeen on Sunday at Pittodrie in the Scottish in Premiership. The Dons, too, were victims of a setback last time out, in their case a 2-0 loss to Hibernian at Easter Road. Aberdeen have at least had a week to recover from their below-par performance in Edinburgh, but Kristoffer Ajer, Celtic’s 19-year-old central defender, discounted the notion that the champions would be vulnerable after their setback in St Petersburg and the long journeys to and fro. “We performed well in the first leg at Celtic Park, but the target was to get through and we didn’t do that so we were disappointed,” he said. “We need to learn from these games and look at what we could have done better and take that experience into future European games. Celtic were dumped out of the Europa League by Zenit Saint Petersburg Credit: REUTERS “Now we have to look towards Sunday. It’s a big game for us and a big game for Aberdeen. They’ve done really well this season so it will be a tough game for us. “We stayed overnight in Russia after the game and we recovered well today so we’ll be 100 per cent ready for the game at Pittodrie.” Celtic are entitled to travel to the Granite City with confidence in their record against Aberdeen since Rodgers has been in charge – eight wins from as many meetings, six in the league and two in the domestic cup finals. The Dons have also lost three times to Rangers this season, prompting doubts about their mentality in games against the Glasgow pair. Indeed, Celtic’s 3-0 victory at Pittodrie in October was arguably their most accomplished domestic performance under Rodgers last year. “Against us, their big players are always on the pitch and fully motivated as they see the importance of playing against Aberdeen - normally their closest rivals - and trying to give us a slap down,” said McInnes “That, in turn, makes it more difficult for our players but our players should relish the challenge of that and take that as a compliment.” Rodgers will freshen his side for this contest and there is likely to be a starting place for Tom Rogic in midfield. Rangers edged ahead of Aberdeen into second place on goal difference on Sunday and now face a test of their staying power with today’s visit of Hearts, who left Ibrox with a goalless draw in August, when the hapless Pedro Caixinha was still in charge in Govan. Under Graeme Murty – then caretaker boss – Rangers performed well to beat Hearts 3-1 at Murrayfield in October. Hearts’ fortunes picked up on their return from the home of Scottish rugby to Tynecastle, where they subsequently inflicted Celtic’s first domestic defeat under Rodgers and, after Celtic, they have shipped fewer goals than any other side in the top six. “It has been fairly well covered how few goals they concede,” Murty said. “They are happy and content to have a really good structure and shape. We have to make sure we are aware of that and we are aware of what they want to do without the ball as well as with it, but we have to be good enough and bright enough and clever enough to pull their shape apart and cause them problems. “I think, in the form that we’re in and with the players that we have, we have options that can cause them problems whatever formation or shape they choose to play. We need to be more patient and have a better structure at home sometimes. “Teams aren’t going to come to us and be open and expansive – we have to understand that and so do our fans. What we have to be content with is that, over 90-odd minutes, we will create chances and pull teams apart. We just have to choose the right time and the right method to do that. “If it takes 95 minutes to get a 1-0 and it’s been a bit scrappier than we’d have liked, we have to be professional and pragmatic enough to accept that it might be what gets us closer to where we want to be.”
Celtic hope to avoid Europa League hangover against dangerous Aberdeen
Celtic hope to avoid Europa League hangover against dangerous Aberdeen
Celtic hope to avoid Europa League hangover against dangerous Aberdeen
Celtic hope to avoid Europa League hangover against dangerous Aberdeen
Celtic hope to avoid Europa League hangover against dangerous Aberdeen
Celtic hope to avoid Europa League hangover against dangerous Aberdeen
World class is an over used term in football and maybe with Paul Pogba that has been the case but there is no doubt that Manchester United have at least one player worthy of that status as goalkeeper David De Gea once again demonstrated his importance as he kept his team in this Champions League tie. Two superb saves from headers, the second breathtaking, at the end of the first half denied Sevilla who had countless other opportunities against an at times over-run United side who nevertheless go into the second leg of this last-16 encounter on March 13 as favourites to progress into the quarter-finals. Or maybe not if they play like this because for all of Jose Mourinho’s post-match protestations about his team being in control that was simply not the case while it is dispiriting that, once more, the United manager’s pre-occupation was to try and stop the opposition rather than impose him team on them. The visitors looked pedestrian, conservative, restrained; a team lacking in verve. It was a far cry, for example, from the way Liverpool destroyed Porto away last week. And surely United cannot keep relying on De Gea? In fact Mourinho congratulated himself on how his midfield had controlled the Sevilla playmaker Ever Banega – not quite true – and he lauded his decision to field Scott McTominay from the start, and as competently as the promising young Scot did perform, he is an essentially destructive, rather than constructive, player. Credit: GETTY IMAGES On his return from illness Pogba was dropped, and that obviously caused quite a stir, but he had to be called on after just 18 minutes when Ander Herrera pulled up injured as he attempted a back-heel – much to Mourinho’s frustration. Pogba’s contribution was later distilled by his manager into one about working hard for the team – not quite effusive praise – while Mourinho also launched himself into an argument that all players have to work hard, and not being free spirits, when he was asked an innocuous question about Alexis Sanchez. Sanchez was far from his best on his return to Champions League football following his January move from Arsenal and was withdrawn before the end. And neither was Pogba much better. This was hugely disappointing. United’s alleged control was arguable for De Gea made eight saves in all from 25 attempts at goal by Sevilla – the most for a United goalkeeper in a Champions League game since Edwin van der Sar versus Barcelona in May 2011. Average touch positions (0 min) And Sevilla, fifth in La Liga, are no Barcelona of that or even this vintage. Whatever their attacking intent and desire to score under their new head coach Vincenzo Montella for whom this was only a second match in this competition against Mourinho’s 140 games. And yet United’s display smacked of a performance from a team set out by a manager more concerned about stopping the opposition than winning the game. But Mourinho is a master of the knockout competitions, or at least going deep into them, and will argue this kind of occasion is about managing the two matches. And not just the one. Get through this tie and his approach worked. But United were flat. They were underwhelming. Except for De Gea who was elevated to such an imposing status that it seemed to get into the heads of the Sevilla players who, after his two saves just before half-time, continued to play well, attack well but snatched at chances. The closer to De Gea they got, in fact, the less sure they became. They did not look like they believed they could beat him. He got bigger, the goal got smaller. Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal The first save was smart enough as De Gea flicked a powerful header from Steven Nzonzi over the bar, after the midfielder had reached an acrobatic overhead kick back across the penalty area by the lively striker, Luis Muriel. And then De Gea made that incredible save from Muriel – soon after mix-up between the goalkeeper and defender Victor Lindelof – as the forward was picked out unmarked by Jesus Navas with a cross from the right. As Muriel reached the ball he seemed certain to plant his header, from no more than six yards, into the net but De Gea shot out an arm to block. It needed a double-take to believe what had happened. Muriel pressed his head against the post in disbelief for several seconds. When the half-time whistle blew soon after both Muriel and his team-mate Gabriel Mercado even took time to shake De Gea’s hand before he walked down the tunnel. Attempt Saved: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Luis Muriel, 45 + 1 min) There were more saves, relatively routine ones, from De Gea who turned away a skidding shot from Muriel, in the first half, and from Joaquin Correa after he jinked in from the right, and from Correa again as he attempted to bend the ball into the corner. But after his amazing save from Muriel it seemed Sevilla believed they had to find the precise finish and Clement Lenglet, Franco Vazquez and Muriel, again, were wasteful as they attempted that. It was summed up when Muriel crossed towards the far post and Correa appeared to have the chance to head home but was clearly mindful of De Gea scampering across and tried for too much power. Again it sailed over the bar. And what about Romelu Lukaku, United’s other big name? The striker was picked out by Sanchez with a clever lofted ball through, but despite having time and space he skied his volley high over the target. Then in the second half he controlled the ball with an arm before firing it into the net. It was rightly ruled out. And that was it. He did little else. David De Gea produced a stunning save to keep Man Utd in the game Credit: REUTERS In fact United only had a single shot on target and that was from McTominay, a first-time effort from outside the area, that was pushed away by goalkeeper Sergio Rico. Mourinho argued that the space opened up for United, but he must have been watching a different game. In this one he was indebted to Sevilla’s profligacy and the brilliance of De Gea. 10:03PM Jose Mourinho loves McTominay &quot;OK. Decision at Old Trafford, it&#39;s a match in our house, I believe that Old Trafford misses a big European night. Of course we had last season but Europa League has a different meaning, and they can create similar atmosphere we had today and push us through a difficult match. &quot;Can I hug you? [hugs Des Kelly] That&#39;s a question. I was in a press conference before and the questions were about Paul and I think the question should be about the kid. He was fantastic, did everything well, put lots of pressure on Banega which was important, always comfortable, simple in possession. He was brilliant. In my opinion the midfield started well and when Herrera came out, Paul worked hard.&quot; 9:42PM Team shapes Average touch positions (0 min) 9:38PM Paul Scholes &quot;Bad game of football, a difficult watch to be honest. Job done for United, I think they&#39;ll be comfortable at Old Trafford.&quot; Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal 9:36PM Mourinho knows how setup a defence The 23rd clean sheet of the season for Man Utd. 9:35PM FULL TIME Not the most memorable of European nights. Sevilla are extremely medium, Man Utd didn&#39;t have enough to take anything home with them. There&#39;s something in Mourinho&#39;s team that doesn&#39;t quite click and this was another disjointed performance, albeit one that has produced the 0-0 he will have wanted. 9:34PM 90 mins +1 This game is done. Neither team really pushing for a goal, there&#39;s still no pace to the passing, it&#39;s a 0-0 game. 9:31PM 89 mins Rashford goes for the knuckle-ball, it flies off the mark and zips wide of the post. Banega off, Pizarro on. 9:31PM 88 mins Rashford wins a free-kick after a blatant foul 30 yards out. The replays of that Navas dive are painful viewing. 9:30PM 87 mins Sandro is involved straight away, links a pass and moves, Sevilla keep coming and Sarabia is played in behind! He pulls the ball back across the box - there must be a finish here! Sandro has to stop and turn a couple of times... and the shot is blocked. Navas comes steaming in to pick up the loose ball and goes flying over a tackle. The referee doesn&#39;t care and he&#39;s right because it&#39;s a dive. Boooooo! 9:28PM 85 mins Sandro is about to come on for Vazquez, but then Montella goes a bit mad on the touchline and decides to take off Muriel instead. The whole stadium seems perplexed by that change of heart but it makes sense. Striker for a striker. 9:25PM 83 mins 0-0 might seem like a decent result to take back to Old Trafford but it only takes one mistake and Sevilla to score from it and all of a sudden United need to score two. United are attacking now... and LUKAKU HAS SCORED! No he hasn&#39;t. It&#39;s a handball. Pogba&#39;s scooped pass for the assist there was superb. 9:23PM 81 mins Mata off for Martial. That&#39;ll give United some energy and speed on the wings for the final 10 minutes as they look for that crucial away goal. 9:21PM 78 mins Credit: REUTERS This picture gives you some idea of how close-range that De Gea save was earlier. You&#39;d think it might concern Mourinho that the best thing United have done all night was stopping this header going in but the score is still 0-0 so who knows. I haven&#39;t won several European trophies, what do I know. 9:19PM 77 mins Rashford takes on Navas for pace but, somewhat unsurprisingly, isn&#39;t able to win that particular race. 9:17PM 75 mins Sanchez has been poor tonight. And actually, I&#39;m not sure if I&#39;ve seen him play well for Man Utd apart from that Yeovil game... he&#39;s doing too much and not sticking to his job on the left wing. Rashford comes on. 9:15PM 73 mins Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal None of these have been particularly close, except the two De Gea saved from close range. And they&#39;ve just missed another! Muriel dances down the right and chips to the back post. Sarabia should really score from about four yards but heads over. That&#39;s a huge miss. 9:14PM 72 mins A cross from wide right is whipped low into the six yard box but Smalling makes sure Muriel can&#39;t get onto it. 9:13PM 70 mins Sevilla are painfully slow. It&#39;s so easy to shut them down and United are not having to work especially hard to do so. Lukaku holds off his man on the left, Sanchez takes the ball on and the pitch opens up for this United attack! There&#39;s a big chance here if Lukaku can find the pass... but a right footed pass across the pitch is easily cut out. 9:09PM 67 mins Banega goes for a knuckle ball, Juninho-style free-kick but De Gea catches easily. Lukaku does well to win a corner. 9:08PM 66 mins Correa comes inside from the left, goes past two players and then a stepover takes him into the area! He can shoot from here... but his shot flies into the stand. Another free-kick for Sevilla near the United box. 9:07PM 65 mins Banega hits a really good ball into the area... it&#39;s headed at goal from six yards... and De Gea saves again. This time it&#39;s a bit easier. Credit: REUTERS 9:05PM 63 mins Lukaku hits the wall. United keep some level of pressure up... but Sanchez and Pogba and Mata can&#39;t produce anything of note and Lukaku doesn&#39;t attack the cross with any real aggression. McTominay controls the ball well in the air, the Sevilla defender kicks his foot... aaaaand the referee gives a free-kick to Sevilla. Foul after foul after foul after foul. They&#39;re all so weak! Players falling over all the place. Put a lion on the pitch, see what happens. 9:03PM 61 mins More slow build up. The Sevilla fans boo, Sanchez is told where to go by McTominay after drifting inside the pitch but Sanchez&#39;s run towards the box is stopped by a slide tackle. United have a decent set piece position here. 9:01PM 59 mins United sit in their own defensive third, walking around the pitch as Sevilla jog their way forward. Muriel tries another shot at goal but puts it wide. De Gea wanders over, never worried about that one creeping in. Out: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Luis Muriel, 58 min) It&#39;d be nice if Man Utd could do something exciting soon. Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal 8:59PM 56 mins Lukaku moves out to the right wing, dribbles past one man and then tries to pass across the box. It&#39;s aimed poorly and Sevilla come away with the ball, Lindelof pulls Vazquez&#39;s shirt and gives away a free-kick in the centre-circle. McTominay is fouled by Escudero... it&#39;s so scrappy. Both teams are slow in build up and then someone fouls someone else. Nothing comes from the free-kicks or corners. 8:56PM 54 mins Young tries to go past Sarabia but loses the ball and the counter-attack is on. Matic is caught behind the play, Muriel comes inside and shoots... but it&#39;s another corner. This is such a frustrating, scrappy game. A real Mourinho European match. He&#39;ll get them the result but it&#39;s far from beautiful flowing football. 8:54PM 52 mins Average touch positions (50 min) You can see why Mourinho needs Young to get forward. Sanchez is basically playing as a second striker and it&#39;s making United lopsided. Vazquez tries a shot from 20 yards but bends it way over the bar. 8:53PM 50 mins Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal 8:51PM 49 mins McTominay does well to shield the ball and link a few passes together in the midfield. Young overlaps and gets into the box, winning a corner. It seems that Mourinho has pushed his full-backs further forward in this half. Mata&#39;s first touch to kill the corner is amazing, he then sells a dummy to two defenders and chips into the centre but nobody is there. Sometimes Mata is ridiculously good. 8:49PM 47 mins Sandro (that guy Everton bought) is on the bench for Sevilla and has number 99 on his shirt. This. Ends. NOW! 8:48PM KICK OFF 2 Kick off 2 man utd &quot;They don&#39;t look too threatening really,&quot; says Paul Scholes of Sevilla. I&#39;d argue both look pretty tame. A 0-0 beckons! Or does it? Let&#39;s find out! 8:38PM De Gea praise from a proper goalkeeper This guy used to play in goal for Aberdeen, he knows what it means to face an onslaught of shots. David De Gea is incredible. What. A. Save. Don’t say “Anywhere else and it’s a goal.” or “He should score.” because nothing should detract from that save. From that range and with that power, he’s denied an almost certain goal. Just brilliant.— David Preece (@davidpreece12) February 21, 2018 8:35PM Sevilla&#39;s paper planes Credit: REUTERS 8:33PM That De Gea save Sure, the striker should have aimed towards the floor with this but I mean... come on. It&#39;s ludicrous that he can react quickly enough and get a strong enough arm at this shot to turn it over. It&#39;s astonishing. 8:32PM HALF TIME De Gea has just rescued Man Utd there. It should be 1-0 Sevilla. 8:32PM 45 mins +2 And more exciting! A long ball is read by Young, he cushions it with his first touch back to De Gea... and nobody picks it up! What are they playing at?! De Gea manages to hook the ball away before that becomes a tap in. Sevilla keep the pressure up, the ball is sent into the middle and MURIEL IS ALL ALONE! HE MUST SCORE OH MY HEAVENS LORDY LORDY WHAT A SAVE! That&#39;s an incredible save from De Gea! Muriel can&#39;t believe it! Attempt Saved: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Luis Muriel, 45 + 1 min) 8:30PM 45 mins +1 What a save by De Gea! The corner is headed to the back post, N&#39;Zonzi tries a bicycle kick and it&#39;s turned at goal by another Sevilla player off the head. De Gea has to react instantly to dive and turn it over! 8:29PM 45 mins There are quite a few paper aeroplanes being thrown onto the pitch as United set up a corner. That corner goes so well that Sevilla are able to counter-attack quickly and win their own corner. Mourinho is furious. 8:27PM 43 mins Sanchez fouls Navas and is booked. It&#39;s harsh. Lukaku is back defending at right-back... Valencia hooks the ball away, Banega finds Correa... who does a little too much but does get a shot away! Low to the corner but De Gea saves. Valencia doesn&#39;t get close to Correa there. Keeper pick-up: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (David de Gea, 42 min) 8:25PM 41 mins Correa is in space wide left in the box but doesn&#39;t take his chance to shoot, controls, the defence gets back and his attempted flair pass is knocked behind for a corner. That turns into a goal kick. Sevilla are doing an awful lot without ever actually creating anything genuinely dangerous. 8:23PM 39 mins MCTOMINAAAAAAAAYYYYYYY has a shot saved from distance but it&#39;s a solid effort. The ball sits for him about 20 yards out in the kind of position that would make it a crime not to have a wee go. Rico is fairly comfortable with his save. Sevilla break forward but don&#39;t look too menacing again. Smalling heads a weak shot behind for a corner, Pogba clears. 8:22PM 37 mins Credit: GETTY IMAGES There he is. Meanwhile, Sevilla have a corner. Their crowd really dislikes many of the referee&#39;s decisions but it really does look like he&#39;s getting them all dead right. 8:19PM 35 mins McTominay lets me down and himself down and everyone down with a poor pass to Valencia, who has to work hard to win the 50/50 and then dives by the corner flag. The referee isn&#39;t having it, Sevilla play on and Vasquez is played in! Oooohhhhh he&#39;s a click away from controlling that and having an easy one-on-one but the ball runs past him and he wins a corner instead. Pogba fouls Banega in the centre-circle with a clumsy tackle. 8:17PM 33 mins Sanchez goes down off the ball as Mercado puts his arm out to block the run. There&#39;s nothing really in that either. The Sevilla crowd and team are getting a little wound up by the referee. Valencia has absolutely pied Correa with a shoulder drop and sprinted past him on the right but nothing comes of it. 8:15PM 31 mins Lukaku is being kicked around a little bit here. Sanchez points it out to the referee and convinces him to tell off Correa for... basically barging into him. Hmmm. There#s nothing in that for me, Clive. McTominay is having a decent game so far, his first touch is brilliant. 8:13PM 29 mins Correa has a bit of space on the left and dribbles into the penalty area after a superb first touch. He tricks his way into the box but doesn&#39;t get enough on his show and De Gea saves easily. 8:12PM 27 mins Credit: REUTERS United are slowly gaining more of the pitch, edging that defensive line further forward. 8:10PM 25 mins Lukaku is in! Great ball over the top, an even better run to get to it... and Lukaku punts his volleyed effort way over the bar. That&#39;s a really bad miss. If he had another go at it right now he&#39;d bury it every time. 8:08PM 23 mins N&#39;Zonzi is booked for catching Sanchez on the behind, or to be more specific, his buttock. Sanchez has felt that one, rolls around a bit and then tries to show everyone the wound he may have suffered before deciding maybe he shouldn&#39;t do that. The game is pretty scrappy now, both teams look organised and disciplined, though Sevilla are perhaps asking more of the questions. 8:05PM 20 mins Pogba&#39;s first involvement is to chase the ball down the right wing and lose it. He&#39;s in his dream midfield three now so there&#39;s no excuse if this doesn&#39;t work for him tonight. Young has to stay alert to head a long diagonal ball behind for a corner. Possession: Sevilla vs Man Utd 8:03PM 18 mins POGBA ALERT. POGBA ALERT. [dabs everywhere] Pogba is on the pitch. Mourinho&#39;s evil plans are in tatters. What are the odds he scores and does one of those &quot;shhhhhhh!&quot; celebrations? 8:02PM 17 mins Valencia carries the ball towards the box, Herrera overlaps and is into the box. The pass comes in, he back-heels across goal... and it&#39;s cleared away. Oh no! He&#39;s injured! Herrera&#39;s done for the night, having pulled a muscle with that little run. Darren Fletcher on commentary says &quot;that looks terminal&quot; but I&#39;m not sure Herrera will die from the injury. I don&#39;t know for certain. But also I do. 8:01PM 16 mins Banega tries a long range effort but it&#39;s too high. Miss: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Éver Banega, 14 min) A chipped ball over the top towards Lukaku causes panic as Lenglet and Mercado struggle to cope with his strength and balance... but he can&#39;t take the ball down nor pass it to Mata and Sevilla deal with the situation well. Sevilla go forward quickly and get another shot away. This time it&#39;s wide. Miss: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Jesús Navas, 15 min) 7:57PM 13 mins Sanchez runs into space, controls and pushes the ball towards the box... but Navas speeds in (the one with the sharp blue eyes - don&#39;t act like you don&#39;t know) and shuts him down. 7:56PM 12 mins Sevilla taking their time with passes, United fall behind the halfway line to compact the midfield and Sevilla can&#39;t really go very far. United are effectively keeping them at arm&#39;s length. 7:53PM 9 mins Young does really well to stop Sarabia running directly at him and De Gea hits the ball long up the pitch. Valencia gets forward for a throw in, McTominay controls superbly and passes to Lukaku, who hits a ball out to the left wing and Sanchez gets his first touch! Corner to Man Utd. 7:51PM 6 mins Muriel is able to sprint past Smalling but although he&#39;s quicker to accelerate, the defender is able to hold him off and win the tackle. Correa tries a step over and goes down under a mistimed tackle from Mata. Sevilla are attacking with purpose here, passing the ball really nicely. 7:48PM 4 mins United have a lot of bodies behind the ball early on! Lukaku is the out-ball, tries to spin N&#39;Zonzi but goes down and loses possession in the centre-circle. This is a definite 4-5-1 from United. Sevilla come forward, Muriel has the ball 25 yards out and tries a shot... SAVE by De Gea! That was a decent effort! 7:47PM 2 mins Sevilla win a corner early on, Banega whips it in but United defend well and get the second phase attack out for a throw. 7:45PM KICK OFF Sevilla kick off 7:42PM Here come the teams You can&#39;t even hear this song over the top of the Sevilla support. What a noise! 7:36PM This is genuinely excellent TV BT Sport making use of the expert pundits they have on offer is an absolute treat. I could watch Lampard and Scholes discuss the minute details of how to play in midfield, how they reacted after games, how they&#39;d coach Pogba for the rest of the evening. Lampard has essentially said that Pogba needs to take some responsibility and can&#39;t rely on other people to reign him in when he goes wandering. &quot;After Tottenham I wouldn&#39;t have slept but he&#39;s doing the same thing against Newcastle&quot; is a rough paraphrase. 7:32PM More on Pogba &quot;It&#39;s awareness and effort,&quot; continues Lampard, who knows exactly what it&#39;s like going from attacking midfield to a deeper role. This is great television, lovely stuff by the BT Sport lads. &quot;We&#39;re still talking 18 months into his United career where his best position in the team is,&quot; says Scholes. &quot;He&#39;s a player who scores goals, dictates the pace of the game. I don&#39;t think the team sets up to get the best out of Pogba,&quot; argues Ferdinand. 7:29PM Mourinho on Pogba This is from a BT Sport VT. &quot;When you speak about Paul Pogba is a player who in his best moment had to stop twice, then when he&#39;s playing really well he is suspended.&quot; Pogba has been shunted out of momentum a couple of times this season and he&#39;s struggled ever so slightly in his last few games, trying to do a little too much. In a midfield two he needs to be a little bit better positionally. &quot;It&#39;s all about defensive responsibility, Mourinho&#39;s trying to shock him&quot;, is what Frank Lampard thinks. 7:06PM Mourinho&#39;s reaction to Des Kelly&#39;s questions &quot;Three questions and all about Paul?!&quot; he asks after three questions about Paul Pogba&#39;s absence. Des knows what he&#39;s doing and laughs it off as he moves onto asking about the actual game. 7:03PM Mourinho&#39;s 4-3-3 Isn&#39;t that a thing. Scott McTominay is preferred to Paul Pogba, Juan Mata gets the nod over Anthony Martial and Mourinho changes to a 4-3-3, despite the clamour for him to do so much sooner to get more out of Pogba. Even Pogba has admitted he&#39;s better in a three but Mourinho isn&#39;t having it - a talent like that should be able to play in multiple systems, not only one which suits him alone. 6:46PM Do you like holidays? Do you like football? Well wait a darned minute there because I might have the perfect little thing for you to read! The 10 best European football away days Incredibly it doesn&#39;t include a trip to Pittodrie, Aberdeen but perhaps that is fair, since once you&#39;ve attended a match there you never need to go another football game again. Wait, I mean you never want to go to another football game again. 6:39PM Sevilla starting lineup ONCE del #SevillaFC ante el @ManUtd_Es en la IDA de 1/8 de final de la @LigadeCampeones#vamosmisevilla#UCL#ThisIsSevillapic.twitter.com/fiz3jEbvp3— Sevilla Fútbol Club (@SevillaFC) February 21, 2018 6:38PM No Pogba - confirmed Controversial scenes, Clive. What&#39;s going on here then? Phenomenal scenes from Jose Mourinho. Martial dropped too. How #MUFC line up for tonight&#39;s #UCL clash with Sevilla... pic.twitter.com/7g80OaosMv— Manchester United (@ManUtd) February 21, 2018 6:25PM Good evening! Hello lovely humans, welcome to our liveblog for tonight&#39;s Champions League game featuring PAUL POGBA. [dabs everywhere] But wait - what&#39;s this? Pogba&#39;s on the bench?! That&#39;s what Jason Burt&#39;s heard and you can read all about it here. Could that switch make Man Utd more balanced on the pitch? Does it make them weaker? Who will dab? Why can&#39;t Jose Mourinho get the most out of Paul Pogba? Sevilla are fifth in La Liga and represent a real challenge for United tonight. They play some really nice football and have some excellent players - Ever Banega is an exceptional talent and has the potential to run the game. We&#39;ll find out the starting lineups shortly. Until then, let&#39;s all think about Pogba. And Romelu Lukaku - Sevilla aren&#39;t in the top six of the Premier League, which means he should be able to score against them.
Sevilla 0 Man Utd 0: David De Gea produces stunning save as United get job done against wasteful hosts
World class is an over used term in football and maybe with Paul Pogba that has been the case but there is no doubt that Manchester United have at least one player worthy of that status as goalkeeper David De Gea once again demonstrated his importance as he kept his team in this Champions League tie. Two superb saves from headers, the second breathtaking, at the end of the first half denied Sevilla who had countless other opportunities against an at times over-run United side who nevertheless go into the second leg of this last-16 encounter on March 13 as favourites to progress into the quarter-finals. Or maybe not if they play like this because for all of Jose Mourinho’s post-match protestations about his team being in control that was simply not the case while it is dispiriting that, once more, the United manager’s pre-occupation was to try and stop the opposition rather than impose him team on them. The visitors looked pedestrian, conservative, restrained; a team lacking in verve. It was a far cry, for example, from the way Liverpool destroyed Porto away last week. And surely United cannot keep relying on De Gea? In fact Mourinho congratulated himself on how his midfield had controlled the Sevilla playmaker Ever Banega – not quite true – and he lauded his decision to field Scott McTominay from the start, and as competently as the promising young Scot did perform, he is an essentially destructive, rather than constructive, player. Credit: GETTY IMAGES On his return from illness Pogba was dropped, and that obviously caused quite a stir, but he had to be called on after just 18 minutes when Ander Herrera pulled up injured as he attempted a back-heel – much to Mourinho’s frustration. Pogba’s contribution was later distilled by his manager into one about working hard for the team – not quite effusive praise – while Mourinho also launched himself into an argument that all players have to work hard, and not being free spirits, when he was asked an innocuous question about Alexis Sanchez. Sanchez was far from his best on his return to Champions League football following his January move from Arsenal and was withdrawn before the end. And neither was Pogba much better. This was hugely disappointing. United’s alleged control was arguable for De Gea made eight saves in all from 25 attempts at goal by Sevilla – the most for a United goalkeeper in a Champions League game since Edwin van der Sar versus Barcelona in May 2011. Average touch positions (0 min) And Sevilla, fifth in La Liga, are no Barcelona of that or even this vintage. Whatever their attacking intent and desire to score under their new head coach Vincenzo Montella for whom this was only a second match in this competition against Mourinho’s 140 games. And yet United’s display smacked of a performance from a team set out by a manager more concerned about stopping the opposition than winning the game. But Mourinho is a master of the knockout competitions, or at least going deep into them, and will argue this kind of occasion is about managing the two matches. And not just the one. Get through this tie and his approach worked. But United were flat. They were underwhelming. Except for De Gea who was elevated to such an imposing status that it seemed to get into the heads of the Sevilla players who, after his two saves just before half-time, continued to play well, attack well but snatched at chances. The closer to De Gea they got, in fact, the less sure they became. They did not look like they believed they could beat him. He got bigger, the goal got smaller. Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal The first save was smart enough as De Gea flicked a powerful header from Steven Nzonzi over the bar, after the midfielder had reached an acrobatic overhead kick back across the penalty area by the lively striker, Luis Muriel. And then De Gea made that incredible save from Muriel – soon after mix-up between the goalkeeper and defender Victor Lindelof – as the forward was picked out unmarked by Jesus Navas with a cross from the right. As Muriel reached the ball he seemed certain to plant his header, from no more than six yards, into the net but De Gea shot out an arm to block. It needed a double-take to believe what had happened. Muriel pressed his head against the post in disbelief for several seconds. When the half-time whistle blew soon after both Muriel and his team-mate Gabriel Mercado even took time to shake De Gea’s hand before he walked down the tunnel. Attempt Saved: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Luis Muriel, 45 + 1 min) There were more saves, relatively routine ones, from De Gea who turned away a skidding shot from Muriel, in the first half, and from Joaquin Correa after he jinked in from the right, and from Correa again as he attempted to bend the ball into the corner. But after his amazing save from Muriel it seemed Sevilla believed they had to find the precise finish and Clement Lenglet, Franco Vazquez and Muriel, again, were wasteful as they attempted that. It was summed up when Muriel crossed towards the far post and Correa appeared to have the chance to head home but was clearly mindful of De Gea scampering across and tried for too much power. Again it sailed over the bar. And what about Romelu Lukaku, United’s other big name? The striker was picked out by Sanchez with a clever lofted ball through, but despite having time and space he skied his volley high over the target. Then in the second half he controlled the ball with an arm before firing it into the net. It was rightly ruled out. And that was it. He did little else. David De Gea produced a stunning save to keep Man Utd in the game Credit: REUTERS In fact United only had a single shot on target and that was from McTominay, a first-time effort from outside the area, that was pushed away by goalkeeper Sergio Rico. Mourinho argued that the space opened up for United, but he must have been watching a different game. In this one he was indebted to Sevilla’s profligacy and the brilliance of De Gea. 10:03PM Jose Mourinho loves McTominay "OK. Decision at Old Trafford, it's a match in our house, I believe that Old Trafford misses a big European night. Of course we had last season but Europa League has a different meaning, and they can create similar atmosphere we had today and push us through a difficult match. "Can I hug you? [hugs Des Kelly] That's a question. I was in a press conference before and the questions were about Paul and I think the question should be about the kid. He was fantastic, did everything well, put lots of pressure on Banega which was important, always comfortable, simple in possession. He was brilliant. In my opinion the midfield started well and when Herrera came out, Paul worked hard." 9:42PM Team shapes Average touch positions (0 min) 9:38PM Paul Scholes "Bad game of football, a difficult watch to be honest. Job done for United, I think they'll be comfortable at Old Trafford." Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal 9:36PM Mourinho knows how setup a defence The 23rd clean sheet of the season for Man Utd. 9:35PM FULL TIME Not the most memorable of European nights. Sevilla are extremely medium, Man Utd didn't have enough to take anything home with them. There's something in Mourinho's team that doesn't quite click and this was another disjointed performance, albeit one that has produced the 0-0 he will have wanted. 9:34PM 90 mins +1 This game is done. Neither team really pushing for a goal, there's still no pace to the passing, it's a 0-0 game. 9:31PM 89 mins Rashford goes for the knuckle-ball, it flies off the mark and zips wide of the post. Banega off, Pizarro on. 9:31PM 88 mins Rashford wins a free-kick after a blatant foul 30 yards out. The replays of that Navas dive are painful viewing. 9:30PM 87 mins Sandro is involved straight away, links a pass and moves, Sevilla keep coming and Sarabia is played in behind! He pulls the ball back across the box - there must be a finish here! Sandro has to stop and turn a couple of times... and the shot is blocked. Navas comes steaming in to pick up the loose ball and goes flying over a tackle. The referee doesn't care and he's right because it's a dive. Boooooo! 9:28PM 85 mins Sandro is about to come on for Vazquez, but then Montella goes a bit mad on the touchline and decides to take off Muriel instead. The whole stadium seems perplexed by that change of heart but it makes sense. Striker for a striker. 9:25PM 83 mins 0-0 might seem like a decent result to take back to Old Trafford but it only takes one mistake and Sevilla to score from it and all of a sudden United need to score two. United are attacking now... and LUKAKU HAS SCORED! No he hasn't. It's a handball. Pogba's scooped pass for the assist there was superb. 9:23PM 81 mins Mata off for Martial. That'll give United some energy and speed on the wings for the final 10 minutes as they look for that crucial away goal. 9:21PM 78 mins Credit: REUTERS This picture gives you some idea of how close-range that De Gea save was earlier. You'd think it might concern Mourinho that the best thing United have done all night was stopping this header going in but the score is still 0-0 so who knows. I haven't won several European trophies, what do I know. 9:19PM 77 mins Rashford takes on Navas for pace but, somewhat unsurprisingly, isn't able to win that particular race. 9:17PM 75 mins Sanchez has been poor tonight. And actually, I'm not sure if I've seen him play well for Man Utd apart from that Yeovil game... he's doing too much and not sticking to his job on the left wing. Rashford comes on. 9:15PM 73 mins Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal None of these have been particularly close, except the two De Gea saved from close range. And they've just missed another! Muriel dances down the right and chips to the back post. Sarabia should really score from about four yards but heads over. That's a huge miss. 9:14PM 72 mins A cross from wide right is whipped low into the six yard box but Smalling makes sure Muriel can't get onto it. 9:13PM 70 mins Sevilla are painfully slow. It's so easy to shut them down and United are not having to work especially hard to do so. Lukaku holds off his man on the left, Sanchez takes the ball on and the pitch opens up for this United attack! There's a big chance here if Lukaku can find the pass... but a right footed pass across the pitch is easily cut out. 9:09PM 67 mins Banega goes for a knuckle ball, Juninho-style free-kick but De Gea catches easily. Lukaku does well to win a corner. 9:08PM 66 mins Correa comes inside from the left, goes past two players and then a stepover takes him into the area! He can shoot from here... but his shot flies into the stand. Another free-kick for Sevilla near the United box. 9:07PM 65 mins Banega hits a really good ball into the area... it's headed at goal from six yards... and De Gea saves again. This time it's a bit easier. Credit: REUTERS 9:05PM 63 mins Lukaku hits the wall. United keep some level of pressure up... but Sanchez and Pogba and Mata can't produce anything of note and Lukaku doesn't attack the cross with any real aggression. McTominay controls the ball well in the air, the Sevilla defender kicks his foot... aaaaand the referee gives a free-kick to Sevilla. Foul after foul after foul after foul. They're all so weak! Players falling over all the place. Put a lion on the pitch, see what happens. 9:03PM 61 mins More slow build up. The Sevilla fans boo, Sanchez is told where to go by McTominay after drifting inside the pitch but Sanchez's run towards the box is stopped by a slide tackle. United have a decent set piece position here. 9:01PM 59 mins United sit in their own defensive third, walking around the pitch as Sevilla jog their way forward. Muriel tries another shot at goal but puts it wide. De Gea wanders over, never worried about that one creeping in. Out: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Luis Muriel, 58 min) It'd be nice if Man Utd could do something exciting soon. Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal 8:59PM 56 mins Lukaku moves out to the right wing, dribbles past one man and then tries to pass across the box. It's aimed poorly and Sevilla come away with the ball, Lindelof pulls Vazquez's shirt and gives away a free-kick in the centre-circle. McTominay is fouled by Escudero... it's so scrappy. Both teams are slow in build up and then someone fouls someone else. Nothing comes from the free-kicks or corners. 8:56PM 54 mins Young tries to go past Sarabia but loses the ball and the counter-attack is on. Matic is caught behind the play, Muriel comes inside and shoots... but it's another corner. This is such a frustrating, scrappy game. A real Mourinho European match. He'll get them the result but it's far from beautiful flowing football. 8:54PM 52 mins Average touch positions (50 min) You can see why Mourinho needs Young to get forward. Sanchez is basically playing as a second striker and it's making United lopsided. Vazquez tries a shot from 20 yards but bends it way over the bar. 8:53PM 50 mins Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal 8:51PM 49 mins McTominay does well to shield the ball and link a few passes together in the midfield. Young overlaps and gets into the box, winning a corner. It seems that Mourinho has pushed his full-backs further forward in this half. Mata's first touch to kill the corner is amazing, he then sells a dummy to two defenders and chips into the centre but nobody is there. Sometimes Mata is ridiculously good. 8:49PM 47 mins Sandro (that guy Everton bought) is on the bench for Sevilla and has number 99 on his shirt. This. Ends. NOW! 8:48PM KICK OFF 2 Kick off 2 man utd "They don't look too threatening really," says Paul Scholes of Sevilla. I'd argue both look pretty tame. A 0-0 beckons! Or does it? Let's find out! 8:38PM De Gea praise from a proper goalkeeper This guy used to play in goal for Aberdeen, he knows what it means to face an onslaught of shots. David De Gea is incredible. What. A. Save. Don’t say “Anywhere else and it’s a goal.” or “He should score.” because nothing should detract from that save. From that range and with that power, he’s denied an almost certain goal. Just brilliant.— David Preece (@davidpreece12) February 21, 2018 8:35PM Sevilla's paper planes Credit: REUTERS 8:33PM That De Gea save Sure, the striker should have aimed towards the floor with this but I mean... come on. It's ludicrous that he can react quickly enough and get a strong enough arm at this shot to turn it over. It's astonishing. 8:32PM HALF TIME De Gea has just rescued Man Utd there. It should be 1-0 Sevilla. 8:32PM 45 mins +2 And more exciting! A long ball is read by Young, he cushions it with his first touch back to De Gea... and nobody picks it up! What are they playing at?! De Gea manages to hook the ball away before that becomes a tap in. Sevilla keep the pressure up, the ball is sent into the middle and MURIEL IS ALL ALONE! HE MUST SCORE OH MY HEAVENS LORDY LORDY WHAT A SAVE! That's an incredible save from De Gea! Muriel can't believe it! Attempt Saved: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Luis Muriel, 45 + 1 min) 8:30PM 45 mins +1 What a save by De Gea! The corner is headed to the back post, N'Zonzi tries a bicycle kick and it's turned at goal by another Sevilla player off the head. De Gea has to react instantly to dive and turn it over! 8:29PM 45 mins There are quite a few paper aeroplanes being thrown onto the pitch as United set up a corner. That corner goes so well that Sevilla are able to counter-attack quickly and win their own corner. Mourinho is furious. 8:27PM 43 mins Sanchez fouls Navas and is booked. It's harsh. Lukaku is back defending at right-back... Valencia hooks the ball away, Banega finds Correa... who does a little too much but does get a shot away! Low to the corner but De Gea saves. Valencia doesn't get close to Correa there. Keeper pick-up: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (David de Gea, 42 min) 8:25PM 41 mins Correa is in space wide left in the box but doesn't take his chance to shoot, controls, the defence gets back and his attempted flair pass is knocked behind for a corner. That turns into a goal kick. Sevilla are doing an awful lot without ever actually creating anything genuinely dangerous. 8:23PM 39 mins MCTOMINAAAAAAAAYYYYYYY has a shot saved from distance but it's a solid effort. The ball sits for him about 20 yards out in the kind of position that would make it a crime not to have a wee go. Rico is fairly comfortable with his save. Sevilla break forward but don't look too menacing again. Smalling heads a weak shot behind for a corner, Pogba clears. 8:22PM 37 mins Credit: GETTY IMAGES There he is. Meanwhile, Sevilla have a corner. Their crowd really dislikes many of the referee's decisions but it really does look like he's getting them all dead right. 8:19PM 35 mins McTominay lets me down and himself down and everyone down with a poor pass to Valencia, who has to work hard to win the 50/50 and then dives by the corner flag. The referee isn't having it, Sevilla play on and Vasquez is played in! Oooohhhhh he's a click away from controlling that and having an easy one-on-one but the ball runs past him and he wins a corner instead. Pogba fouls Banega in the centre-circle with a clumsy tackle. 8:17PM 33 mins Sanchez goes down off the ball as Mercado puts his arm out to block the run. There's nothing really in that either. The Sevilla crowd and team are getting a little wound up by the referee. Valencia has absolutely pied Correa with a shoulder drop and sprinted past him on the right but nothing comes of it. 8:15PM 31 mins Lukaku is being kicked around a little bit here. Sanchez points it out to the referee and convinces him to tell off Correa for... basically barging into him. Hmmm. There#s nothing in that for me, Clive. McTominay is having a decent game so far, his first touch is brilliant. 8:13PM 29 mins Correa has a bit of space on the left and dribbles into the penalty area after a superb first touch. He tricks his way into the box but doesn't get enough on his show and De Gea saves easily. 8:12PM 27 mins Credit: REUTERS United are slowly gaining more of the pitch, edging that defensive line further forward. 8:10PM 25 mins Lukaku is in! Great ball over the top, an even better run to get to it... and Lukaku punts his volleyed effort way over the bar. That's a really bad miss. If he had another go at it right now he'd bury it every time. 8:08PM 23 mins N'Zonzi is booked for catching Sanchez on the behind, or to be more specific, his buttock. Sanchez has felt that one, rolls around a bit and then tries to show everyone the wound he may have suffered before deciding maybe he shouldn't do that. The game is pretty scrappy now, both teams look organised and disciplined, though Sevilla are perhaps asking more of the questions. 8:05PM 20 mins Pogba's first involvement is to chase the ball down the right wing and lose it. He's in his dream midfield three now so there's no excuse if this doesn't work for him tonight. Young has to stay alert to head a long diagonal ball behind for a corner. Possession: Sevilla vs Man Utd 8:03PM 18 mins POGBA ALERT. POGBA ALERT. [dabs everywhere] Pogba is on the pitch. Mourinho's evil plans are in tatters. What are the odds he scores and does one of those "shhhhhhh!" celebrations? 8:02PM 17 mins Valencia carries the ball towards the box, Herrera overlaps and is into the box. The pass comes in, he back-heels across goal... and it's cleared away. Oh no! He's injured! Herrera's done for the night, having pulled a muscle with that little run. Darren Fletcher on commentary says "that looks terminal" but I'm not sure Herrera will die from the injury. I don't know for certain. But also I do. 8:01PM 16 mins Banega tries a long range effort but it's too high. Miss: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Éver Banega, 14 min) A chipped ball over the top towards Lukaku causes panic as Lenglet and Mercado struggle to cope with his strength and balance... but he can't take the ball down nor pass it to Mata and Sevilla deal with the situation well. Sevilla go forward quickly and get another shot away. This time it's wide. Miss: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Jesús Navas, 15 min) 7:57PM 13 mins Sanchez runs into space, controls and pushes the ball towards the box... but Navas speeds in (the one with the sharp blue eyes - don't act like you don't know) and shuts him down. 7:56PM 12 mins Sevilla taking their time with passes, United fall behind the halfway line to compact the midfield and Sevilla can't really go very far. United are effectively keeping them at arm's length. 7:53PM 9 mins Young does really well to stop Sarabia running directly at him and De Gea hits the ball long up the pitch. Valencia gets forward for a throw in, McTominay controls superbly and passes to Lukaku, who hits a ball out to the left wing and Sanchez gets his first touch! Corner to Man Utd. 7:51PM 6 mins Muriel is able to sprint past Smalling but although he's quicker to accelerate, the defender is able to hold him off and win the tackle. Correa tries a step over and goes down under a mistimed tackle from Mata. Sevilla are attacking with purpose here, passing the ball really nicely. 7:48PM 4 mins United have a lot of bodies behind the ball early on! Lukaku is the out-ball, tries to spin N'Zonzi but goes down and loses possession in the centre-circle. This is a definite 4-5-1 from United. Sevilla come forward, Muriel has the ball 25 yards out and tries a shot... SAVE by De Gea! That was a decent effort! 7:47PM 2 mins Sevilla win a corner early on, Banega whips it in but United defend well and get the second phase attack out for a throw. 7:45PM KICK OFF Sevilla kick off 7:42PM Here come the teams You can't even hear this song over the top of the Sevilla support. What a noise! 7:36PM This is genuinely excellent TV BT Sport making use of the expert pundits they have on offer is an absolute treat. I could watch Lampard and Scholes discuss the minute details of how to play in midfield, how they reacted after games, how they'd coach Pogba for the rest of the evening. Lampard has essentially said that Pogba needs to take some responsibility and can't rely on other people to reign him in when he goes wandering. "After Tottenham I wouldn't have slept but he's doing the same thing against Newcastle" is a rough paraphrase. 7:32PM More on Pogba "It's awareness and effort," continues Lampard, who knows exactly what it's like going from attacking midfield to a deeper role. This is great television, lovely stuff by the BT Sport lads. "We're still talking 18 months into his United career where his best position in the team is," says Scholes. "He's a player who scores goals, dictates the pace of the game. I don't think the team sets up to get the best out of Pogba," argues Ferdinand. 7:29PM Mourinho on Pogba This is from a BT Sport VT. "When you speak about Paul Pogba is a player who in his best moment had to stop twice, then when he's playing really well he is suspended." Pogba has been shunted out of momentum a couple of times this season and he's struggled ever so slightly in his last few games, trying to do a little too much. In a midfield two he needs to be a little bit better positionally. "It's all about defensive responsibility, Mourinho's trying to shock him", is what Frank Lampard thinks. 7:06PM Mourinho's reaction to Des Kelly's questions "Three questions and all about Paul?!" he asks after three questions about Paul Pogba's absence. Des knows what he's doing and laughs it off as he moves onto asking about the actual game. 7:03PM Mourinho's 4-3-3 Isn't that a thing. Scott McTominay is preferred to Paul Pogba, Juan Mata gets the nod over Anthony Martial and Mourinho changes to a 4-3-3, despite the clamour for him to do so much sooner to get more out of Pogba. Even Pogba has admitted he's better in a three but Mourinho isn't having it - a talent like that should be able to play in multiple systems, not only one which suits him alone. 6:46PM Do you like holidays? Do you like football? Well wait a darned minute there because I might have the perfect little thing for you to read! The 10 best European football away days Incredibly it doesn't include a trip to Pittodrie, Aberdeen but perhaps that is fair, since once you've attended a match there you never need to go another football game again. Wait, I mean you never want to go to another football game again. 6:39PM Sevilla starting lineup ONCE del #SevillaFC ante el @ManUtd_Es en la IDA de 1/8 de final de la @LigadeCampeones#vamosmisevilla#UCL#ThisIsSevillapic.twitter.com/fiz3jEbvp3— Sevilla Fútbol Club (@SevillaFC) February 21, 2018 6:38PM No Pogba - confirmed Controversial scenes, Clive. What's going on here then? Phenomenal scenes from Jose Mourinho. Martial dropped too. How #MUFC line up for tonight's #UCL clash with Sevilla... pic.twitter.com/7g80OaosMv— Manchester United (@ManUtd) February 21, 2018 6:25PM Good evening! Hello lovely humans, welcome to our liveblog for tonight's Champions League game featuring PAUL POGBA. [dabs everywhere] But wait - what's this? Pogba's on the bench?! That's what Jason Burt's heard and you can read all about it here. Could that switch make Man Utd more balanced on the pitch? Does it make them weaker? Who will dab? Why can't Jose Mourinho get the most out of Paul Pogba? Sevilla are fifth in La Liga and represent a real challenge for United tonight. They play some really nice football and have some excellent players - Ever Banega is an exceptional talent and has the potential to run the game. We'll find out the starting lineups shortly. Until then, let's all think about Pogba. And Romelu Lukaku - Sevilla aren't in the top six of the Premier League, which means he should be able to score against them.
World class is an over used term in football and maybe with Paul Pogba that has been the case but there is no doubt that Manchester United have at least one player worthy of that status as goalkeeper David De Gea once again demonstrated his importance as he kept his team in this Champions League tie. Two superb saves from headers, the second breathtaking, at the end of the first half denied Sevilla who had countless other opportunities against an at times over-run United side who nevertheless go into the second leg of this last-16 encounter on March 13 as favourites to progress into the quarter-finals. Or maybe not if they play like this because for all of Jose Mourinho’s post-match protestations about his team being in control that was simply not the case while it is dispiriting that, once more, the United manager’s pre-occupation was to try and stop the opposition rather than impose him team on them. The visitors looked pedestrian, conservative, restrained; a team lacking in verve. It was a far cry, for example, from the way Liverpool destroyed Porto away last week. And surely United cannot keep relying on De Gea? In fact Mourinho congratulated himself on how his midfield had controlled the Sevilla playmaker Ever Banega – not quite true – and he lauded his decision to field Scott McTominay from the start, and as competently as the promising young Scot did perform, he is an essentially destructive, rather than constructive, player. Credit: GETTY IMAGES On his return from illness Pogba was dropped, and that obviously caused quite a stir, but he had to be called on after just 18 minutes when Ander Herrera pulled up injured as he attempted a back-heel – much to Mourinho’s frustration. Pogba’s contribution was later distilled by his manager into one about working hard for the team – not quite effusive praise – while Mourinho also launched himself into an argument that all players have to work hard, and not being free spirits, when he was asked an innocuous question about Alexis Sanchez. Sanchez was far from his best on his return to Champions League football following his January move from Arsenal and was withdrawn before the end. And neither was Pogba much better. This was hugely disappointing. United’s alleged control was arguable for De Gea made eight saves in all from 25 attempts at goal by Sevilla – the most for a United goalkeeper in a Champions League game since Edwin van der Sar versus Barcelona in May 2011. Average touch positions (0 min) And Sevilla, fifth in La Liga, are no Barcelona of that or even this vintage. Whatever their attacking intent and desire to score under their new head coach Vincenzo Montella for whom this was only a second match in this competition against Mourinho’s 140 games. And yet United’s display smacked of a performance from a team set out by a manager more concerned about stopping the opposition than winning the game. But Mourinho is a master of the knockout competitions, or at least going deep into them, and will argue this kind of occasion is about managing the two matches. And not just the one. Get through this tie and his approach worked. But United were flat. They were underwhelming. Except for De Gea who was elevated to such an imposing status that it seemed to get into the heads of the Sevilla players who, after his two saves just before half-time, continued to play well, attack well but snatched at chances. The closer to De Gea they got, in fact, the less sure they became. They did not look like they believed they could beat him. He got bigger, the goal got smaller. Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal The first save was smart enough as De Gea flicked a powerful header from Steven Nzonzi over the bar, after the midfielder had reached an acrobatic overhead kick back across the penalty area by the lively striker, Luis Muriel. And then De Gea made that incredible save from Muriel – soon after mix-up between the goalkeeper and defender Victor Lindelof – as the forward was picked out unmarked by Jesus Navas with a cross from the right. As Muriel reached the ball he seemed certain to plant his header, from no more than six yards, into the net but De Gea shot out an arm to block. It needed a double-take to believe what had happened. Muriel pressed his head against the post in disbelief for several seconds. When the half-time whistle blew soon after both Muriel and his team-mate Gabriel Mercado even took time to shake De Gea’s hand before he walked down the tunnel. Attempt Saved: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Luis Muriel, 45 + 1 min) There were more saves, relatively routine ones, from De Gea who turned away a skidding shot from Muriel, in the first half, and from Joaquin Correa after he jinked in from the right, and from Correa again as he attempted to bend the ball into the corner. But after his amazing save from Muriel it seemed Sevilla believed they had to find the precise finish and Clement Lenglet, Franco Vazquez and Muriel, again, were wasteful as they attempted that. It was summed up when Muriel crossed towards the far post and Correa appeared to have the chance to head home but was clearly mindful of De Gea scampering across and tried for too much power. Again it sailed over the bar. And what about Romelu Lukaku, United’s other big name? The striker was picked out by Sanchez with a clever lofted ball through, but despite having time and space he skied his volley high over the target. Then in the second half he controlled the ball with an arm before firing it into the net. It was rightly ruled out. And that was it. He did little else. David De Gea produced a stunning save to keep Man Utd in the game Credit: REUTERS In fact United only had a single shot on target and that was from McTominay, a first-time effort from outside the area, that was pushed away by goalkeeper Sergio Rico. Mourinho argued that the space opened up for United, but he must have been watching a different game. In this one he was indebted to Sevilla’s profligacy and the brilliance of De Gea. 10:03PM Jose Mourinho loves McTominay &quot;OK. Decision at Old Trafford, it&#39;s a match in our house, I believe that Old Trafford misses a big European night. Of course we had last season but Europa League has a different meaning, and they can create similar atmosphere we had today and push us through a difficult match. &quot;Can I hug you? [hugs Des Kelly] That&#39;s a question. I was in a press conference before and the questions were about Paul and I think the question should be about the kid. He was fantastic, did everything well, put lots of pressure on Banega which was important, always comfortable, simple in possession. He was brilliant. In my opinion the midfield started well and when Herrera came out, Paul worked hard.&quot; 9:42PM Team shapes Average touch positions (0 min) 9:38PM Paul Scholes &quot;Bad game of football, a difficult watch to be honest. Job done for United, I think they&#39;ll be comfortable at Old Trafford.&quot; Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal 9:36PM Mourinho knows how setup a defence The 23rd clean sheet of the season for Man Utd. 9:35PM FULL TIME Not the most memorable of European nights. Sevilla are extremely medium, Man Utd didn&#39;t have enough to take anything home with them. There&#39;s something in Mourinho&#39;s team that doesn&#39;t quite click and this was another disjointed performance, albeit one that has produced the 0-0 he will have wanted. 9:34PM 90 mins +1 This game is done. Neither team really pushing for a goal, there&#39;s still no pace to the passing, it&#39;s a 0-0 game. 9:31PM 89 mins Rashford goes for the knuckle-ball, it flies off the mark and zips wide of the post. Banega off, Pizarro on. 9:31PM 88 mins Rashford wins a free-kick after a blatant foul 30 yards out. The replays of that Navas dive are painful viewing. 9:30PM 87 mins Sandro is involved straight away, links a pass and moves, Sevilla keep coming and Sarabia is played in behind! He pulls the ball back across the box - there must be a finish here! Sandro has to stop and turn a couple of times... and the shot is blocked. Navas comes steaming in to pick up the loose ball and goes flying over a tackle. The referee doesn&#39;t care and he&#39;s right because it&#39;s a dive. Boooooo! 9:28PM 85 mins Sandro is about to come on for Vazquez, but then Montella goes a bit mad on the touchline and decides to take off Muriel instead. The whole stadium seems perplexed by that change of heart but it makes sense. Striker for a striker. 9:25PM 83 mins 0-0 might seem like a decent result to take back to Old Trafford but it only takes one mistake and Sevilla to score from it and all of a sudden United need to score two. United are attacking now... and LUKAKU HAS SCORED! No he hasn&#39;t. It&#39;s a handball. Pogba&#39;s scooped pass for the assist there was superb. 9:23PM 81 mins Mata off for Martial. That&#39;ll give United some energy and speed on the wings for the final 10 minutes as they look for that crucial away goal. 9:21PM 78 mins Credit: REUTERS This picture gives you some idea of how close-range that De Gea save was earlier. You&#39;d think it might concern Mourinho that the best thing United have done all night was stopping this header going in but the score is still 0-0 so who knows. I haven&#39;t won several European trophies, what do I know. 9:19PM 77 mins Rashford takes on Navas for pace but, somewhat unsurprisingly, isn&#39;t able to win that particular race. 9:17PM 75 mins Sanchez has been poor tonight. And actually, I&#39;m not sure if I&#39;ve seen him play well for Man Utd apart from that Yeovil game... he&#39;s doing too much and not sticking to his job on the left wing. Rashford comes on. 9:15PM 73 mins Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal None of these have been particularly close, except the two De Gea saved from close range. And they&#39;ve just missed another! Muriel dances down the right and chips to the back post. Sarabia should really score from about four yards but heads over. That&#39;s a huge miss. 9:14PM 72 mins A cross from wide right is whipped low into the six yard box but Smalling makes sure Muriel can&#39;t get onto it. 9:13PM 70 mins Sevilla are painfully slow. It&#39;s so easy to shut them down and United are not having to work especially hard to do so. Lukaku holds off his man on the left, Sanchez takes the ball on and the pitch opens up for this United attack! There&#39;s a big chance here if Lukaku can find the pass... but a right footed pass across the pitch is easily cut out. 9:09PM 67 mins Banega goes for a knuckle ball, Juninho-style free-kick but De Gea catches easily. Lukaku does well to win a corner. 9:08PM 66 mins Correa comes inside from the left, goes past two players and then a stepover takes him into the area! He can shoot from here... but his shot flies into the stand. Another free-kick for Sevilla near the United box. 9:07PM 65 mins Banega hits a really good ball into the area... it&#39;s headed at goal from six yards... and De Gea saves again. This time it&#39;s a bit easier. Credit: REUTERS 9:05PM 63 mins Lukaku hits the wall. United keep some level of pressure up... but Sanchez and Pogba and Mata can&#39;t produce anything of note and Lukaku doesn&#39;t attack the cross with any real aggression. McTominay controls the ball well in the air, the Sevilla defender kicks his foot... aaaaand the referee gives a free-kick to Sevilla. Foul after foul after foul after foul. They&#39;re all so weak! Players falling over all the place. Put a lion on the pitch, see what happens. 9:03PM 61 mins More slow build up. The Sevilla fans boo, Sanchez is told where to go by McTominay after drifting inside the pitch but Sanchez&#39;s run towards the box is stopped by a slide tackle. United have a decent set piece position here. 9:01PM 59 mins United sit in their own defensive third, walking around the pitch as Sevilla jog their way forward. Muriel tries another shot at goal but puts it wide. De Gea wanders over, never worried about that one creeping in. Out: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Luis Muriel, 58 min) It&#39;d be nice if Man Utd could do something exciting soon. Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal 8:59PM 56 mins Lukaku moves out to the right wing, dribbles past one man and then tries to pass across the box. It&#39;s aimed poorly and Sevilla come away with the ball, Lindelof pulls Vazquez&#39;s shirt and gives away a free-kick in the centre-circle. McTominay is fouled by Escudero... it&#39;s so scrappy. Both teams are slow in build up and then someone fouls someone else. Nothing comes from the free-kicks or corners. 8:56PM 54 mins Young tries to go past Sarabia but loses the ball and the counter-attack is on. Matic is caught behind the play, Muriel comes inside and shoots... but it&#39;s another corner. This is such a frustrating, scrappy game. A real Mourinho European match. He&#39;ll get them the result but it&#39;s far from beautiful flowing football. 8:54PM 52 mins Average touch positions (50 min) You can see why Mourinho needs Young to get forward. Sanchez is basically playing as a second striker and it&#39;s making United lopsided. Vazquez tries a shot from 20 yards but bends it way over the bar. 8:53PM 50 mins Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal 8:51PM 49 mins McTominay does well to shield the ball and link a few passes together in the midfield. Young overlaps and gets into the box, winning a corner. It seems that Mourinho has pushed his full-backs further forward in this half. Mata&#39;s first touch to kill the corner is amazing, he then sells a dummy to two defenders and chips into the centre but nobody is there. Sometimes Mata is ridiculously good. 8:49PM 47 mins Sandro (that guy Everton bought) is on the bench for Sevilla and has number 99 on his shirt. This. Ends. NOW! 8:48PM KICK OFF 2 Kick off 2 man utd &quot;They don&#39;t look too threatening really,&quot; says Paul Scholes of Sevilla. I&#39;d argue both look pretty tame. A 0-0 beckons! Or does it? Let&#39;s find out! 8:38PM De Gea praise from a proper goalkeeper This guy used to play in goal for Aberdeen, he knows what it means to face an onslaught of shots. David De Gea is incredible. What. A. Save. Don’t say “Anywhere else and it’s a goal.” or “He should score.” because nothing should detract from that save. From that range and with that power, he’s denied an almost certain goal. Just brilliant.— David Preece (@davidpreece12) February 21, 2018 8:35PM Sevilla&#39;s paper planes Credit: REUTERS 8:33PM That De Gea save Sure, the striker should have aimed towards the floor with this but I mean... come on. It&#39;s ludicrous that he can react quickly enough and get a strong enough arm at this shot to turn it over. It&#39;s astonishing. 8:32PM HALF TIME De Gea has just rescued Man Utd there. It should be 1-0 Sevilla. 8:32PM 45 mins +2 And more exciting! A long ball is read by Young, he cushions it with his first touch back to De Gea... and nobody picks it up! What are they playing at?! De Gea manages to hook the ball away before that becomes a tap in. Sevilla keep the pressure up, the ball is sent into the middle and MURIEL IS ALL ALONE! HE MUST SCORE OH MY HEAVENS LORDY LORDY WHAT A SAVE! That&#39;s an incredible save from De Gea! Muriel can&#39;t believe it! Attempt Saved: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Luis Muriel, 45 + 1 min) 8:30PM 45 mins +1 What a save by De Gea! The corner is headed to the back post, N&#39;Zonzi tries a bicycle kick and it&#39;s turned at goal by another Sevilla player off the head. De Gea has to react instantly to dive and turn it over! 8:29PM 45 mins There are quite a few paper aeroplanes being thrown onto the pitch as United set up a corner. That corner goes so well that Sevilla are able to counter-attack quickly and win their own corner. Mourinho is furious. 8:27PM 43 mins Sanchez fouls Navas and is booked. It&#39;s harsh. Lukaku is back defending at right-back... Valencia hooks the ball away, Banega finds Correa... who does a little too much but does get a shot away! Low to the corner but De Gea saves. Valencia doesn&#39;t get close to Correa there. Keeper pick-up: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (David de Gea, 42 min) 8:25PM 41 mins Correa is in space wide left in the box but doesn&#39;t take his chance to shoot, controls, the defence gets back and his attempted flair pass is knocked behind for a corner. That turns into a goal kick. Sevilla are doing an awful lot without ever actually creating anything genuinely dangerous. 8:23PM 39 mins MCTOMINAAAAAAAAYYYYYYY has a shot saved from distance but it&#39;s a solid effort. The ball sits for him about 20 yards out in the kind of position that would make it a crime not to have a wee go. Rico is fairly comfortable with his save. Sevilla break forward but don&#39;t look too menacing again. Smalling heads a weak shot behind for a corner, Pogba clears. 8:22PM 37 mins Credit: GETTY IMAGES There he is. Meanwhile, Sevilla have a corner. Their crowd really dislikes many of the referee&#39;s decisions but it really does look like he&#39;s getting them all dead right. 8:19PM 35 mins McTominay lets me down and himself down and everyone down with a poor pass to Valencia, who has to work hard to win the 50/50 and then dives by the corner flag. The referee isn&#39;t having it, Sevilla play on and Vasquez is played in! Oooohhhhh he&#39;s a click away from controlling that and having an easy one-on-one but the ball runs past him and he wins a corner instead. Pogba fouls Banega in the centre-circle with a clumsy tackle. 8:17PM 33 mins Sanchez goes down off the ball as Mercado puts his arm out to block the run. There&#39;s nothing really in that either. The Sevilla crowd and team are getting a little wound up by the referee. Valencia has absolutely pied Correa with a shoulder drop and sprinted past him on the right but nothing comes of it. 8:15PM 31 mins Lukaku is being kicked around a little bit here. Sanchez points it out to the referee and convinces him to tell off Correa for... basically barging into him. Hmmm. There#s nothing in that for me, Clive. McTominay is having a decent game so far, his first touch is brilliant. 8:13PM 29 mins Correa has a bit of space on the left and dribbles into the penalty area after a superb first touch. He tricks his way into the box but doesn&#39;t get enough on his show and De Gea saves easily. 8:12PM 27 mins Credit: REUTERS United are slowly gaining more of the pitch, edging that defensive line further forward. 8:10PM 25 mins Lukaku is in! Great ball over the top, an even better run to get to it... and Lukaku punts his volleyed effort way over the bar. That&#39;s a really bad miss. If he had another go at it right now he&#39;d bury it every time. 8:08PM 23 mins N&#39;Zonzi is booked for catching Sanchez on the behind, or to be more specific, his buttock. Sanchez has felt that one, rolls around a bit and then tries to show everyone the wound he may have suffered before deciding maybe he shouldn&#39;t do that. The game is pretty scrappy now, both teams look organised and disciplined, though Sevilla are perhaps asking more of the questions. 8:05PM 20 mins Pogba&#39;s first involvement is to chase the ball down the right wing and lose it. He&#39;s in his dream midfield three now so there&#39;s no excuse if this doesn&#39;t work for him tonight. Young has to stay alert to head a long diagonal ball behind for a corner. Possession: Sevilla vs Man Utd 8:03PM 18 mins POGBA ALERT. POGBA ALERT. [dabs everywhere] Pogba is on the pitch. Mourinho&#39;s evil plans are in tatters. What are the odds he scores and does one of those &quot;shhhhhhh!&quot; celebrations? 8:02PM 17 mins Valencia carries the ball towards the box, Herrera overlaps and is into the box. The pass comes in, he back-heels across goal... and it&#39;s cleared away. Oh no! He&#39;s injured! Herrera&#39;s done for the night, having pulled a muscle with that little run. Darren Fletcher on commentary says &quot;that looks terminal&quot; but I&#39;m not sure Herrera will die from the injury. I don&#39;t know for certain. But also I do. 8:01PM 16 mins Banega tries a long range effort but it&#39;s too high. Miss: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Éver Banega, 14 min) A chipped ball over the top towards Lukaku causes panic as Lenglet and Mercado struggle to cope with his strength and balance... but he can&#39;t take the ball down nor pass it to Mata and Sevilla deal with the situation well. Sevilla go forward quickly and get another shot away. This time it&#39;s wide. Miss: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Jesús Navas, 15 min) 7:57PM 13 mins Sanchez runs into space, controls and pushes the ball towards the box... but Navas speeds in (the one with the sharp blue eyes - don&#39;t act like you don&#39;t know) and shuts him down. 7:56PM 12 mins Sevilla taking their time with passes, United fall behind the halfway line to compact the midfield and Sevilla can&#39;t really go very far. United are effectively keeping them at arm&#39;s length. 7:53PM 9 mins Young does really well to stop Sarabia running directly at him and De Gea hits the ball long up the pitch. Valencia gets forward for a throw in, McTominay controls superbly and passes to Lukaku, who hits a ball out to the left wing and Sanchez gets his first touch! Corner to Man Utd. 7:51PM 6 mins Muriel is able to sprint past Smalling but although he&#39;s quicker to accelerate, the defender is able to hold him off and win the tackle. Correa tries a step over and goes down under a mistimed tackle from Mata. Sevilla are attacking with purpose here, passing the ball really nicely. 7:48PM 4 mins United have a lot of bodies behind the ball early on! Lukaku is the out-ball, tries to spin N&#39;Zonzi but goes down and loses possession in the centre-circle. This is a definite 4-5-1 from United. Sevilla come forward, Muriel has the ball 25 yards out and tries a shot... SAVE by De Gea! That was a decent effort! 7:47PM 2 mins Sevilla win a corner early on, Banega whips it in but United defend well and get the second phase attack out for a throw. 7:45PM KICK OFF Sevilla kick off 7:42PM Here come the teams You can&#39;t even hear this song over the top of the Sevilla support. What a noise! 7:36PM This is genuinely excellent TV BT Sport making use of the expert pundits they have on offer is an absolute treat. I could watch Lampard and Scholes discuss the minute details of how to play in midfield, how they reacted after games, how they&#39;d coach Pogba for the rest of the evening. Lampard has essentially said that Pogba needs to take some responsibility and can&#39;t rely on other people to reign him in when he goes wandering. &quot;After Tottenham I wouldn&#39;t have slept but he&#39;s doing the same thing against Newcastle&quot; is a rough paraphrase. 7:32PM More on Pogba &quot;It&#39;s awareness and effort,&quot; continues Lampard, who knows exactly what it&#39;s like going from attacking midfield to a deeper role. This is great television, lovely stuff by the BT Sport lads. &quot;We&#39;re still talking 18 months into his United career where his best position in the team is,&quot; says Scholes. &quot;He&#39;s a player who scores goals, dictates the pace of the game. I don&#39;t think the team sets up to get the best out of Pogba,&quot; argues Ferdinand. 7:29PM Mourinho on Pogba This is from a BT Sport VT. &quot;When you speak about Paul Pogba is a player who in his best moment had to stop twice, then when he&#39;s playing really well he is suspended.&quot; Pogba has been shunted out of momentum a couple of times this season and he&#39;s struggled ever so slightly in his last few games, trying to do a little too much. In a midfield two he needs to be a little bit better positionally. &quot;It&#39;s all about defensive responsibility, Mourinho&#39;s trying to shock him&quot;, is what Frank Lampard thinks. 7:06PM Mourinho&#39;s reaction to Des Kelly&#39;s questions &quot;Three questions and all about Paul?!&quot; he asks after three questions about Paul Pogba&#39;s absence. Des knows what he&#39;s doing and laughs it off as he moves onto asking about the actual game. 7:03PM Mourinho&#39;s 4-3-3 Isn&#39;t that a thing. Scott McTominay is preferred to Paul Pogba, Juan Mata gets the nod over Anthony Martial and Mourinho changes to a 4-3-3, despite the clamour for him to do so much sooner to get more out of Pogba. Even Pogba has admitted he&#39;s better in a three but Mourinho isn&#39;t having it - a talent like that should be able to play in multiple systems, not only one which suits him alone. 6:46PM Do you like holidays? Do you like football? Well wait a darned minute there because I might have the perfect little thing for you to read! The 10 best European football away days Incredibly it doesn&#39;t include a trip to Pittodrie, Aberdeen but perhaps that is fair, since once you&#39;ve attended a match there you never need to go another football game again. Wait, I mean you never want to go to another football game again. 6:39PM Sevilla starting lineup ONCE del #SevillaFC ante el @ManUtd_Es en la IDA de 1/8 de final de la @LigadeCampeones#vamosmisevilla#UCL#ThisIsSevillapic.twitter.com/fiz3jEbvp3— Sevilla Fútbol Club (@SevillaFC) February 21, 2018 6:38PM No Pogba - confirmed Controversial scenes, Clive. What&#39;s going on here then? Phenomenal scenes from Jose Mourinho. Martial dropped too. How #MUFC line up for tonight&#39;s #UCL clash with Sevilla... pic.twitter.com/7g80OaosMv— Manchester United (@ManUtd) February 21, 2018 6:25PM Good evening! Hello lovely humans, welcome to our liveblog for tonight&#39;s Champions League game featuring PAUL POGBA. [dabs everywhere] But wait - what&#39;s this? Pogba&#39;s on the bench?! That&#39;s what Jason Burt&#39;s heard and you can read all about it here. Could that switch make Man Utd more balanced on the pitch? Does it make them weaker? Who will dab? Why can&#39;t Jose Mourinho get the most out of Paul Pogba? Sevilla are fifth in La Liga and represent a real challenge for United tonight. They play some really nice football and have some excellent players - Ever Banega is an exceptional talent and has the potential to run the game. We&#39;ll find out the starting lineups shortly. Until then, let&#39;s all think about Pogba. And Romelu Lukaku - Sevilla aren&#39;t in the top six of the Premier League, which means he should be able to score against them.
Sevilla 0 Man Utd 0: David De Gea produces stunning save as United get job done against wasteful hosts
World class is an over used term in football and maybe with Paul Pogba that has been the case but there is no doubt that Manchester United have at least one player worthy of that status as goalkeeper David De Gea once again demonstrated his importance as he kept his team in this Champions League tie. Two superb saves from headers, the second breathtaking, at the end of the first half denied Sevilla who had countless other opportunities against an at times over-run United side who nevertheless go into the second leg of this last-16 encounter on March 13 as favourites to progress into the quarter-finals. Or maybe not if they play like this because for all of Jose Mourinho’s post-match protestations about his team being in control that was simply not the case while it is dispiriting that, once more, the United manager’s pre-occupation was to try and stop the opposition rather than impose him team on them. The visitors looked pedestrian, conservative, restrained; a team lacking in verve. It was a far cry, for example, from the way Liverpool destroyed Porto away last week. And surely United cannot keep relying on De Gea? In fact Mourinho congratulated himself on how his midfield had controlled the Sevilla playmaker Ever Banega – not quite true – and he lauded his decision to field Scott McTominay from the start, and as competently as the promising young Scot did perform, he is an essentially destructive, rather than constructive, player. Credit: GETTY IMAGES On his return from illness Pogba was dropped, and that obviously caused quite a stir, but he had to be called on after just 18 minutes when Ander Herrera pulled up injured as he attempted a back-heel – much to Mourinho’s frustration. Pogba’s contribution was later distilled by his manager into one about working hard for the team – not quite effusive praise – while Mourinho also launched himself into an argument that all players have to work hard, and not being free spirits, when he was asked an innocuous question about Alexis Sanchez. Sanchez was far from his best on his return to Champions League football following his January move from Arsenal and was withdrawn before the end. And neither was Pogba much better. This was hugely disappointing. United’s alleged control was arguable for De Gea made eight saves in all from 25 attempts at goal by Sevilla – the most for a United goalkeeper in a Champions League game since Edwin van der Sar versus Barcelona in May 2011. Average touch positions (0 min) And Sevilla, fifth in La Liga, are no Barcelona of that or even this vintage. Whatever their attacking intent and desire to score under their new head coach Vincenzo Montella for whom this was only a second match in this competition against Mourinho’s 140 games. And yet United’s display smacked of a performance from a team set out by a manager more concerned about stopping the opposition than winning the game. But Mourinho is a master of the knockout competitions, or at least going deep into them, and will argue this kind of occasion is about managing the two matches. And not just the one. Get through this tie and his approach worked. But United were flat. They were underwhelming. Except for De Gea who was elevated to such an imposing status that it seemed to get into the heads of the Sevilla players who, after his two saves just before half-time, continued to play well, attack well but snatched at chances. The closer to De Gea they got, in fact, the less sure they became. They did not look like they believed they could beat him. He got bigger, the goal got smaller. Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal The first save was smart enough as De Gea flicked a powerful header from Steven Nzonzi over the bar, after the midfielder had reached an acrobatic overhead kick back across the penalty area by the lively striker, Luis Muriel. And then De Gea made that incredible save from Muriel – soon after mix-up between the goalkeeper and defender Victor Lindelof – as the forward was picked out unmarked by Jesus Navas with a cross from the right. As Muriel reached the ball he seemed certain to plant his header, from no more than six yards, into the net but De Gea shot out an arm to block. It needed a double-take to believe what had happened. Muriel pressed his head against the post in disbelief for several seconds. When the half-time whistle blew soon after both Muriel and his team-mate Gabriel Mercado even took time to shake De Gea’s hand before he walked down the tunnel. Attempt Saved: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Luis Muriel, 45 + 1 min) There were more saves, relatively routine ones, from De Gea who turned away a skidding shot from Muriel, in the first half, and from Joaquin Correa after he jinked in from the right, and from Correa again as he attempted to bend the ball into the corner. But after his amazing save from Muriel it seemed Sevilla believed they had to find the precise finish and Clement Lenglet, Franco Vazquez and Muriel, again, were wasteful as they attempted that. It was summed up when Muriel crossed towards the far post and Correa appeared to have the chance to head home but was clearly mindful of De Gea scampering across and tried for too much power. Again it sailed over the bar. And what about Romelu Lukaku, United’s other big name? The striker was picked out by Sanchez with a clever lofted ball through, but despite having time and space he skied his volley high over the target. Then in the second half he controlled the ball with an arm before firing it into the net. It was rightly ruled out. And that was it. He did little else. David De Gea produced a stunning save to keep Man Utd in the game Credit: REUTERS In fact United only had a single shot on target and that was from McTominay, a first-time effort from outside the area, that was pushed away by goalkeeper Sergio Rico. Mourinho argued that the space opened up for United, but he must have been watching a different game. In this one he was indebted to Sevilla’s profligacy and the brilliance of De Gea. 10:03PM Jose Mourinho loves McTominay "OK. Decision at Old Trafford, it's a match in our house, I believe that Old Trafford misses a big European night. Of course we had last season but Europa League has a different meaning, and they can create similar atmosphere we had today and push us through a difficult match. "Can I hug you? [hugs Des Kelly] That's a question. I was in a press conference before and the questions were about Paul and I think the question should be about the kid. He was fantastic, did everything well, put lots of pressure on Banega which was important, always comfortable, simple in possession. He was brilliant. In my opinion the midfield started well and when Herrera came out, Paul worked hard." 9:42PM Team shapes Average touch positions (0 min) 9:38PM Paul Scholes "Bad game of football, a difficult watch to be honest. Job done for United, I think they'll be comfortable at Old Trafford." Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal 9:36PM Mourinho knows how setup a defence The 23rd clean sheet of the season for Man Utd. 9:35PM FULL TIME Not the most memorable of European nights. Sevilla are extremely medium, Man Utd didn't have enough to take anything home with them. There's something in Mourinho's team that doesn't quite click and this was another disjointed performance, albeit one that has produced the 0-0 he will have wanted. 9:34PM 90 mins +1 This game is done. Neither team really pushing for a goal, there's still no pace to the passing, it's a 0-0 game. 9:31PM 89 mins Rashford goes for the knuckle-ball, it flies off the mark and zips wide of the post. Banega off, Pizarro on. 9:31PM 88 mins Rashford wins a free-kick after a blatant foul 30 yards out. The replays of that Navas dive are painful viewing. 9:30PM 87 mins Sandro is involved straight away, links a pass and moves, Sevilla keep coming and Sarabia is played in behind! He pulls the ball back across the box - there must be a finish here! Sandro has to stop and turn a couple of times... and the shot is blocked. Navas comes steaming in to pick up the loose ball and goes flying over a tackle. The referee doesn't care and he's right because it's a dive. Boooooo! 9:28PM 85 mins Sandro is about to come on for Vazquez, but then Montella goes a bit mad on the touchline and decides to take off Muriel instead. The whole stadium seems perplexed by that change of heart but it makes sense. Striker for a striker. 9:25PM 83 mins 0-0 might seem like a decent result to take back to Old Trafford but it only takes one mistake and Sevilla to score from it and all of a sudden United need to score two. United are attacking now... and LUKAKU HAS SCORED! No he hasn't. It's a handball. Pogba's scooped pass for the assist there was superb. 9:23PM 81 mins Mata off for Martial. That'll give United some energy and speed on the wings for the final 10 minutes as they look for that crucial away goal. 9:21PM 78 mins Credit: REUTERS This picture gives you some idea of how close-range that De Gea save was earlier. You'd think it might concern Mourinho that the best thing United have done all night was stopping this header going in but the score is still 0-0 so who knows. I haven't won several European trophies, what do I know. 9:19PM 77 mins Rashford takes on Navas for pace but, somewhat unsurprisingly, isn't able to win that particular race. 9:17PM 75 mins Sanchez has been poor tonight. And actually, I'm not sure if I've seen him play well for Man Utd apart from that Yeovil game... he's doing too much and not sticking to his job on the left wing. Rashford comes on. 9:15PM 73 mins Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal None of these have been particularly close, except the two De Gea saved from close range. And they've just missed another! Muriel dances down the right and chips to the back post. Sarabia should really score from about four yards but heads over. That's a huge miss. 9:14PM 72 mins A cross from wide right is whipped low into the six yard box but Smalling makes sure Muriel can't get onto it. 9:13PM 70 mins Sevilla are painfully slow. It's so easy to shut them down and United are not having to work especially hard to do so. Lukaku holds off his man on the left, Sanchez takes the ball on and the pitch opens up for this United attack! There's a big chance here if Lukaku can find the pass... but a right footed pass across the pitch is easily cut out. 9:09PM 67 mins Banega goes for a knuckle ball, Juninho-style free-kick but De Gea catches easily. Lukaku does well to win a corner. 9:08PM 66 mins Correa comes inside from the left, goes past two players and then a stepover takes him into the area! He can shoot from here... but his shot flies into the stand. Another free-kick for Sevilla near the United box. 9:07PM 65 mins Banega hits a really good ball into the area... it's headed at goal from six yards... and De Gea saves again. This time it's a bit easier. Credit: REUTERS 9:05PM 63 mins Lukaku hits the wall. United keep some level of pressure up... but Sanchez and Pogba and Mata can't produce anything of note and Lukaku doesn't attack the cross with any real aggression. McTominay controls the ball well in the air, the Sevilla defender kicks his foot... aaaaand the referee gives a free-kick to Sevilla. Foul after foul after foul after foul. They're all so weak! Players falling over all the place. Put a lion on the pitch, see what happens. 9:03PM 61 mins More slow build up. The Sevilla fans boo, Sanchez is told where to go by McTominay after drifting inside the pitch but Sanchez's run towards the box is stopped by a slide tackle. United have a decent set piece position here. 9:01PM 59 mins United sit in their own defensive third, walking around the pitch as Sevilla jog their way forward. Muriel tries another shot at goal but puts it wide. De Gea wanders over, never worried about that one creeping in. Out: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Luis Muriel, 58 min) It'd be nice if Man Utd could do something exciting soon. Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal 8:59PM 56 mins Lukaku moves out to the right wing, dribbles past one man and then tries to pass across the box. It's aimed poorly and Sevilla come away with the ball, Lindelof pulls Vazquez's shirt and gives away a free-kick in the centre-circle. McTominay is fouled by Escudero... it's so scrappy. Both teams are slow in build up and then someone fouls someone else. Nothing comes from the free-kicks or corners. 8:56PM 54 mins Young tries to go past Sarabia but loses the ball and the counter-attack is on. Matic is caught behind the play, Muriel comes inside and shoots... but it's another corner. This is such a frustrating, scrappy game. A real Mourinho European match. He'll get them the result but it's far from beautiful flowing football. 8:54PM 52 mins Average touch positions (50 min) You can see why Mourinho needs Young to get forward. Sanchez is basically playing as a second striker and it's making United lopsided. Vazquez tries a shot from 20 yards but bends it way over the bar. 8:53PM 50 mins Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal 8:51PM 49 mins McTominay does well to shield the ball and link a few passes together in the midfield. Young overlaps and gets into the box, winning a corner. It seems that Mourinho has pushed his full-backs further forward in this half. Mata's first touch to kill the corner is amazing, he then sells a dummy to two defenders and chips into the centre but nobody is there. Sometimes Mata is ridiculously good. 8:49PM 47 mins Sandro (that guy Everton bought) is on the bench for Sevilla and has number 99 on his shirt. This. Ends. NOW! 8:48PM KICK OFF 2 Kick off 2 man utd "They don't look too threatening really," says Paul Scholes of Sevilla. I'd argue both look pretty tame. A 0-0 beckons! Or does it? Let's find out! 8:38PM De Gea praise from a proper goalkeeper This guy used to play in goal for Aberdeen, he knows what it means to face an onslaught of shots. David De Gea is incredible. What. A. Save. Don’t say “Anywhere else and it’s a goal.” or “He should score.” because nothing should detract from that save. From that range and with that power, he’s denied an almost certain goal. Just brilliant.— David Preece (@davidpreece12) February 21, 2018 8:35PM Sevilla's paper planes Credit: REUTERS 8:33PM That De Gea save Sure, the striker should have aimed towards the floor with this but I mean... come on. It's ludicrous that he can react quickly enough and get a strong enough arm at this shot to turn it over. It's astonishing. 8:32PM HALF TIME De Gea has just rescued Man Utd there. It should be 1-0 Sevilla. 8:32PM 45 mins +2 And more exciting! A long ball is read by Young, he cushions it with his first touch back to De Gea... and nobody picks it up! What are they playing at?! De Gea manages to hook the ball away before that becomes a tap in. Sevilla keep the pressure up, the ball is sent into the middle and MURIEL IS ALL ALONE! HE MUST SCORE OH MY HEAVENS LORDY LORDY WHAT A SAVE! That's an incredible save from De Gea! Muriel can't believe it! Attempt Saved: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Luis Muriel, 45 + 1 min) 8:30PM 45 mins +1 What a save by De Gea! The corner is headed to the back post, N'Zonzi tries a bicycle kick and it's turned at goal by another Sevilla player off the head. De Gea has to react instantly to dive and turn it over! 8:29PM 45 mins There are quite a few paper aeroplanes being thrown onto the pitch as United set up a corner. That corner goes so well that Sevilla are able to counter-attack quickly and win their own corner. Mourinho is furious. 8:27PM 43 mins Sanchez fouls Navas and is booked. It's harsh. Lukaku is back defending at right-back... Valencia hooks the ball away, Banega finds Correa... who does a little too much but does get a shot away! Low to the corner but De Gea saves. Valencia doesn't get close to Correa there. Keeper pick-up: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (David de Gea, 42 min) 8:25PM 41 mins Correa is in space wide left in the box but doesn't take his chance to shoot, controls, the defence gets back and his attempted flair pass is knocked behind for a corner. That turns into a goal kick. Sevilla are doing an awful lot without ever actually creating anything genuinely dangerous. 8:23PM 39 mins MCTOMINAAAAAAAAYYYYYYY has a shot saved from distance but it's a solid effort. The ball sits for him about 20 yards out in the kind of position that would make it a crime not to have a wee go. Rico is fairly comfortable with his save. Sevilla break forward but don't look too menacing again. Smalling heads a weak shot behind for a corner, Pogba clears. 8:22PM 37 mins Credit: GETTY IMAGES There he is. Meanwhile, Sevilla have a corner. Their crowd really dislikes many of the referee's decisions but it really does look like he's getting them all dead right. 8:19PM 35 mins McTominay lets me down and himself down and everyone down with a poor pass to Valencia, who has to work hard to win the 50/50 and then dives by the corner flag. The referee isn't having it, Sevilla play on and Vasquez is played in! Oooohhhhh he's a click away from controlling that and having an easy one-on-one but the ball runs past him and he wins a corner instead. Pogba fouls Banega in the centre-circle with a clumsy tackle. 8:17PM 33 mins Sanchez goes down off the ball as Mercado puts his arm out to block the run. There's nothing really in that either. The Sevilla crowd and team are getting a little wound up by the referee. Valencia has absolutely pied Correa with a shoulder drop and sprinted past him on the right but nothing comes of it. 8:15PM 31 mins Lukaku is being kicked around a little bit here. Sanchez points it out to the referee and convinces him to tell off Correa for... basically barging into him. Hmmm. There#s nothing in that for me, Clive. McTominay is having a decent game so far, his first touch is brilliant. 8:13PM 29 mins Correa has a bit of space on the left and dribbles into the penalty area after a superb first touch. He tricks his way into the box but doesn't get enough on his show and De Gea saves easily. 8:12PM 27 mins Credit: REUTERS United are slowly gaining more of the pitch, edging that defensive line further forward. 8:10PM 25 mins Lukaku is in! Great ball over the top, an even better run to get to it... and Lukaku punts his volleyed effort way over the bar. That's a really bad miss. If he had another go at it right now he'd bury it every time. 8:08PM 23 mins N'Zonzi is booked for catching Sanchez on the behind, or to be more specific, his buttock. Sanchez has felt that one, rolls around a bit and then tries to show everyone the wound he may have suffered before deciding maybe he shouldn't do that. The game is pretty scrappy now, both teams look organised and disciplined, though Sevilla are perhaps asking more of the questions. 8:05PM 20 mins Pogba's first involvement is to chase the ball down the right wing and lose it. He's in his dream midfield three now so there's no excuse if this doesn't work for him tonight. Young has to stay alert to head a long diagonal ball behind for a corner. Possession: Sevilla vs Man Utd 8:03PM 18 mins POGBA ALERT. POGBA ALERT. [dabs everywhere] Pogba is on the pitch. Mourinho's evil plans are in tatters. What are the odds he scores and does one of those "shhhhhhh!" celebrations? 8:02PM 17 mins Valencia carries the ball towards the box, Herrera overlaps and is into the box. The pass comes in, he back-heels across goal... and it's cleared away. Oh no! He's injured! Herrera's done for the night, having pulled a muscle with that little run. Darren Fletcher on commentary says "that looks terminal" but I'm not sure Herrera will die from the injury. I don't know for certain. But also I do. 8:01PM 16 mins Banega tries a long range effort but it's too high. Miss: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Éver Banega, 14 min) A chipped ball over the top towards Lukaku causes panic as Lenglet and Mercado struggle to cope with his strength and balance... but he can't take the ball down nor pass it to Mata and Sevilla deal with the situation well. Sevilla go forward quickly and get another shot away. This time it's wide. Miss: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Jesús Navas, 15 min) 7:57PM 13 mins Sanchez runs into space, controls and pushes the ball towards the box... but Navas speeds in (the one with the sharp blue eyes - don't act like you don't know) and shuts him down. 7:56PM 12 mins Sevilla taking their time with passes, United fall behind the halfway line to compact the midfield and Sevilla can't really go very far. United are effectively keeping them at arm's length. 7:53PM 9 mins Young does really well to stop Sarabia running directly at him and De Gea hits the ball long up the pitch. Valencia gets forward for a throw in, McTominay controls superbly and passes to Lukaku, who hits a ball out to the left wing and Sanchez gets his first touch! Corner to Man Utd. 7:51PM 6 mins Muriel is able to sprint past Smalling but although he's quicker to accelerate, the defender is able to hold him off and win the tackle. Correa tries a step over and goes down under a mistimed tackle from Mata. Sevilla are attacking with purpose here, passing the ball really nicely. 7:48PM 4 mins United have a lot of bodies behind the ball early on! Lukaku is the out-ball, tries to spin N'Zonzi but goes down and loses possession in the centre-circle. This is a definite 4-5-1 from United. Sevilla come forward, Muriel has the ball 25 yards out and tries a shot... SAVE by De Gea! That was a decent effort! 7:47PM 2 mins Sevilla win a corner early on, Banega whips it in but United defend well and get the second phase attack out for a throw. 7:45PM KICK OFF Sevilla kick off 7:42PM Here come the teams You can't even hear this song over the top of the Sevilla support. What a noise! 7:36PM This is genuinely excellent TV BT Sport making use of the expert pundits they have on offer is an absolute treat. I could watch Lampard and Scholes discuss the minute details of how to play in midfield, how they reacted after games, how they'd coach Pogba for the rest of the evening. Lampard has essentially said that Pogba needs to take some responsibility and can't rely on other people to reign him in when he goes wandering. "After Tottenham I wouldn't have slept but he's doing the same thing against Newcastle" is a rough paraphrase. 7:32PM More on Pogba "It's awareness and effort," continues Lampard, who knows exactly what it's like going from attacking midfield to a deeper role. This is great television, lovely stuff by the BT Sport lads. "We're still talking 18 months into his United career where his best position in the team is," says Scholes. "He's a player who scores goals, dictates the pace of the game. I don't think the team sets up to get the best out of Pogba," argues Ferdinand. 7:29PM Mourinho on Pogba This is from a BT Sport VT. "When you speak about Paul Pogba is a player who in his best moment had to stop twice, then when he's playing really well he is suspended." Pogba has been shunted out of momentum a couple of times this season and he's struggled ever so slightly in his last few games, trying to do a little too much. In a midfield two he needs to be a little bit better positionally. "It's all about defensive responsibility, Mourinho's trying to shock him", is what Frank Lampard thinks. 7:06PM Mourinho's reaction to Des Kelly's questions "Three questions and all about Paul?!" he asks after three questions about Paul Pogba's absence. Des knows what he's doing and laughs it off as he moves onto asking about the actual game. 7:03PM Mourinho's 4-3-3 Isn't that a thing. Scott McTominay is preferred to Paul Pogba, Juan Mata gets the nod over Anthony Martial and Mourinho changes to a 4-3-3, despite the clamour for him to do so much sooner to get more out of Pogba. Even Pogba has admitted he's better in a three but Mourinho isn't having it - a talent like that should be able to play in multiple systems, not only one which suits him alone. 6:46PM Do you like holidays? Do you like football? Well wait a darned minute there because I might have the perfect little thing for you to read! The 10 best European football away days Incredibly it doesn't include a trip to Pittodrie, Aberdeen but perhaps that is fair, since once you've attended a match there you never need to go another football game again. Wait, I mean you never want to go to another football game again. 6:39PM Sevilla starting lineup ONCE del #SevillaFC ante el @ManUtd_Es en la IDA de 1/8 de final de la @LigadeCampeones#vamosmisevilla#UCL#ThisIsSevillapic.twitter.com/fiz3jEbvp3— Sevilla Fútbol Club (@SevillaFC) February 21, 2018 6:38PM No Pogba - confirmed Controversial scenes, Clive. What's going on here then? Phenomenal scenes from Jose Mourinho. Martial dropped too. How #MUFC line up for tonight's #UCL clash with Sevilla... pic.twitter.com/7g80OaosMv— Manchester United (@ManUtd) February 21, 2018 6:25PM Good evening! Hello lovely humans, welcome to our liveblog for tonight's Champions League game featuring PAUL POGBA. [dabs everywhere] But wait - what's this? Pogba's on the bench?! That's what Jason Burt's heard and you can read all about it here. Could that switch make Man Utd more balanced on the pitch? Does it make them weaker? Who will dab? Why can't Jose Mourinho get the most out of Paul Pogba? Sevilla are fifth in La Liga and represent a real challenge for United tonight. They play some really nice football and have some excellent players - Ever Banega is an exceptional talent and has the potential to run the game. We'll find out the starting lineups shortly. Until then, let's all think about Pogba. And Romelu Lukaku - Sevilla aren't in the top six of the Premier League, which means he should be able to score against them.
World class is an over used term in football and maybe with Paul Pogba that has been the case but there is no doubt that Manchester United have at least one player worthy of that status as goalkeeper David De Gea once again demonstrated his importance as he kept his team in this Champions League tie. Two superb saves from headers, the second breathtaking, at the end of the first half denied Sevilla who had countless other opportunities against an at times over-run United side who nevertheless go into the second leg of this last-16 encounter on March 13 as favourites to progress into the quarter-finals. Or maybe not if they play like this because for all of Jose Mourinho’s post-match protestations about his team being in control that was simply not the case while it is dispiriting that, once more, the United manager’s pre-occupation was to try and stop the opposition rather than impose him team on them. The visitors looked pedestrian, conservative, restrained; a team lacking in verve. It was a far cry, for example, from the way Liverpool destroyed Porto away last week. And surely United cannot keep relying on De Gea? In fact Mourinho congratulated himself on how his midfield had controlled the Sevilla playmaker Ever Banega – not quite true – and he lauded his decision to field Scott McTominay from the start, and as competently as the promising young Scot did perform, he is an essentially destructive, rather than constructive, player. Credit: GETTY IMAGES On his return from illness Pogba was dropped, and that obviously caused quite a stir, but he had to be called on after just 18 minutes when Ander Herrera pulled up injured as he attempted a back-heel – much to Mourinho’s frustration. Pogba’s contribution was later distilled by his manager into one about working hard for the team – not quite effusive praise – while Mourinho also launched himself into an argument that all players have to work hard, and not being free spirits, when he was asked an innocuous question about Alexis Sanchez. Sanchez was far from his best on his return to Champions League football following his January move from Arsenal and was withdrawn before the end. And neither was Pogba much better. This was hugely disappointing. United’s alleged control was arguable for De Gea made eight saves in all from 25 attempts at goal by Sevilla – the most for a United goalkeeper in a Champions League game since Edwin van der Sar versus Barcelona in May 2011. Average touch positions (0 min) And Sevilla, fifth in La Liga, are no Barcelona of that or even this vintage. Whatever their attacking intent and desire to score under their new head coach Vincenzo Montella for whom this was only a second match in this competition against Mourinho’s 140 games. And yet United’s display smacked of a performance from a team set out by a manager more concerned about stopping the opposition than winning the game. But Mourinho is a master of the knockout competitions, or at least going deep into them, and will argue this kind of occasion is about managing the two matches. And not just the one. Get through this tie and his approach worked. But United were flat. They were underwhelming. Except for De Gea who was elevated to such an imposing status that it seemed to get into the heads of the Sevilla players who, after his two saves just before half-time, continued to play well, attack well but snatched at chances. The closer to De Gea they got, in fact, the less sure they became. They did not look like they believed they could beat him. He got bigger, the goal got smaller. Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal The first save was smart enough as De Gea flicked a powerful header from Steven Nzonzi over the bar, after the midfielder had reached an acrobatic overhead kick back across the penalty area by the lively striker, Luis Muriel. And then De Gea made that incredible save from Muriel – soon after mix-up between the goalkeeper and defender Victor Lindelof – as the forward was picked out unmarked by Jesus Navas with a cross from the right. As Muriel reached the ball he seemed certain to plant his header, from no more than six yards, into the net but De Gea shot out an arm to block. It needed a double-take to believe what had happened. Muriel pressed his head against the post in disbelief for several seconds. When the half-time whistle blew soon after both Muriel and his team-mate Gabriel Mercado even took time to shake De Gea’s hand before he walked down the tunnel. Attempt Saved: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Luis Muriel, 45 + 1 min) There were more saves, relatively routine ones, from De Gea who turned away a skidding shot from Muriel, in the first half, and from Joaquin Correa after he jinked in from the right, and from Correa again as he attempted to bend the ball into the corner. But after his amazing save from Muriel it seemed Sevilla believed they had to find the precise finish and Clement Lenglet, Franco Vazquez and Muriel, again, were wasteful as they attempted that. It was summed up when Muriel crossed towards the far post and Correa appeared to have the chance to head home but was clearly mindful of De Gea scampering across and tried for too much power. Again it sailed over the bar. And what about Romelu Lukaku, United’s other big name? The striker was picked out by Sanchez with a clever lofted ball through, but despite having time and space he skied his volley high over the target. Then in the second half he controlled the ball with an arm before firing it into the net. It was rightly ruled out. And that was it. He did little else. David De Gea produced a stunning save to keep Man Utd in the game Credit: REUTERS In fact United only had a single shot on target and that was from McTominay, a first-time effort from outside the area, that was pushed away by goalkeeper Sergio Rico. Mourinho argued that the space opened up for United, but he must have been watching a different game. In this one he was indebted to Sevilla’s profligacy and the brilliance of De Gea. 10:03PM Jose Mourinho loves McTominay &quot;OK. Decision at Old Trafford, it&#39;s a match in our house, I believe that Old Trafford misses a big European night. Of course we had last season but Europa League has a different meaning, and they can create similar atmosphere we had today and push us through a difficult match. &quot;Can I hug you? [hugs Des Kelly] That&#39;s a question. I was in a press conference before and the questions were about Paul and I think the question should be about the kid. He was fantastic, did everything well, put lots of pressure on Banega which was important, always comfortable, simple in possession. He was brilliant. In my opinion the midfield started well and when Herrera came out, Paul worked hard.&quot; 9:42PM Team shapes Average touch positions (0 min) 9:38PM Paul Scholes &quot;Bad game of football, a difficult watch to be honest. Job done for United, I think they&#39;ll be comfortable at Old Trafford.&quot; Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal 9:36PM Mourinho knows how setup a defence The 23rd clean sheet of the season for Man Utd. 9:35PM FULL TIME Not the most memorable of European nights. Sevilla are extremely medium, Man Utd didn&#39;t have enough to take anything home with them. There&#39;s something in Mourinho&#39;s team that doesn&#39;t quite click and this was another disjointed performance, albeit one that has produced the 0-0 he will have wanted. 9:34PM 90 mins +1 This game is done. Neither team really pushing for a goal, there&#39;s still no pace to the passing, it&#39;s a 0-0 game. 9:31PM 89 mins Rashford goes for the knuckle-ball, it flies off the mark and zips wide of the post. Banega off, Pizarro on. 9:31PM 88 mins Rashford wins a free-kick after a blatant foul 30 yards out. The replays of that Navas dive are painful viewing. 9:30PM 87 mins Sandro is involved straight away, links a pass and moves, Sevilla keep coming and Sarabia is played in behind! He pulls the ball back across the box - there must be a finish here! Sandro has to stop and turn a couple of times... and the shot is blocked. Navas comes steaming in to pick up the loose ball and goes flying over a tackle. The referee doesn&#39;t care and he&#39;s right because it&#39;s a dive. Boooooo! 9:28PM 85 mins Sandro is about to come on for Vazquez, but then Montella goes a bit mad on the touchline and decides to take off Muriel instead. The whole stadium seems perplexed by that change of heart but it makes sense. Striker for a striker. 9:25PM 83 mins 0-0 might seem like a decent result to take back to Old Trafford but it only takes one mistake and Sevilla to score from it and all of a sudden United need to score two. United are attacking now... and LUKAKU HAS SCORED! No he hasn&#39;t. It&#39;s a handball. Pogba&#39;s scooped pass for the assist there was superb. 9:23PM 81 mins Mata off for Martial. That&#39;ll give United some energy and speed on the wings for the final 10 minutes as they look for that crucial away goal. 9:21PM 78 mins Credit: REUTERS This picture gives you some idea of how close-range that De Gea save was earlier. You&#39;d think it might concern Mourinho that the best thing United have done all night was stopping this header going in but the score is still 0-0 so who knows. I haven&#39;t won several European trophies, what do I know. 9:19PM 77 mins Rashford takes on Navas for pace but, somewhat unsurprisingly, isn&#39;t able to win that particular race. 9:17PM 75 mins Sanchez has been poor tonight. And actually, I&#39;m not sure if I&#39;ve seen him play well for Man Utd apart from that Yeovil game... he&#39;s doing too much and not sticking to his job on the left wing. Rashford comes on. 9:15PM 73 mins Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal None of these have been particularly close, except the two De Gea saved from close range. And they&#39;ve just missed another! Muriel dances down the right and chips to the back post. Sarabia should really score from about four yards but heads over. That&#39;s a huge miss. 9:14PM 72 mins A cross from wide right is whipped low into the six yard box but Smalling makes sure Muriel can&#39;t get onto it. 9:13PM 70 mins Sevilla are painfully slow. It&#39;s so easy to shut them down and United are not having to work especially hard to do so. Lukaku holds off his man on the left, Sanchez takes the ball on and the pitch opens up for this United attack! There&#39;s a big chance here if Lukaku can find the pass... but a right footed pass across the pitch is easily cut out. 9:09PM 67 mins Banega goes for a knuckle ball, Juninho-style free-kick but De Gea catches easily. Lukaku does well to win a corner. 9:08PM 66 mins Correa comes inside from the left, goes past two players and then a stepover takes him into the area! He can shoot from here... but his shot flies into the stand. Another free-kick for Sevilla near the United box. 9:07PM 65 mins Banega hits a really good ball into the area... it&#39;s headed at goal from six yards... and De Gea saves again. This time it&#39;s a bit easier. Credit: REUTERS 9:05PM 63 mins Lukaku hits the wall. United keep some level of pressure up... but Sanchez and Pogba and Mata can&#39;t produce anything of note and Lukaku doesn&#39;t attack the cross with any real aggression. McTominay controls the ball well in the air, the Sevilla defender kicks his foot... aaaaand the referee gives a free-kick to Sevilla. Foul after foul after foul after foul. They&#39;re all so weak! Players falling over all the place. Put a lion on the pitch, see what happens. 9:03PM 61 mins More slow build up. The Sevilla fans boo, Sanchez is told where to go by McTominay after drifting inside the pitch but Sanchez&#39;s run towards the box is stopped by a slide tackle. United have a decent set piece position here. 9:01PM 59 mins United sit in their own defensive third, walking around the pitch as Sevilla jog their way forward. Muriel tries another shot at goal but puts it wide. De Gea wanders over, never worried about that one creeping in. Out: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Luis Muriel, 58 min) It&#39;d be nice if Man Utd could do something exciting soon. Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal 8:59PM 56 mins Lukaku moves out to the right wing, dribbles past one man and then tries to pass across the box. It&#39;s aimed poorly and Sevilla come away with the ball, Lindelof pulls Vazquez&#39;s shirt and gives away a free-kick in the centre-circle. McTominay is fouled by Escudero... it&#39;s so scrappy. Both teams are slow in build up and then someone fouls someone else. Nothing comes from the free-kicks or corners. 8:56PM 54 mins Young tries to go past Sarabia but loses the ball and the counter-attack is on. Matic is caught behind the play, Muriel comes inside and shoots... but it&#39;s another corner. This is such a frustrating, scrappy game. A real Mourinho European match. He&#39;ll get them the result but it&#39;s far from beautiful flowing football. 8:54PM 52 mins Average touch positions (50 min) You can see why Mourinho needs Young to get forward. Sanchez is basically playing as a second striker and it&#39;s making United lopsided. Vazquez tries a shot from 20 yards but bends it way over the bar. 8:53PM 50 mins Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal 8:51PM 49 mins McTominay does well to shield the ball and link a few passes together in the midfield. Young overlaps and gets into the box, winning a corner. It seems that Mourinho has pushed his full-backs further forward in this half. Mata&#39;s first touch to kill the corner is amazing, he then sells a dummy to two defenders and chips into the centre but nobody is there. Sometimes Mata is ridiculously good. 8:49PM 47 mins Sandro (that guy Everton bought) is on the bench for Sevilla and has number 99 on his shirt. This. Ends. NOW! 8:48PM KICK OFF 2 Kick off 2 man utd &quot;They don&#39;t look too threatening really,&quot; says Paul Scholes of Sevilla. I&#39;d argue both look pretty tame. A 0-0 beckons! Or does it? Let&#39;s find out! 8:38PM De Gea praise from a proper goalkeeper This guy used to play in goal for Aberdeen, he knows what it means to face an onslaught of shots. David De Gea is incredible. What. A. Save. Don’t say “Anywhere else and it’s a goal.” or “He should score.” because nothing should detract from that save. From that range and with that power, he’s denied an almost certain goal. Just brilliant.— David Preece (@davidpreece12) February 21, 2018 8:35PM Sevilla&#39;s paper planes Credit: REUTERS 8:33PM That De Gea save Sure, the striker should have aimed towards the floor with this but I mean... come on. It&#39;s ludicrous that he can react quickly enough and get a strong enough arm at this shot to turn it over. It&#39;s astonishing. 8:32PM HALF TIME De Gea has just rescued Man Utd there. It should be 1-0 Sevilla. 8:32PM 45 mins +2 And more exciting! A long ball is read by Young, he cushions it with his first touch back to De Gea... and nobody picks it up! What are they playing at?! De Gea manages to hook the ball away before that becomes a tap in. Sevilla keep the pressure up, the ball is sent into the middle and MURIEL IS ALL ALONE! HE MUST SCORE OH MY HEAVENS LORDY LORDY WHAT A SAVE! That&#39;s an incredible save from De Gea! Muriel can&#39;t believe it! Attempt Saved: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Luis Muriel, 45 + 1 min) 8:30PM 45 mins +1 What a save by De Gea! The corner is headed to the back post, N&#39;Zonzi tries a bicycle kick and it&#39;s turned at goal by another Sevilla player off the head. De Gea has to react instantly to dive and turn it over! 8:29PM 45 mins There are quite a few paper aeroplanes being thrown onto the pitch as United set up a corner. That corner goes so well that Sevilla are able to counter-attack quickly and win their own corner. Mourinho is furious. 8:27PM 43 mins Sanchez fouls Navas and is booked. It&#39;s harsh. Lukaku is back defending at right-back... Valencia hooks the ball away, Banega finds Correa... who does a little too much but does get a shot away! Low to the corner but De Gea saves. Valencia doesn&#39;t get close to Correa there. Keeper pick-up: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (David de Gea, 42 min) 8:25PM 41 mins Correa is in space wide left in the box but doesn&#39;t take his chance to shoot, controls, the defence gets back and his attempted flair pass is knocked behind for a corner. That turns into a goal kick. Sevilla are doing an awful lot without ever actually creating anything genuinely dangerous. 8:23PM 39 mins MCTOMINAAAAAAAAYYYYYYY has a shot saved from distance but it&#39;s a solid effort. The ball sits for him about 20 yards out in the kind of position that would make it a crime not to have a wee go. Rico is fairly comfortable with his save. Sevilla break forward but don&#39;t look too menacing again. Smalling heads a weak shot behind for a corner, Pogba clears. 8:22PM 37 mins Credit: GETTY IMAGES There he is. Meanwhile, Sevilla have a corner. Their crowd really dislikes many of the referee&#39;s decisions but it really does look like he&#39;s getting them all dead right. 8:19PM 35 mins McTominay lets me down and himself down and everyone down with a poor pass to Valencia, who has to work hard to win the 50/50 and then dives by the corner flag. The referee isn&#39;t having it, Sevilla play on and Vasquez is played in! Oooohhhhh he&#39;s a click away from controlling that and having an easy one-on-one but the ball runs past him and he wins a corner instead. Pogba fouls Banega in the centre-circle with a clumsy tackle. 8:17PM 33 mins Sanchez goes down off the ball as Mercado puts his arm out to block the run. There&#39;s nothing really in that either. The Sevilla crowd and team are getting a little wound up by the referee. Valencia has absolutely pied Correa with a shoulder drop and sprinted past him on the right but nothing comes of it. 8:15PM 31 mins Lukaku is being kicked around a little bit here. Sanchez points it out to the referee and convinces him to tell off Correa for... basically barging into him. Hmmm. There#s nothing in that for me, Clive. McTominay is having a decent game so far, his first touch is brilliant. 8:13PM 29 mins Correa has a bit of space on the left and dribbles into the penalty area after a superb first touch. He tricks his way into the box but doesn&#39;t get enough on his show and De Gea saves easily. 8:12PM 27 mins Credit: REUTERS United are slowly gaining more of the pitch, edging that defensive line further forward. 8:10PM 25 mins Lukaku is in! Great ball over the top, an even better run to get to it... and Lukaku punts his volleyed effort way over the bar. That&#39;s a really bad miss. If he had another go at it right now he&#39;d bury it every time. 8:08PM 23 mins N&#39;Zonzi is booked for catching Sanchez on the behind, or to be more specific, his buttock. Sanchez has felt that one, rolls around a bit and then tries to show everyone the wound he may have suffered before deciding maybe he shouldn&#39;t do that. The game is pretty scrappy now, both teams look organised and disciplined, though Sevilla are perhaps asking more of the questions. 8:05PM 20 mins Pogba&#39;s first involvement is to chase the ball down the right wing and lose it. He&#39;s in his dream midfield three now so there&#39;s no excuse if this doesn&#39;t work for him tonight. Young has to stay alert to head a long diagonal ball behind for a corner. Possession: Sevilla vs Man Utd 8:03PM 18 mins POGBA ALERT. POGBA ALERT. [dabs everywhere] Pogba is on the pitch. Mourinho&#39;s evil plans are in tatters. What are the odds he scores and does one of those &quot;shhhhhhh!&quot; celebrations? 8:02PM 17 mins Valencia carries the ball towards the box, Herrera overlaps and is into the box. The pass comes in, he back-heels across goal... and it&#39;s cleared away. Oh no! He&#39;s injured! Herrera&#39;s done for the night, having pulled a muscle with that little run. Darren Fletcher on commentary says &quot;that looks terminal&quot; but I&#39;m not sure Herrera will die from the injury. I don&#39;t know for certain. But also I do. 8:01PM 16 mins Banega tries a long range effort but it&#39;s too high. Miss: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Éver Banega, 14 min) A chipped ball over the top towards Lukaku causes panic as Lenglet and Mercado struggle to cope with his strength and balance... but he can&#39;t take the ball down nor pass it to Mata and Sevilla deal with the situation well. Sevilla go forward quickly and get another shot away. This time it&#39;s wide. Miss: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Jesús Navas, 15 min) 7:57PM 13 mins Sanchez runs into space, controls and pushes the ball towards the box... but Navas speeds in (the one with the sharp blue eyes - don&#39;t act like you don&#39;t know) and shuts him down. 7:56PM 12 mins Sevilla taking their time with passes, United fall behind the halfway line to compact the midfield and Sevilla can&#39;t really go very far. United are effectively keeping them at arm&#39;s length. 7:53PM 9 mins Young does really well to stop Sarabia running directly at him and De Gea hits the ball long up the pitch. Valencia gets forward for a throw in, McTominay controls superbly and passes to Lukaku, who hits a ball out to the left wing and Sanchez gets his first touch! Corner to Man Utd. 7:51PM 6 mins Muriel is able to sprint past Smalling but although he&#39;s quicker to accelerate, the defender is able to hold him off and win the tackle. Correa tries a step over and goes down under a mistimed tackle from Mata. Sevilla are attacking with purpose here, passing the ball really nicely. 7:48PM 4 mins United have a lot of bodies behind the ball early on! Lukaku is the out-ball, tries to spin N&#39;Zonzi but goes down and loses possession in the centre-circle. This is a definite 4-5-1 from United. Sevilla come forward, Muriel has the ball 25 yards out and tries a shot... SAVE by De Gea! That was a decent effort! 7:47PM 2 mins Sevilla win a corner early on, Banega whips it in but United defend well and get the second phase attack out for a throw. 7:45PM KICK OFF Sevilla kick off 7:42PM Here come the teams You can&#39;t even hear this song over the top of the Sevilla support. What a noise! 7:36PM This is genuinely excellent TV BT Sport making use of the expert pundits they have on offer is an absolute treat. I could watch Lampard and Scholes discuss the minute details of how to play in midfield, how they reacted after games, how they&#39;d coach Pogba for the rest of the evening. Lampard has essentially said that Pogba needs to take some responsibility and can&#39;t rely on other people to reign him in when he goes wandering. &quot;After Tottenham I wouldn&#39;t have slept but he&#39;s doing the same thing against Newcastle&quot; is a rough paraphrase. 7:32PM More on Pogba &quot;It&#39;s awareness and effort,&quot; continues Lampard, who knows exactly what it&#39;s like going from attacking midfield to a deeper role. This is great television, lovely stuff by the BT Sport lads. &quot;We&#39;re still talking 18 months into his United career where his best position in the team is,&quot; says Scholes. &quot;He&#39;s a player who scores goals, dictates the pace of the game. I don&#39;t think the team sets up to get the best out of Pogba,&quot; argues Ferdinand. 7:29PM Mourinho on Pogba This is from a BT Sport VT. &quot;When you speak about Paul Pogba is a player who in his best moment had to stop twice, then when he&#39;s playing really well he is suspended.&quot; Pogba has been shunted out of momentum a couple of times this season and he&#39;s struggled ever so slightly in his last few games, trying to do a little too much. In a midfield two he needs to be a little bit better positionally. &quot;It&#39;s all about defensive responsibility, Mourinho&#39;s trying to shock him&quot;, is what Frank Lampard thinks. 7:06PM Mourinho&#39;s reaction to Des Kelly&#39;s questions &quot;Three questions and all about Paul?!&quot; he asks after three questions about Paul Pogba&#39;s absence. Des knows what he&#39;s doing and laughs it off as he moves onto asking about the actual game. 7:03PM Mourinho&#39;s 4-3-3 Isn&#39;t that a thing. Scott McTominay is preferred to Paul Pogba, Juan Mata gets the nod over Anthony Martial and Mourinho changes to a 4-3-3, despite the clamour for him to do so much sooner to get more out of Pogba. Even Pogba has admitted he&#39;s better in a three but Mourinho isn&#39;t having it - a talent like that should be able to play in multiple systems, not only one which suits him alone. 6:46PM Do you like holidays? Do you like football? Well wait a darned minute there because I might have the perfect little thing for you to read! The 10 best European football away days Incredibly it doesn&#39;t include a trip to Pittodrie, Aberdeen but perhaps that is fair, since once you&#39;ve attended a match there you never need to go another football game again. Wait, I mean you never want to go to another football game again. 6:39PM Sevilla starting lineup ONCE del #SevillaFC ante el @ManUtd_Es en la IDA de 1/8 de final de la @LigadeCampeones#vamosmisevilla#UCL#ThisIsSevillapic.twitter.com/fiz3jEbvp3— Sevilla Fútbol Club (@SevillaFC) February 21, 2018 6:38PM No Pogba - confirmed Controversial scenes, Clive. What&#39;s going on here then? Phenomenal scenes from Jose Mourinho. Martial dropped too. How #MUFC line up for tonight&#39;s #UCL clash with Sevilla... pic.twitter.com/7g80OaosMv— Manchester United (@ManUtd) February 21, 2018 6:25PM Good evening! Hello lovely humans, welcome to our liveblog for tonight&#39;s Champions League game featuring PAUL POGBA. [dabs everywhere] But wait - what&#39;s this? Pogba&#39;s on the bench?! That&#39;s what Jason Burt&#39;s heard and you can read all about it here. Could that switch make Man Utd more balanced on the pitch? Does it make them weaker? Who will dab? Why can&#39;t Jose Mourinho get the most out of Paul Pogba? Sevilla are fifth in La Liga and represent a real challenge for United tonight. They play some really nice football and have some excellent players - Ever Banega is an exceptional talent and has the potential to run the game. We&#39;ll find out the starting lineups shortly. Until then, let&#39;s all think about Pogba. And Romelu Lukaku - Sevilla aren&#39;t in the top six of the Premier League, which means he should be able to score against them.
Sevilla 0 Man Utd 0: David De Gea produces stunning save as United get job done against wasteful hosts
World class is an over used term in football and maybe with Paul Pogba that has been the case but there is no doubt that Manchester United have at least one player worthy of that status as goalkeeper David De Gea once again demonstrated his importance as he kept his team in this Champions League tie. Two superb saves from headers, the second breathtaking, at the end of the first half denied Sevilla who had countless other opportunities against an at times over-run United side who nevertheless go into the second leg of this last-16 encounter on March 13 as favourites to progress into the quarter-finals. Or maybe not if they play like this because for all of Jose Mourinho’s post-match protestations about his team being in control that was simply not the case while it is dispiriting that, once more, the United manager’s pre-occupation was to try and stop the opposition rather than impose him team on them. The visitors looked pedestrian, conservative, restrained; a team lacking in verve. It was a far cry, for example, from the way Liverpool destroyed Porto away last week. And surely United cannot keep relying on De Gea? In fact Mourinho congratulated himself on how his midfield had controlled the Sevilla playmaker Ever Banega – not quite true – and he lauded his decision to field Scott McTominay from the start, and as competently as the promising young Scot did perform, he is an essentially destructive, rather than constructive, player. Credit: GETTY IMAGES On his return from illness Pogba was dropped, and that obviously caused quite a stir, but he had to be called on after just 18 minutes when Ander Herrera pulled up injured as he attempted a back-heel – much to Mourinho’s frustration. Pogba’s contribution was later distilled by his manager into one about working hard for the team – not quite effusive praise – while Mourinho also launched himself into an argument that all players have to work hard, and not being free spirits, when he was asked an innocuous question about Alexis Sanchez. Sanchez was far from his best on his return to Champions League football following his January move from Arsenal and was withdrawn before the end. And neither was Pogba much better. This was hugely disappointing. United’s alleged control was arguable for De Gea made eight saves in all from 25 attempts at goal by Sevilla – the most for a United goalkeeper in a Champions League game since Edwin van der Sar versus Barcelona in May 2011. Average touch positions (0 min) And Sevilla, fifth in La Liga, are no Barcelona of that or even this vintage. Whatever their attacking intent and desire to score under their new head coach Vincenzo Montella for whom this was only a second match in this competition against Mourinho’s 140 games. And yet United’s display smacked of a performance from a team set out by a manager more concerned about stopping the opposition than winning the game. But Mourinho is a master of the knockout competitions, or at least going deep into them, and will argue this kind of occasion is about managing the two matches. And not just the one. Get through this tie and his approach worked. But United were flat. They were underwhelming. Except for De Gea who was elevated to such an imposing status that it seemed to get into the heads of the Sevilla players who, after his two saves just before half-time, continued to play well, attack well but snatched at chances. The closer to De Gea they got, in fact, the less sure they became. They did not look like they believed they could beat him. He got bigger, the goal got smaller. Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal The first save was smart enough as De Gea flicked a powerful header from Steven Nzonzi over the bar, after the midfielder had reached an acrobatic overhead kick back across the penalty area by the lively striker, Luis Muriel. And then De Gea made that incredible save from Muriel – soon after mix-up between the goalkeeper and defender Victor Lindelof – as the forward was picked out unmarked by Jesus Navas with a cross from the right. As Muriel reached the ball he seemed certain to plant his header, from no more than six yards, into the net but De Gea shot out an arm to block. It needed a double-take to believe what had happened. Muriel pressed his head against the post in disbelief for several seconds. When the half-time whistle blew soon after both Muriel and his team-mate Gabriel Mercado even took time to shake De Gea’s hand before he walked down the tunnel. Attempt Saved: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Luis Muriel, 45 + 1 min) There were more saves, relatively routine ones, from De Gea who turned away a skidding shot from Muriel, in the first half, and from Joaquin Correa after he jinked in from the right, and from Correa again as he attempted to bend the ball into the corner. But after his amazing save from Muriel it seemed Sevilla believed they had to find the precise finish and Clement Lenglet, Franco Vazquez and Muriel, again, were wasteful as they attempted that. It was summed up when Muriel crossed towards the far post and Correa appeared to have the chance to head home but was clearly mindful of De Gea scampering across and tried for too much power. Again it sailed over the bar. And what about Romelu Lukaku, United’s other big name? The striker was picked out by Sanchez with a clever lofted ball through, but despite having time and space he skied his volley high over the target. Then in the second half he controlled the ball with an arm before firing it into the net. It was rightly ruled out. And that was it. He did little else. David De Gea produced a stunning save to keep Man Utd in the game Credit: REUTERS In fact United only had a single shot on target and that was from McTominay, a first-time effort from outside the area, that was pushed away by goalkeeper Sergio Rico. Mourinho argued that the space opened up for United, but he must have been watching a different game. In this one he was indebted to Sevilla’s profligacy and the brilliance of De Gea. 10:03PM Jose Mourinho loves McTominay "OK. Decision at Old Trafford, it's a match in our house, I believe that Old Trafford misses a big European night. Of course we had last season but Europa League has a different meaning, and they can create similar atmosphere we had today and push us through a difficult match. "Can I hug you? [hugs Des Kelly] That's a question. I was in a press conference before and the questions were about Paul and I think the question should be about the kid. He was fantastic, did everything well, put lots of pressure on Banega which was important, always comfortable, simple in possession. He was brilliant. In my opinion the midfield started well and when Herrera came out, Paul worked hard." 9:42PM Team shapes Average touch positions (0 min) 9:38PM Paul Scholes "Bad game of football, a difficult watch to be honest. Job done for United, I think they'll be comfortable at Old Trafford." Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal 9:36PM Mourinho knows how setup a defence The 23rd clean sheet of the season for Man Utd. 9:35PM FULL TIME Not the most memorable of European nights. Sevilla are extremely medium, Man Utd didn't have enough to take anything home with them. There's something in Mourinho's team that doesn't quite click and this was another disjointed performance, albeit one that has produced the 0-0 he will have wanted. 9:34PM 90 mins +1 This game is done. Neither team really pushing for a goal, there's still no pace to the passing, it's a 0-0 game. 9:31PM 89 mins Rashford goes for the knuckle-ball, it flies off the mark and zips wide of the post. Banega off, Pizarro on. 9:31PM 88 mins Rashford wins a free-kick after a blatant foul 30 yards out. The replays of that Navas dive are painful viewing. 9:30PM 87 mins Sandro is involved straight away, links a pass and moves, Sevilla keep coming and Sarabia is played in behind! He pulls the ball back across the box - there must be a finish here! Sandro has to stop and turn a couple of times... and the shot is blocked. Navas comes steaming in to pick up the loose ball and goes flying over a tackle. The referee doesn't care and he's right because it's a dive. Boooooo! 9:28PM 85 mins Sandro is about to come on for Vazquez, but then Montella goes a bit mad on the touchline and decides to take off Muriel instead. The whole stadium seems perplexed by that change of heart but it makes sense. Striker for a striker. 9:25PM 83 mins 0-0 might seem like a decent result to take back to Old Trafford but it only takes one mistake and Sevilla to score from it and all of a sudden United need to score two. United are attacking now... and LUKAKU HAS SCORED! No he hasn't. It's a handball. Pogba's scooped pass for the assist there was superb. 9:23PM 81 mins Mata off for Martial. That'll give United some energy and speed on the wings for the final 10 minutes as they look for that crucial away goal. 9:21PM 78 mins Credit: REUTERS This picture gives you some idea of how close-range that De Gea save was earlier. You'd think it might concern Mourinho that the best thing United have done all night was stopping this header going in but the score is still 0-0 so who knows. I haven't won several European trophies, what do I know. 9:19PM 77 mins Rashford takes on Navas for pace but, somewhat unsurprisingly, isn't able to win that particular race. 9:17PM 75 mins Sanchez has been poor tonight. And actually, I'm not sure if I've seen him play well for Man Utd apart from that Yeovil game... he's doing too much and not sticking to his job on the left wing. Rashford comes on. 9:15PM 73 mins Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal None of these have been particularly close, except the two De Gea saved from close range. And they've just missed another! Muriel dances down the right and chips to the back post. Sarabia should really score from about four yards but heads over. That's a huge miss. 9:14PM 72 mins A cross from wide right is whipped low into the six yard box but Smalling makes sure Muriel can't get onto it. 9:13PM 70 mins Sevilla are painfully slow. It's so easy to shut them down and United are not having to work especially hard to do so. Lukaku holds off his man on the left, Sanchez takes the ball on and the pitch opens up for this United attack! There's a big chance here if Lukaku can find the pass... but a right footed pass across the pitch is easily cut out. 9:09PM 67 mins Banega goes for a knuckle ball, Juninho-style free-kick but De Gea catches easily. Lukaku does well to win a corner. 9:08PM 66 mins Correa comes inside from the left, goes past two players and then a stepover takes him into the area! He can shoot from here... but his shot flies into the stand. Another free-kick for Sevilla near the United box. 9:07PM 65 mins Banega hits a really good ball into the area... it's headed at goal from six yards... and De Gea saves again. This time it's a bit easier. Credit: REUTERS 9:05PM 63 mins Lukaku hits the wall. United keep some level of pressure up... but Sanchez and Pogba and Mata can't produce anything of note and Lukaku doesn't attack the cross with any real aggression. McTominay controls the ball well in the air, the Sevilla defender kicks his foot... aaaaand the referee gives a free-kick to Sevilla. Foul after foul after foul after foul. They're all so weak! Players falling over all the place. Put a lion on the pitch, see what happens. 9:03PM 61 mins More slow build up. The Sevilla fans boo, Sanchez is told where to go by McTominay after drifting inside the pitch but Sanchez's run towards the box is stopped by a slide tackle. United have a decent set piece position here. 9:01PM 59 mins United sit in their own defensive third, walking around the pitch as Sevilla jog their way forward. Muriel tries another shot at goal but puts it wide. De Gea wanders over, never worried about that one creeping in. Out: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Luis Muriel, 58 min) It'd be nice if Man Utd could do something exciting soon. Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal 8:59PM 56 mins Lukaku moves out to the right wing, dribbles past one man and then tries to pass across the box. It's aimed poorly and Sevilla come away with the ball, Lindelof pulls Vazquez's shirt and gives away a free-kick in the centre-circle. McTominay is fouled by Escudero... it's so scrappy. Both teams are slow in build up and then someone fouls someone else. Nothing comes from the free-kicks or corners. 8:56PM 54 mins Young tries to go past Sarabia but loses the ball and the counter-attack is on. Matic is caught behind the play, Muriel comes inside and shoots... but it's another corner. This is such a frustrating, scrappy game. A real Mourinho European match. He'll get them the result but it's far from beautiful flowing football. 8:54PM 52 mins Average touch positions (50 min) You can see why Mourinho needs Young to get forward. Sanchez is basically playing as a second striker and it's making United lopsided. Vazquez tries a shot from 20 yards but bends it way over the bar. 8:53PM 50 mins Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal 8:51PM 49 mins McTominay does well to shield the ball and link a few passes together in the midfield. Young overlaps and gets into the box, winning a corner. It seems that Mourinho has pushed his full-backs further forward in this half. Mata's first touch to kill the corner is amazing, he then sells a dummy to two defenders and chips into the centre but nobody is there. Sometimes Mata is ridiculously good. 8:49PM 47 mins Sandro (that guy Everton bought) is on the bench for Sevilla and has number 99 on his shirt. This. Ends. NOW! 8:48PM KICK OFF 2 Kick off 2 man utd "They don't look too threatening really," says Paul Scholes of Sevilla. I'd argue both look pretty tame. A 0-0 beckons! Or does it? Let's find out! 8:38PM De Gea praise from a proper goalkeeper This guy used to play in goal for Aberdeen, he knows what it means to face an onslaught of shots. David De Gea is incredible. What. A. Save. Don’t say “Anywhere else and it’s a goal.” or “He should score.” because nothing should detract from that save. From that range and with that power, he’s denied an almost certain goal. Just brilliant.— David Preece (@davidpreece12) February 21, 2018 8:35PM Sevilla's paper planes Credit: REUTERS 8:33PM That De Gea save Sure, the striker should have aimed towards the floor with this but I mean... come on. It's ludicrous that he can react quickly enough and get a strong enough arm at this shot to turn it over. It's astonishing. 8:32PM HALF TIME De Gea has just rescued Man Utd there. It should be 1-0 Sevilla. 8:32PM 45 mins +2 And more exciting! A long ball is read by Young, he cushions it with his first touch back to De Gea... and nobody picks it up! What are they playing at?! De Gea manages to hook the ball away before that becomes a tap in. Sevilla keep the pressure up, the ball is sent into the middle and MURIEL IS ALL ALONE! HE MUST SCORE OH MY HEAVENS LORDY LORDY WHAT A SAVE! That's an incredible save from De Gea! Muriel can't believe it! Attempt Saved: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Luis Muriel, 45 + 1 min) 8:30PM 45 mins +1 What a save by De Gea! The corner is headed to the back post, N'Zonzi tries a bicycle kick and it's turned at goal by another Sevilla player off the head. De Gea has to react instantly to dive and turn it over! 8:29PM 45 mins There are quite a few paper aeroplanes being thrown onto the pitch as United set up a corner. That corner goes so well that Sevilla are able to counter-attack quickly and win their own corner. Mourinho is furious. 8:27PM 43 mins Sanchez fouls Navas and is booked. It's harsh. Lukaku is back defending at right-back... Valencia hooks the ball away, Banega finds Correa... who does a little too much but does get a shot away! Low to the corner but De Gea saves. Valencia doesn't get close to Correa there. Keeper pick-up: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (David de Gea, 42 min) 8:25PM 41 mins Correa is in space wide left in the box but doesn't take his chance to shoot, controls, the defence gets back and his attempted flair pass is knocked behind for a corner. That turns into a goal kick. Sevilla are doing an awful lot without ever actually creating anything genuinely dangerous. 8:23PM 39 mins MCTOMINAAAAAAAAYYYYYYY has a shot saved from distance but it's a solid effort. The ball sits for him about 20 yards out in the kind of position that would make it a crime not to have a wee go. Rico is fairly comfortable with his save. Sevilla break forward but don't look too menacing again. Smalling heads a weak shot behind for a corner, Pogba clears. 8:22PM 37 mins Credit: GETTY IMAGES There he is. Meanwhile, Sevilla have a corner. Their crowd really dislikes many of the referee's decisions but it really does look like he's getting them all dead right. 8:19PM 35 mins McTominay lets me down and himself down and everyone down with a poor pass to Valencia, who has to work hard to win the 50/50 and then dives by the corner flag. The referee isn't having it, Sevilla play on and Vasquez is played in! Oooohhhhh he's a click away from controlling that and having an easy one-on-one but the ball runs past him and he wins a corner instead. Pogba fouls Banega in the centre-circle with a clumsy tackle. 8:17PM 33 mins Sanchez goes down off the ball as Mercado puts his arm out to block the run. There's nothing really in that either. The Sevilla crowd and team are getting a little wound up by the referee. Valencia has absolutely pied Correa with a shoulder drop and sprinted past him on the right but nothing comes of it. 8:15PM 31 mins Lukaku is being kicked around a little bit here. Sanchez points it out to the referee and convinces him to tell off Correa for... basically barging into him. Hmmm. There#s nothing in that for me, Clive. McTominay is having a decent game so far, his first touch is brilliant. 8:13PM 29 mins Correa has a bit of space on the left and dribbles into the penalty area after a superb first touch. He tricks his way into the box but doesn't get enough on his show and De Gea saves easily. 8:12PM 27 mins Credit: REUTERS United are slowly gaining more of the pitch, edging that defensive line further forward. 8:10PM 25 mins Lukaku is in! Great ball over the top, an even better run to get to it... and Lukaku punts his volleyed effort way over the bar. That's a really bad miss. If he had another go at it right now he'd bury it every time. 8:08PM 23 mins N'Zonzi is booked for catching Sanchez on the behind, or to be more specific, his buttock. Sanchez has felt that one, rolls around a bit and then tries to show everyone the wound he may have suffered before deciding maybe he shouldn't do that. The game is pretty scrappy now, both teams look organised and disciplined, though Sevilla are perhaps asking more of the questions. 8:05PM 20 mins Pogba's first involvement is to chase the ball down the right wing and lose it. He's in his dream midfield three now so there's no excuse if this doesn't work for him tonight. Young has to stay alert to head a long diagonal ball behind for a corner. Possession: Sevilla vs Man Utd 8:03PM 18 mins POGBA ALERT. POGBA ALERT. [dabs everywhere] Pogba is on the pitch. Mourinho's evil plans are in tatters. What are the odds he scores and does one of those "shhhhhhh!" celebrations? 8:02PM 17 mins Valencia carries the ball towards the box, Herrera overlaps and is into the box. The pass comes in, he back-heels across goal... and it's cleared away. Oh no! He's injured! Herrera's done for the night, having pulled a muscle with that little run. Darren Fletcher on commentary says "that looks terminal" but I'm not sure Herrera will die from the injury. I don't know for certain. But also I do. 8:01PM 16 mins Banega tries a long range effort but it's too high. Miss: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Éver Banega, 14 min) A chipped ball over the top towards Lukaku causes panic as Lenglet and Mercado struggle to cope with his strength and balance... but he can't take the ball down nor pass it to Mata and Sevilla deal with the situation well. Sevilla go forward quickly and get another shot away. This time it's wide. Miss: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Jesús Navas, 15 min) 7:57PM 13 mins Sanchez runs into space, controls and pushes the ball towards the box... but Navas speeds in (the one with the sharp blue eyes - don't act like you don't know) and shuts him down. 7:56PM 12 mins Sevilla taking their time with passes, United fall behind the halfway line to compact the midfield and Sevilla can't really go very far. United are effectively keeping them at arm's length. 7:53PM 9 mins Young does really well to stop Sarabia running directly at him and De Gea hits the ball long up the pitch. Valencia gets forward for a throw in, McTominay controls superbly and passes to Lukaku, who hits a ball out to the left wing and Sanchez gets his first touch! Corner to Man Utd. 7:51PM 6 mins Muriel is able to sprint past Smalling but although he's quicker to accelerate, the defender is able to hold him off and win the tackle. Correa tries a step over and goes down under a mistimed tackle from Mata. Sevilla are attacking with purpose here, passing the ball really nicely. 7:48PM 4 mins United have a lot of bodies behind the ball early on! Lukaku is the out-ball, tries to spin N'Zonzi but goes down and loses possession in the centre-circle. This is a definite 4-5-1 from United. Sevilla come forward, Muriel has the ball 25 yards out and tries a shot... SAVE by De Gea! That was a decent effort! 7:47PM 2 mins Sevilla win a corner early on, Banega whips it in but United defend well and get the second phase attack out for a throw. 7:45PM KICK OFF Sevilla kick off 7:42PM Here come the teams You can't even hear this song over the top of the Sevilla support. What a noise! 7:36PM This is genuinely excellent TV BT Sport making use of the expert pundits they have on offer is an absolute treat. I could watch Lampard and Scholes discuss the minute details of how to play in midfield, how they reacted after games, how they'd coach Pogba for the rest of the evening. Lampard has essentially said that Pogba needs to take some responsibility and can't rely on other people to reign him in when he goes wandering. "After Tottenham I wouldn't have slept but he's doing the same thing against Newcastle" is a rough paraphrase. 7:32PM More on Pogba "It's awareness and effort," continues Lampard, who knows exactly what it's like going from attacking midfield to a deeper role. This is great television, lovely stuff by the BT Sport lads. "We're still talking 18 months into his United career where his best position in the team is," says Scholes. "He's a player who scores goals, dictates the pace of the game. I don't think the team sets up to get the best out of Pogba," argues Ferdinand. 7:29PM Mourinho on Pogba This is from a BT Sport VT. "When you speak about Paul Pogba is a player who in his best moment had to stop twice, then when he's playing really well he is suspended." Pogba has been shunted out of momentum a couple of times this season and he's struggled ever so slightly in his last few games, trying to do a little too much. In a midfield two he needs to be a little bit better positionally. "It's all about defensive responsibility, Mourinho's trying to shock him", is what Frank Lampard thinks. 7:06PM Mourinho's reaction to Des Kelly's questions "Three questions and all about Paul?!" he asks after three questions about Paul Pogba's absence. Des knows what he's doing and laughs it off as he moves onto asking about the actual game. 7:03PM Mourinho's 4-3-3 Isn't that a thing. Scott McTominay is preferred to Paul Pogba, Juan Mata gets the nod over Anthony Martial and Mourinho changes to a 4-3-3, despite the clamour for him to do so much sooner to get more out of Pogba. Even Pogba has admitted he's better in a three but Mourinho isn't having it - a talent like that should be able to play in multiple systems, not only one which suits him alone. 6:46PM Do you like holidays? Do you like football? Well wait a darned minute there because I might have the perfect little thing for you to read! The 10 best European football away days Incredibly it doesn't include a trip to Pittodrie, Aberdeen but perhaps that is fair, since once you've attended a match there you never need to go another football game again. Wait, I mean you never want to go to another football game again. 6:39PM Sevilla starting lineup ONCE del #SevillaFC ante el @ManUtd_Es en la IDA de 1/8 de final de la @LigadeCampeones#vamosmisevilla#UCL#ThisIsSevillapic.twitter.com/fiz3jEbvp3— Sevilla Fútbol Club (@SevillaFC) February 21, 2018 6:38PM No Pogba - confirmed Controversial scenes, Clive. What's going on here then? Phenomenal scenes from Jose Mourinho. Martial dropped too. How #MUFC line up for tonight's #UCL clash with Sevilla... pic.twitter.com/7g80OaosMv— Manchester United (@ManUtd) February 21, 2018 6:25PM Good evening! Hello lovely humans, welcome to our liveblog for tonight's Champions League game featuring PAUL POGBA. [dabs everywhere] But wait - what's this? Pogba's on the bench?! That's what Jason Burt's heard and you can read all about it here. Could that switch make Man Utd more balanced on the pitch? Does it make them weaker? Who will dab? Why can't Jose Mourinho get the most out of Paul Pogba? Sevilla are fifth in La Liga and represent a real challenge for United tonight. They play some really nice football and have some excellent players - Ever Banega is an exceptional talent and has the potential to run the game. We'll find out the starting lineups shortly. Until then, let's all think about Pogba. And Romelu Lukaku - Sevilla aren't in the top six of the Premier League, which means he should be able to score against them.
World class is an over used term in football and maybe with Paul Pogba that has been the case but there is no doubt that Manchester United have at least one player worthy of that status as goalkeeper David De Gea once again demonstrated his importance as he kept his team in this Champions League tie. Two superb saves from headers, the second breathtaking, at the end of the first half denied Sevilla who had countless other opportunities against an at times over-run United side who nevertheless go into the second leg of this last-16 encounter on March 13 as favourites to progress into the quarter-finals. Or maybe not if they play like this because for all of Jose Mourinho’s post-match protestations about his team being in control that was simply not the case while it is dispiriting that, once more, the United manager’s pre-occupation was to try and stop the opposition rather than impose him team on them. The visitors looked pedestrian, conservative, restrained; a team lacking in verve. It was a far cry, for example, from the way Liverpool destroyed Porto away last week. And surely United cannot keep relying on De Gea? In fact Mourinho congratulated himself on how his midfield had controlled the Sevilla playmaker Ever Banega – not quite true – and he lauded his decision to field Scott McTominay from the start, and as competently as the promising young Scot did perform, he is an essentially destructive, rather than constructive, player. Credit: GETTY IMAGES On his return from illness Pogba was dropped, and that obviously caused quite a stir, but he had to be called on after just 18 minutes when Ander Herrera pulled up injured as he attempted a back-heel – much to Mourinho’s frustration. Pogba’s contribution was later distilled by his manager into one about working hard for the team – not quite effusive praise – while Mourinho also launched himself into an argument that all players have to work hard, and not being free spirits, when he was asked an innocuous question about Alexis Sanchez. Sanchez was far from his best on his return to Champions League football following his January move from Arsenal and was withdrawn before the end. And neither was Pogba much better. This was hugely disappointing. United’s alleged control was arguable for De Gea made eight saves in all from 25 attempts at goal by Sevilla – the most for a United goalkeeper in a Champions League game since Edwin van der Sar versus Barcelona in May 2011. Average touch positions (0 min) And Sevilla, fifth in La Liga, are no Barcelona of that or even this vintage. Whatever their attacking intent and desire to score under their new head coach Vincenzo Montella for whom this was only a second match in this competition against Mourinho’s 140 games. And yet United’s display smacked of a performance from a team set out by a manager more concerned about stopping the opposition than winning the game. But Mourinho is a master of the knockout competitions, or at least going deep into them, and will argue this kind of occasion is about managing the two matches. And not just the one. Get through this tie and his approach worked. But United were flat. They were underwhelming. Except for De Gea who was elevated to such an imposing status that it seemed to get into the heads of the Sevilla players who, after his two saves just before half-time, continued to play well, attack well but snatched at chances. The closer to De Gea they got, in fact, the less sure they became. They did not look like they believed they could beat him. He got bigger, the goal got smaller. Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal The first save was smart enough as De Gea flicked a powerful header from Steven Nzonzi over the bar, after the midfielder had reached an acrobatic overhead kick back across the penalty area by the lively striker, Luis Muriel. And then De Gea made that incredible save from Muriel – soon after mix-up between the goalkeeper and defender Victor Lindelof – as the forward was picked out unmarked by Jesus Navas with a cross from the right. As Muriel reached the ball he seemed certain to plant his header, from no more than six yards, into the net but De Gea shot out an arm to block. It needed a double-take to believe what had happened. Muriel pressed his head against the post in disbelief for several seconds. When the half-time whistle blew soon after both Muriel and his team-mate Gabriel Mercado even took time to shake De Gea’s hand before he walked down the tunnel. Attempt Saved: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Luis Muriel, 45 + 1 min) There were more saves, relatively routine ones, from De Gea who turned away a skidding shot from Muriel, in the first half, and from Joaquin Correa after he jinked in from the right, and from Correa again as he attempted to bend the ball into the corner. But after his amazing save from Muriel it seemed Sevilla believed they had to find the precise finish and Clement Lenglet, Franco Vazquez and Muriel, again, were wasteful as they attempted that. It was summed up when Muriel crossed towards the far post and Correa appeared to have the chance to head home but was clearly mindful of De Gea scampering across and tried for too much power. Again it sailed over the bar. And what about Romelu Lukaku, United’s other big name? The striker was picked out by Sanchez with a clever lofted ball through, but despite having time and space he skied his volley high over the target. Then in the second half he controlled the ball with an arm before firing it into the net. It was rightly ruled out. And that was it. He did little else. David De Gea produced a stunning save to keep Man Utd in the game Credit: REUTERS In fact United only had a single shot on target and that was from McTominay, a first-time effort from outside the area, that was pushed away by goalkeeper Sergio Rico. Mourinho argued that the space opened up for United, but he must have been watching a different game. In this one he was indebted to Sevilla’s profligacy and the brilliance of De Gea. 10:03PM Jose Mourinho loves McTominay &quot;OK. Decision at Old Trafford, it&#39;s a match in our house, I believe that Old Trafford misses a big European night. Of course we had last season but Europa League has a different meaning, and they can create similar atmosphere we had today and push us through a difficult match. &quot;Can I hug you? [hugs Des Kelly] That&#39;s a question. I was in a press conference before and the questions were about Paul and I think the question should be about the kid. He was fantastic, did everything well, put lots of pressure on Banega which was important, always comfortable, simple in possession. He was brilliant. In my opinion the midfield started well and when Herrera came out, Paul worked hard.&quot; 9:42PM Team shapes Average touch positions (0 min) 9:38PM Paul Scholes &quot;Bad game of football, a difficult watch to be honest. Job done for United, I think they&#39;ll be comfortable at Old Trafford.&quot; Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal 9:36PM Mourinho knows how setup a defence The 23rd clean sheet of the season for Man Utd. 9:35PM FULL TIME Not the most memorable of European nights. Sevilla are extremely medium, Man Utd didn&#39;t have enough to take anything home with them. There&#39;s something in Mourinho&#39;s team that doesn&#39;t quite click and this was another disjointed performance, albeit one that has produced the 0-0 he will have wanted. 9:34PM 90 mins +1 This game is done. Neither team really pushing for a goal, there&#39;s still no pace to the passing, it&#39;s a 0-0 game. 9:31PM 89 mins Rashford goes for the knuckle-ball, it flies off the mark and zips wide of the post. Banega off, Pizarro on. 9:31PM 88 mins Rashford wins a free-kick after a blatant foul 30 yards out. The replays of that Navas dive are painful viewing. 9:30PM 87 mins Sandro is involved straight away, links a pass and moves, Sevilla keep coming and Sarabia is played in behind! He pulls the ball back across the box - there must be a finish here! Sandro has to stop and turn a couple of times... and the shot is blocked. Navas comes steaming in to pick up the loose ball and goes flying over a tackle. The referee doesn&#39;t care and he&#39;s right because it&#39;s a dive. Boooooo! 9:28PM 85 mins Sandro is about to come on for Vazquez, but then Montella goes a bit mad on the touchline and decides to take off Muriel instead. The whole stadium seems perplexed by that change of heart but it makes sense. Striker for a striker. 9:25PM 83 mins 0-0 might seem like a decent result to take back to Old Trafford but it only takes one mistake and Sevilla to score from it and all of a sudden United need to score two. United are attacking now... and LUKAKU HAS SCORED! No he hasn&#39;t. It&#39;s a handball. Pogba&#39;s scooped pass for the assist there was superb. 9:23PM 81 mins Mata off for Martial. That&#39;ll give United some energy and speed on the wings for the final 10 minutes as they look for that crucial away goal. 9:21PM 78 mins Credit: REUTERS This picture gives you some idea of how close-range that De Gea save was earlier. You&#39;d think it might concern Mourinho that the best thing United have done all night was stopping this header going in but the score is still 0-0 so who knows. I haven&#39;t won several European trophies, what do I know. 9:19PM 77 mins Rashford takes on Navas for pace but, somewhat unsurprisingly, isn&#39;t able to win that particular race. 9:17PM 75 mins Sanchez has been poor tonight. And actually, I&#39;m not sure if I&#39;ve seen him play well for Man Utd apart from that Yeovil game... he&#39;s doing too much and not sticking to his job on the left wing. Rashford comes on. 9:15PM 73 mins Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal None of these have been particularly close, except the two De Gea saved from close range. And they&#39;ve just missed another! Muriel dances down the right and chips to the back post. Sarabia should really score from about four yards but heads over. That&#39;s a huge miss. 9:14PM 72 mins A cross from wide right is whipped low into the six yard box but Smalling makes sure Muriel can&#39;t get onto it. 9:13PM 70 mins Sevilla are painfully slow. It&#39;s so easy to shut them down and United are not having to work especially hard to do so. Lukaku holds off his man on the left, Sanchez takes the ball on and the pitch opens up for this United attack! There&#39;s a big chance here if Lukaku can find the pass... but a right footed pass across the pitch is easily cut out. 9:09PM 67 mins Banega goes for a knuckle ball, Juninho-style free-kick but De Gea catches easily. Lukaku does well to win a corner. 9:08PM 66 mins Correa comes inside from the left, goes past two players and then a stepover takes him into the area! He can shoot from here... but his shot flies into the stand. Another free-kick for Sevilla near the United box. 9:07PM 65 mins Banega hits a really good ball into the area... it&#39;s headed at goal from six yards... and De Gea saves again. This time it&#39;s a bit easier. Credit: REUTERS 9:05PM 63 mins Lukaku hits the wall. United keep some level of pressure up... but Sanchez and Pogba and Mata can&#39;t produce anything of note and Lukaku doesn&#39;t attack the cross with any real aggression. McTominay controls the ball well in the air, the Sevilla defender kicks his foot... aaaaand the referee gives a free-kick to Sevilla. Foul after foul after foul after foul. They&#39;re all so weak! Players falling over all the place. Put a lion on the pitch, see what happens. 9:03PM 61 mins More slow build up. The Sevilla fans boo, Sanchez is told where to go by McTominay after drifting inside the pitch but Sanchez&#39;s run towards the box is stopped by a slide tackle. United have a decent set piece position here. 9:01PM 59 mins United sit in their own defensive third, walking around the pitch as Sevilla jog their way forward. Muriel tries another shot at goal but puts it wide. De Gea wanders over, never worried about that one creeping in. Out: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Luis Muriel, 58 min) It&#39;d be nice if Man Utd could do something exciting soon. Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal 8:59PM 56 mins Lukaku moves out to the right wing, dribbles past one man and then tries to pass across the box. It&#39;s aimed poorly and Sevilla come away with the ball, Lindelof pulls Vazquez&#39;s shirt and gives away a free-kick in the centre-circle. McTominay is fouled by Escudero... it&#39;s so scrappy. Both teams are slow in build up and then someone fouls someone else. Nothing comes from the free-kicks or corners. 8:56PM 54 mins Young tries to go past Sarabia but loses the ball and the counter-attack is on. Matic is caught behind the play, Muriel comes inside and shoots... but it&#39;s another corner. This is such a frustrating, scrappy game. A real Mourinho European match. He&#39;ll get them the result but it&#39;s far from beautiful flowing football. 8:54PM 52 mins Average touch positions (50 min) You can see why Mourinho needs Young to get forward. Sanchez is basically playing as a second striker and it&#39;s making United lopsided. Vazquez tries a shot from 20 yards but bends it way over the bar. 8:53PM 50 mins Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal 8:51PM 49 mins McTominay does well to shield the ball and link a few passes together in the midfield. Young overlaps and gets into the box, winning a corner. It seems that Mourinho has pushed his full-backs further forward in this half. Mata&#39;s first touch to kill the corner is amazing, he then sells a dummy to two defenders and chips into the centre but nobody is there. Sometimes Mata is ridiculously good. 8:49PM 47 mins Sandro (that guy Everton bought) is on the bench for Sevilla and has number 99 on his shirt. This. Ends. NOW! 8:48PM KICK OFF 2 Kick off 2 man utd &quot;They don&#39;t look too threatening really,&quot; says Paul Scholes of Sevilla. I&#39;d argue both look pretty tame. A 0-0 beckons! Or does it? Let&#39;s find out! 8:38PM De Gea praise from a proper goalkeeper This guy used to play in goal for Aberdeen, he knows what it means to face an onslaught of shots. David De Gea is incredible. What. A. Save. Don’t say “Anywhere else and it’s a goal.” or “He should score.” because nothing should detract from that save. From that range and with that power, he’s denied an almost certain goal. Just brilliant.— David Preece (@davidpreece12) February 21, 2018 8:35PM Sevilla&#39;s paper planes Credit: REUTERS 8:33PM That De Gea save Sure, the striker should have aimed towards the floor with this but I mean... come on. It&#39;s ludicrous that he can react quickly enough and get a strong enough arm at this shot to turn it over. It&#39;s astonishing. 8:32PM HALF TIME De Gea has just rescued Man Utd there. It should be 1-0 Sevilla. 8:32PM 45 mins +2 And more exciting! A long ball is read by Young, he cushions it with his first touch back to De Gea... and nobody picks it up! What are they playing at?! De Gea manages to hook the ball away before that becomes a tap in. Sevilla keep the pressure up, the ball is sent into the middle and MURIEL IS ALL ALONE! HE MUST SCORE OH MY HEAVENS LORDY LORDY WHAT A SAVE! That&#39;s an incredible save from De Gea! Muriel can&#39;t believe it! Attempt Saved: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Luis Muriel, 45 + 1 min) 8:30PM 45 mins +1 What a save by De Gea! The corner is headed to the back post, N&#39;Zonzi tries a bicycle kick and it&#39;s turned at goal by another Sevilla player off the head. De Gea has to react instantly to dive and turn it over! 8:29PM 45 mins There are quite a few paper aeroplanes being thrown onto the pitch as United set up a corner. That corner goes so well that Sevilla are able to counter-attack quickly and win their own corner. Mourinho is furious. 8:27PM 43 mins Sanchez fouls Navas and is booked. It&#39;s harsh. Lukaku is back defending at right-back... Valencia hooks the ball away, Banega finds Correa... who does a little too much but does get a shot away! Low to the corner but De Gea saves. Valencia doesn&#39;t get close to Correa there. Keeper pick-up: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (David de Gea, 42 min) 8:25PM 41 mins Correa is in space wide left in the box but doesn&#39;t take his chance to shoot, controls, the defence gets back and his attempted flair pass is knocked behind for a corner. That turns into a goal kick. Sevilla are doing an awful lot without ever actually creating anything genuinely dangerous. 8:23PM 39 mins MCTOMINAAAAAAAAYYYYYYY has a shot saved from distance but it&#39;s a solid effort. The ball sits for him about 20 yards out in the kind of position that would make it a crime not to have a wee go. Rico is fairly comfortable with his save. Sevilla break forward but don&#39;t look too menacing again. Smalling heads a weak shot behind for a corner, Pogba clears. 8:22PM 37 mins Credit: GETTY IMAGES There he is. Meanwhile, Sevilla have a corner. Their crowd really dislikes many of the referee&#39;s decisions but it really does look like he&#39;s getting them all dead right. 8:19PM 35 mins McTominay lets me down and himself down and everyone down with a poor pass to Valencia, who has to work hard to win the 50/50 and then dives by the corner flag. The referee isn&#39;t having it, Sevilla play on and Vasquez is played in! Oooohhhhh he&#39;s a click away from controlling that and having an easy one-on-one but the ball runs past him and he wins a corner instead. Pogba fouls Banega in the centre-circle with a clumsy tackle. 8:17PM 33 mins Sanchez goes down off the ball as Mercado puts his arm out to block the run. There&#39;s nothing really in that either. The Sevilla crowd and team are getting a little wound up by the referee. Valencia has absolutely pied Correa with a shoulder drop and sprinted past him on the right but nothing comes of it. 8:15PM 31 mins Lukaku is being kicked around a little bit here. Sanchez points it out to the referee and convinces him to tell off Correa for... basically barging into him. Hmmm. There#s nothing in that for me, Clive. McTominay is having a decent game so far, his first touch is brilliant. 8:13PM 29 mins Correa has a bit of space on the left and dribbles into the penalty area after a superb first touch. He tricks his way into the box but doesn&#39;t get enough on his show and De Gea saves easily. 8:12PM 27 mins Credit: REUTERS United are slowly gaining more of the pitch, edging that defensive line further forward. 8:10PM 25 mins Lukaku is in! Great ball over the top, an even better run to get to it... and Lukaku punts his volleyed effort way over the bar. That&#39;s a really bad miss. If he had another go at it right now he&#39;d bury it every time. 8:08PM 23 mins N&#39;Zonzi is booked for catching Sanchez on the behind, or to be more specific, his buttock. Sanchez has felt that one, rolls around a bit and then tries to show everyone the wound he may have suffered before deciding maybe he shouldn&#39;t do that. The game is pretty scrappy now, both teams look organised and disciplined, though Sevilla are perhaps asking more of the questions. 8:05PM 20 mins Pogba&#39;s first involvement is to chase the ball down the right wing and lose it. He&#39;s in his dream midfield three now so there&#39;s no excuse if this doesn&#39;t work for him tonight. Young has to stay alert to head a long diagonal ball behind for a corner. Possession: Sevilla vs Man Utd 8:03PM 18 mins POGBA ALERT. POGBA ALERT. [dabs everywhere] Pogba is on the pitch. Mourinho&#39;s evil plans are in tatters. What are the odds he scores and does one of those &quot;shhhhhhh!&quot; celebrations? 8:02PM 17 mins Valencia carries the ball towards the box, Herrera overlaps and is into the box. The pass comes in, he back-heels across goal... and it&#39;s cleared away. Oh no! He&#39;s injured! Herrera&#39;s done for the night, having pulled a muscle with that little run. Darren Fletcher on commentary says &quot;that looks terminal&quot; but I&#39;m not sure Herrera will die from the injury. I don&#39;t know for certain. But also I do. 8:01PM 16 mins Banega tries a long range effort but it&#39;s too high. Miss: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Éver Banega, 14 min) A chipped ball over the top towards Lukaku causes panic as Lenglet and Mercado struggle to cope with his strength and balance... but he can&#39;t take the ball down nor pass it to Mata and Sevilla deal with the situation well. Sevilla go forward quickly and get another shot away. This time it&#39;s wide. Miss: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Jesús Navas, 15 min) 7:57PM 13 mins Sanchez runs into space, controls and pushes the ball towards the box... but Navas speeds in (the one with the sharp blue eyes - don&#39;t act like you don&#39;t know) and shuts him down. 7:56PM 12 mins Sevilla taking their time with passes, United fall behind the halfway line to compact the midfield and Sevilla can&#39;t really go very far. United are effectively keeping them at arm&#39;s length. 7:53PM 9 mins Young does really well to stop Sarabia running directly at him and De Gea hits the ball long up the pitch. Valencia gets forward for a throw in, McTominay controls superbly and passes to Lukaku, who hits a ball out to the left wing and Sanchez gets his first touch! Corner to Man Utd. 7:51PM 6 mins Muriel is able to sprint past Smalling but although he&#39;s quicker to accelerate, the defender is able to hold him off and win the tackle. Correa tries a step over and goes down under a mistimed tackle from Mata. Sevilla are attacking with purpose here, passing the ball really nicely. 7:48PM 4 mins United have a lot of bodies behind the ball early on! Lukaku is the out-ball, tries to spin N&#39;Zonzi but goes down and loses possession in the centre-circle. This is a definite 4-5-1 from United. Sevilla come forward, Muriel has the ball 25 yards out and tries a shot... SAVE by De Gea! That was a decent effort! 7:47PM 2 mins Sevilla win a corner early on, Banega whips it in but United defend well and get the second phase attack out for a throw. 7:45PM KICK OFF Sevilla kick off 7:42PM Here come the teams You can&#39;t even hear this song over the top of the Sevilla support. What a noise! 7:36PM This is genuinely excellent TV BT Sport making use of the expert pundits they have on offer is an absolute treat. I could watch Lampard and Scholes discuss the minute details of how to play in midfield, how they reacted after games, how they&#39;d coach Pogba for the rest of the evening. Lampard has essentially said that Pogba needs to take some responsibility and can&#39;t rely on other people to reign him in when he goes wandering. &quot;After Tottenham I wouldn&#39;t have slept but he&#39;s doing the same thing against Newcastle&quot; is a rough paraphrase. 7:32PM More on Pogba &quot;It&#39;s awareness and effort,&quot; continues Lampard, who knows exactly what it&#39;s like going from attacking midfield to a deeper role. This is great television, lovely stuff by the BT Sport lads. &quot;We&#39;re still talking 18 months into his United career where his best position in the team is,&quot; says Scholes. &quot;He&#39;s a player who scores goals, dictates the pace of the game. I don&#39;t think the team sets up to get the best out of Pogba,&quot; argues Ferdinand. 7:29PM Mourinho on Pogba This is from a BT Sport VT. &quot;When you speak about Paul Pogba is a player who in his best moment had to stop twice, then when he&#39;s playing really well he is suspended.&quot; Pogba has been shunted out of momentum a couple of times this season and he&#39;s struggled ever so slightly in his last few games, trying to do a little too much. In a midfield two he needs to be a little bit better positionally. &quot;It&#39;s all about defensive responsibility, Mourinho&#39;s trying to shock him&quot;, is what Frank Lampard thinks. 7:06PM Mourinho&#39;s reaction to Des Kelly&#39;s questions &quot;Three questions and all about Paul?!&quot; he asks after three questions about Paul Pogba&#39;s absence. Des knows what he&#39;s doing and laughs it off as he moves onto asking about the actual game. 7:03PM Mourinho&#39;s 4-3-3 Isn&#39;t that a thing. Scott McTominay is preferred to Paul Pogba, Juan Mata gets the nod over Anthony Martial and Mourinho changes to a 4-3-3, despite the clamour for him to do so much sooner to get more out of Pogba. Even Pogba has admitted he&#39;s better in a three but Mourinho isn&#39;t having it - a talent like that should be able to play in multiple systems, not only one which suits him alone. 6:46PM Do you like holidays? Do you like football? Well wait a darned minute there because I might have the perfect little thing for you to read! The 10 best European football away days Incredibly it doesn&#39;t include a trip to Pittodrie, Aberdeen but perhaps that is fair, since once you&#39;ve attended a match there you never need to go another football game again. Wait, I mean you never want to go to another football game again. 6:39PM Sevilla starting lineup ONCE del #SevillaFC ante el @ManUtd_Es en la IDA de 1/8 de final de la @LigadeCampeones#vamosmisevilla#UCL#ThisIsSevillapic.twitter.com/fiz3jEbvp3— Sevilla Fútbol Club (@SevillaFC) February 21, 2018 6:38PM No Pogba - confirmed Controversial scenes, Clive. What&#39;s going on here then? Phenomenal scenes from Jose Mourinho. Martial dropped too. How #MUFC line up for tonight&#39;s #UCL clash with Sevilla... pic.twitter.com/7g80OaosMv— Manchester United (@ManUtd) February 21, 2018 6:25PM Good evening! Hello lovely humans, welcome to our liveblog for tonight&#39;s Champions League game featuring PAUL POGBA. [dabs everywhere] But wait - what&#39;s this? Pogba&#39;s on the bench?! That&#39;s what Jason Burt&#39;s heard and you can read all about it here. Could that switch make Man Utd more balanced on the pitch? Does it make them weaker? Who will dab? Why can&#39;t Jose Mourinho get the most out of Paul Pogba? Sevilla are fifth in La Liga and represent a real challenge for United tonight. They play some really nice football and have some excellent players - Ever Banega is an exceptional talent and has the potential to run the game. We&#39;ll find out the starting lineups shortly. Until then, let&#39;s all think about Pogba. And Romelu Lukaku - Sevilla aren&#39;t in the top six of the Premier League, which means he should be able to score against them.
Sevilla 0 Man Utd 0: David De Gea produces stunning save as United get job done against wasteful hosts
World class is an over used term in football and maybe with Paul Pogba that has been the case but there is no doubt that Manchester United have at least one player worthy of that status as goalkeeper David De Gea once again demonstrated his importance as he kept his team in this Champions League tie. Two superb saves from headers, the second breathtaking, at the end of the first half denied Sevilla who had countless other opportunities against an at times over-run United side who nevertheless go into the second leg of this last-16 encounter on March 13 as favourites to progress into the quarter-finals. Or maybe not if they play like this because for all of Jose Mourinho’s post-match protestations about his team being in control that was simply not the case while it is dispiriting that, once more, the United manager’s pre-occupation was to try and stop the opposition rather than impose him team on them. The visitors looked pedestrian, conservative, restrained; a team lacking in verve. It was a far cry, for example, from the way Liverpool destroyed Porto away last week. And surely United cannot keep relying on De Gea? In fact Mourinho congratulated himself on how his midfield had controlled the Sevilla playmaker Ever Banega – not quite true – and he lauded his decision to field Scott McTominay from the start, and as competently as the promising young Scot did perform, he is an essentially destructive, rather than constructive, player. Credit: GETTY IMAGES On his return from illness Pogba was dropped, and that obviously caused quite a stir, but he had to be called on after just 18 minutes when Ander Herrera pulled up injured as he attempted a back-heel – much to Mourinho’s frustration. Pogba’s contribution was later distilled by his manager into one about working hard for the team – not quite effusive praise – while Mourinho also launched himself into an argument that all players have to work hard, and not being free spirits, when he was asked an innocuous question about Alexis Sanchez. Sanchez was far from his best on his return to Champions League football following his January move from Arsenal and was withdrawn before the end. And neither was Pogba much better. This was hugely disappointing. United’s alleged control was arguable for De Gea made eight saves in all from 25 attempts at goal by Sevilla – the most for a United goalkeeper in a Champions League game since Edwin van der Sar versus Barcelona in May 2011. Average touch positions (0 min) And Sevilla, fifth in La Liga, are no Barcelona of that or even this vintage. Whatever their attacking intent and desire to score under their new head coach Vincenzo Montella for whom this was only a second match in this competition against Mourinho’s 140 games. And yet United’s display smacked of a performance from a team set out by a manager more concerned about stopping the opposition than winning the game. But Mourinho is a master of the knockout competitions, or at least going deep into them, and will argue this kind of occasion is about managing the two matches. And not just the one. Get through this tie and his approach worked. But United were flat. They were underwhelming. Except for De Gea who was elevated to such an imposing status that it seemed to get into the heads of the Sevilla players who, after his two saves just before half-time, continued to play well, attack well but snatched at chances. The closer to De Gea they got, in fact, the less sure they became. They did not look like they believed they could beat him. He got bigger, the goal got smaller. Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal The first save was smart enough as De Gea flicked a powerful header from Steven Nzonzi over the bar, after the midfielder had reached an acrobatic overhead kick back across the penalty area by the lively striker, Luis Muriel. And then De Gea made that incredible save from Muriel – soon after mix-up between the goalkeeper and defender Victor Lindelof – as the forward was picked out unmarked by Jesus Navas with a cross from the right. As Muriel reached the ball he seemed certain to plant his header, from no more than six yards, into the net but De Gea shot out an arm to block. It needed a double-take to believe what had happened. Muriel pressed his head against the post in disbelief for several seconds. When the half-time whistle blew soon after both Muriel and his team-mate Gabriel Mercado even took time to shake De Gea’s hand before he walked down the tunnel. Attempt Saved: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Luis Muriel, 45 + 1 min) There were more saves, relatively routine ones, from De Gea who turned away a skidding shot from Muriel, in the first half, and from Joaquin Correa after he jinked in from the right, and from Correa again as he attempted to bend the ball into the corner. But after his amazing save from Muriel it seemed Sevilla believed they had to find the precise finish and Clement Lenglet, Franco Vazquez and Muriel, again, were wasteful as they attempted that. It was summed up when Muriel crossed towards the far post and Correa appeared to have the chance to head home but was clearly mindful of De Gea scampering across and tried for too much power. Again it sailed over the bar. And what about Romelu Lukaku, United’s other big name? The striker was picked out by Sanchez with a clever lofted ball through, but despite having time and space he skied his volley high over the target. Then in the second half he controlled the ball with an arm before firing it into the net. It was rightly ruled out. And that was it. He did little else. David De Gea produced a stunning save to keep Man Utd in the game Credit: REUTERS In fact United only had a single shot on target and that was from McTominay, a first-time effort from outside the area, that was pushed away by goalkeeper Sergio Rico. Mourinho argued that the space opened up for United, but he must have been watching a different game. In this one he was indebted to Sevilla’s profligacy and the brilliance of De Gea. 10:03PM Jose Mourinho loves McTominay "OK. Decision at Old Trafford, it's a match in our house, I believe that Old Trafford misses a big European night. Of course we had last season but Europa League has a different meaning, and they can create similar atmosphere we had today and push us through a difficult match. "Can I hug you? [hugs Des Kelly] That's a question. I was in a press conference before and the questions were about Paul and I think the question should be about the kid. He was fantastic, did everything well, put lots of pressure on Banega which was important, always comfortable, simple in possession. He was brilliant. In my opinion the midfield started well and when Herrera came out, Paul worked hard." 9:42PM Team shapes Average touch positions (0 min) 9:38PM Paul Scholes "Bad game of football, a difficult watch to be honest. Job done for United, I think they'll be comfortable at Old Trafford." Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal 9:36PM Mourinho knows how setup a defence The 23rd clean sheet of the season for Man Utd. 9:35PM FULL TIME Not the most memorable of European nights. Sevilla are extremely medium, Man Utd didn't have enough to take anything home with them. There's something in Mourinho's team that doesn't quite click and this was another disjointed performance, albeit one that has produced the 0-0 he will have wanted. 9:34PM 90 mins +1 This game is done. Neither team really pushing for a goal, there's still no pace to the passing, it's a 0-0 game. 9:31PM 89 mins Rashford goes for the knuckle-ball, it flies off the mark and zips wide of the post. Banega off, Pizarro on. 9:31PM 88 mins Rashford wins a free-kick after a blatant foul 30 yards out. The replays of that Navas dive are painful viewing. 9:30PM 87 mins Sandro is involved straight away, links a pass and moves, Sevilla keep coming and Sarabia is played in behind! He pulls the ball back across the box - there must be a finish here! Sandro has to stop and turn a couple of times... and the shot is blocked. Navas comes steaming in to pick up the loose ball and goes flying over a tackle. The referee doesn't care and he's right because it's a dive. Boooooo! 9:28PM 85 mins Sandro is about to come on for Vazquez, but then Montella goes a bit mad on the touchline and decides to take off Muriel instead. The whole stadium seems perplexed by that change of heart but it makes sense. Striker for a striker. 9:25PM 83 mins 0-0 might seem like a decent result to take back to Old Trafford but it only takes one mistake and Sevilla to score from it and all of a sudden United need to score two. United are attacking now... and LUKAKU HAS SCORED! No he hasn't. It's a handball. Pogba's scooped pass for the assist there was superb. 9:23PM 81 mins Mata off for Martial. That'll give United some energy and speed on the wings for the final 10 minutes as they look for that crucial away goal. 9:21PM 78 mins Credit: REUTERS This picture gives you some idea of how close-range that De Gea save was earlier. You'd think it might concern Mourinho that the best thing United have done all night was stopping this header going in but the score is still 0-0 so who knows. I haven't won several European trophies, what do I know. 9:19PM 77 mins Rashford takes on Navas for pace but, somewhat unsurprisingly, isn't able to win that particular race. 9:17PM 75 mins Sanchez has been poor tonight. And actually, I'm not sure if I've seen him play well for Man Utd apart from that Yeovil game... he's doing too much and not sticking to his job on the left wing. Rashford comes on. 9:15PM 73 mins Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal None of these have been particularly close, except the two De Gea saved from close range. And they've just missed another! Muriel dances down the right and chips to the back post. Sarabia should really score from about four yards but heads over. That's a huge miss. 9:14PM 72 mins A cross from wide right is whipped low into the six yard box but Smalling makes sure Muriel can't get onto it. 9:13PM 70 mins Sevilla are painfully slow. It's so easy to shut them down and United are not having to work especially hard to do so. Lukaku holds off his man on the left, Sanchez takes the ball on and the pitch opens up for this United attack! There's a big chance here if Lukaku can find the pass... but a right footed pass across the pitch is easily cut out. 9:09PM 67 mins Banega goes for a knuckle ball, Juninho-style free-kick but De Gea catches easily. Lukaku does well to win a corner. 9:08PM 66 mins Correa comes inside from the left, goes past two players and then a stepover takes him into the area! He can shoot from here... but his shot flies into the stand. Another free-kick for Sevilla near the United box. 9:07PM 65 mins Banega hits a really good ball into the area... it's headed at goal from six yards... and De Gea saves again. This time it's a bit easier. Credit: REUTERS 9:05PM 63 mins Lukaku hits the wall. United keep some level of pressure up... but Sanchez and Pogba and Mata can't produce anything of note and Lukaku doesn't attack the cross with any real aggression. McTominay controls the ball well in the air, the Sevilla defender kicks his foot... aaaaand the referee gives a free-kick to Sevilla. Foul after foul after foul after foul. They're all so weak! Players falling over all the place. Put a lion on the pitch, see what happens. 9:03PM 61 mins More slow build up. The Sevilla fans boo, Sanchez is told where to go by McTominay after drifting inside the pitch but Sanchez's run towards the box is stopped by a slide tackle. United have a decent set piece position here. 9:01PM 59 mins United sit in their own defensive third, walking around the pitch as Sevilla jog their way forward. Muriel tries another shot at goal but puts it wide. De Gea wanders over, never worried about that one creeping in. Out: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Luis Muriel, 58 min) It'd be nice if Man Utd could do something exciting soon. Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal 8:59PM 56 mins Lukaku moves out to the right wing, dribbles past one man and then tries to pass across the box. It's aimed poorly and Sevilla come away with the ball, Lindelof pulls Vazquez's shirt and gives away a free-kick in the centre-circle. McTominay is fouled by Escudero... it's so scrappy. Both teams are slow in build up and then someone fouls someone else. Nothing comes from the free-kicks or corners. 8:56PM 54 mins Young tries to go past Sarabia but loses the ball and the counter-attack is on. Matic is caught behind the play, Muriel comes inside and shoots... but it's another corner. This is such a frustrating, scrappy game. A real Mourinho European match. He'll get them the result but it's far from beautiful flowing football. 8:54PM 52 mins Average touch positions (50 min) You can see why Mourinho needs Young to get forward. Sanchez is basically playing as a second striker and it's making United lopsided. Vazquez tries a shot from 20 yards but bends it way over the bar. 8:53PM 50 mins Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal 8:51PM 49 mins McTominay does well to shield the ball and link a few passes together in the midfield. Young overlaps and gets into the box, winning a corner. It seems that Mourinho has pushed his full-backs further forward in this half. Mata's first touch to kill the corner is amazing, he then sells a dummy to two defenders and chips into the centre but nobody is there. Sometimes Mata is ridiculously good. 8:49PM 47 mins Sandro (that guy Everton bought) is on the bench for Sevilla and has number 99 on his shirt. This. Ends. NOW! 8:48PM KICK OFF 2 Kick off 2 man utd "They don't look too threatening really," says Paul Scholes of Sevilla. I'd argue both look pretty tame. A 0-0 beckons! Or does it? Let's find out! 8:38PM De Gea praise from a proper goalkeeper This guy used to play in goal for Aberdeen, he knows what it means to face an onslaught of shots. David De Gea is incredible. What. A. Save. Don’t say “Anywhere else and it’s a goal.” or “He should score.” because nothing should detract from that save. From that range and with that power, he’s denied an almost certain goal. Just brilliant.— David Preece (@davidpreece12) February 21, 2018 8:35PM Sevilla's paper planes Credit: REUTERS 8:33PM That De Gea save Sure, the striker should have aimed towards the floor with this but I mean... come on. It's ludicrous that he can react quickly enough and get a strong enough arm at this shot to turn it over. It's astonishing. 8:32PM HALF TIME De Gea has just rescued Man Utd there. It should be 1-0 Sevilla. 8:32PM 45 mins +2 And more exciting! A long ball is read by Young, he cushions it with his first touch back to De Gea... and nobody picks it up! What are they playing at?! De Gea manages to hook the ball away before that becomes a tap in. Sevilla keep the pressure up, the ball is sent into the middle and MURIEL IS ALL ALONE! HE MUST SCORE OH MY HEAVENS LORDY LORDY WHAT A SAVE! That's an incredible save from De Gea! Muriel can't believe it! Attempt Saved: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Luis Muriel, 45 + 1 min) 8:30PM 45 mins +1 What a save by De Gea! The corner is headed to the back post, N'Zonzi tries a bicycle kick and it's turned at goal by another Sevilla player off the head. De Gea has to react instantly to dive and turn it over! 8:29PM 45 mins There are quite a few paper aeroplanes being thrown onto the pitch as United set up a corner. That corner goes so well that Sevilla are able to counter-attack quickly and win their own corner. Mourinho is furious. 8:27PM 43 mins Sanchez fouls Navas and is booked. It's harsh. Lukaku is back defending at right-back... Valencia hooks the ball away, Banega finds Correa... who does a little too much but does get a shot away! Low to the corner but De Gea saves. Valencia doesn't get close to Correa there. Keeper pick-up: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (David de Gea, 42 min) 8:25PM 41 mins Correa is in space wide left in the box but doesn't take his chance to shoot, controls, the defence gets back and his attempted flair pass is knocked behind for a corner. That turns into a goal kick. Sevilla are doing an awful lot without ever actually creating anything genuinely dangerous. 8:23PM 39 mins MCTOMINAAAAAAAAYYYYYYY has a shot saved from distance but it's a solid effort. The ball sits for him about 20 yards out in the kind of position that would make it a crime not to have a wee go. Rico is fairly comfortable with his save. Sevilla break forward but don't look too menacing again. Smalling heads a weak shot behind for a corner, Pogba clears. 8:22PM 37 mins Credit: GETTY IMAGES There he is. Meanwhile, Sevilla have a corner. Their crowd really dislikes many of the referee's decisions but it really does look like he's getting them all dead right. 8:19PM 35 mins McTominay lets me down and himself down and everyone down with a poor pass to Valencia, who has to work hard to win the 50/50 and then dives by the corner flag. The referee isn't having it, Sevilla play on and Vasquez is played in! Oooohhhhh he's a click away from controlling that and having an easy one-on-one but the ball runs past him and he wins a corner instead. Pogba fouls Banega in the centre-circle with a clumsy tackle. 8:17PM 33 mins Sanchez goes down off the ball as Mercado puts his arm out to block the run. There's nothing really in that either. The Sevilla crowd and team are getting a little wound up by the referee. Valencia has absolutely pied Correa with a shoulder drop and sprinted past him on the right but nothing comes of it. 8:15PM 31 mins Lukaku is being kicked around a little bit here. Sanchez points it out to the referee and convinces him to tell off Correa for... basically barging into him. Hmmm. There#s nothing in that for me, Clive. McTominay is having a decent game so far, his first touch is brilliant. 8:13PM 29 mins Correa has a bit of space on the left and dribbles into the penalty area after a superb first touch. He tricks his way into the box but doesn't get enough on his show and De Gea saves easily. 8:12PM 27 mins Credit: REUTERS United are slowly gaining more of the pitch, edging that defensive line further forward. 8:10PM 25 mins Lukaku is in! Great ball over the top, an even better run to get to it... and Lukaku punts his volleyed effort way over the bar. That's a really bad miss. If he had another go at it right now he'd bury it every time. 8:08PM 23 mins N'Zonzi is booked for catching Sanchez on the behind, or to be more specific, his buttock. Sanchez has felt that one, rolls around a bit and then tries to show everyone the wound he may have suffered before deciding maybe he shouldn't do that. The game is pretty scrappy now, both teams look organised and disciplined, though Sevilla are perhaps asking more of the questions. 8:05PM 20 mins Pogba's first involvement is to chase the ball down the right wing and lose it. He's in his dream midfield three now so there's no excuse if this doesn't work for him tonight. Young has to stay alert to head a long diagonal ball behind for a corner. Possession: Sevilla vs Man Utd 8:03PM 18 mins POGBA ALERT. POGBA ALERT. [dabs everywhere] Pogba is on the pitch. Mourinho's evil plans are in tatters. What are the odds he scores and does one of those "shhhhhhh!" celebrations? 8:02PM 17 mins Valencia carries the ball towards the box, Herrera overlaps and is into the box. The pass comes in, he back-heels across goal... and it's cleared away. Oh no! He's injured! Herrera's done for the night, having pulled a muscle with that little run. Darren Fletcher on commentary says "that looks terminal" but I'm not sure Herrera will die from the injury. I don't know for certain. But also I do. 8:01PM 16 mins Banega tries a long range effort but it's too high. Miss: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Éver Banega, 14 min) A chipped ball over the top towards Lukaku causes panic as Lenglet and Mercado struggle to cope with his strength and balance... but he can't take the ball down nor pass it to Mata and Sevilla deal with the situation well. Sevilla go forward quickly and get another shot away. This time it's wide. Miss: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Jesús Navas, 15 min) 7:57PM 13 mins Sanchez runs into space, controls and pushes the ball towards the box... but Navas speeds in (the one with the sharp blue eyes - don't act like you don't know) and shuts him down. 7:56PM 12 mins Sevilla taking their time with passes, United fall behind the halfway line to compact the midfield and Sevilla can't really go very far. United are effectively keeping them at arm's length. 7:53PM 9 mins Young does really well to stop Sarabia running directly at him and De Gea hits the ball long up the pitch. Valencia gets forward for a throw in, McTominay controls superbly and passes to Lukaku, who hits a ball out to the left wing and Sanchez gets his first touch! Corner to Man Utd. 7:51PM 6 mins Muriel is able to sprint past Smalling but although he's quicker to accelerate, the defender is able to hold him off and win the tackle. Correa tries a step over and goes down under a mistimed tackle from Mata. Sevilla are attacking with purpose here, passing the ball really nicely. 7:48PM 4 mins United have a lot of bodies behind the ball early on! Lukaku is the out-ball, tries to spin N'Zonzi but goes down and loses possession in the centre-circle. This is a definite 4-5-1 from United. Sevilla come forward, Muriel has the ball 25 yards out and tries a shot... SAVE by De Gea! That was a decent effort! 7:47PM 2 mins Sevilla win a corner early on, Banega whips it in but United defend well and get the second phase attack out for a throw. 7:45PM KICK OFF Sevilla kick off 7:42PM Here come the teams You can't even hear this song over the top of the Sevilla support. What a noise! 7:36PM This is genuinely excellent TV BT Sport making use of the expert pundits they have on offer is an absolute treat. I could watch Lampard and Scholes discuss the minute details of how to play in midfield, how they reacted after games, how they'd coach Pogba for the rest of the evening. Lampard has essentially said that Pogba needs to take some responsibility and can't rely on other people to reign him in when he goes wandering. "After Tottenham I wouldn't have slept but he's doing the same thing against Newcastle" is a rough paraphrase. 7:32PM More on Pogba "It's awareness and effort," continues Lampard, who knows exactly what it's like going from attacking midfield to a deeper role. This is great television, lovely stuff by the BT Sport lads. "We're still talking 18 months into his United career where his best position in the team is," says Scholes. "He's a player who scores goals, dictates the pace of the game. I don't think the team sets up to get the best out of Pogba," argues Ferdinand. 7:29PM Mourinho on Pogba This is from a BT Sport VT. "When you speak about Paul Pogba is a player who in his best moment had to stop twice, then when he's playing really well he is suspended." Pogba has been shunted out of momentum a couple of times this season and he's struggled ever so slightly in his last few games, trying to do a little too much. In a midfield two he needs to be a little bit better positionally. "It's all about defensive responsibility, Mourinho's trying to shock him", is what Frank Lampard thinks. 7:06PM Mourinho's reaction to Des Kelly's questions "Three questions and all about Paul?!" he asks after three questions about Paul Pogba's absence. Des knows what he's doing and laughs it off as he moves onto asking about the actual game. 7:03PM Mourinho's 4-3-3 Isn't that a thing. Scott McTominay is preferred to Paul Pogba, Juan Mata gets the nod over Anthony Martial and Mourinho changes to a 4-3-3, despite the clamour for him to do so much sooner to get more out of Pogba. Even Pogba has admitted he's better in a three but Mourinho isn't having it - a talent like that should be able to play in multiple systems, not only one which suits him alone. 6:46PM Do you like holidays? Do you like football? Well wait a darned minute there because I might have the perfect little thing for you to read! The 10 best European football away days Incredibly it doesn't include a trip to Pittodrie, Aberdeen but perhaps that is fair, since once you've attended a match there you never need to go another football game again. Wait, I mean you never want to go to another football game again. 6:39PM Sevilla starting lineup ONCE del #SevillaFC ante el @ManUtd_Es en la IDA de 1/8 de final de la @LigadeCampeones#vamosmisevilla#UCL#ThisIsSevillapic.twitter.com/fiz3jEbvp3— Sevilla Fútbol Club (@SevillaFC) February 21, 2018 6:38PM No Pogba - confirmed Controversial scenes, Clive. What's going on here then? Phenomenal scenes from Jose Mourinho. Martial dropped too. How #MUFC line up for tonight's #UCL clash with Sevilla... pic.twitter.com/7g80OaosMv— Manchester United (@ManUtd) February 21, 2018 6:25PM Good evening! Hello lovely humans, welcome to our liveblog for tonight's Champions League game featuring PAUL POGBA. [dabs everywhere] But wait - what's this? Pogba's on the bench?! That's what Jason Burt's heard and you can read all about it here. Could that switch make Man Utd more balanced on the pitch? Does it make them weaker? Who will dab? Why can't Jose Mourinho get the most out of Paul Pogba? Sevilla are fifth in La Liga and represent a real challenge for United tonight. They play some really nice football and have some excellent players - Ever Banega is an exceptional talent and has the potential to run the game. We'll find out the starting lineups shortly. Until then, let's all think about Pogba. And Romelu Lukaku - Sevilla aren't in the top six of the Premier League, which means he should be able to score against them.
World class is an over used term in football and maybe with Paul Pogba that has been the case but there is no doubt that Manchester United have at least one player worthy of that status as goalkeeper David De Gea once again demonstrated his importance as he kept his team in this Champions League tie. Two superb saves from headers, the second breathtaking, at the end of the first half denied Sevilla who had countless other opportunities against an at times over-run United side who nevertheless go into the second leg of this last-16 encounter on March 13 as favourites to progress into the quarter-finals. Or maybe not if they play like this because for all of Jose Mourinho’s post-match protestations about his team being in control that was simply not the case while it is dispiriting that, once more, the United manager’s pre-occupation was to try and stop the opposition rather than impose him team on them. The visitors looked pedestrian, conservative, restrained; a team lacking in verve. It was a far cry, for example, from the way Liverpool destroyed Porto away last week. And surely United cannot keep relying on De Gea? In fact Mourinho congratulated himself on how his midfield had controlled the Sevilla playmaker Ever Banega – not quite true – and he lauded his decision to field Scott McTominay from the start, and as competently as the promising young Scot did perform, he is an essentially destructive, rather than constructive, player. Credit: GETTY IMAGES On his return from illness Pogba was dropped, and that obviously caused quite a stir, but he had to be called on after just 18 minutes when Ander Herrera pulled up injured as he attempted a back-heel – much to Mourinho’s frustration. Pogba’s contribution was later distilled by his manager into one about working hard for the team – not quite effusive praise – while Mourinho also launched himself into an argument that all players have to work hard, and not being free spirits, when he was asked an innocuous question about Alexis Sanchez. Sanchez was far from his best on his return to Champions League football following his January move from Arsenal and was withdrawn before the end. And neither was Pogba much better. This was hugely disappointing. United’s alleged control was arguable for De Gea made eight saves in all from 25 attempts at goal by Sevilla – the most for a United goalkeeper in a Champions League game since Edwin van der Sar versus Barcelona in May 2011. Average touch positions (0 min) And Sevilla, fifth in La Liga, are no Barcelona of that or even this vintage. Whatever their attacking intent and desire to score under their new head coach Vincenzo Montella for whom this was only a second match in this competition against Mourinho’s 140 games. And yet United’s display smacked of a performance from a team set out by a manager more concerned about stopping the opposition than winning the game. But Mourinho is a master of the knockout competitions, or at least going deep into them, and will argue this kind of occasion is about managing the two matches. And not just the one. Get through this tie and his approach worked. But United were flat. They were underwhelming. Except for De Gea who was elevated to such an imposing status that it seemed to get into the heads of the Sevilla players who, after his two saves just before half-time, continued to play well, attack well but snatched at chances. The closer to De Gea they got, in fact, the less sure they became. They did not look like they believed they could beat him. He got bigger, the goal got smaller. Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal The first save was smart enough as De Gea flicked a powerful header from Steven Nzonzi over the bar, after the midfielder had reached an acrobatic overhead kick back across the penalty area by the lively striker, Luis Muriel. And then De Gea made that incredible save from Muriel – soon after mix-up between the goalkeeper and defender Victor Lindelof – as the forward was picked out unmarked by Jesus Navas with a cross from the right. As Muriel reached the ball he seemed certain to plant his header, from no more than six yards, into the net but De Gea shot out an arm to block. It needed a double-take to believe what had happened. Muriel pressed his head against the post in disbelief for several seconds. When the half-time whistle blew soon after both Muriel and his team-mate Gabriel Mercado even took time to shake De Gea’s hand before he walked down the tunnel. Attempt Saved: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Luis Muriel, 45 + 1 min) There were more saves, relatively routine ones, from De Gea who turned away a skidding shot from Muriel, in the first half, and from Joaquin Correa after he jinked in from the right, and from Correa again as he attempted to bend the ball into the corner. But after his amazing save from Muriel it seemed Sevilla believed they had to find the precise finish and Clement Lenglet, Franco Vazquez and Muriel, again, were wasteful as they attempted that. It was summed up when Muriel crossed towards the far post and Correa appeared to have the chance to head home but was clearly mindful of De Gea scampering across and tried for too much power. Again it sailed over the bar. And what about Romelu Lukaku, United’s other big name? The striker was picked out by Sanchez with a clever lofted ball through, but despite having time and space he skied his volley high over the target. Then in the second half he controlled the ball with an arm before firing it into the net. It was rightly ruled out. And that was it. He did little else. David De Gea produced a stunning save to keep Man Utd in the game Credit: REUTERS In fact United only had a single shot on target and that was from McTominay, a first-time effort from outside the area, that was pushed away by goalkeeper Sergio Rico. Mourinho argued that the space opened up for United, but he must have been watching a different game. In this one he was indebted to Sevilla’s profligacy and the brilliance of De Gea. 10:03PM Jose Mourinho loves McTominay &quot;OK. Decision at Old Trafford, it&#39;s a match in our house, I believe that Old Trafford misses a big European night. Of course we had last season but Europa League has a different meaning, and they can create similar atmosphere we had today and push us through a difficult match. &quot;Can I hug you? [hugs Des Kelly] That&#39;s a question. I was in a press conference before and the questions were about Paul and I think the question should be about the kid. He was fantastic, did everything well, put lots of pressure on Banega which was important, always comfortable, simple in possession. He was brilliant. In my opinion the midfield started well and when Herrera came out, Paul worked hard.&quot; 9:42PM Team shapes Average touch positions (0 min) 9:38PM Paul Scholes &quot;Bad game of football, a difficult watch to be honest. Job done for United, I think they&#39;ll be comfortable at Old Trafford.&quot; Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal 9:36PM Mourinho knows how setup a defence The 23rd clean sheet of the season for Man Utd. 9:35PM FULL TIME Not the most memorable of European nights. Sevilla are extremely medium, Man Utd didn&#39;t have enough to take anything home with them. There&#39;s something in Mourinho&#39;s team that doesn&#39;t quite click and this was another disjointed performance, albeit one that has produced the 0-0 he will have wanted. 9:34PM 90 mins +1 This game is done. Neither team really pushing for a goal, there&#39;s still no pace to the passing, it&#39;s a 0-0 game. 9:31PM 89 mins Rashford goes for the knuckle-ball, it flies off the mark and zips wide of the post. Banega off, Pizarro on. 9:31PM 88 mins Rashford wins a free-kick after a blatant foul 30 yards out. The replays of that Navas dive are painful viewing. 9:30PM 87 mins Sandro is involved straight away, links a pass and moves, Sevilla keep coming and Sarabia is played in behind! He pulls the ball back across the box - there must be a finish here! Sandro has to stop and turn a couple of times... and the shot is blocked. Navas comes steaming in to pick up the loose ball and goes flying over a tackle. The referee doesn&#39;t care and he&#39;s right because it&#39;s a dive. Boooooo! 9:28PM 85 mins Sandro is about to come on for Vazquez, but then Montella goes a bit mad on the touchline and decides to take off Muriel instead. The whole stadium seems perplexed by that change of heart but it makes sense. Striker for a striker. 9:25PM 83 mins 0-0 might seem like a decent result to take back to Old Trafford but it only takes one mistake and Sevilla to score from it and all of a sudden United need to score two. United are attacking now... and LUKAKU HAS SCORED! No he hasn&#39;t. It&#39;s a handball. Pogba&#39;s scooped pass for the assist there was superb. 9:23PM 81 mins Mata off for Martial. That&#39;ll give United some energy and speed on the wings for the final 10 minutes as they look for that crucial away goal. 9:21PM 78 mins Credit: REUTERS This picture gives you some idea of how close-range that De Gea save was earlier. You&#39;d think it might concern Mourinho that the best thing United have done all night was stopping this header going in but the score is still 0-0 so who knows. I haven&#39;t won several European trophies, what do I know. 9:19PM 77 mins Rashford takes on Navas for pace but, somewhat unsurprisingly, isn&#39;t able to win that particular race. 9:17PM 75 mins Sanchez has been poor tonight. And actually, I&#39;m not sure if I&#39;ve seen him play well for Man Utd apart from that Yeovil game... he&#39;s doing too much and not sticking to his job on the left wing. Rashford comes on. 9:15PM 73 mins Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal None of these have been particularly close, except the two De Gea saved from close range. And they&#39;ve just missed another! Muriel dances down the right and chips to the back post. Sarabia should really score from about four yards but heads over. That&#39;s a huge miss. 9:14PM 72 mins A cross from wide right is whipped low into the six yard box but Smalling makes sure Muriel can&#39;t get onto it. 9:13PM 70 mins Sevilla are painfully slow. It&#39;s so easy to shut them down and United are not having to work especially hard to do so. Lukaku holds off his man on the left, Sanchez takes the ball on and the pitch opens up for this United attack! There&#39;s a big chance here if Lukaku can find the pass... but a right footed pass across the pitch is easily cut out. 9:09PM 67 mins Banega goes for a knuckle ball, Juninho-style free-kick but De Gea catches easily. Lukaku does well to win a corner. 9:08PM 66 mins Correa comes inside from the left, goes past two players and then a stepover takes him into the area! He can shoot from here... but his shot flies into the stand. Another free-kick for Sevilla near the United box. 9:07PM 65 mins Banega hits a really good ball into the area... it&#39;s headed at goal from six yards... and De Gea saves again. This time it&#39;s a bit easier. Credit: REUTERS 9:05PM 63 mins Lukaku hits the wall. United keep some level of pressure up... but Sanchez and Pogba and Mata can&#39;t produce anything of note and Lukaku doesn&#39;t attack the cross with any real aggression. McTominay controls the ball well in the air, the Sevilla defender kicks his foot... aaaaand the referee gives a free-kick to Sevilla. Foul after foul after foul after foul. They&#39;re all so weak! Players falling over all the place. Put a lion on the pitch, see what happens. 9:03PM 61 mins More slow build up. The Sevilla fans boo, Sanchez is told where to go by McTominay after drifting inside the pitch but Sanchez&#39;s run towards the box is stopped by a slide tackle. United have a decent set piece position here. 9:01PM 59 mins United sit in their own defensive third, walking around the pitch as Sevilla jog their way forward. Muriel tries another shot at goal but puts it wide. De Gea wanders over, never worried about that one creeping in. Out: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Luis Muriel, 58 min) It&#39;d be nice if Man Utd could do something exciting soon. Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal 8:59PM 56 mins Lukaku moves out to the right wing, dribbles past one man and then tries to pass across the box. It&#39;s aimed poorly and Sevilla come away with the ball, Lindelof pulls Vazquez&#39;s shirt and gives away a free-kick in the centre-circle. McTominay is fouled by Escudero... it&#39;s so scrappy. Both teams are slow in build up and then someone fouls someone else. Nothing comes from the free-kicks or corners. 8:56PM 54 mins Young tries to go past Sarabia but loses the ball and the counter-attack is on. Matic is caught behind the play, Muriel comes inside and shoots... but it&#39;s another corner. This is such a frustrating, scrappy game. A real Mourinho European match. He&#39;ll get them the result but it&#39;s far from beautiful flowing football. 8:54PM 52 mins Average touch positions (50 min) You can see why Mourinho needs Young to get forward. Sanchez is basically playing as a second striker and it&#39;s making United lopsided. Vazquez tries a shot from 20 yards but bends it way over the bar. 8:53PM 50 mins Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal 8:51PM 49 mins McTominay does well to shield the ball and link a few passes together in the midfield. Young overlaps and gets into the box, winning a corner. It seems that Mourinho has pushed his full-backs further forward in this half. Mata&#39;s first touch to kill the corner is amazing, he then sells a dummy to two defenders and chips into the centre but nobody is there. Sometimes Mata is ridiculously good. 8:49PM 47 mins Sandro (that guy Everton bought) is on the bench for Sevilla and has number 99 on his shirt. This. Ends. NOW! 8:48PM KICK OFF 2 Kick off 2 man utd &quot;They don&#39;t look too threatening really,&quot; says Paul Scholes of Sevilla. I&#39;d argue both look pretty tame. A 0-0 beckons! Or does it? Let&#39;s find out! 8:38PM De Gea praise from a proper goalkeeper This guy used to play in goal for Aberdeen, he knows what it means to face an onslaught of shots. David De Gea is incredible. What. A. Save. Don’t say “Anywhere else and it’s a goal.” or “He should score.” because nothing should detract from that save. From that range and with that power, he’s denied an almost certain goal. Just brilliant.— David Preece (@davidpreece12) February 21, 2018 8:35PM Sevilla&#39;s paper planes Credit: REUTERS 8:33PM That De Gea save Sure, the striker should have aimed towards the floor with this but I mean... come on. It&#39;s ludicrous that he can react quickly enough and get a strong enough arm at this shot to turn it over. It&#39;s astonishing. 8:32PM HALF TIME De Gea has just rescued Man Utd there. It should be 1-0 Sevilla. 8:32PM 45 mins +2 And more exciting! A long ball is read by Young, he cushions it with his first touch back to De Gea... and nobody picks it up! What are they playing at?! De Gea manages to hook the ball away before that becomes a tap in. Sevilla keep the pressure up, the ball is sent into the middle and MURIEL IS ALL ALONE! HE MUST SCORE OH MY HEAVENS LORDY LORDY WHAT A SAVE! That&#39;s an incredible save from De Gea! Muriel can&#39;t believe it! Attempt Saved: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Luis Muriel, 45 + 1 min) 8:30PM 45 mins +1 What a save by De Gea! The corner is headed to the back post, N&#39;Zonzi tries a bicycle kick and it&#39;s turned at goal by another Sevilla player off the head. De Gea has to react instantly to dive and turn it over! 8:29PM 45 mins There are quite a few paper aeroplanes being thrown onto the pitch as United set up a corner. That corner goes so well that Sevilla are able to counter-attack quickly and win their own corner. Mourinho is furious. 8:27PM 43 mins Sanchez fouls Navas and is booked. It&#39;s harsh. Lukaku is back defending at right-back... Valencia hooks the ball away, Banega finds Correa... who does a little too much but does get a shot away! Low to the corner but De Gea saves. Valencia doesn&#39;t get close to Correa there. Keeper pick-up: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (David de Gea, 42 min) 8:25PM 41 mins Correa is in space wide left in the box but doesn&#39;t take his chance to shoot, controls, the defence gets back and his attempted flair pass is knocked behind for a corner. That turns into a goal kick. Sevilla are doing an awful lot without ever actually creating anything genuinely dangerous. 8:23PM 39 mins MCTOMINAAAAAAAAYYYYYYY has a shot saved from distance but it&#39;s a solid effort. The ball sits for him about 20 yards out in the kind of position that would make it a crime not to have a wee go. Rico is fairly comfortable with his save. Sevilla break forward but don&#39;t look too menacing again. Smalling heads a weak shot behind for a corner, Pogba clears. 8:22PM 37 mins Credit: GETTY IMAGES There he is. Meanwhile, Sevilla have a corner. Their crowd really dislikes many of the referee&#39;s decisions but it really does look like he&#39;s getting them all dead right. 8:19PM 35 mins McTominay lets me down and himself down and everyone down with a poor pass to Valencia, who has to work hard to win the 50/50 and then dives by the corner flag. The referee isn&#39;t having it, Sevilla play on and Vasquez is played in! Oooohhhhh he&#39;s a click away from controlling that and having an easy one-on-one but the ball runs past him and he wins a corner instead. Pogba fouls Banega in the centre-circle with a clumsy tackle. 8:17PM 33 mins Sanchez goes down off the ball as Mercado puts his arm out to block the run. There&#39;s nothing really in that either. The Sevilla crowd and team are getting a little wound up by the referee. Valencia has absolutely pied Correa with a shoulder drop and sprinted past him on the right but nothing comes of it. 8:15PM 31 mins Lukaku is being kicked around a little bit here. Sanchez points it out to the referee and convinces him to tell off Correa for... basically barging into him. Hmmm. There#s nothing in that for me, Clive. McTominay is having a decent game so far, his first touch is brilliant. 8:13PM 29 mins Correa has a bit of space on the left and dribbles into the penalty area after a superb first touch. He tricks his way into the box but doesn&#39;t get enough on his show and De Gea saves easily. 8:12PM 27 mins Credit: REUTERS United are slowly gaining more of the pitch, edging that defensive line further forward. 8:10PM 25 mins Lukaku is in! Great ball over the top, an even better run to get to it... and Lukaku punts his volleyed effort way over the bar. That&#39;s a really bad miss. If he had another go at it right now he&#39;d bury it every time. 8:08PM 23 mins N&#39;Zonzi is booked for catching Sanchez on the behind, or to be more specific, his buttock. Sanchez has felt that one, rolls around a bit and then tries to show everyone the wound he may have suffered before deciding maybe he shouldn&#39;t do that. The game is pretty scrappy now, both teams look organised and disciplined, though Sevilla are perhaps asking more of the questions. 8:05PM 20 mins Pogba&#39;s first involvement is to chase the ball down the right wing and lose it. He&#39;s in his dream midfield three now so there&#39;s no excuse if this doesn&#39;t work for him tonight. Young has to stay alert to head a long diagonal ball behind for a corner. Possession: Sevilla vs Man Utd 8:03PM 18 mins POGBA ALERT. POGBA ALERT. [dabs everywhere] Pogba is on the pitch. Mourinho&#39;s evil plans are in tatters. What are the odds he scores and does one of those &quot;shhhhhhh!&quot; celebrations? 8:02PM 17 mins Valencia carries the ball towards the box, Herrera overlaps and is into the box. The pass comes in, he back-heels across goal... and it&#39;s cleared away. Oh no! He&#39;s injured! Herrera&#39;s done for the night, having pulled a muscle with that little run. Darren Fletcher on commentary says &quot;that looks terminal&quot; but I&#39;m not sure Herrera will die from the injury. I don&#39;t know for certain. But also I do. 8:01PM 16 mins Banega tries a long range effort but it&#39;s too high. Miss: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Éver Banega, 14 min) A chipped ball over the top towards Lukaku causes panic as Lenglet and Mercado struggle to cope with his strength and balance... but he can&#39;t take the ball down nor pass it to Mata and Sevilla deal with the situation well. Sevilla go forward quickly and get another shot away. This time it&#39;s wide. Miss: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Jesús Navas, 15 min) 7:57PM 13 mins Sanchez runs into space, controls and pushes the ball towards the box... but Navas speeds in (the one with the sharp blue eyes - don&#39;t act like you don&#39;t know) and shuts him down. 7:56PM 12 mins Sevilla taking their time with passes, United fall behind the halfway line to compact the midfield and Sevilla can&#39;t really go very far. United are effectively keeping them at arm&#39;s length. 7:53PM 9 mins Young does really well to stop Sarabia running directly at him and De Gea hits the ball long up the pitch. Valencia gets forward for a throw in, McTominay controls superbly and passes to Lukaku, who hits a ball out to the left wing and Sanchez gets his first touch! Corner to Man Utd. 7:51PM 6 mins Muriel is able to sprint past Smalling but although he&#39;s quicker to accelerate, the defender is able to hold him off and win the tackle. Correa tries a step over and goes down under a mistimed tackle from Mata. Sevilla are attacking with purpose here, passing the ball really nicely. 7:48PM 4 mins United have a lot of bodies behind the ball early on! Lukaku is the out-ball, tries to spin N&#39;Zonzi but goes down and loses possession in the centre-circle. This is a definite 4-5-1 from United. Sevilla come forward, Muriel has the ball 25 yards out and tries a shot... SAVE by De Gea! That was a decent effort! 7:47PM 2 mins Sevilla win a corner early on, Banega whips it in but United defend well and get the second phase attack out for a throw. 7:45PM KICK OFF Sevilla kick off 7:42PM Here come the teams You can&#39;t even hear this song over the top of the Sevilla support. What a noise! 7:36PM This is genuinely excellent TV BT Sport making use of the expert pundits they have on offer is an absolute treat. I could watch Lampard and Scholes discuss the minute details of how to play in midfield, how they reacted after games, how they&#39;d coach Pogba for the rest of the evening. Lampard has essentially said that Pogba needs to take some responsibility and can&#39;t rely on other people to reign him in when he goes wandering. &quot;After Tottenham I wouldn&#39;t have slept but he&#39;s doing the same thing against Newcastle&quot; is a rough paraphrase. 7:32PM More on Pogba &quot;It&#39;s awareness and effort,&quot; continues Lampard, who knows exactly what it&#39;s like going from attacking midfield to a deeper role. This is great television, lovely stuff by the BT Sport lads. &quot;We&#39;re still talking 18 months into his United career where his best position in the team is,&quot; says Scholes. &quot;He&#39;s a player who scores goals, dictates the pace of the game. I don&#39;t think the team sets up to get the best out of Pogba,&quot; argues Ferdinand. 7:29PM Mourinho on Pogba This is from a BT Sport VT. &quot;When you speak about Paul Pogba is a player who in his best moment had to stop twice, then when he&#39;s playing really well he is suspended.&quot; Pogba has been shunted out of momentum a couple of times this season and he&#39;s struggled ever so slightly in his last few games, trying to do a little too much. In a midfield two he needs to be a little bit better positionally. &quot;It&#39;s all about defensive responsibility, Mourinho&#39;s trying to shock him&quot;, is what Frank Lampard thinks. 7:06PM Mourinho&#39;s reaction to Des Kelly&#39;s questions &quot;Three questions and all about Paul?!&quot; he asks after three questions about Paul Pogba&#39;s absence. Des knows what he&#39;s doing and laughs it off as he moves onto asking about the actual game. 7:03PM Mourinho&#39;s 4-3-3 Isn&#39;t that a thing. Scott McTominay is preferred to Paul Pogba, Juan Mata gets the nod over Anthony Martial and Mourinho changes to a 4-3-3, despite the clamour for him to do so much sooner to get more out of Pogba. Even Pogba has admitted he&#39;s better in a three but Mourinho isn&#39;t having it - a talent like that should be able to play in multiple systems, not only one which suits him alone. 6:46PM Do you like holidays? Do you like football? Well wait a darned minute there because I might have the perfect little thing for you to read! The 10 best European football away days Incredibly it doesn&#39;t include a trip to Pittodrie, Aberdeen but perhaps that is fair, since once you&#39;ve attended a match there you never need to go another football game again. Wait, I mean you never want to go to another football game again. 6:39PM Sevilla starting lineup ONCE del #SevillaFC ante el @ManUtd_Es en la IDA de 1/8 de final de la @LigadeCampeones#vamosmisevilla#UCL#ThisIsSevillapic.twitter.com/fiz3jEbvp3— Sevilla Fútbol Club (@SevillaFC) February 21, 2018 6:38PM No Pogba - confirmed Controversial scenes, Clive. What&#39;s going on here then? Phenomenal scenes from Jose Mourinho. Martial dropped too. How #MUFC line up for tonight&#39;s #UCL clash with Sevilla... pic.twitter.com/7g80OaosMv— Manchester United (@ManUtd) February 21, 2018 6:25PM Good evening! Hello lovely humans, welcome to our liveblog for tonight&#39;s Champions League game featuring PAUL POGBA. [dabs everywhere] But wait - what&#39;s this? Pogba&#39;s on the bench?! That&#39;s what Jason Burt&#39;s heard and you can read all about it here. Could that switch make Man Utd more balanced on the pitch? Does it make them weaker? Who will dab? Why can&#39;t Jose Mourinho get the most out of Paul Pogba? Sevilla are fifth in La Liga and represent a real challenge for United tonight. They play some really nice football and have some excellent players - Ever Banega is an exceptional talent and has the potential to run the game. We&#39;ll find out the starting lineups shortly. Until then, let&#39;s all think about Pogba. And Romelu Lukaku - Sevilla aren&#39;t in the top six of the Premier League, which means he should be able to score against them.
Sevilla 0 Man Utd 0: David De Gea produces stunning save as United get job done against wasteful hosts
World class is an over used term in football and maybe with Paul Pogba that has been the case but there is no doubt that Manchester United have at least one player worthy of that status as goalkeeper David De Gea once again demonstrated his importance as he kept his team in this Champions League tie. Two superb saves from headers, the second breathtaking, at the end of the first half denied Sevilla who had countless other opportunities against an at times over-run United side who nevertheless go into the second leg of this last-16 encounter on March 13 as favourites to progress into the quarter-finals. Or maybe not if they play like this because for all of Jose Mourinho’s post-match protestations about his team being in control that was simply not the case while it is dispiriting that, once more, the United manager’s pre-occupation was to try and stop the opposition rather than impose him team on them. The visitors looked pedestrian, conservative, restrained; a team lacking in verve. It was a far cry, for example, from the way Liverpool destroyed Porto away last week. And surely United cannot keep relying on De Gea? In fact Mourinho congratulated himself on how his midfield had controlled the Sevilla playmaker Ever Banega – not quite true – and he lauded his decision to field Scott McTominay from the start, and as competently as the promising young Scot did perform, he is an essentially destructive, rather than constructive, player. Credit: GETTY IMAGES On his return from illness Pogba was dropped, and that obviously caused quite a stir, but he had to be called on after just 18 minutes when Ander Herrera pulled up injured as he attempted a back-heel – much to Mourinho’s frustration. Pogba’s contribution was later distilled by his manager into one about working hard for the team – not quite effusive praise – while Mourinho also launched himself into an argument that all players have to work hard, and not being free spirits, when he was asked an innocuous question about Alexis Sanchez. Sanchez was far from his best on his return to Champions League football following his January move from Arsenal and was withdrawn before the end. And neither was Pogba much better. This was hugely disappointing. United’s alleged control was arguable for De Gea made eight saves in all from 25 attempts at goal by Sevilla – the most for a United goalkeeper in a Champions League game since Edwin van der Sar versus Barcelona in May 2011. Average touch positions (0 min) And Sevilla, fifth in La Liga, are no Barcelona of that or even this vintage. Whatever their attacking intent and desire to score under their new head coach Vincenzo Montella for whom this was only a second match in this competition against Mourinho’s 140 games. And yet United’s display smacked of a performance from a team set out by a manager more concerned about stopping the opposition than winning the game. But Mourinho is a master of the knockout competitions, or at least going deep into them, and will argue this kind of occasion is about managing the two matches. And not just the one. Get through this tie and his approach worked. But United were flat. They were underwhelming. Except for De Gea who was elevated to such an imposing status that it seemed to get into the heads of the Sevilla players who, after his two saves just before half-time, continued to play well, attack well but snatched at chances. The closer to De Gea they got, in fact, the less sure they became. They did not look like they believed they could beat him. He got bigger, the goal got smaller. Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal The first save was smart enough as De Gea flicked a powerful header from Steven Nzonzi over the bar, after the midfielder had reached an acrobatic overhead kick back across the penalty area by the lively striker, Luis Muriel. And then De Gea made that incredible save from Muriel – soon after mix-up between the goalkeeper and defender Victor Lindelof – as the forward was picked out unmarked by Jesus Navas with a cross from the right. As Muriel reached the ball he seemed certain to plant his header, from no more than six yards, into the net but De Gea shot out an arm to block. It needed a double-take to believe what had happened. Muriel pressed his head against the post in disbelief for several seconds. When the half-time whistle blew soon after both Muriel and his team-mate Gabriel Mercado even took time to shake De Gea’s hand before he walked down the tunnel. Attempt Saved: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Luis Muriel, 45 + 1 min) There were more saves, relatively routine ones, from De Gea who turned away a skidding shot from Muriel, in the first half, and from Joaquin Correa after he jinked in from the right, and from Correa again as he attempted to bend the ball into the corner. But after his amazing save from Muriel it seemed Sevilla believed they had to find the precise finish and Clement Lenglet, Franco Vazquez and Muriel, again, were wasteful as they attempted that. It was summed up when Muriel crossed towards the far post and Correa appeared to have the chance to head home but was clearly mindful of De Gea scampering across and tried for too much power. Again it sailed over the bar. And what about Romelu Lukaku, United’s other big name? The striker was picked out by Sanchez with a clever lofted ball through, but despite having time and space he skied his volley high over the target. Then in the second half he controlled the ball with an arm before firing it into the net. It was rightly ruled out. And that was it. He did little else. David De Gea produced a stunning save to keep Man Utd in the game Credit: REUTERS In fact United only had a single shot on target and that was from McTominay, a first-time effort from outside the area, that was pushed away by goalkeeper Sergio Rico. Mourinho argued that the space opened up for United, but he must have been watching a different game. In this one he was indebted to Sevilla’s profligacy and the brilliance of De Gea. 10:03PM Jose Mourinho loves McTominay "OK. Decision at Old Trafford, it's a match in our house, I believe that Old Trafford misses a big European night. Of course we had last season but Europa League has a different meaning, and they can create similar atmosphere we had today and push us through a difficult match. "Can I hug you? [hugs Des Kelly] That's a question. I was in a press conference before and the questions were about Paul and I think the question should be about the kid. He was fantastic, did everything well, put lots of pressure on Banega which was important, always comfortable, simple in possession. He was brilliant. In my opinion the midfield started well and when Herrera came out, Paul worked hard." 9:42PM Team shapes Average touch positions (0 min) 9:38PM Paul Scholes "Bad game of football, a difficult watch to be honest. Job done for United, I think they'll be comfortable at Old Trafford." Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal 9:36PM Mourinho knows how setup a defence The 23rd clean sheet of the season for Man Utd. 9:35PM FULL TIME Not the most memorable of European nights. Sevilla are extremely medium, Man Utd didn't have enough to take anything home with them. There's something in Mourinho's team that doesn't quite click and this was another disjointed performance, albeit one that has produced the 0-0 he will have wanted. 9:34PM 90 mins +1 This game is done. Neither team really pushing for a goal, there's still no pace to the passing, it's a 0-0 game. 9:31PM 89 mins Rashford goes for the knuckle-ball, it flies off the mark and zips wide of the post. Banega off, Pizarro on. 9:31PM 88 mins Rashford wins a free-kick after a blatant foul 30 yards out. The replays of that Navas dive are painful viewing. 9:30PM 87 mins Sandro is involved straight away, links a pass and moves, Sevilla keep coming and Sarabia is played in behind! He pulls the ball back across the box - there must be a finish here! Sandro has to stop and turn a couple of times... and the shot is blocked. Navas comes steaming in to pick up the loose ball and goes flying over a tackle. The referee doesn't care and he's right because it's a dive. Boooooo! 9:28PM 85 mins Sandro is about to come on for Vazquez, but then Montella goes a bit mad on the touchline and decides to take off Muriel instead. The whole stadium seems perplexed by that change of heart but it makes sense. Striker for a striker. 9:25PM 83 mins 0-0 might seem like a decent result to take back to Old Trafford but it only takes one mistake and Sevilla to score from it and all of a sudden United need to score two. United are attacking now... and LUKAKU HAS SCORED! No he hasn't. It's a handball. Pogba's scooped pass for the assist there was superb. 9:23PM 81 mins Mata off for Martial. That'll give United some energy and speed on the wings for the final 10 minutes as they look for that crucial away goal. 9:21PM 78 mins Credit: REUTERS This picture gives you some idea of how close-range that De Gea save was earlier. You'd think it might concern Mourinho that the best thing United have done all night was stopping this header going in but the score is still 0-0 so who knows. I haven't won several European trophies, what do I know. 9:19PM 77 mins Rashford takes on Navas for pace but, somewhat unsurprisingly, isn't able to win that particular race. 9:17PM 75 mins Sanchez has been poor tonight. And actually, I'm not sure if I've seen him play well for Man Utd apart from that Yeovil game... he's doing too much and not sticking to his job on the left wing. Rashford comes on. 9:15PM 73 mins Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal None of these have been particularly close, except the two De Gea saved from close range. And they've just missed another! Muriel dances down the right and chips to the back post. Sarabia should really score from about four yards but heads over. That's a huge miss. 9:14PM 72 mins A cross from wide right is whipped low into the six yard box but Smalling makes sure Muriel can't get onto it. 9:13PM 70 mins Sevilla are painfully slow. It's so easy to shut them down and United are not having to work especially hard to do so. Lukaku holds off his man on the left, Sanchez takes the ball on and the pitch opens up for this United attack! There's a big chance here if Lukaku can find the pass... but a right footed pass across the pitch is easily cut out. 9:09PM 67 mins Banega goes for a knuckle ball, Juninho-style free-kick but De Gea catches easily. Lukaku does well to win a corner. 9:08PM 66 mins Correa comes inside from the left, goes past two players and then a stepover takes him into the area! He can shoot from here... but his shot flies into the stand. Another free-kick for Sevilla near the United box. 9:07PM 65 mins Banega hits a really good ball into the area... it's headed at goal from six yards... and De Gea saves again. This time it's a bit easier. Credit: REUTERS 9:05PM 63 mins Lukaku hits the wall. United keep some level of pressure up... but Sanchez and Pogba and Mata can't produce anything of note and Lukaku doesn't attack the cross with any real aggression. McTominay controls the ball well in the air, the Sevilla defender kicks his foot... aaaaand the referee gives a free-kick to Sevilla. Foul after foul after foul after foul. They're all so weak! Players falling over all the place. Put a lion on the pitch, see what happens. 9:03PM 61 mins More slow build up. The Sevilla fans boo, Sanchez is told where to go by McTominay after drifting inside the pitch but Sanchez's run towards the box is stopped by a slide tackle. United have a decent set piece position here. 9:01PM 59 mins United sit in their own defensive third, walking around the pitch as Sevilla jog their way forward. Muriel tries another shot at goal but puts it wide. De Gea wanders over, never worried about that one creeping in. Out: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Luis Muriel, 58 min) It'd be nice if Man Utd could do something exciting soon. Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal 8:59PM 56 mins Lukaku moves out to the right wing, dribbles past one man and then tries to pass across the box. It's aimed poorly and Sevilla come away with the ball, Lindelof pulls Vazquez's shirt and gives away a free-kick in the centre-circle. McTominay is fouled by Escudero... it's so scrappy. Both teams are slow in build up and then someone fouls someone else. Nothing comes from the free-kicks or corners. 8:56PM 54 mins Young tries to go past Sarabia but loses the ball and the counter-attack is on. Matic is caught behind the play, Muriel comes inside and shoots... but it's another corner. This is such a frustrating, scrappy game. A real Mourinho European match. He'll get them the result but it's far from beautiful flowing football. 8:54PM 52 mins Average touch positions (50 min) You can see why Mourinho needs Young to get forward. Sanchez is basically playing as a second striker and it's making United lopsided. Vazquez tries a shot from 20 yards but bends it way over the bar. 8:53PM 50 mins Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal 8:51PM 49 mins McTominay does well to shield the ball and link a few passes together in the midfield. Young overlaps and gets into the box, winning a corner. It seems that Mourinho has pushed his full-backs further forward in this half. Mata's first touch to kill the corner is amazing, he then sells a dummy to two defenders and chips into the centre but nobody is there. Sometimes Mata is ridiculously good. 8:49PM 47 mins Sandro (that guy Everton bought) is on the bench for Sevilla and has number 99 on his shirt. This. Ends. NOW! 8:48PM KICK OFF 2 Kick off 2 man utd "They don't look too threatening really," says Paul Scholes of Sevilla. I'd argue both look pretty tame. A 0-0 beckons! Or does it? Let's find out! 8:38PM De Gea praise from a proper goalkeeper This guy used to play in goal for Aberdeen, he knows what it means to face an onslaught of shots. David De Gea is incredible. What. A. Save. Don’t say “Anywhere else and it’s a goal.” or “He should score.” because nothing should detract from that save. From that range and with that power, he’s denied an almost certain goal. Just brilliant.— David Preece (@davidpreece12) February 21, 2018 8:35PM Sevilla's paper planes Credit: REUTERS 8:33PM That De Gea save Sure, the striker should have aimed towards the floor with this but I mean... come on. It's ludicrous that he can react quickly enough and get a strong enough arm at this shot to turn it over. It's astonishing. 8:32PM HALF TIME De Gea has just rescued Man Utd there. It should be 1-0 Sevilla. 8:32PM 45 mins +2 And more exciting! A long ball is read by Young, he cushions it with his first touch back to De Gea... and nobody picks it up! What are they playing at?! De Gea manages to hook the ball away before that becomes a tap in. Sevilla keep the pressure up, the ball is sent into the middle and MURIEL IS ALL ALONE! HE MUST SCORE OH MY HEAVENS LORDY LORDY WHAT A SAVE! That's an incredible save from De Gea! Muriel can't believe it! Attempt Saved: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Luis Muriel, 45 + 1 min) 8:30PM 45 mins +1 What a save by De Gea! The corner is headed to the back post, N'Zonzi tries a bicycle kick and it's turned at goal by another Sevilla player off the head. De Gea has to react instantly to dive and turn it over! 8:29PM 45 mins There are quite a few paper aeroplanes being thrown onto the pitch as United set up a corner. That corner goes so well that Sevilla are able to counter-attack quickly and win their own corner. Mourinho is furious. 8:27PM 43 mins Sanchez fouls Navas and is booked. It's harsh. Lukaku is back defending at right-back... Valencia hooks the ball away, Banega finds Correa... who does a little too much but does get a shot away! Low to the corner but De Gea saves. Valencia doesn't get close to Correa there. Keeper pick-up: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (David de Gea, 42 min) 8:25PM 41 mins Correa is in space wide left in the box but doesn't take his chance to shoot, controls, the defence gets back and his attempted flair pass is knocked behind for a corner. That turns into a goal kick. Sevilla are doing an awful lot without ever actually creating anything genuinely dangerous. 8:23PM 39 mins MCTOMINAAAAAAAAYYYYYYY has a shot saved from distance but it's a solid effort. The ball sits for him about 20 yards out in the kind of position that would make it a crime not to have a wee go. Rico is fairly comfortable with his save. Sevilla break forward but don't look too menacing again. Smalling heads a weak shot behind for a corner, Pogba clears. 8:22PM 37 mins Credit: GETTY IMAGES There he is. Meanwhile, Sevilla have a corner. Their crowd really dislikes many of the referee's decisions but it really does look like he's getting them all dead right. 8:19PM 35 mins McTominay lets me down and himself down and everyone down with a poor pass to Valencia, who has to work hard to win the 50/50 and then dives by the corner flag. The referee isn't having it, Sevilla play on and Vasquez is played in! Oooohhhhh he's a click away from controlling that and having an easy one-on-one but the ball runs past him and he wins a corner instead. Pogba fouls Banega in the centre-circle with a clumsy tackle. 8:17PM 33 mins Sanchez goes down off the ball as Mercado puts his arm out to block the run. There's nothing really in that either. The Sevilla crowd and team are getting a little wound up by the referee. Valencia has absolutely pied Correa with a shoulder drop and sprinted past him on the right but nothing comes of it. 8:15PM 31 mins Lukaku is being kicked around a little bit here. Sanchez points it out to the referee and convinces him to tell off Correa for... basically barging into him. Hmmm. There#s nothing in that for me, Clive. McTominay is having a decent game so far, his first touch is brilliant. 8:13PM 29 mins Correa has a bit of space on the left and dribbles into the penalty area after a superb first touch. He tricks his way into the box but doesn't get enough on his show and De Gea saves easily. 8:12PM 27 mins Credit: REUTERS United are slowly gaining more of the pitch, edging that defensive line further forward. 8:10PM 25 mins Lukaku is in! Great ball over the top, an even better run to get to it... and Lukaku punts his volleyed effort way over the bar. That's a really bad miss. If he had another go at it right now he'd bury it every time. 8:08PM 23 mins N'Zonzi is booked for catching Sanchez on the behind, or to be more specific, his buttock. Sanchez has felt that one, rolls around a bit and then tries to show everyone the wound he may have suffered before deciding maybe he shouldn't do that. The game is pretty scrappy now, both teams look organised and disciplined, though Sevilla are perhaps asking more of the questions. 8:05PM 20 mins Pogba's first involvement is to chase the ball down the right wing and lose it. He's in his dream midfield three now so there's no excuse if this doesn't work for him tonight. Young has to stay alert to head a long diagonal ball behind for a corner. Possession: Sevilla vs Man Utd 8:03PM 18 mins POGBA ALERT. POGBA ALERT. [dabs everywhere] Pogba is on the pitch. Mourinho's evil plans are in tatters. What are the odds he scores and does one of those "shhhhhhh!" celebrations? 8:02PM 17 mins Valencia carries the ball towards the box, Herrera overlaps and is into the box. The pass comes in, he back-heels across goal... and it's cleared away. Oh no! He's injured! Herrera's done for the night, having pulled a muscle with that little run. Darren Fletcher on commentary says "that looks terminal" but I'm not sure Herrera will die from the injury. I don't know for certain. But also I do. 8:01PM 16 mins Banega tries a long range effort but it's too high. Miss: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Éver Banega, 14 min) A chipped ball over the top towards Lukaku causes panic as Lenglet and Mercado struggle to cope with his strength and balance... but he can't take the ball down nor pass it to Mata and Sevilla deal with the situation well. Sevilla go forward quickly and get another shot away. This time it's wide. Miss: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Jesús Navas, 15 min) 7:57PM 13 mins Sanchez runs into space, controls and pushes the ball towards the box... but Navas speeds in (the one with the sharp blue eyes - don't act like you don't know) and shuts him down. 7:56PM 12 mins Sevilla taking their time with passes, United fall behind the halfway line to compact the midfield and Sevilla can't really go very far. United are effectively keeping them at arm's length. 7:53PM 9 mins Young does really well to stop Sarabia running directly at him and De Gea hits the ball long up the pitch. Valencia gets forward for a throw in, McTominay controls superbly and passes to Lukaku, who hits a ball out to the left wing and Sanchez gets his first touch! Corner to Man Utd. 7:51PM 6 mins Muriel is able to sprint past Smalling but although he's quicker to accelerate, the defender is able to hold him off and win the tackle. Correa tries a step over and goes down under a mistimed tackle from Mata. Sevilla are attacking with purpose here, passing the ball really nicely. 7:48PM 4 mins United have a lot of bodies behind the ball early on! Lukaku is the out-ball, tries to spin N'Zonzi but goes down and loses possession in the centre-circle. This is a definite 4-5-1 from United. Sevilla come forward, Muriel has the ball 25 yards out and tries a shot... SAVE by De Gea! That was a decent effort! 7:47PM 2 mins Sevilla win a corner early on, Banega whips it in but United defend well and get the second phase attack out for a throw. 7:45PM KICK OFF Sevilla kick off 7:42PM Here come the teams You can't even hear this song over the top of the Sevilla support. What a noise! 7:36PM This is genuinely excellent TV BT Sport making use of the expert pundits they have on offer is an absolute treat. I could watch Lampard and Scholes discuss the minute details of how to play in midfield, how they reacted after games, how they'd coach Pogba for the rest of the evening. Lampard has essentially said that Pogba needs to take some responsibility and can't rely on other people to reign him in when he goes wandering. "After Tottenham I wouldn't have slept but he's doing the same thing against Newcastle" is a rough paraphrase. 7:32PM More on Pogba "It's awareness and effort," continues Lampard, who knows exactly what it's like going from attacking midfield to a deeper role. This is great television, lovely stuff by the BT Sport lads. "We're still talking 18 months into his United career where his best position in the team is," says Scholes. "He's a player who scores goals, dictates the pace of the game. I don't think the team sets up to get the best out of Pogba," argues Ferdinand. 7:29PM Mourinho on Pogba This is from a BT Sport VT. "When you speak about Paul Pogba is a player who in his best moment had to stop twice, then when he's playing really well he is suspended." Pogba has been shunted out of momentum a couple of times this season and he's struggled ever so slightly in his last few games, trying to do a little too much. In a midfield two he needs to be a little bit better positionally. "It's all about defensive responsibility, Mourinho's trying to shock him", is what Frank Lampard thinks. 7:06PM Mourinho's reaction to Des Kelly's questions "Three questions and all about Paul?!" he asks after three questions about Paul Pogba's absence. Des knows what he's doing and laughs it off as he moves onto asking about the actual game. 7:03PM Mourinho's 4-3-3 Isn't that a thing. Scott McTominay is preferred to Paul Pogba, Juan Mata gets the nod over Anthony Martial and Mourinho changes to a 4-3-3, despite the clamour for him to do so much sooner to get more out of Pogba. Even Pogba has admitted he's better in a three but Mourinho isn't having it - a talent like that should be able to play in multiple systems, not only one which suits him alone. 6:46PM Do you like holidays? Do you like football? Well wait a darned minute there because I might have the perfect little thing for you to read! The 10 best European football away days Incredibly it doesn't include a trip to Pittodrie, Aberdeen but perhaps that is fair, since once you've attended a match there you never need to go another football game again. Wait, I mean you never want to go to another football game again. 6:39PM Sevilla starting lineup ONCE del #SevillaFC ante el @ManUtd_Es en la IDA de 1/8 de final de la @LigadeCampeones#vamosmisevilla#UCL#ThisIsSevillapic.twitter.com/fiz3jEbvp3— Sevilla Fútbol Club (@SevillaFC) February 21, 2018 6:38PM No Pogba - confirmed Controversial scenes, Clive. What's going on here then? Phenomenal scenes from Jose Mourinho. Martial dropped too. How #MUFC line up for tonight's #UCL clash with Sevilla... pic.twitter.com/7g80OaosMv— Manchester United (@ManUtd) February 21, 2018 6:25PM Good evening! Hello lovely humans, welcome to our liveblog for tonight's Champions League game featuring PAUL POGBA. [dabs everywhere] But wait - what's this? Pogba's on the bench?! That's what Jason Burt's heard and you can read all about it here. Could that switch make Man Utd more balanced on the pitch? Does it make them weaker? Who will dab? Why can't Jose Mourinho get the most out of Paul Pogba? Sevilla are fifth in La Liga and represent a real challenge for United tonight. They play some really nice football and have some excellent players - Ever Banega is an exceptional talent and has the potential to run the game. We'll find out the starting lineups shortly. Until then, let's all think about Pogba. And Romelu Lukaku - Sevilla aren't in the top six of the Premier League, which means he should be able to score against them.
World class is an over used term in football and maybe with Paul Pogba that has been the case but there is no doubt that Manchester United have at least one player worthy of that status as goalkeeper David De Gea once again demonstrated his importance as he kept his team in this Champions League tie. Two superb saves from headers, the second breathtaking, at the end of the first half denied Sevilla who had countless other opportunities against an at times over-run United side who nevertheless go into the second leg of this last-16 encounter on March 13 as favourites to progress into the quarter-finals. Or maybe not if they play like this because for all of Jose Mourinho’s post-match protestations about his team being in control that was simply not the case while it is dispiriting that, once more, the United manager’s pre-occupation was to try and stop the opposition rather than impose him team on them. The visitors looked pedestrian, conservative, restrained; a team lacking in verve. It was a far cry, for example, from the way Liverpool destroyed Porto away last week. And surely United cannot keep relying on De Gea? In fact Mourinho congratulated himself on how his midfield had controlled the Sevilla playmaker Ever Banega – not quite true – and he lauded his decision to field Scott McTominay from the start, and as competently as the promising young Scot did perform, he is an essentially destructive, rather than constructive, player. Credit: GETTY IMAGES On his return from illness Pogba was dropped, and that obviously caused quite a stir, but he had to be called on after just 18 minutes when Ander Herrera pulled up injured as he attempted a back-heel – much to Mourinho’s frustration. Pogba’s contribution was later distilled by his manager into one about working hard for the team – not quite effusive praise – while Mourinho also launched himself into an argument that all players have to work hard, and not being free spirits, when he was asked an innocuous question about Alexis Sanchez. Sanchez was far from his best on his return to Champions League football following his January move from Arsenal and was withdrawn before the end. And neither was Pogba much better. This was hugely disappointing. United’s alleged control was arguable for De Gea made eight saves in all from 25 attempts at goal by Sevilla – the most for a United goalkeeper in a Champions League game since Edwin van der Sar versus Barcelona in May 2011. Average touch positions (0 min) And Sevilla, fifth in La Liga, are no Barcelona of that or even this vintage. Whatever their attacking intent and desire to score under their new head coach Vincenzo Montella for whom this was only a second match in this competition against Mourinho’s 140 games. And yet United’s display smacked of a performance from a team set out by a manager more concerned about stopping the opposition than winning the game. But Mourinho is a master of the knockout competitions, or at least going deep into them, and will argue this kind of occasion is about managing the two matches. And not just the one. Get through this tie and his approach worked. But United were flat. They were underwhelming. Except for De Gea who was elevated to such an imposing status that it seemed to get into the heads of the Sevilla players who, after his two saves just before half-time, continued to play well, attack well but snatched at chances. The closer to De Gea they got, in fact, the less sure they became. They did not look like they believed they could beat him. He got bigger, the goal got smaller. Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal The first save was smart enough as De Gea flicked a powerful header from Steven Nzonzi over the bar, after the midfielder had reached an acrobatic overhead kick back across the penalty area by the lively striker, Luis Muriel. And then De Gea made that incredible save from Muriel – soon after mix-up between the goalkeeper and defender Victor Lindelof – as the forward was picked out unmarked by Jesus Navas with a cross from the right. As Muriel reached the ball he seemed certain to plant his header, from no more than six yards, into the net but De Gea shot out an arm to block. It needed a double-take to believe what had happened. Muriel pressed his head against the post in disbelief for several seconds. When the half-time whistle blew soon after both Muriel and his team-mate Gabriel Mercado even took time to shake De Gea’s hand before he walked down the tunnel. Attempt Saved: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Luis Muriel, 45 + 1 min) There were more saves, relatively routine ones, from De Gea who turned away a skidding shot from Muriel, in the first half, and from Joaquin Correa after he jinked in from the right, and from Correa again as he attempted to bend the ball into the corner. But after his amazing save from Muriel it seemed Sevilla believed they had to find the precise finish and Clement Lenglet, Franco Vazquez and Muriel, again, were wasteful as they attempted that. It was summed up when Muriel crossed towards the far post and Correa appeared to have the chance to head home but was clearly mindful of De Gea scampering across and tried for too much power. Again it sailed over the bar. And what about Romelu Lukaku, United’s other big name? The striker was picked out by Sanchez with a clever lofted ball through, but despite having time and space he skied his volley high over the target. Then in the second half he controlled the ball with an arm before firing it into the net. It was rightly ruled out. And that was it. He did little else. David De Gea produced a stunning save to keep Man Utd in the game Credit: REUTERS In fact United only had a single shot on target and that was from McTominay, a first-time effort from outside the area, that was pushed away by goalkeeper Sergio Rico. Mourinho argued that the space opened up for United, but he must have been watching a different game. In this one he was indebted to Sevilla’s profligacy and the brilliance of De Gea. 10:03PM Jose Mourinho loves McTominay &quot;OK. Decision at Old Trafford, it&#39;s a match in our house, I believe that Old Trafford misses a big European night. Of course we had last season but Europa League has a different meaning, and they can create similar atmosphere we had today and push us through a difficult match. &quot;Can I hug you? [hugs Des Kelly] That&#39;s a question. I was in a press conference before and the questions were about Paul and I think the question should be about the kid. He was fantastic, did everything well, put lots of pressure on Banega which was important, always comfortable, simple in possession. He was brilliant. In my opinion the midfield started well and when Herrera came out, Paul worked hard.&quot; 9:42PM Team shapes Average touch positions (0 min) 9:38PM Paul Scholes &quot;Bad game of football, a difficult watch to be honest. Job done for United, I think they&#39;ll be comfortable at Old Trafford.&quot; Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal 9:36PM Mourinho knows how setup a defence The 23rd clean sheet of the season for Man Utd. 9:35PM FULL TIME Not the most memorable of European nights. Sevilla are extremely medium, Man Utd didn&#39;t have enough to take anything home with them. There&#39;s something in Mourinho&#39;s team that doesn&#39;t quite click and this was another disjointed performance, albeit one that has produced the 0-0 he will have wanted. 9:34PM 90 mins +1 This game is done. Neither team really pushing for a goal, there&#39;s still no pace to the passing, it&#39;s a 0-0 game. 9:31PM 89 mins Rashford goes for the knuckle-ball, it flies off the mark and zips wide of the post. Banega off, Pizarro on. 9:31PM 88 mins Rashford wins a free-kick after a blatant foul 30 yards out. The replays of that Navas dive are painful viewing. 9:30PM 87 mins Sandro is involved straight away, links a pass and moves, Sevilla keep coming and Sarabia is played in behind! He pulls the ball back across the box - there must be a finish here! Sandro has to stop and turn a couple of times... and the shot is blocked. Navas comes steaming in to pick up the loose ball and goes flying over a tackle. The referee doesn&#39;t care and he&#39;s right because it&#39;s a dive. Boooooo! 9:28PM 85 mins Sandro is about to come on for Vazquez, but then Montella goes a bit mad on the touchline and decides to take off Muriel instead. The whole stadium seems perplexed by that change of heart but it makes sense. Striker for a striker. 9:25PM 83 mins 0-0 might seem like a decent result to take back to Old Trafford but it only takes one mistake and Sevilla to score from it and all of a sudden United need to score two. United are attacking now... and LUKAKU HAS SCORED! No he hasn&#39;t. It&#39;s a handball. Pogba&#39;s scooped pass for the assist there was superb. 9:23PM 81 mins Mata off for Martial. That&#39;ll give United some energy and speed on the wings for the final 10 minutes as they look for that crucial away goal. 9:21PM 78 mins Credit: REUTERS This picture gives you some idea of how close-range that De Gea save was earlier. You&#39;d think it might concern Mourinho that the best thing United have done all night was stopping this header going in but the score is still 0-0 so who knows. I haven&#39;t won several European trophies, what do I know. 9:19PM 77 mins Rashford takes on Navas for pace but, somewhat unsurprisingly, isn&#39;t able to win that particular race. 9:17PM 75 mins Sanchez has been poor tonight. And actually, I&#39;m not sure if I&#39;ve seen him play well for Man Utd apart from that Yeovil game... he&#39;s doing too much and not sticking to his job on the left wing. Rashford comes on. 9:15PM 73 mins Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal None of these have been particularly close, except the two De Gea saved from close range. And they&#39;ve just missed another! Muriel dances down the right and chips to the back post. Sarabia should really score from about four yards but heads over. That&#39;s a huge miss. 9:14PM 72 mins A cross from wide right is whipped low into the six yard box but Smalling makes sure Muriel can&#39;t get onto it. 9:13PM 70 mins Sevilla are painfully slow. It&#39;s so easy to shut them down and United are not having to work especially hard to do so. Lukaku holds off his man on the left, Sanchez takes the ball on and the pitch opens up for this United attack! There&#39;s a big chance here if Lukaku can find the pass... but a right footed pass across the pitch is easily cut out. 9:09PM 67 mins Banega goes for a knuckle ball, Juninho-style free-kick but De Gea catches easily. Lukaku does well to win a corner. 9:08PM 66 mins Correa comes inside from the left, goes past two players and then a stepover takes him into the area! He can shoot from here... but his shot flies into the stand. Another free-kick for Sevilla near the United box. 9:07PM 65 mins Banega hits a really good ball into the area... it&#39;s headed at goal from six yards... and De Gea saves again. This time it&#39;s a bit easier. Credit: REUTERS 9:05PM 63 mins Lukaku hits the wall. United keep some level of pressure up... but Sanchez and Pogba and Mata can&#39;t produce anything of note and Lukaku doesn&#39;t attack the cross with any real aggression. McTominay controls the ball well in the air, the Sevilla defender kicks his foot... aaaaand the referee gives a free-kick to Sevilla. Foul after foul after foul after foul. They&#39;re all so weak! Players falling over all the place. Put a lion on the pitch, see what happens. 9:03PM 61 mins More slow build up. The Sevilla fans boo, Sanchez is told where to go by McTominay after drifting inside the pitch but Sanchez&#39;s run towards the box is stopped by a slide tackle. United have a decent set piece position here. 9:01PM 59 mins United sit in their own defensive third, walking around the pitch as Sevilla jog their way forward. Muriel tries another shot at goal but puts it wide. De Gea wanders over, never worried about that one creeping in. Out: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Luis Muriel, 58 min) It&#39;d be nice if Man Utd could do something exciting soon. Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal 8:59PM 56 mins Lukaku moves out to the right wing, dribbles past one man and then tries to pass across the box. It&#39;s aimed poorly and Sevilla come away with the ball, Lindelof pulls Vazquez&#39;s shirt and gives away a free-kick in the centre-circle. McTominay is fouled by Escudero... it&#39;s so scrappy. Both teams are slow in build up and then someone fouls someone else. Nothing comes from the free-kicks or corners. 8:56PM 54 mins Young tries to go past Sarabia but loses the ball and the counter-attack is on. Matic is caught behind the play, Muriel comes inside and shoots... but it&#39;s another corner. This is such a frustrating, scrappy game. A real Mourinho European match. He&#39;ll get them the result but it&#39;s far from beautiful flowing football. 8:54PM 52 mins Average touch positions (50 min) You can see why Mourinho needs Young to get forward. Sanchez is basically playing as a second striker and it&#39;s making United lopsided. Vazquez tries a shot from 20 yards but bends it way over the bar. 8:53PM 50 mins Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal 8:51PM 49 mins McTominay does well to shield the ball and link a few passes together in the midfield. Young overlaps and gets into the box, winning a corner. It seems that Mourinho has pushed his full-backs further forward in this half. Mata&#39;s first touch to kill the corner is amazing, he then sells a dummy to two defenders and chips into the centre but nobody is there. Sometimes Mata is ridiculously good. 8:49PM 47 mins Sandro (that guy Everton bought) is on the bench for Sevilla and has number 99 on his shirt. This. Ends. NOW! 8:48PM KICK OFF 2 Kick off 2 man utd &quot;They don&#39;t look too threatening really,&quot; says Paul Scholes of Sevilla. I&#39;d argue both look pretty tame. A 0-0 beckons! Or does it? Let&#39;s find out! 8:38PM De Gea praise from a proper goalkeeper This guy used to play in goal for Aberdeen, he knows what it means to face an onslaught of shots. David De Gea is incredible. What. A. Save. Don’t say “Anywhere else and it’s a goal.” or “He should score.” because nothing should detract from that save. From that range and with that power, he’s denied an almost certain goal. Just brilliant.— David Preece (@davidpreece12) February 21, 2018 8:35PM Sevilla&#39;s paper planes Credit: REUTERS 8:33PM That De Gea save Sure, the striker should have aimed towards the floor with this but I mean... come on. It&#39;s ludicrous that he can react quickly enough and get a strong enough arm at this shot to turn it over. It&#39;s astonishing. 8:32PM HALF TIME De Gea has just rescued Man Utd there. It should be 1-0 Sevilla. 8:32PM 45 mins +2 And more exciting! A long ball is read by Young, he cushions it with his first touch back to De Gea... and nobody picks it up! What are they playing at?! De Gea manages to hook the ball away before that becomes a tap in. Sevilla keep the pressure up, the ball is sent into the middle and MURIEL IS ALL ALONE! HE MUST SCORE OH MY HEAVENS LORDY LORDY WHAT A SAVE! That&#39;s an incredible save from De Gea! Muriel can&#39;t believe it! Attempt Saved: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Luis Muriel, 45 + 1 min) 8:30PM 45 mins +1 What a save by De Gea! The corner is headed to the back post, N&#39;Zonzi tries a bicycle kick and it&#39;s turned at goal by another Sevilla player off the head. De Gea has to react instantly to dive and turn it over! 8:29PM 45 mins There are quite a few paper aeroplanes being thrown onto the pitch as United set up a corner. That corner goes so well that Sevilla are able to counter-attack quickly and win their own corner. Mourinho is furious. 8:27PM 43 mins Sanchez fouls Navas and is booked. It&#39;s harsh. Lukaku is back defending at right-back... Valencia hooks the ball away, Banega finds Correa... who does a little too much but does get a shot away! Low to the corner but De Gea saves. Valencia doesn&#39;t get close to Correa there. Keeper pick-up: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (David de Gea, 42 min) 8:25PM 41 mins Correa is in space wide left in the box but doesn&#39;t take his chance to shoot, controls, the defence gets back and his attempted flair pass is knocked behind for a corner. That turns into a goal kick. Sevilla are doing an awful lot without ever actually creating anything genuinely dangerous. 8:23PM 39 mins MCTOMINAAAAAAAAYYYYYYY has a shot saved from distance but it&#39;s a solid effort. The ball sits for him about 20 yards out in the kind of position that would make it a crime not to have a wee go. Rico is fairly comfortable with his save. Sevilla break forward but don&#39;t look too menacing again. Smalling heads a weak shot behind for a corner, Pogba clears. 8:22PM 37 mins Credit: GETTY IMAGES There he is. Meanwhile, Sevilla have a corner. Their crowd really dislikes many of the referee&#39;s decisions but it really does look like he&#39;s getting them all dead right. 8:19PM 35 mins McTominay lets me down and himself down and everyone down with a poor pass to Valencia, who has to work hard to win the 50/50 and then dives by the corner flag. The referee isn&#39;t having it, Sevilla play on and Vasquez is played in! Oooohhhhh he&#39;s a click away from controlling that and having an easy one-on-one but the ball runs past him and he wins a corner instead. Pogba fouls Banega in the centre-circle with a clumsy tackle. 8:17PM 33 mins Sanchez goes down off the ball as Mercado puts his arm out to block the run. There&#39;s nothing really in that either. The Sevilla crowd and team are getting a little wound up by the referee. Valencia has absolutely pied Correa with a shoulder drop and sprinted past him on the right but nothing comes of it. 8:15PM 31 mins Lukaku is being kicked around a little bit here. Sanchez points it out to the referee and convinces him to tell off Correa for... basically barging into him. Hmmm. There#s nothing in that for me, Clive. McTominay is having a decent game so far, his first touch is brilliant. 8:13PM 29 mins Correa has a bit of space on the left and dribbles into the penalty area after a superb first touch. He tricks his way into the box but doesn&#39;t get enough on his show and De Gea saves easily. 8:12PM 27 mins Credit: REUTERS United are slowly gaining more of the pitch, edging that defensive line further forward. 8:10PM 25 mins Lukaku is in! Great ball over the top, an even better run to get to it... and Lukaku punts his volleyed effort way over the bar. That&#39;s a really bad miss. If he had another go at it right now he&#39;d bury it every time. 8:08PM 23 mins N&#39;Zonzi is booked for catching Sanchez on the behind, or to be more specific, his buttock. Sanchez has felt that one, rolls around a bit and then tries to show everyone the wound he may have suffered before deciding maybe he shouldn&#39;t do that. The game is pretty scrappy now, both teams look organised and disciplined, though Sevilla are perhaps asking more of the questions. 8:05PM 20 mins Pogba&#39;s first involvement is to chase the ball down the right wing and lose it. He&#39;s in his dream midfield three now so there&#39;s no excuse if this doesn&#39;t work for him tonight. Young has to stay alert to head a long diagonal ball behind for a corner. Possession: Sevilla vs Man Utd 8:03PM 18 mins POGBA ALERT. POGBA ALERT. [dabs everywhere] Pogba is on the pitch. Mourinho&#39;s evil plans are in tatters. What are the odds he scores and does one of those &quot;shhhhhhh!&quot; celebrations? 8:02PM 17 mins Valencia carries the ball towards the box, Herrera overlaps and is into the box. The pass comes in, he back-heels across goal... and it&#39;s cleared away. Oh no! He&#39;s injured! Herrera&#39;s done for the night, having pulled a muscle with that little run. Darren Fletcher on commentary says &quot;that looks terminal&quot; but I&#39;m not sure Herrera will die from the injury. I don&#39;t know for certain. But also I do. 8:01PM 16 mins Banega tries a long range effort but it&#39;s too high. Miss: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Éver Banega, 14 min) A chipped ball over the top towards Lukaku causes panic as Lenglet and Mercado struggle to cope with his strength and balance... but he can&#39;t take the ball down nor pass it to Mata and Sevilla deal with the situation well. Sevilla go forward quickly and get another shot away. This time it&#39;s wide. Miss: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Jesús Navas, 15 min) 7:57PM 13 mins Sanchez runs into space, controls and pushes the ball towards the box... but Navas speeds in (the one with the sharp blue eyes - don&#39;t act like you don&#39;t know) and shuts him down. 7:56PM 12 mins Sevilla taking their time with passes, United fall behind the halfway line to compact the midfield and Sevilla can&#39;t really go very far. United are effectively keeping them at arm&#39;s length. 7:53PM 9 mins Young does really well to stop Sarabia running directly at him and De Gea hits the ball long up the pitch. Valencia gets forward for a throw in, McTominay controls superbly and passes to Lukaku, who hits a ball out to the left wing and Sanchez gets his first touch! Corner to Man Utd. 7:51PM 6 mins Muriel is able to sprint past Smalling but although he&#39;s quicker to accelerate, the defender is able to hold him off and win the tackle. Correa tries a step over and goes down under a mistimed tackle from Mata. Sevilla are attacking with purpose here, passing the ball really nicely. 7:48PM 4 mins United have a lot of bodies behind the ball early on! Lukaku is the out-ball, tries to spin N&#39;Zonzi but goes down and loses possession in the centre-circle. This is a definite 4-5-1 from United. Sevilla come forward, Muriel has the ball 25 yards out and tries a shot... SAVE by De Gea! That was a decent effort! 7:47PM 2 mins Sevilla win a corner early on, Banega whips it in but United defend well and get the second phase attack out for a throw. 7:45PM KICK OFF Sevilla kick off 7:42PM Here come the teams You can&#39;t even hear this song over the top of the Sevilla support. What a noise! 7:36PM This is genuinely excellent TV BT Sport making use of the expert pundits they have on offer is an absolute treat. I could watch Lampard and Scholes discuss the minute details of how to play in midfield, how they reacted after games, how they&#39;d coach Pogba for the rest of the evening. Lampard has essentially said that Pogba needs to take some responsibility and can&#39;t rely on other people to reign him in when he goes wandering. &quot;After Tottenham I wouldn&#39;t have slept but he&#39;s doing the same thing against Newcastle&quot; is a rough paraphrase. 7:32PM More on Pogba &quot;It&#39;s awareness and effort,&quot; continues Lampard, who knows exactly what it&#39;s like going from attacking midfield to a deeper role. This is great television, lovely stuff by the BT Sport lads. &quot;We&#39;re still talking 18 months into his United career where his best position in the team is,&quot; says Scholes. &quot;He&#39;s a player who scores goals, dictates the pace of the game. I don&#39;t think the team sets up to get the best out of Pogba,&quot; argues Ferdinand. 7:29PM Mourinho on Pogba This is from a BT Sport VT. &quot;When you speak about Paul Pogba is a player who in his best moment had to stop twice, then when he&#39;s playing really well he is suspended.&quot; Pogba has been shunted out of momentum a couple of times this season and he&#39;s struggled ever so slightly in his last few games, trying to do a little too much. In a midfield two he needs to be a little bit better positionally. &quot;It&#39;s all about defensive responsibility, Mourinho&#39;s trying to shock him&quot;, is what Frank Lampard thinks. 7:06PM Mourinho&#39;s reaction to Des Kelly&#39;s questions &quot;Three questions and all about Paul?!&quot; he asks after three questions about Paul Pogba&#39;s absence. Des knows what he&#39;s doing and laughs it off as he moves onto asking about the actual game. 7:03PM Mourinho&#39;s 4-3-3 Isn&#39;t that a thing. Scott McTominay is preferred to Paul Pogba, Juan Mata gets the nod over Anthony Martial and Mourinho changes to a 4-3-3, despite the clamour for him to do so much sooner to get more out of Pogba. Even Pogba has admitted he&#39;s better in a three but Mourinho isn&#39;t having it - a talent like that should be able to play in multiple systems, not only one which suits him alone. 6:46PM Do you like holidays? Do you like football? Well wait a darned minute there because I might have the perfect little thing for you to read! The 10 best European football away days Incredibly it doesn&#39;t include a trip to Pittodrie, Aberdeen but perhaps that is fair, since once you&#39;ve attended a match there you never need to go another football game again. Wait, I mean you never want to go to another football game again. 6:39PM Sevilla starting lineup ONCE del #SevillaFC ante el @ManUtd_Es en la IDA de 1/8 de final de la @LigadeCampeones#vamosmisevilla#UCL#ThisIsSevillapic.twitter.com/fiz3jEbvp3— Sevilla Fútbol Club (@SevillaFC) February 21, 2018 6:38PM No Pogba - confirmed Controversial scenes, Clive. What&#39;s going on here then? Phenomenal scenes from Jose Mourinho. Martial dropped too. How #MUFC line up for tonight&#39;s #UCL clash with Sevilla... pic.twitter.com/7g80OaosMv— Manchester United (@ManUtd) February 21, 2018 6:25PM Good evening! Hello lovely humans, welcome to our liveblog for tonight&#39;s Champions League game featuring PAUL POGBA. [dabs everywhere] But wait - what&#39;s this? Pogba&#39;s on the bench?! That&#39;s what Jason Burt&#39;s heard and you can read all about it here. Could that switch make Man Utd more balanced on the pitch? Does it make them weaker? Who will dab? Why can&#39;t Jose Mourinho get the most out of Paul Pogba? Sevilla are fifth in La Liga and represent a real challenge for United tonight. They play some really nice football and have some excellent players - Ever Banega is an exceptional talent and has the potential to run the game. We&#39;ll find out the starting lineups shortly. Until then, let&#39;s all think about Pogba. And Romelu Lukaku - Sevilla aren&#39;t in the top six of the Premier League, which means he should be able to score against them.
Sevilla 0 Man Utd 0: David De Gea produces stunning save as United get job done against wasteful hosts
World class is an over used term in football and maybe with Paul Pogba that has been the case but there is no doubt that Manchester United have at least one player worthy of that status as goalkeeper David De Gea once again demonstrated his importance as he kept his team in this Champions League tie. Two superb saves from headers, the second breathtaking, at the end of the first half denied Sevilla who had countless other opportunities against an at times over-run United side who nevertheless go into the second leg of this last-16 encounter on March 13 as favourites to progress into the quarter-finals. Or maybe not if they play like this because for all of Jose Mourinho’s post-match protestations about his team being in control that was simply not the case while it is dispiriting that, once more, the United manager’s pre-occupation was to try and stop the opposition rather than impose him team on them. The visitors looked pedestrian, conservative, restrained; a team lacking in verve. It was a far cry, for example, from the way Liverpool destroyed Porto away last week. And surely United cannot keep relying on De Gea? In fact Mourinho congratulated himself on how his midfield had controlled the Sevilla playmaker Ever Banega – not quite true – and he lauded his decision to field Scott McTominay from the start, and as competently as the promising young Scot did perform, he is an essentially destructive, rather than constructive, player. Credit: GETTY IMAGES On his return from illness Pogba was dropped, and that obviously caused quite a stir, but he had to be called on after just 18 minutes when Ander Herrera pulled up injured as he attempted a back-heel – much to Mourinho’s frustration. Pogba’s contribution was later distilled by his manager into one about working hard for the team – not quite effusive praise – while Mourinho also launched himself into an argument that all players have to work hard, and not being free spirits, when he was asked an innocuous question about Alexis Sanchez. Sanchez was far from his best on his return to Champions League football following his January move from Arsenal and was withdrawn before the end. And neither was Pogba much better. This was hugely disappointing. United’s alleged control was arguable for De Gea made eight saves in all from 25 attempts at goal by Sevilla – the most for a United goalkeeper in a Champions League game since Edwin van der Sar versus Barcelona in May 2011. Average touch positions (0 min) And Sevilla, fifth in La Liga, are no Barcelona of that or even this vintage. Whatever their attacking intent and desire to score under their new head coach Vincenzo Montella for whom this was only a second match in this competition against Mourinho’s 140 games. And yet United’s display smacked of a performance from a team set out by a manager more concerned about stopping the opposition than winning the game. But Mourinho is a master of the knockout competitions, or at least going deep into them, and will argue this kind of occasion is about managing the two matches. And not just the one. Get through this tie and his approach worked. But United were flat. They were underwhelming. Except for De Gea who was elevated to such an imposing status that it seemed to get into the heads of the Sevilla players who, after his two saves just before half-time, continued to play well, attack well but snatched at chances. The closer to De Gea they got, in fact, the less sure they became. They did not look like they believed they could beat him. He got bigger, the goal got smaller. Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal The first save was smart enough as De Gea flicked a powerful header from Steven Nzonzi over the bar, after the midfielder had reached an acrobatic overhead kick back across the penalty area by the lively striker, Luis Muriel. And then De Gea made that incredible save from Muriel – soon after mix-up between the goalkeeper and defender Victor Lindelof – as the forward was picked out unmarked by Jesus Navas with a cross from the right. As Muriel reached the ball he seemed certain to plant his header, from no more than six yards, into the net but De Gea shot out an arm to block. It needed a double-take to believe what had happened. Muriel pressed his head against the post in disbelief for several seconds. When the half-time whistle blew soon after both Muriel and his team-mate Gabriel Mercado even took time to shake De Gea’s hand before he walked down the tunnel. Attempt Saved: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Luis Muriel, 45 + 1 min) There were more saves, relatively routine ones, from De Gea who turned away a skidding shot from Muriel, in the first half, and from Joaquin Correa after he jinked in from the right, and from Correa again as he attempted to bend the ball into the corner. But after his amazing save from Muriel it seemed Sevilla believed they had to find the precise finish and Clement Lenglet, Franco Vazquez and Muriel, again, were wasteful as they attempted that. It was summed up when Muriel crossed towards the far post and Correa appeared to have the chance to head home but was clearly mindful of De Gea scampering across and tried for too much power. Again it sailed over the bar. And what about Romelu Lukaku, United’s other big name? The striker was picked out by Sanchez with a clever lofted ball through, but despite having time and space he skied his volley high over the target. Then in the second half he controlled the ball with an arm before firing it into the net. It was rightly ruled out. And that was it. He did little else. David De Gea produced a stunning save to keep Man Utd in the game Credit: REUTERS In fact United only had a single shot on target and that was from McTominay, a first-time effort from outside the area, that was pushed away by goalkeeper Sergio Rico. Mourinho argued that the space opened up for United, but he must have been watching a different game. In this one he was indebted to Sevilla’s profligacy and the brilliance of De Gea. 10:03PM Jose Mourinho loves McTominay "OK. Decision at Old Trafford, it's a match in our house, I believe that Old Trafford misses a big European night. Of course we had last season but Europa League has a different meaning, and they can create similar atmosphere we had today and push us through a difficult match. "Can I hug you? [hugs Des Kelly] That's a question. I was in a press conference before and the questions were about Paul and I think the question should be about the kid. He was fantastic, did everything well, put lots of pressure on Banega which was important, always comfortable, simple in possession. He was brilliant. In my opinion the midfield started well and when Herrera came out, Paul worked hard." 9:42PM Team shapes Average touch positions (0 min) 9:38PM Paul Scholes "Bad game of football, a difficult watch to be honest. Job done for United, I think they'll be comfortable at Old Trafford." Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal 9:36PM Mourinho knows how setup a defence The 23rd clean sheet of the season for Man Utd. 9:35PM FULL TIME Not the most memorable of European nights. Sevilla are extremely medium, Man Utd didn't have enough to take anything home with them. There's something in Mourinho's team that doesn't quite click and this was another disjointed performance, albeit one that has produced the 0-0 he will have wanted. 9:34PM 90 mins +1 This game is done. Neither team really pushing for a goal, there's still no pace to the passing, it's a 0-0 game. 9:31PM 89 mins Rashford goes for the knuckle-ball, it flies off the mark and zips wide of the post. Banega off, Pizarro on. 9:31PM 88 mins Rashford wins a free-kick after a blatant foul 30 yards out. The replays of that Navas dive are painful viewing. 9:30PM 87 mins Sandro is involved straight away, links a pass and moves, Sevilla keep coming and Sarabia is played in behind! He pulls the ball back across the box - there must be a finish here! Sandro has to stop and turn a couple of times... and the shot is blocked. Navas comes steaming in to pick up the loose ball and goes flying over a tackle. The referee doesn't care and he's right because it's a dive. Boooooo! 9:28PM 85 mins Sandro is about to come on for Vazquez, but then Montella goes a bit mad on the touchline and decides to take off Muriel instead. The whole stadium seems perplexed by that change of heart but it makes sense. Striker for a striker. 9:25PM 83 mins 0-0 might seem like a decent result to take back to Old Trafford but it only takes one mistake and Sevilla to score from it and all of a sudden United need to score two. United are attacking now... and LUKAKU HAS SCORED! No he hasn't. It's a handball. Pogba's scooped pass for the assist there was superb. 9:23PM 81 mins Mata off for Martial. That'll give United some energy and speed on the wings for the final 10 minutes as they look for that crucial away goal. 9:21PM 78 mins Credit: REUTERS This picture gives you some idea of how close-range that De Gea save was earlier. You'd think it might concern Mourinho that the best thing United have done all night was stopping this header going in but the score is still 0-0 so who knows. I haven't won several European trophies, what do I know. 9:19PM 77 mins Rashford takes on Navas for pace but, somewhat unsurprisingly, isn't able to win that particular race. 9:17PM 75 mins Sanchez has been poor tonight. And actually, I'm not sure if I've seen him play well for Man Utd apart from that Yeovil game... he's doing too much and not sticking to his job on the left wing. Rashford comes on. 9:15PM 73 mins Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal None of these have been particularly close, except the two De Gea saved from close range. And they've just missed another! Muriel dances down the right and chips to the back post. Sarabia should really score from about four yards but heads over. That's a huge miss. 9:14PM 72 mins A cross from wide right is whipped low into the six yard box but Smalling makes sure Muriel can't get onto it. 9:13PM 70 mins Sevilla are painfully slow. It's so easy to shut them down and United are not having to work especially hard to do so. Lukaku holds off his man on the left, Sanchez takes the ball on and the pitch opens up for this United attack! There's a big chance here if Lukaku can find the pass... but a right footed pass across the pitch is easily cut out. 9:09PM 67 mins Banega goes for a knuckle ball, Juninho-style free-kick but De Gea catches easily. Lukaku does well to win a corner. 9:08PM 66 mins Correa comes inside from the left, goes past two players and then a stepover takes him into the area! He can shoot from here... but his shot flies into the stand. Another free-kick for Sevilla near the United box. 9:07PM 65 mins Banega hits a really good ball into the area... it's headed at goal from six yards... and De Gea saves again. This time it's a bit easier. Credit: REUTERS 9:05PM 63 mins Lukaku hits the wall. United keep some level of pressure up... but Sanchez and Pogba and Mata can't produce anything of note and Lukaku doesn't attack the cross with any real aggression. McTominay controls the ball well in the air, the Sevilla defender kicks his foot... aaaaand the referee gives a free-kick to Sevilla. Foul after foul after foul after foul. They're all so weak! Players falling over all the place. Put a lion on the pitch, see what happens. 9:03PM 61 mins More slow build up. The Sevilla fans boo, Sanchez is told where to go by McTominay after drifting inside the pitch but Sanchez's run towards the box is stopped by a slide tackle. United have a decent set piece position here. 9:01PM 59 mins United sit in their own defensive third, walking around the pitch as Sevilla jog their way forward. Muriel tries another shot at goal but puts it wide. De Gea wanders over, never worried about that one creeping in. Out: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Luis Muriel, 58 min) It'd be nice if Man Utd could do something exciting soon. Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal 8:59PM 56 mins Lukaku moves out to the right wing, dribbles past one man and then tries to pass across the box. It's aimed poorly and Sevilla come away with the ball, Lindelof pulls Vazquez's shirt and gives away a free-kick in the centre-circle. McTominay is fouled by Escudero... it's so scrappy. Both teams are slow in build up and then someone fouls someone else. Nothing comes from the free-kicks or corners. 8:56PM 54 mins Young tries to go past Sarabia but loses the ball and the counter-attack is on. Matic is caught behind the play, Muriel comes inside and shoots... but it's another corner. This is such a frustrating, scrappy game. A real Mourinho European match. He'll get them the result but it's far from beautiful flowing football. 8:54PM 52 mins Average touch positions (50 min) You can see why Mourinho needs Young to get forward. Sanchez is basically playing as a second striker and it's making United lopsided. Vazquez tries a shot from 20 yards but bends it way over the bar. 8:53PM 50 mins Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal 8:51PM 49 mins McTominay does well to shield the ball and link a few passes together in the midfield. Young overlaps and gets into the box, winning a corner. It seems that Mourinho has pushed his full-backs further forward in this half. Mata's first touch to kill the corner is amazing, he then sells a dummy to two defenders and chips into the centre but nobody is there. Sometimes Mata is ridiculously good. 8:49PM 47 mins Sandro (that guy Everton bought) is on the bench for Sevilla and has number 99 on his shirt. This. Ends. NOW! 8:48PM KICK OFF 2 Kick off 2 man utd "They don't look too threatening really," says Paul Scholes of Sevilla. I'd argue both look pretty tame. A 0-0 beckons! Or does it? Let's find out! 8:38PM De Gea praise from a proper goalkeeper This guy used to play in goal for Aberdeen, he knows what it means to face an onslaught of shots. David De Gea is incredible. What. A. Save. Don’t say “Anywhere else and it’s a goal.” or “He should score.” because nothing should detract from that save. From that range and with that power, he’s denied an almost certain goal. Just brilliant.— David Preece (@davidpreece12) February 21, 2018 8:35PM Sevilla's paper planes Credit: REUTERS 8:33PM That De Gea save Sure, the striker should have aimed towards the floor with this but I mean... come on. It's ludicrous that he can react quickly enough and get a strong enough arm at this shot to turn it over. It's astonishing. 8:32PM HALF TIME De Gea has just rescued Man Utd there. It should be 1-0 Sevilla. 8:32PM 45 mins +2 And more exciting! A long ball is read by Young, he cushions it with his first touch back to De Gea... and nobody picks it up! What are they playing at?! De Gea manages to hook the ball away before that becomes a tap in. Sevilla keep the pressure up, the ball is sent into the middle and MURIEL IS ALL ALONE! HE MUST SCORE OH MY HEAVENS LORDY LORDY WHAT A SAVE! That's an incredible save from De Gea! Muriel can't believe it! Attempt Saved: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Luis Muriel, 45 + 1 min) 8:30PM 45 mins +1 What a save by De Gea! The corner is headed to the back post, N'Zonzi tries a bicycle kick and it's turned at goal by another Sevilla player off the head. De Gea has to react instantly to dive and turn it over! 8:29PM 45 mins There are quite a few paper aeroplanes being thrown onto the pitch as United set up a corner. That corner goes so well that Sevilla are able to counter-attack quickly and win their own corner. Mourinho is furious. 8:27PM 43 mins Sanchez fouls Navas and is booked. It's harsh. Lukaku is back defending at right-back... Valencia hooks the ball away, Banega finds Correa... who does a little too much but does get a shot away! Low to the corner but De Gea saves. Valencia doesn't get close to Correa there. Keeper pick-up: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (David de Gea, 42 min) 8:25PM 41 mins Correa is in space wide left in the box but doesn't take his chance to shoot, controls, the defence gets back and his attempted flair pass is knocked behind for a corner. That turns into a goal kick. Sevilla are doing an awful lot without ever actually creating anything genuinely dangerous. 8:23PM 39 mins MCTOMINAAAAAAAAYYYYYYY has a shot saved from distance but it's a solid effort. The ball sits for him about 20 yards out in the kind of position that would make it a crime not to have a wee go. Rico is fairly comfortable with his save. Sevilla break forward but don't look too menacing again. Smalling heads a weak shot behind for a corner, Pogba clears. 8:22PM 37 mins Credit: GETTY IMAGES There he is. Meanwhile, Sevilla have a corner. Their crowd really dislikes many of the referee's decisions but it really does look like he's getting them all dead right. 8:19PM 35 mins McTominay lets me down and himself down and everyone down with a poor pass to Valencia, who has to work hard to win the 50/50 and then dives by the corner flag. The referee isn't having it, Sevilla play on and Vasquez is played in! Oooohhhhh he's a click away from controlling that and having an easy one-on-one but the ball runs past him and he wins a corner instead. Pogba fouls Banega in the centre-circle with a clumsy tackle. 8:17PM 33 mins Sanchez goes down off the ball as Mercado puts his arm out to block the run. There's nothing really in that either. The Sevilla crowd and team are getting a little wound up by the referee. Valencia has absolutely pied Correa with a shoulder drop and sprinted past him on the right but nothing comes of it. 8:15PM 31 mins Lukaku is being kicked around a little bit here. Sanchez points it out to the referee and convinces him to tell off Correa for... basically barging into him. Hmmm. There#s nothing in that for me, Clive. McTominay is having a decent game so far, his first touch is brilliant. 8:13PM 29 mins Correa has a bit of space on the left and dribbles into the penalty area after a superb first touch. He tricks his way into the box but doesn't get enough on his show and De Gea saves easily. 8:12PM 27 mins Credit: REUTERS United are slowly gaining more of the pitch, edging that defensive line further forward. 8:10PM 25 mins Lukaku is in! Great ball over the top, an even better run to get to it... and Lukaku punts his volleyed effort way over the bar. That's a really bad miss. If he had another go at it right now he'd bury it every time. 8:08PM 23 mins N'Zonzi is booked for catching Sanchez on the behind, or to be more specific, his buttock. Sanchez has felt that one, rolls around a bit and then tries to show everyone the wound he may have suffered before deciding maybe he shouldn't do that. The game is pretty scrappy now, both teams look organised and disciplined, though Sevilla are perhaps asking more of the questions. 8:05PM 20 mins Pogba's first involvement is to chase the ball down the right wing and lose it. He's in his dream midfield three now so there's no excuse if this doesn't work for him tonight. Young has to stay alert to head a long diagonal ball behind for a corner. Possession: Sevilla vs Man Utd 8:03PM 18 mins POGBA ALERT. POGBA ALERT. [dabs everywhere] Pogba is on the pitch. Mourinho's evil plans are in tatters. What are the odds he scores and does one of those "shhhhhhh!" celebrations? 8:02PM 17 mins Valencia carries the ball towards the box, Herrera overlaps and is into the box. The pass comes in, he back-heels across goal... and it's cleared away. Oh no! He's injured! Herrera's done for the night, having pulled a muscle with that little run. Darren Fletcher on commentary says "that looks terminal" but I'm not sure Herrera will die from the injury. I don't know for certain. But also I do. 8:01PM 16 mins Banega tries a long range effort but it's too high. Miss: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Éver Banega, 14 min) A chipped ball over the top towards Lukaku causes panic as Lenglet and Mercado struggle to cope with his strength and balance... but he can't take the ball down nor pass it to Mata and Sevilla deal with the situation well. Sevilla go forward quickly and get another shot away. This time it's wide. Miss: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Jesús Navas, 15 min) 7:57PM 13 mins Sanchez runs into space, controls and pushes the ball towards the box... but Navas speeds in (the one with the sharp blue eyes - don't act like you don't know) and shuts him down. 7:56PM 12 mins Sevilla taking their time with passes, United fall behind the halfway line to compact the midfield and Sevilla can't really go very far. United are effectively keeping them at arm's length. 7:53PM 9 mins Young does really well to stop Sarabia running directly at him and De Gea hits the ball long up the pitch. Valencia gets forward for a throw in, McTominay controls superbly and passes to Lukaku, who hits a ball out to the left wing and Sanchez gets his first touch! Corner to Man Utd. 7:51PM 6 mins Muriel is able to sprint past Smalling but although he's quicker to accelerate, the defender is able to hold him off and win the tackle. Correa tries a step over and goes down under a mistimed tackle from Mata. Sevilla are attacking with purpose here, passing the ball really nicely. 7:48PM 4 mins United have a lot of bodies behind the ball early on! Lukaku is the out-ball, tries to spin N'Zonzi but goes down and loses possession in the centre-circle. This is a definite 4-5-1 from United. Sevilla come forward, Muriel has the ball 25 yards out and tries a shot... SAVE by De Gea! That was a decent effort! 7:47PM 2 mins Sevilla win a corner early on, Banega whips it in but United defend well and get the second phase attack out for a throw. 7:45PM KICK OFF Sevilla kick off 7:42PM Here come the teams You can't even hear this song over the top of the Sevilla support. What a noise! 7:36PM This is genuinely excellent TV BT Sport making use of the expert pundits they have on offer is an absolute treat. I could watch Lampard and Scholes discuss the minute details of how to play in midfield, how they reacted after games, how they'd coach Pogba for the rest of the evening. Lampard has essentially said that Pogba needs to take some responsibility and can't rely on other people to reign him in when he goes wandering. "After Tottenham I wouldn't have slept but he's doing the same thing against Newcastle" is a rough paraphrase. 7:32PM More on Pogba "It's awareness and effort," continues Lampard, who knows exactly what it's like going from attacking midfield to a deeper role. This is great television, lovely stuff by the BT Sport lads. "We're still talking 18 months into his United career where his best position in the team is," says Scholes. "He's a player who scores goals, dictates the pace of the game. I don't think the team sets up to get the best out of Pogba," argues Ferdinand. 7:29PM Mourinho on Pogba This is from a BT Sport VT. "When you speak about Paul Pogba is a player who in his best moment had to stop twice, then when he's playing really well he is suspended." Pogba has been shunted out of momentum a couple of times this season and he's struggled ever so slightly in his last few games, trying to do a little too much. In a midfield two he needs to be a little bit better positionally. "It's all about defensive responsibility, Mourinho's trying to shock him", is what Frank Lampard thinks. 7:06PM Mourinho's reaction to Des Kelly's questions "Three questions and all about Paul?!" he asks after three questions about Paul Pogba's absence. Des knows what he's doing and laughs it off as he moves onto asking about the actual game. 7:03PM Mourinho's 4-3-3 Isn't that a thing. Scott McTominay is preferred to Paul Pogba, Juan Mata gets the nod over Anthony Martial and Mourinho changes to a 4-3-3, despite the clamour for him to do so much sooner to get more out of Pogba. Even Pogba has admitted he's better in a three but Mourinho isn't having it - a talent like that should be able to play in multiple systems, not only one which suits him alone. 6:46PM Do you like holidays? Do you like football? Well wait a darned minute there because I might have the perfect little thing for you to read! The 10 best European football away days Incredibly it doesn't include a trip to Pittodrie, Aberdeen but perhaps that is fair, since once you've attended a match there you never need to go another football game again. Wait, I mean you never want to go to another football game again. 6:39PM Sevilla starting lineup ONCE del #SevillaFC ante el @ManUtd_Es en la IDA de 1/8 de final de la @LigadeCampeones#vamosmisevilla#UCL#ThisIsSevillapic.twitter.com/fiz3jEbvp3— Sevilla Fútbol Club (@SevillaFC) February 21, 2018 6:38PM No Pogba - confirmed Controversial scenes, Clive. What's going on here then? Phenomenal scenes from Jose Mourinho. Martial dropped too. How #MUFC line up for tonight's #UCL clash with Sevilla... pic.twitter.com/7g80OaosMv— Manchester United (@ManUtd) February 21, 2018 6:25PM Good evening! Hello lovely humans, welcome to our liveblog for tonight's Champions League game featuring PAUL POGBA. [dabs everywhere] But wait - what's this? Pogba's on the bench?! That's what Jason Burt's heard and you can read all about it here. Could that switch make Man Utd more balanced on the pitch? Does it make them weaker? Who will dab? Why can't Jose Mourinho get the most out of Paul Pogba? Sevilla are fifth in La Liga and represent a real challenge for United tonight. They play some really nice football and have some excellent players - Ever Banega is an exceptional talent and has the potential to run the game. We'll find out the starting lineups shortly. Until then, let's all think about Pogba. And Romelu Lukaku - Sevilla aren't in the top six of the Premier League, which means he should be able to score against them.
World class is an over used term in football and maybe with Paul Pogba that has been the case but there is no doubt that Manchester United have at least one player worthy of that status as goalkeeper David De Gea once again demonstrated his importance as he kept his team in this Champions League tie. Two superb saves from headers, the second breathtaking, at the end of the first half denied Sevilla who had countless other opportunities against an at times over-run United side who nevertheless go into the second leg of this last-16 encounter on March 13 as favourites to progress into the quarter-finals. Or maybe not if they play like this because for all of Jose Mourinho’s post-match protestations about his team being in control that was simply not the case while it is dispiriting that, once more, the United manager’s pre-occupation was to try and stop the opposition rather than impose him team on them. The visitors looked pedestrian, conservative, restrained; a team lacking in verve. It was a far cry, for example, from the way Liverpool destroyed Porto away last week. And surely United cannot keep relying on De Gea? In fact Mourinho congratulated himself on how his midfield had controlled the Sevilla playmaker Ever Banega – not quite true – and he lauded his decision to field Scott McTominay from the start, and as competently as the promising young Scot did perform, he is an essentially destructive, rather than constructive, player. Credit: GETTY IMAGES On his return from illness Pogba was dropped, and that obviously caused quite a stir, but he had to be called on after just 18 minutes when Ander Herrera pulled up injured as he attempted a back-heel – much to Mourinho’s frustration. Pogba’s contribution was later distilled by his manager into one about working hard for the team – not quite effusive praise – while Mourinho also launched himself into an argument that all players have to work hard, and not being free spirits, when he was asked an innocuous question about Alexis Sanchez. Sanchez was far from his best on his return to Champions League football following his January move from Arsenal and was withdrawn before the end. And neither was Pogba much better. This was hugely disappointing. United’s alleged control was arguable for De Gea made eight saves in all from 25 attempts at goal by Sevilla – the most for a United goalkeeper in a Champions League game since Edwin van der Sar versus Barcelona in May 2011. Average touch positions (0 min) And Sevilla, fifth in La Liga, are no Barcelona of that or even this vintage. Whatever their attacking intent and desire to score under their new head coach Vincenzo Montella for whom this was only a second match in this competition against Mourinho’s 140 games. And yet United’s display smacked of a performance from a team set out by a manager more concerned about stopping the opposition than winning the game. But Mourinho is a master of the knockout competitions, or at least going deep into them, and will argue this kind of occasion is about managing the two matches. And not just the one. Get through this tie and his approach worked. But United were flat. They were underwhelming. Except for De Gea who was elevated to such an imposing status that it seemed to get into the heads of the Sevilla players who, after his two saves just before half-time, continued to play well, attack well but snatched at chances. The closer to De Gea they got, in fact, the less sure they became. They did not look like they believed they could beat him. He got bigger, the goal got smaller. Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal The first save was smart enough as De Gea flicked a powerful header from Steven Nzonzi over the bar, after the midfielder had reached an acrobatic overhead kick back across the penalty area by the lively striker, Luis Muriel. And then De Gea made that incredible save from Muriel – soon after mix-up between the goalkeeper and defender Victor Lindelof – as the forward was picked out unmarked by Jesus Navas with a cross from the right. As Muriel reached the ball he seemed certain to plant his header, from no more than six yards, into the net but De Gea shot out an arm to block. It needed a double-take to believe what had happened. Muriel pressed his head against the post in disbelief for several seconds. When the half-time whistle blew soon after both Muriel and his team-mate Gabriel Mercado even took time to shake De Gea’s hand before he walked down the tunnel. Attempt Saved: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Luis Muriel, 45 + 1 min) There were more saves, relatively routine ones, from De Gea who turned away a skidding shot from Muriel, in the first half, and from Joaquin Correa after he jinked in from the right, and from Correa again as he attempted to bend the ball into the corner. But after his amazing save from Muriel it seemed Sevilla believed they had to find the precise finish and Clement Lenglet, Franco Vazquez and Muriel, again, were wasteful as they attempted that. It was summed up when Muriel crossed towards the far post and Correa appeared to have the chance to head home but was clearly mindful of De Gea scampering across and tried for too much power. Again it sailed over the bar. And what about Romelu Lukaku, United’s other big name? The striker was picked out by Sanchez with a clever lofted ball through, but despite having time and space he skied his volley high over the target. Then in the second half he controlled the ball with an arm before firing it into the net. It was rightly ruled out. And that was it. He did little else. David De Gea produced a stunning save to keep Man Utd in the game Credit: REUTERS In fact United only had a single shot on target and that was from McTominay, a first-time effort from outside the area, that was pushed away by goalkeeper Sergio Rico. Mourinho argued that the space opened up for United, but he must have been watching a different game. In this one he was indebted to Sevilla’s profligacy and the brilliance of De Gea. 10:03PM Jose Mourinho loves McTominay &quot;OK. Decision at Old Trafford, it&#39;s a match in our house, I believe that Old Trafford misses a big European night. Of course we had last season but Europa League has a different meaning, and they can create similar atmosphere we had today and push us through a difficult match. &quot;Can I hug you? [hugs Des Kelly] That&#39;s a question. I was in a press conference before and the questions were about Paul and I think the question should be about the kid. He was fantastic, did everything well, put lots of pressure on Banega which was important, always comfortable, simple in possession. He was brilliant. In my opinion the midfield started well and when Herrera came out, Paul worked hard.&quot; 9:42PM Team shapes Average touch positions (0 min) 9:38PM Paul Scholes &quot;Bad game of football, a difficult watch to be honest. Job done for United, I think they&#39;ll be comfortable at Old Trafford.&quot; Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal 9:36PM Mourinho knows how setup a defence The 23rd clean sheet of the season for Man Utd. 9:35PM FULL TIME Not the most memorable of European nights. Sevilla are extremely medium, Man Utd didn&#39;t have enough to take anything home with them. There&#39;s something in Mourinho&#39;s team that doesn&#39;t quite click and this was another disjointed performance, albeit one that has produced the 0-0 he will have wanted. 9:34PM 90 mins +1 This game is done. Neither team really pushing for a goal, there&#39;s still no pace to the passing, it&#39;s a 0-0 game. 9:31PM 89 mins Rashford goes for the knuckle-ball, it flies off the mark and zips wide of the post. Banega off, Pizarro on. 9:31PM 88 mins Rashford wins a free-kick after a blatant foul 30 yards out. The replays of that Navas dive are painful viewing. 9:30PM 87 mins Sandro is involved straight away, links a pass and moves, Sevilla keep coming and Sarabia is played in behind! He pulls the ball back across the box - there must be a finish here! Sandro has to stop and turn a couple of times... and the shot is blocked. Navas comes steaming in to pick up the loose ball and goes flying over a tackle. The referee doesn&#39;t care and he&#39;s right because it&#39;s a dive. Boooooo! 9:28PM 85 mins Sandro is about to come on for Vazquez, but then Montella goes a bit mad on the touchline and decides to take off Muriel instead. The whole stadium seems perplexed by that change of heart but it makes sense. Striker for a striker. 9:25PM 83 mins 0-0 might seem like a decent result to take back to Old Trafford but it only takes one mistake and Sevilla to score from it and all of a sudden United need to score two. United are attacking now... and LUKAKU HAS SCORED! No he hasn&#39;t. It&#39;s a handball. Pogba&#39;s scooped pass for the assist there was superb. 9:23PM 81 mins Mata off for Martial. That&#39;ll give United some energy and speed on the wings for the final 10 minutes as they look for that crucial away goal. 9:21PM 78 mins Credit: REUTERS This picture gives you some idea of how close-range that De Gea save was earlier. You&#39;d think it might concern Mourinho that the best thing United have done all night was stopping this header going in but the score is still 0-0 so who knows. I haven&#39;t won several European trophies, what do I know. 9:19PM 77 mins Rashford takes on Navas for pace but, somewhat unsurprisingly, isn&#39;t able to win that particular race. 9:17PM 75 mins Sanchez has been poor tonight. And actually, I&#39;m not sure if I&#39;ve seen him play well for Man Utd apart from that Yeovil game... he&#39;s doing too much and not sticking to his job on the left wing. Rashford comes on. 9:15PM 73 mins Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal None of these have been particularly close, except the two De Gea saved from close range. And they&#39;ve just missed another! Muriel dances down the right and chips to the back post. Sarabia should really score from about four yards but heads over. That&#39;s a huge miss. 9:14PM 72 mins A cross from wide right is whipped low into the six yard box but Smalling makes sure Muriel can&#39;t get onto it. 9:13PM 70 mins Sevilla are painfully slow. It&#39;s so easy to shut them down and United are not having to work especially hard to do so. Lukaku holds off his man on the left, Sanchez takes the ball on and the pitch opens up for this United attack! There&#39;s a big chance here if Lukaku can find the pass... but a right footed pass across the pitch is easily cut out. 9:09PM 67 mins Banega goes for a knuckle ball, Juninho-style free-kick but De Gea catches easily. Lukaku does well to win a corner. 9:08PM 66 mins Correa comes inside from the left, goes past two players and then a stepover takes him into the area! He can shoot from here... but his shot flies into the stand. Another free-kick for Sevilla near the United box. 9:07PM 65 mins Banega hits a really good ball into the area... it&#39;s headed at goal from six yards... and De Gea saves again. This time it&#39;s a bit easier. Credit: REUTERS 9:05PM 63 mins Lukaku hits the wall. United keep some level of pressure up... but Sanchez and Pogba and Mata can&#39;t produce anything of note and Lukaku doesn&#39;t attack the cross with any real aggression. McTominay controls the ball well in the air, the Sevilla defender kicks his foot... aaaaand the referee gives a free-kick to Sevilla. Foul after foul after foul after foul. They&#39;re all so weak! Players falling over all the place. Put a lion on the pitch, see what happens. 9:03PM 61 mins More slow build up. The Sevilla fans boo, Sanchez is told where to go by McTominay after drifting inside the pitch but Sanchez&#39;s run towards the box is stopped by a slide tackle. United have a decent set piece position here. 9:01PM 59 mins United sit in their own defensive third, walking around the pitch as Sevilla jog their way forward. Muriel tries another shot at goal but puts it wide. De Gea wanders over, never worried about that one creeping in. Out: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Luis Muriel, 58 min) It&#39;d be nice if Man Utd could do something exciting soon. Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal 8:59PM 56 mins Lukaku moves out to the right wing, dribbles past one man and then tries to pass across the box. It&#39;s aimed poorly and Sevilla come away with the ball, Lindelof pulls Vazquez&#39;s shirt and gives away a free-kick in the centre-circle. McTominay is fouled by Escudero... it&#39;s so scrappy. Both teams are slow in build up and then someone fouls someone else. Nothing comes from the free-kicks or corners. 8:56PM 54 mins Young tries to go past Sarabia but loses the ball and the counter-attack is on. Matic is caught behind the play, Muriel comes inside and shoots... but it&#39;s another corner. This is such a frustrating, scrappy game. A real Mourinho European match. He&#39;ll get them the result but it&#39;s far from beautiful flowing football. 8:54PM 52 mins Average touch positions (50 min) You can see why Mourinho needs Young to get forward. Sanchez is basically playing as a second striker and it&#39;s making United lopsided. Vazquez tries a shot from 20 yards but bends it way over the bar. 8:53PM 50 mins Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal 8:51PM 49 mins McTominay does well to shield the ball and link a few passes together in the midfield. Young overlaps and gets into the box, winning a corner. It seems that Mourinho has pushed his full-backs further forward in this half. Mata&#39;s first touch to kill the corner is amazing, he then sells a dummy to two defenders and chips into the centre but nobody is there. Sometimes Mata is ridiculously good. 8:49PM 47 mins Sandro (that guy Everton bought) is on the bench for Sevilla and has number 99 on his shirt. This. Ends. NOW! 8:48PM KICK OFF 2 Kick off 2 man utd &quot;They don&#39;t look too threatening really,&quot; says Paul Scholes of Sevilla. I&#39;d argue both look pretty tame. A 0-0 beckons! Or does it? Let&#39;s find out! 8:38PM De Gea praise from a proper goalkeeper This guy used to play in goal for Aberdeen, he knows what it means to face an onslaught of shots. David De Gea is incredible. What. A. Save. Don’t say “Anywhere else and it’s a goal.” or “He should score.” because nothing should detract from that save. From that range and with that power, he’s denied an almost certain goal. Just brilliant.— David Preece (@davidpreece12) February 21, 2018 8:35PM Sevilla&#39;s paper planes Credit: REUTERS 8:33PM That De Gea save Sure, the striker should have aimed towards the floor with this but I mean... come on. It&#39;s ludicrous that he can react quickly enough and get a strong enough arm at this shot to turn it over. It&#39;s astonishing. 8:32PM HALF TIME De Gea has just rescued Man Utd there. It should be 1-0 Sevilla. 8:32PM 45 mins +2 And more exciting! A long ball is read by Young, he cushions it with his first touch back to De Gea... and nobody picks it up! What are they playing at?! De Gea manages to hook the ball away before that becomes a tap in. Sevilla keep the pressure up, the ball is sent into the middle and MURIEL IS ALL ALONE! HE MUST SCORE OH MY HEAVENS LORDY LORDY WHAT A SAVE! That&#39;s an incredible save from De Gea! Muriel can&#39;t believe it! Attempt Saved: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Luis Muriel, 45 + 1 min) 8:30PM 45 mins +1 What a save by De Gea! The corner is headed to the back post, N&#39;Zonzi tries a bicycle kick and it&#39;s turned at goal by another Sevilla player off the head. De Gea has to react instantly to dive and turn it over! 8:29PM 45 mins There are quite a few paper aeroplanes being thrown onto the pitch as United set up a corner. That corner goes so well that Sevilla are able to counter-attack quickly and win their own corner. Mourinho is furious. 8:27PM 43 mins Sanchez fouls Navas and is booked. It&#39;s harsh. Lukaku is back defending at right-back... Valencia hooks the ball away, Banega finds Correa... who does a little too much but does get a shot away! Low to the corner but De Gea saves. Valencia doesn&#39;t get close to Correa there. Keeper pick-up: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (David de Gea, 42 min) 8:25PM 41 mins Correa is in space wide left in the box but doesn&#39;t take his chance to shoot, controls, the defence gets back and his attempted flair pass is knocked behind for a corner. That turns into a goal kick. Sevilla are doing an awful lot without ever actually creating anything genuinely dangerous. 8:23PM 39 mins MCTOMINAAAAAAAAYYYYYYY has a shot saved from distance but it&#39;s a solid effort. The ball sits for him about 20 yards out in the kind of position that would make it a crime not to have a wee go. Rico is fairly comfortable with his save. Sevilla break forward but don&#39;t look too menacing again. Smalling heads a weak shot behind for a corner, Pogba clears. 8:22PM 37 mins Credit: GETTY IMAGES There he is. Meanwhile, Sevilla have a corner. Their crowd really dislikes many of the referee&#39;s decisions but it really does look like he&#39;s getting them all dead right. 8:19PM 35 mins McTominay lets me down and himself down and everyone down with a poor pass to Valencia, who has to work hard to win the 50/50 and then dives by the corner flag. The referee isn&#39;t having it, Sevilla play on and Vasquez is played in! Oooohhhhh he&#39;s a click away from controlling that and having an easy one-on-one but the ball runs past him and he wins a corner instead. Pogba fouls Banega in the centre-circle with a clumsy tackle. 8:17PM 33 mins Sanchez goes down off the ball as Mercado puts his arm out to block the run. There&#39;s nothing really in that either. The Sevilla crowd and team are getting a little wound up by the referee. Valencia has absolutely pied Correa with a shoulder drop and sprinted past him on the right but nothing comes of it. 8:15PM 31 mins Lukaku is being kicked around a little bit here. Sanchez points it out to the referee and convinces him to tell off Correa for... basically barging into him. Hmmm. There#s nothing in that for me, Clive. McTominay is having a decent game so far, his first touch is brilliant. 8:13PM 29 mins Correa has a bit of space on the left and dribbles into the penalty area after a superb first touch. He tricks his way into the box but doesn&#39;t get enough on his show and De Gea saves easily. 8:12PM 27 mins Credit: REUTERS United are slowly gaining more of the pitch, edging that defensive line further forward. 8:10PM 25 mins Lukaku is in! Great ball over the top, an even better run to get to it... and Lukaku punts his volleyed effort way over the bar. That&#39;s a really bad miss. If he had another go at it right now he&#39;d bury it every time. 8:08PM 23 mins N&#39;Zonzi is booked for catching Sanchez on the behind, or to be more specific, his buttock. Sanchez has felt that one, rolls around a bit and then tries to show everyone the wound he may have suffered before deciding maybe he shouldn&#39;t do that. The game is pretty scrappy now, both teams look organised and disciplined, though Sevilla are perhaps asking more of the questions. 8:05PM 20 mins Pogba&#39;s first involvement is to chase the ball down the right wing and lose it. He&#39;s in his dream midfield three now so there&#39;s no excuse if this doesn&#39;t work for him tonight. Young has to stay alert to head a long diagonal ball behind for a corner. Possession: Sevilla vs Man Utd 8:03PM 18 mins POGBA ALERT. POGBA ALERT. [dabs everywhere] Pogba is on the pitch. Mourinho&#39;s evil plans are in tatters. What are the odds he scores and does one of those &quot;shhhhhhh!&quot; celebrations? 8:02PM 17 mins Valencia carries the ball towards the box, Herrera overlaps and is into the box. The pass comes in, he back-heels across goal... and it&#39;s cleared away. Oh no! He&#39;s injured! Herrera&#39;s done for the night, having pulled a muscle with that little run. Darren Fletcher on commentary says &quot;that looks terminal&quot; but I&#39;m not sure Herrera will die from the injury. I don&#39;t know for certain. But also I do. 8:01PM 16 mins Banega tries a long range effort but it&#39;s too high. Miss: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Éver Banega, 14 min) A chipped ball over the top towards Lukaku causes panic as Lenglet and Mercado struggle to cope with his strength and balance... but he can&#39;t take the ball down nor pass it to Mata and Sevilla deal with the situation well. Sevilla go forward quickly and get another shot away. This time it&#39;s wide. Miss: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Jesús Navas, 15 min) 7:57PM 13 mins Sanchez runs into space, controls and pushes the ball towards the box... but Navas speeds in (the one with the sharp blue eyes - don&#39;t act like you don&#39;t know) and shuts him down. 7:56PM 12 mins Sevilla taking their time with passes, United fall behind the halfway line to compact the midfield and Sevilla can&#39;t really go very far. United are effectively keeping them at arm&#39;s length. 7:53PM 9 mins Young does really well to stop Sarabia running directly at him and De Gea hits the ball long up the pitch. Valencia gets forward for a throw in, McTominay controls superbly and passes to Lukaku, who hits a ball out to the left wing and Sanchez gets his first touch! Corner to Man Utd. 7:51PM 6 mins Muriel is able to sprint past Smalling but although he&#39;s quicker to accelerate, the defender is able to hold him off and win the tackle. Correa tries a step over and goes down under a mistimed tackle from Mata. Sevilla are attacking with purpose here, passing the ball really nicely. 7:48PM 4 mins United have a lot of bodies behind the ball early on! Lukaku is the out-ball, tries to spin N&#39;Zonzi but goes down and loses possession in the centre-circle. This is a definite 4-5-1 from United. Sevilla come forward, Muriel has the ball 25 yards out and tries a shot... SAVE by De Gea! That was a decent effort! 7:47PM 2 mins Sevilla win a corner early on, Banega whips it in but United defend well and get the second phase attack out for a throw. 7:45PM KICK OFF Sevilla kick off 7:42PM Here come the teams You can&#39;t even hear this song over the top of the Sevilla support. What a noise! 7:36PM This is genuinely excellent TV BT Sport making use of the expert pundits they have on offer is an absolute treat. I could watch Lampard and Scholes discuss the minute details of how to play in midfield, how they reacted after games, how they&#39;d coach Pogba for the rest of the evening. Lampard has essentially said that Pogba needs to take some responsibility and can&#39;t rely on other people to reign him in when he goes wandering. &quot;After Tottenham I wouldn&#39;t have slept but he&#39;s doing the same thing against Newcastle&quot; is a rough paraphrase. 7:32PM More on Pogba &quot;It&#39;s awareness and effort,&quot; continues Lampard, who knows exactly what it&#39;s like going from attacking midfield to a deeper role. This is great television, lovely stuff by the BT Sport lads. &quot;We&#39;re still talking 18 months into his United career where his best position in the team is,&quot; says Scholes. &quot;He&#39;s a player who scores goals, dictates the pace of the game. I don&#39;t think the team sets up to get the best out of Pogba,&quot; argues Ferdinand. 7:29PM Mourinho on Pogba This is from a BT Sport VT. &quot;When you speak about Paul Pogba is a player who in his best moment had to stop twice, then when he&#39;s playing really well he is suspended.&quot; Pogba has been shunted out of momentum a couple of times this season and he&#39;s struggled ever so slightly in his last few games, trying to do a little too much. In a midfield two he needs to be a little bit better positionally. &quot;It&#39;s all about defensive responsibility, Mourinho&#39;s trying to shock him&quot;, is what Frank Lampard thinks. 7:06PM Mourinho&#39;s reaction to Des Kelly&#39;s questions &quot;Three questions and all about Paul?!&quot; he asks after three questions about Paul Pogba&#39;s absence. Des knows what he&#39;s doing and laughs it off as he moves onto asking about the actual game. 7:03PM Mourinho&#39;s 4-3-3 Isn&#39;t that a thing. Scott McTominay is preferred to Paul Pogba, Juan Mata gets the nod over Anthony Martial and Mourinho changes to a 4-3-3, despite the clamour for him to do so much sooner to get more out of Pogba. Even Pogba has admitted he&#39;s better in a three but Mourinho isn&#39;t having it - a talent like that should be able to play in multiple systems, not only one which suits him alone. 6:46PM Do you like holidays? Do you like football? Well wait a darned minute there because I might have the perfect little thing for you to read! The 10 best European football away days Incredibly it doesn&#39;t include a trip to Pittodrie, Aberdeen but perhaps that is fair, since once you&#39;ve attended a match there you never need to go another football game again. Wait, I mean you never want to go to another football game again. 6:39PM Sevilla starting lineup ONCE del #SevillaFC ante el @ManUtd_Es en la IDA de 1/8 de final de la @LigadeCampeones#vamosmisevilla#UCL#ThisIsSevillapic.twitter.com/fiz3jEbvp3— Sevilla Fútbol Club (@SevillaFC) February 21, 2018 6:38PM No Pogba - confirmed Controversial scenes, Clive. What&#39;s going on here then? Phenomenal scenes from Jose Mourinho. Martial dropped too. How #MUFC line up for tonight&#39;s #UCL clash with Sevilla... pic.twitter.com/7g80OaosMv— Manchester United (@ManUtd) February 21, 2018 6:25PM Good evening! Hello lovely humans, welcome to our liveblog for tonight&#39;s Champions League game featuring PAUL POGBA. [dabs everywhere] But wait - what&#39;s this? Pogba&#39;s on the bench?! That&#39;s what Jason Burt&#39;s heard and you can read all about it here. Could that switch make Man Utd more balanced on the pitch? Does it make them weaker? Who will dab? Why can&#39;t Jose Mourinho get the most out of Paul Pogba? Sevilla are fifth in La Liga and represent a real challenge for United tonight. They play some really nice football and have some excellent players - Ever Banega is an exceptional talent and has the potential to run the game. We&#39;ll find out the starting lineups shortly. Until then, let&#39;s all think about Pogba. And Romelu Lukaku - Sevilla aren&#39;t in the top six of the Premier League, which means he should be able to score against them.
Sevilla 0 Man Utd 0: David De Gea produces stunning save as United get job done against wasteful hosts
World class is an over used term in football and maybe with Paul Pogba that has been the case but there is no doubt that Manchester United have at least one player worthy of that status as goalkeeper David De Gea once again demonstrated his importance as he kept his team in this Champions League tie. Two superb saves from headers, the second breathtaking, at the end of the first half denied Sevilla who had countless other opportunities against an at times over-run United side who nevertheless go into the second leg of this last-16 encounter on March 13 as favourites to progress into the quarter-finals. Or maybe not if they play like this because for all of Jose Mourinho’s post-match protestations about his team being in control that was simply not the case while it is dispiriting that, once more, the United manager’s pre-occupation was to try and stop the opposition rather than impose him team on them. The visitors looked pedestrian, conservative, restrained; a team lacking in verve. It was a far cry, for example, from the way Liverpool destroyed Porto away last week. And surely United cannot keep relying on De Gea? In fact Mourinho congratulated himself on how his midfield had controlled the Sevilla playmaker Ever Banega – not quite true – and he lauded his decision to field Scott McTominay from the start, and as competently as the promising young Scot did perform, he is an essentially destructive, rather than constructive, player. Credit: GETTY IMAGES On his return from illness Pogba was dropped, and that obviously caused quite a stir, but he had to be called on after just 18 minutes when Ander Herrera pulled up injured as he attempted a back-heel – much to Mourinho’s frustration. Pogba’s contribution was later distilled by his manager into one about working hard for the team – not quite effusive praise – while Mourinho also launched himself into an argument that all players have to work hard, and not being free spirits, when he was asked an innocuous question about Alexis Sanchez. Sanchez was far from his best on his return to Champions League football following his January move from Arsenal and was withdrawn before the end. And neither was Pogba much better. This was hugely disappointing. United’s alleged control was arguable for De Gea made eight saves in all from 25 attempts at goal by Sevilla – the most for a United goalkeeper in a Champions League game since Edwin van der Sar versus Barcelona in May 2011. Average touch positions (0 min) And Sevilla, fifth in La Liga, are no Barcelona of that or even this vintage. Whatever their attacking intent and desire to score under their new head coach Vincenzo Montella for whom this was only a second match in this competition against Mourinho’s 140 games. And yet United’s display smacked of a performance from a team set out by a manager more concerned about stopping the opposition than winning the game. But Mourinho is a master of the knockout competitions, or at least going deep into them, and will argue this kind of occasion is about managing the two matches. And not just the one. Get through this tie and his approach worked. But United were flat. They were underwhelming. Except for De Gea who was elevated to such an imposing status that it seemed to get into the heads of the Sevilla players who, after his two saves just before half-time, continued to play well, attack well but snatched at chances. The closer to De Gea they got, in fact, the less sure they became. They did not look like they believed they could beat him. He got bigger, the goal got smaller. Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal The first save was smart enough as De Gea flicked a powerful header from Steven Nzonzi over the bar, after the midfielder had reached an acrobatic overhead kick back across the penalty area by the lively striker, Luis Muriel. And then De Gea made that incredible save from Muriel – soon after mix-up between the goalkeeper and defender Victor Lindelof – as the forward was picked out unmarked by Jesus Navas with a cross from the right. As Muriel reached the ball he seemed certain to plant his header, from no more than six yards, into the net but De Gea shot out an arm to block. It needed a double-take to believe what had happened. Muriel pressed his head against the post in disbelief for several seconds. When the half-time whistle blew soon after both Muriel and his team-mate Gabriel Mercado even took time to shake De Gea’s hand before he walked down the tunnel. Attempt Saved: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Luis Muriel, 45 + 1 min) There were more saves, relatively routine ones, from De Gea who turned away a skidding shot from Muriel, in the first half, and from Joaquin Correa after he jinked in from the right, and from Correa again as he attempted to bend the ball into the corner. But after his amazing save from Muriel it seemed Sevilla believed they had to find the precise finish and Clement Lenglet, Franco Vazquez and Muriel, again, were wasteful as they attempted that. It was summed up when Muriel crossed towards the far post and Correa appeared to have the chance to head home but was clearly mindful of De Gea scampering across and tried for too much power. Again it sailed over the bar. And what about Romelu Lukaku, United’s other big name? The striker was picked out by Sanchez with a clever lofted ball through, but despite having time and space he skied his volley high over the target. Then in the second half he controlled the ball with an arm before firing it into the net. It was rightly ruled out. And that was it. He did little else. David De Gea produced a stunning save to keep Man Utd in the game Credit: REUTERS In fact United only had a single shot on target and that was from McTominay, a first-time effort from outside the area, that was pushed away by goalkeeper Sergio Rico. Mourinho argued that the space opened up for United, but he must have been watching a different game. In this one he was indebted to Sevilla’s profligacy and the brilliance of De Gea. 10:03PM Jose Mourinho loves McTominay "OK. Decision at Old Trafford, it's a match in our house, I believe that Old Trafford misses a big European night. Of course we had last season but Europa League has a different meaning, and they can create similar atmosphere we had today and push us through a difficult match. "Can I hug you? [hugs Des Kelly] That's a question. I was in a press conference before and the questions were about Paul and I think the question should be about the kid. He was fantastic, did everything well, put lots of pressure on Banega which was important, always comfortable, simple in possession. He was brilliant. In my opinion the midfield started well and when Herrera came out, Paul worked hard." 9:42PM Team shapes Average touch positions (0 min) 9:38PM Paul Scholes "Bad game of football, a difficult watch to be honest. Job done for United, I think they'll be comfortable at Old Trafford." Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal 9:36PM Mourinho knows how setup a defence The 23rd clean sheet of the season for Man Utd. 9:35PM FULL TIME Not the most memorable of European nights. Sevilla are extremely medium, Man Utd didn't have enough to take anything home with them. There's something in Mourinho's team that doesn't quite click and this was another disjointed performance, albeit one that has produced the 0-0 he will have wanted. 9:34PM 90 mins +1 This game is done. Neither team really pushing for a goal, there's still no pace to the passing, it's a 0-0 game. 9:31PM 89 mins Rashford goes for the knuckle-ball, it flies off the mark and zips wide of the post. Banega off, Pizarro on. 9:31PM 88 mins Rashford wins a free-kick after a blatant foul 30 yards out. The replays of that Navas dive are painful viewing. 9:30PM 87 mins Sandro is involved straight away, links a pass and moves, Sevilla keep coming and Sarabia is played in behind! He pulls the ball back across the box - there must be a finish here! Sandro has to stop and turn a couple of times... and the shot is blocked. Navas comes steaming in to pick up the loose ball and goes flying over a tackle. The referee doesn't care and he's right because it's a dive. Boooooo! 9:28PM 85 mins Sandro is about to come on for Vazquez, but then Montella goes a bit mad on the touchline and decides to take off Muriel instead. The whole stadium seems perplexed by that change of heart but it makes sense. Striker for a striker. 9:25PM 83 mins 0-0 might seem like a decent result to take back to Old Trafford but it only takes one mistake and Sevilla to score from it and all of a sudden United need to score two. United are attacking now... and LUKAKU HAS SCORED! No he hasn't. It's a handball. Pogba's scooped pass for the assist there was superb. 9:23PM 81 mins Mata off for Martial. That'll give United some energy and speed on the wings for the final 10 minutes as they look for that crucial away goal. 9:21PM 78 mins Credit: REUTERS This picture gives you some idea of how close-range that De Gea save was earlier. You'd think it might concern Mourinho that the best thing United have done all night was stopping this header going in but the score is still 0-0 so who knows. I haven't won several European trophies, what do I know. 9:19PM 77 mins Rashford takes on Navas for pace but, somewhat unsurprisingly, isn't able to win that particular race. 9:17PM 75 mins Sanchez has been poor tonight. And actually, I'm not sure if I've seen him play well for Man Utd apart from that Yeovil game... he's doing too much and not sticking to his job on the left wing. Rashford comes on. 9:15PM 73 mins Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal None of these have been particularly close, except the two De Gea saved from close range. And they've just missed another! Muriel dances down the right and chips to the back post. Sarabia should really score from about four yards but heads over. That's a huge miss. 9:14PM 72 mins A cross from wide right is whipped low into the six yard box but Smalling makes sure Muriel can't get onto it. 9:13PM 70 mins Sevilla are painfully slow. It's so easy to shut them down and United are not having to work especially hard to do so. Lukaku holds off his man on the left, Sanchez takes the ball on and the pitch opens up for this United attack! There's a big chance here if Lukaku can find the pass... but a right footed pass across the pitch is easily cut out. 9:09PM 67 mins Banega goes for a knuckle ball, Juninho-style free-kick but De Gea catches easily. Lukaku does well to win a corner. 9:08PM 66 mins Correa comes inside from the left, goes past two players and then a stepover takes him into the area! He can shoot from here... but his shot flies into the stand. Another free-kick for Sevilla near the United box. 9:07PM 65 mins Banega hits a really good ball into the area... it's headed at goal from six yards... and De Gea saves again. This time it's a bit easier. Credit: REUTERS 9:05PM 63 mins Lukaku hits the wall. United keep some level of pressure up... but Sanchez and Pogba and Mata can't produce anything of note and Lukaku doesn't attack the cross with any real aggression. McTominay controls the ball well in the air, the Sevilla defender kicks his foot... aaaaand the referee gives a free-kick to Sevilla. Foul after foul after foul after foul. They're all so weak! Players falling over all the place. Put a lion on the pitch, see what happens. 9:03PM 61 mins More slow build up. The Sevilla fans boo, Sanchez is told where to go by McTominay after drifting inside the pitch but Sanchez's run towards the box is stopped by a slide tackle. United have a decent set piece position here. 9:01PM 59 mins United sit in their own defensive third, walking around the pitch as Sevilla jog their way forward. Muriel tries another shot at goal but puts it wide. De Gea wanders over, never worried about that one creeping in. Out: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Luis Muriel, 58 min) It'd be nice if Man Utd could do something exciting soon. Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal 8:59PM 56 mins Lukaku moves out to the right wing, dribbles past one man and then tries to pass across the box. It's aimed poorly and Sevilla come away with the ball, Lindelof pulls Vazquez's shirt and gives away a free-kick in the centre-circle. McTominay is fouled by Escudero... it's so scrappy. Both teams are slow in build up and then someone fouls someone else. Nothing comes from the free-kicks or corners. 8:56PM 54 mins Young tries to go past Sarabia but loses the ball and the counter-attack is on. Matic is caught behind the play, Muriel comes inside and shoots... but it's another corner. This is such a frustrating, scrappy game. A real Mourinho European match. He'll get them the result but it's far from beautiful flowing football. 8:54PM 52 mins Average touch positions (50 min) You can see why Mourinho needs Young to get forward. Sanchez is basically playing as a second striker and it's making United lopsided. Vazquez tries a shot from 20 yards but bends it way over the bar. 8:53PM 50 mins Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal 8:51PM 49 mins McTominay does well to shield the ball and link a few passes together in the midfield. Young overlaps and gets into the box, winning a corner. It seems that Mourinho has pushed his full-backs further forward in this half. Mata's first touch to kill the corner is amazing, he then sells a dummy to two defenders and chips into the centre but nobody is there. Sometimes Mata is ridiculously good. 8:49PM 47 mins Sandro (that guy Everton bought) is on the bench for Sevilla and has number 99 on his shirt. This. Ends. NOW! 8:48PM KICK OFF 2 Kick off 2 man utd "They don't look too threatening really," says Paul Scholes of Sevilla. I'd argue both look pretty tame. A 0-0 beckons! Or does it? Let's find out! 8:38PM De Gea praise from a proper goalkeeper This guy used to play in goal for Aberdeen, he knows what it means to face an onslaught of shots. David De Gea is incredible. What. A. Save. Don’t say “Anywhere else and it’s a goal.” or “He should score.” because nothing should detract from that save. From that range and with that power, he’s denied an almost certain goal. Just brilliant.— David Preece (@davidpreece12) February 21, 2018 8:35PM Sevilla's paper planes Credit: REUTERS 8:33PM That De Gea save Sure, the striker should have aimed towards the floor with this but I mean... come on. It's ludicrous that he can react quickly enough and get a strong enough arm at this shot to turn it over. It's astonishing. 8:32PM HALF TIME De Gea has just rescued Man Utd there. It should be 1-0 Sevilla. 8:32PM 45 mins +2 And more exciting! A long ball is read by Young, he cushions it with his first touch back to De Gea... and nobody picks it up! What are they playing at?! De Gea manages to hook the ball away before that becomes a tap in. Sevilla keep the pressure up, the ball is sent into the middle and MURIEL IS ALL ALONE! HE MUST SCORE OH MY HEAVENS LORDY LORDY WHAT A SAVE! That's an incredible save from De Gea! Muriel can't believe it! Attempt Saved: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Luis Muriel, 45 + 1 min) 8:30PM 45 mins +1 What a save by De Gea! The corner is headed to the back post, N'Zonzi tries a bicycle kick and it's turned at goal by another Sevilla player off the head. De Gea has to react instantly to dive and turn it over! 8:29PM 45 mins There are quite a few paper aeroplanes being thrown onto the pitch as United set up a corner. That corner goes so well that Sevilla are able to counter-attack quickly and win their own corner. Mourinho is furious. 8:27PM 43 mins Sanchez fouls Navas and is booked. It's harsh. Lukaku is back defending at right-back... Valencia hooks the ball away, Banega finds Correa... who does a little too much but does get a shot away! Low to the corner but De Gea saves. Valencia doesn't get close to Correa there. Keeper pick-up: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (David de Gea, 42 min) 8:25PM 41 mins Correa is in space wide left in the box but doesn't take his chance to shoot, controls, the defence gets back and his attempted flair pass is knocked behind for a corner. That turns into a goal kick. Sevilla are doing an awful lot without ever actually creating anything genuinely dangerous. 8:23PM 39 mins MCTOMINAAAAAAAAYYYYYYY has a shot saved from distance but it's a solid effort. The ball sits for him about 20 yards out in the kind of position that would make it a crime not to have a wee go. Rico is fairly comfortable with his save. Sevilla break forward but don't look too menacing again. Smalling heads a weak shot behind for a corner, Pogba clears. 8:22PM 37 mins Credit: GETTY IMAGES There he is. Meanwhile, Sevilla have a corner. Their crowd really dislikes many of the referee's decisions but it really does look like he's getting them all dead right. 8:19PM 35 mins McTominay lets me down and himself down and everyone down with a poor pass to Valencia, who has to work hard to win the 50/50 and then dives by the corner flag. The referee isn't having it, Sevilla play on and Vasquez is played in! Oooohhhhh he's a click away from controlling that and having an easy one-on-one but the ball runs past him and he wins a corner instead. Pogba fouls Banega in the centre-circle with a clumsy tackle. 8:17PM 33 mins Sanchez goes down off the ball as Mercado puts his arm out to block the run. There's nothing really in that either. The Sevilla crowd and team are getting a little wound up by the referee. Valencia has absolutely pied Correa with a shoulder drop and sprinted past him on the right but nothing comes of it. 8:15PM 31 mins Lukaku is being kicked around a little bit here. Sanchez points it out to the referee and convinces him to tell off Correa for... basically barging into him. Hmmm. There#s nothing in that for me, Clive. McTominay is having a decent game so far, his first touch is brilliant. 8:13PM 29 mins Correa has a bit of space on the left and dribbles into the penalty area after a superb first touch. He tricks his way into the box but doesn't get enough on his show and De Gea saves easily. 8:12PM 27 mins Credit: REUTERS United are slowly gaining more of the pitch, edging that defensive line further forward. 8:10PM 25 mins Lukaku is in! Great ball over the top, an even better run to get to it... and Lukaku punts his volleyed effort way over the bar. That's a really bad miss. If he had another go at it right now he'd bury it every time. 8:08PM 23 mins N'Zonzi is booked for catching Sanchez on the behind, or to be more specific, his buttock. Sanchez has felt that one, rolls around a bit and then tries to show everyone the wound he may have suffered before deciding maybe he shouldn't do that. The game is pretty scrappy now, both teams look organised and disciplined, though Sevilla are perhaps asking more of the questions. 8:05PM 20 mins Pogba's first involvement is to chase the ball down the right wing and lose it. He's in his dream midfield three now so there's no excuse if this doesn't work for him tonight. Young has to stay alert to head a long diagonal ball behind for a corner. Possession: Sevilla vs Man Utd 8:03PM 18 mins POGBA ALERT. POGBA ALERT. [dabs everywhere] Pogba is on the pitch. Mourinho's evil plans are in tatters. What are the odds he scores and does one of those "shhhhhhh!" celebrations? 8:02PM 17 mins Valencia carries the ball towards the box, Herrera overlaps and is into the box. The pass comes in, he back-heels across goal... and it's cleared away. Oh no! He's injured! Herrera's done for the night, having pulled a muscle with that little run. Darren Fletcher on commentary says "that looks terminal" but I'm not sure Herrera will die from the injury. I don't know for certain. But also I do. 8:01PM 16 mins Banega tries a long range effort but it's too high. Miss: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Éver Banega, 14 min) A chipped ball over the top towards Lukaku causes panic as Lenglet and Mercado struggle to cope with his strength and balance... but he can't take the ball down nor pass it to Mata and Sevilla deal with the situation well. Sevilla go forward quickly and get another shot away. This time it's wide. Miss: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Jesús Navas, 15 min) 7:57PM 13 mins Sanchez runs into space, controls and pushes the ball towards the box... but Navas speeds in (the one with the sharp blue eyes - don't act like you don't know) and shuts him down. 7:56PM 12 mins Sevilla taking their time with passes, United fall behind the halfway line to compact the midfield and Sevilla can't really go very far. United are effectively keeping them at arm's length. 7:53PM 9 mins Young does really well to stop Sarabia running directly at him and De Gea hits the ball long up the pitch. Valencia gets forward for a throw in, McTominay controls superbly and passes to Lukaku, who hits a ball out to the left wing and Sanchez gets his first touch! Corner to Man Utd. 7:51PM 6 mins Muriel is able to sprint past Smalling but although he's quicker to accelerate, the defender is able to hold him off and win the tackle. Correa tries a step over and goes down under a mistimed tackle from Mata. Sevilla are attacking with purpose here, passing the ball really nicely. 7:48PM 4 mins United have a lot of bodies behind the ball early on! Lukaku is the out-ball, tries to spin N'Zonzi but goes down and loses possession in the centre-circle. This is a definite 4-5-1 from United. Sevilla come forward, Muriel has the ball 25 yards out and tries a shot... SAVE by De Gea! That was a decent effort! 7:47PM 2 mins Sevilla win a corner early on, Banega whips it in but United defend well and get the second phase attack out for a throw. 7:45PM KICK OFF Sevilla kick off 7:42PM Here come the teams You can't even hear this song over the top of the Sevilla support. What a noise! 7:36PM This is genuinely excellent TV BT Sport making use of the expert pundits they have on offer is an absolute treat. I could watch Lampard and Scholes discuss the minute details of how to play in midfield, how they reacted after games, how they'd coach Pogba for the rest of the evening. Lampard has essentially said that Pogba needs to take some responsibility and can't rely on other people to reign him in when he goes wandering. "After Tottenham I wouldn't have slept but he's doing the same thing against Newcastle" is a rough paraphrase. 7:32PM More on Pogba "It's awareness and effort," continues Lampard, who knows exactly what it's like going from attacking midfield to a deeper role. This is great television, lovely stuff by the BT Sport lads. "We're still talking 18 months into his United career where his best position in the team is," says Scholes. "He's a player who scores goals, dictates the pace of the game. I don't think the team sets up to get the best out of Pogba," argues Ferdinand. 7:29PM Mourinho on Pogba This is from a BT Sport VT. "When you speak about Paul Pogba is a player who in his best moment had to stop twice, then when he's playing really well he is suspended." Pogba has been shunted out of momentum a couple of times this season and he's struggled ever so slightly in his last few games, trying to do a little too much. In a midfield two he needs to be a little bit better positionally. "It's all about defensive responsibility, Mourinho's trying to shock him", is what Frank Lampard thinks. 7:06PM Mourinho's reaction to Des Kelly's questions "Three questions and all about Paul?!" he asks after three questions about Paul Pogba's absence. Des knows what he's doing and laughs it off as he moves onto asking about the actual game. 7:03PM Mourinho's 4-3-3 Isn't that a thing. Scott McTominay is preferred to Paul Pogba, Juan Mata gets the nod over Anthony Martial and Mourinho changes to a 4-3-3, despite the clamour for him to do so much sooner to get more out of Pogba. Even Pogba has admitted he's better in a three but Mourinho isn't having it - a talent like that should be able to play in multiple systems, not only one which suits him alone. 6:46PM Do you like holidays? Do you like football? Well wait a darned minute there because I might have the perfect little thing for you to read! The 10 best European football away days Incredibly it doesn't include a trip to Pittodrie, Aberdeen but perhaps that is fair, since once you've attended a match there you never need to go another football game again. Wait, I mean you never want to go to another football game again. 6:39PM Sevilla starting lineup ONCE del #SevillaFC ante el @ManUtd_Es en la IDA de 1/8 de final de la @LigadeCampeones#vamosmisevilla#UCL#ThisIsSevillapic.twitter.com/fiz3jEbvp3— Sevilla Fútbol Club (@SevillaFC) February 21, 2018 6:38PM No Pogba - confirmed Controversial scenes, Clive. What's going on here then? Phenomenal scenes from Jose Mourinho. Martial dropped too. How #MUFC line up for tonight's #UCL clash with Sevilla... pic.twitter.com/7g80OaosMv— Manchester United (@ManUtd) February 21, 2018 6:25PM Good evening! Hello lovely humans, welcome to our liveblog for tonight's Champions League game featuring PAUL POGBA. [dabs everywhere] But wait - what's this? Pogba's on the bench?! That's what Jason Burt's heard and you can read all about it here. Could that switch make Man Utd more balanced on the pitch? Does it make them weaker? Who will dab? Why can't Jose Mourinho get the most out of Paul Pogba? Sevilla are fifth in La Liga and represent a real challenge for United tonight. They play some really nice football and have some excellent players - Ever Banega is an exceptional talent and has the potential to run the game. We'll find out the starting lineups shortly. Until then, let's all think about Pogba. And Romelu Lukaku - Sevilla aren't in the top six of the Premier League, which means he should be able to score against them.
World class is an over used term in football and maybe with Paul Pogba that has been the case but there is no doubt that Manchester United have at least one player worthy of that status as goalkeeper David De Gea once again demonstrated his importance as he kept his team in this Champions League tie. Two superb saves from headers, the second breathtaking, at the end of the first half denied Sevilla who had countless other opportunities against an at times over-run United side who nevertheless go into the second leg of this last-16 encounter on March 13 as favourites to progress into the quarter-finals. Or maybe not if they play like this because for all of Jose Mourinho’s post-match protestations about his team being in control that was simply not the case while it is dispiriting that, once more, the United manager’s pre-occupation was to try and stop the opposition rather than impose him team on them. The visitors looked pedestrian, conservative, restrained; a team lacking in verve. It was a far cry, for example, from the way Liverpool destroyed Porto away last week. And surely United cannot keep relying on De Gea? In fact Mourinho congratulated himself on how his midfield had controlled the Sevilla playmaker Ever Banega – not quite true – and he lauded his decision to field Scott McTominay from the start, and as competently as the promising young Scot did perform, he is an essentially destructive, rather than constructive, player. Credit: GETTY IMAGES On his return from illness Pogba was dropped, and that obviously caused quite a stir, but he had to be called on after just 18 minutes when Ander Herrera pulled up injured as he attempted a back-heel – much to Mourinho’s frustration. Pogba’s contribution was later distilled by his manager into one about working hard for the team – not quite effusive praise – while Mourinho also launched himself into an argument that all players have to work hard, and not being free spirits, when he was asked an innocuous question about Alexis Sanchez. Sanchez was far from his best on his return to Champions League football following his January move from Arsenal and was withdrawn before the end. And neither was Pogba much better. This was hugely disappointing. United’s alleged control was arguable for De Gea made eight saves in all from 25 attempts at goal by Sevilla – the most for a United goalkeeper in a Champions League game since Edwin van der Sar versus Barcelona in May 2011. Average touch positions (0 min) And Sevilla, fifth in La Liga, are no Barcelona of that or even this vintage. Whatever their attacking intent and desire to score under their new head coach Vincenzo Montella for whom this was only a second match in this competition against Mourinho’s 140 games. And yet United’s display smacked of a performance from a team set out by a manager more concerned about stopping the opposition than winning the game. But Mourinho is a master of the knockout competitions, or at least going deep into them, and will argue this kind of occasion is about managing the two matches. And not just the one. Get through this tie and his approach worked. But United were flat. They were underwhelming. Except for De Gea who was elevated to such an imposing status that it seemed to get into the heads of the Sevilla players who, after his two saves just before half-time, continued to play well, attack well but snatched at chances. The closer to De Gea they got, in fact, the less sure they became. They did not look like they believed they could beat him. He got bigger, the goal got smaller. Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal The first save was smart enough as De Gea flicked a powerful header from Steven Nzonzi over the bar, after the midfielder had reached an acrobatic overhead kick back across the penalty area by the lively striker, Luis Muriel. And then De Gea made that incredible save from Muriel – soon after mix-up between the goalkeeper and defender Victor Lindelof – as the forward was picked out unmarked by Jesus Navas with a cross from the right. As Muriel reached the ball he seemed certain to plant his header, from no more than six yards, into the net but De Gea shot out an arm to block. It needed a double-take to believe what had happened. Muriel pressed his head against the post in disbelief for several seconds. When the half-time whistle blew soon after both Muriel and his team-mate Gabriel Mercado even took time to shake De Gea’s hand before he walked down the tunnel. Attempt Saved: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Luis Muriel, 45 + 1 min) There were more saves, relatively routine ones, from De Gea who turned away a skidding shot from Muriel, in the first half, and from Joaquin Correa after he jinked in from the right, and from Correa again as he attempted to bend the ball into the corner. But after his amazing save from Muriel it seemed Sevilla believed they had to find the precise finish and Clement Lenglet, Franco Vazquez and Muriel, again, were wasteful as they attempted that. It was summed up when Muriel crossed towards the far post and Correa appeared to have the chance to head home but was clearly mindful of De Gea scampering across and tried for too much power. Again it sailed over the bar. And what about Romelu Lukaku, United’s other big name? The striker was picked out by Sanchez with a clever lofted ball through, but despite having time and space he skied his volley high over the target. Then in the second half he controlled the ball with an arm before firing it into the net. It was rightly ruled out. And that was it. He did little else. David De Gea produced a stunning save to keep Man Utd in the game Credit: REUTERS In fact United only had a single shot on target and that was from McTominay, a first-time effort from outside the area, that was pushed away by goalkeeper Sergio Rico. Mourinho argued that the space opened up for United, but he must have been watching a different game. In this one he was indebted to Sevilla’s profligacy and the brilliance of De Gea. 10:03PM Jose Mourinho loves McTominay &quot;OK. Decision at Old Trafford, it&#39;s a match in our house, I believe that Old Trafford misses a big European night. Of course we had last season but Europa League has a different meaning, and they can create similar atmosphere we had today and push us through a difficult match. &quot;Can I hug you? [hugs Des Kelly] That&#39;s a question. I was in a press conference before and the questions were about Paul and I think the question should be about the kid. He was fantastic, did everything well, put lots of pressure on Banega which was important, always comfortable, simple in possession. He was brilliant. In my opinion the midfield started well and when Herrera came out, Paul worked hard.&quot; 9:42PM Team shapes Average touch positions (0 min) 9:38PM Paul Scholes &quot;Bad game of football, a difficult watch to be honest. Job done for United, I think they&#39;ll be comfortable at Old Trafford.&quot; Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal 9:36PM Mourinho knows how setup a defence The 23rd clean sheet of the season for Man Utd. 9:35PM FULL TIME Not the most memorable of European nights. Sevilla are extremely medium, Man Utd didn&#39;t have enough to take anything home with them. There&#39;s something in Mourinho&#39;s team that doesn&#39;t quite click and this was another disjointed performance, albeit one that has produced the 0-0 he will have wanted. 9:34PM 90 mins +1 This game is done. Neither team really pushing for a goal, there&#39;s still no pace to the passing, it&#39;s a 0-0 game. 9:31PM 89 mins Rashford goes for the knuckle-ball, it flies off the mark and zips wide of the post. Banega off, Pizarro on. 9:31PM 88 mins Rashford wins a free-kick after a blatant foul 30 yards out. The replays of that Navas dive are painful viewing. 9:30PM 87 mins Sandro is involved straight away, links a pass and moves, Sevilla keep coming and Sarabia is played in behind! He pulls the ball back across the box - there must be a finish here! Sandro has to stop and turn a couple of times... and the shot is blocked. Navas comes steaming in to pick up the loose ball and goes flying over a tackle. The referee doesn&#39;t care and he&#39;s right because it&#39;s a dive. Boooooo! 9:28PM 85 mins Sandro is about to come on for Vazquez, but then Montella goes a bit mad on the touchline and decides to take off Muriel instead. The whole stadium seems perplexed by that change of heart but it makes sense. Striker for a striker. 9:25PM 83 mins 0-0 might seem like a decent result to take back to Old Trafford but it only takes one mistake and Sevilla to score from it and all of a sudden United need to score two. United are attacking now... and LUKAKU HAS SCORED! No he hasn&#39;t. It&#39;s a handball. Pogba&#39;s scooped pass for the assist there was superb. 9:23PM 81 mins Mata off for Martial. That&#39;ll give United some energy and speed on the wings for the final 10 minutes as they look for that crucial away goal. 9:21PM 78 mins Credit: REUTERS This picture gives you some idea of how close-range that De Gea save was earlier. You&#39;d think it might concern Mourinho that the best thing United have done all night was stopping this header going in but the score is still 0-0 so who knows. I haven&#39;t won several European trophies, what do I know. 9:19PM 77 mins Rashford takes on Navas for pace but, somewhat unsurprisingly, isn&#39;t able to win that particular race. 9:17PM 75 mins Sanchez has been poor tonight. And actually, I&#39;m not sure if I&#39;ve seen him play well for Man Utd apart from that Yeovil game... he&#39;s doing too much and not sticking to his job on the left wing. Rashford comes on. 9:15PM 73 mins Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal None of these have been particularly close, except the two De Gea saved from close range. And they&#39;ve just missed another! Muriel dances down the right and chips to the back post. Sarabia should really score from about four yards but heads over. That&#39;s a huge miss. 9:14PM 72 mins A cross from wide right is whipped low into the six yard box but Smalling makes sure Muriel can&#39;t get onto it. 9:13PM 70 mins Sevilla are painfully slow. It&#39;s so easy to shut them down and United are not having to work especially hard to do so. Lukaku holds off his man on the left, Sanchez takes the ball on and the pitch opens up for this United attack! There&#39;s a big chance here if Lukaku can find the pass... but a right footed pass across the pitch is easily cut out. 9:09PM 67 mins Banega goes for a knuckle ball, Juninho-style free-kick but De Gea catches easily. Lukaku does well to win a corner. 9:08PM 66 mins Correa comes inside from the left, goes past two players and then a stepover takes him into the area! He can shoot from here... but his shot flies into the stand. Another free-kick for Sevilla near the United box. 9:07PM 65 mins Banega hits a really good ball into the area... it&#39;s headed at goal from six yards... and De Gea saves again. This time it&#39;s a bit easier. Credit: REUTERS 9:05PM 63 mins Lukaku hits the wall. United keep some level of pressure up... but Sanchez and Pogba and Mata can&#39;t produce anything of note and Lukaku doesn&#39;t attack the cross with any real aggression. McTominay controls the ball well in the air, the Sevilla defender kicks his foot... aaaaand the referee gives a free-kick to Sevilla. Foul after foul after foul after foul. They&#39;re all so weak! Players falling over all the place. Put a lion on the pitch, see what happens. 9:03PM 61 mins More slow build up. The Sevilla fans boo, Sanchez is told where to go by McTominay after drifting inside the pitch but Sanchez&#39;s run towards the box is stopped by a slide tackle. United have a decent set piece position here. 9:01PM 59 mins United sit in their own defensive third, walking around the pitch as Sevilla jog their way forward. Muriel tries another shot at goal but puts it wide. De Gea wanders over, never worried about that one creeping in. Out: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Luis Muriel, 58 min) It&#39;d be nice if Man Utd could do something exciting soon. Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal 8:59PM 56 mins Lukaku moves out to the right wing, dribbles past one man and then tries to pass across the box. It&#39;s aimed poorly and Sevilla come away with the ball, Lindelof pulls Vazquez&#39;s shirt and gives away a free-kick in the centre-circle. McTominay is fouled by Escudero... it&#39;s so scrappy. Both teams are slow in build up and then someone fouls someone else. Nothing comes from the free-kicks or corners. 8:56PM 54 mins Young tries to go past Sarabia but loses the ball and the counter-attack is on. Matic is caught behind the play, Muriel comes inside and shoots... but it&#39;s another corner. This is such a frustrating, scrappy game. A real Mourinho European match. He&#39;ll get them the result but it&#39;s far from beautiful flowing football. 8:54PM 52 mins Average touch positions (50 min) You can see why Mourinho needs Young to get forward. Sanchez is basically playing as a second striker and it&#39;s making United lopsided. Vazquez tries a shot from 20 yards but bends it way over the bar. 8:53PM 50 mins Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal 8:51PM 49 mins McTominay does well to shield the ball and link a few passes together in the midfield. Young overlaps and gets into the box, winning a corner. It seems that Mourinho has pushed his full-backs further forward in this half. Mata&#39;s first touch to kill the corner is amazing, he then sells a dummy to two defenders and chips into the centre but nobody is there. Sometimes Mata is ridiculously good. 8:49PM 47 mins Sandro (that guy Everton bought) is on the bench for Sevilla and has number 99 on his shirt. This. Ends. NOW! 8:48PM KICK OFF 2 Kick off 2 man utd &quot;They don&#39;t look too threatening really,&quot; says Paul Scholes of Sevilla. I&#39;d argue both look pretty tame. A 0-0 beckons! Or does it? Let&#39;s find out! 8:38PM De Gea praise from a proper goalkeeper This guy used to play in goal for Aberdeen, he knows what it means to face an onslaught of shots. David De Gea is incredible. What. A. Save. Don’t say “Anywhere else and it’s a goal.” or “He should score.” because nothing should detract from that save. From that range and with that power, he’s denied an almost certain goal. Just brilliant.— David Preece (@davidpreece12) February 21, 2018 8:35PM Sevilla&#39;s paper planes Credit: REUTERS 8:33PM That De Gea save Sure, the striker should have aimed towards the floor with this but I mean... come on. It&#39;s ludicrous that he can react quickly enough and get a strong enough arm at this shot to turn it over. It&#39;s astonishing. 8:32PM HALF TIME De Gea has just rescued Man Utd there. It should be 1-0 Sevilla. 8:32PM 45 mins +2 And more exciting! A long ball is read by Young, he cushions it with his first touch back to De Gea... and nobody picks it up! What are they playing at?! De Gea manages to hook the ball away before that becomes a tap in. Sevilla keep the pressure up, the ball is sent into the middle and MURIEL IS ALL ALONE! HE MUST SCORE OH MY HEAVENS LORDY LORDY WHAT A SAVE! That&#39;s an incredible save from De Gea! Muriel can&#39;t believe it! Attempt Saved: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Luis Muriel, 45 + 1 min) 8:30PM 45 mins +1 What a save by De Gea! The corner is headed to the back post, N&#39;Zonzi tries a bicycle kick and it&#39;s turned at goal by another Sevilla player off the head. De Gea has to react instantly to dive and turn it over! 8:29PM 45 mins There are quite a few paper aeroplanes being thrown onto the pitch as United set up a corner. That corner goes so well that Sevilla are able to counter-attack quickly and win their own corner. Mourinho is furious. 8:27PM 43 mins Sanchez fouls Navas and is booked. It&#39;s harsh. Lukaku is back defending at right-back... Valencia hooks the ball away, Banega finds Correa... who does a little too much but does get a shot away! Low to the corner but De Gea saves. Valencia doesn&#39;t get close to Correa there. Keeper pick-up: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (David de Gea, 42 min) 8:25PM 41 mins Correa is in space wide left in the box but doesn&#39;t take his chance to shoot, controls, the defence gets back and his attempted flair pass is knocked behind for a corner. That turns into a goal kick. Sevilla are doing an awful lot without ever actually creating anything genuinely dangerous. 8:23PM 39 mins MCTOMINAAAAAAAAYYYYYYY has a shot saved from distance but it&#39;s a solid effort. The ball sits for him about 20 yards out in the kind of position that would make it a crime not to have a wee go. Rico is fairly comfortable with his save. Sevilla break forward but don&#39;t look too menacing again. Smalling heads a weak shot behind for a corner, Pogba clears. 8:22PM 37 mins Credit: GETTY IMAGES There he is. Meanwhile, Sevilla have a corner. Their crowd really dislikes many of the referee&#39;s decisions but it really does look like he&#39;s getting them all dead right. 8:19PM 35 mins McTominay lets me down and himself down and everyone down with a poor pass to Valencia, who has to work hard to win the 50/50 and then dives by the corner flag. The referee isn&#39;t having it, Sevilla play on and Vasquez is played in! Oooohhhhh he&#39;s a click away from controlling that and having an easy one-on-one but the ball runs past him and he wins a corner instead. Pogba fouls Banega in the centre-circle with a clumsy tackle. 8:17PM 33 mins Sanchez goes down off the ball as Mercado puts his arm out to block the run. There&#39;s nothing really in that either. The Sevilla crowd and team are getting a little wound up by the referee. Valencia has absolutely pied Correa with a shoulder drop and sprinted past him on the right but nothing comes of it. 8:15PM 31 mins Lukaku is being kicked around a little bit here. Sanchez points it out to the referee and convinces him to tell off Correa for... basically barging into him. Hmmm. There#s nothing in that for me, Clive. McTominay is having a decent game so far, his first touch is brilliant. 8:13PM 29 mins Correa has a bit of space on the left and dribbles into the penalty area after a superb first touch. He tricks his way into the box but doesn&#39;t get enough on his show and De Gea saves easily. 8:12PM 27 mins Credit: REUTERS United are slowly gaining more of the pitch, edging that defensive line further forward. 8:10PM 25 mins Lukaku is in! Great ball over the top, an even better run to get to it... and Lukaku punts his volleyed effort way over the bar. That&#39;s a really bad miss. If he had another go at it right now he&#39;d bury it every time. 8:08PM 23 mins N&#39;Zonzi is booked for catching Sanchez on the behind, or to be more specific, his buttock. Sanchez has felt that one, rolls around a bit and then tries to show everyone the wound he may have suffered before deciding maybe he shouldn&#39;t do that. The game is pretty scrappy now, both teams look organised and disciplined, though Sevilla are perhaps asking more of the questions. 8:05PM 20 mins Pogba&#39;s first involvement is to chase the ball down the right wing and lose it. He&#39;s in his dream midfield three now so there&#39;s no excuse if this doesn&#39;t work for him tonight. Young has to stay alert to head a long diagonal ball behind for a corner. Possession: Sevilla vs Man Utd 8:03PM 18 mins POGBA ALERT. POGBA ALERT. [dabs everywhere] Pogba is on the pitch. Mourinho&#39;s evil plans are in tatters. What are the odds he scores and does one of those &quot;shhhhhhh!&quot; celebrations? 8:02PM 17 mins Valencia carries the ball towards the box, Herrera overlaps and is into the box. The pass comes in, he back-heels across goal... and it&#39;s cleared away. Oh no! He&#39;s injured! Herrera&#39;s done for the night, having pulled a muscle with that little run. Darren Fletcher on commentary says &quot;that looks terminal&quot; but I&#39;m not sure Herrera will die from the injury. I don&#39;t know for certain. But also I do. 8:01PM 16 mins Banega tries a long range effort but it&#39;s too high. Miss: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Éver Banega, 14 min) A chipped ball over the top towards Lukaku causes panic as Lenglet and Mercado struggle to cope with his strength and balance... but he can&#39;t take the ball down nor pass it to Mata and Sevilla deal with the situation well. Sevilla go forward quickly and get another shot away. This time it&#39;s wide. Miss: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Jesús Navas, 15 min) 7:57PM 13 mins Sanchez runs into space, controls and pushes the ball towards the box... but Navas speeds in (the one with the sharp blue eyes - don&#39;t act like you don&#39;t know) and shuts him down. 7:56PM 12 mins Sevilla taking their time with passes, United fall behind the halfway line to compact the midfield and Sevilla can&#39;t really go very far. United are effectively keeping them at arm&#39;s length. 7:53PM 9 mins Young does really well to stop Sarabia running directly at him and De Gea hits the ball long up the pitch. Valencia gets forward for a throw in, McTominay controls superbly and passes to Lukaku, who hits a ball out to the left wing and Sanchez gets his first touch! Corner to Man Utd. 7:51PM 6 mins Muriel is able to sprint past Smalling but although he&#39;s quicker to accelerate, the defender is able to hold him off and win the tackle. Correa tries a step over and goes down under a mistimed tackle from Mata. Sevilla are attacking with purpose here, passing the ball really nicely. 7:48PM 4 mins United have a lot of bodies behind the ball early on! Lukaku is the out-ball, tries to spin N&#39;Zonzi but goes down and loses possession in the centre-circle. This is a definite 4-5-1 from United. Sevilla come forward, Muriel has the ball 25 yards out and tries a shot... SAVE by De Gea! That was a decent effort! 7:47PM 2 mins Sevilla win a corner early on, Banega whips it in but United defend well and get the second phase attack out for a throw. 7:45PM KICK OFF Sevilla kick off 7:42PM Here come the teams You can&#39;t even hear this song over the top of the Sevilla support. What a noise! 7:36PM This is genuinely excellent TV BT Sport making use of the expert pundits they have on offer is an absolute treat. I could watch Lampard and Scholes discuss the minute details of how to play in midfield, how they reacted after games, how they&#39;d coach Pogba for the rest of the evening. Lampard has essentially said that Pogba needs to take some responsibility and can&#39;t rely on other people to reign him in when he goes wandering. &quot;After Tottenham I wouldn&#39;t have slept but he&#39;s doing the same thing against Newcastle&quot; is a rough paraphrase. 7:32PM More on Pogba &quot;It&#39;s awareness and effort,&quot; continues Lampard, who knows exactly what it&#39;s like going from attacking midfield to a deeper role. This is great television, lovely stuff by the BT Sport lads. &quot;We&#39;re still talking 18 months into his United career where his best position in the team is,&quot; says Scholes. &quot;He&#39;s a player who scores goals, dictates the pace of the game. I don&#39;t think the team sets up to get the best out of Pogba,&quot; argues Ferdinand. 7:29PM Mourinho on Pogba This is from a BT Sport VT. &quot;When you speak about Paul Pogba is a player who in his best moment had to stop twice, then when he&#39;s playing really well he is suspended.&quot; Pogba has been shunted out of momentum a couple of times this season and he&#39;s struggled ever so slightly in his last few games, trying to do a little too much. In a midfield two he needs to be a little bit better positionally. &quot;It&#39;s all about defensive responsibility, Mourinho&#39;s trying to shock him&quot;, is what Frank Lampard thinks. 7:06PM Mourinho&#39;s reaction to Des Kelly&#39;s questions &quot;Three questions and all about Paul?!&quot; he asks after three questions about Paul Pogba&#39;s absence. Des knows what he&#39;s doing and laughs it off as he moves onto asking about the actual game. 7:03PM Mourinho&#39;s 4-3-3 Isn&#39;t that a thing. Scott McTominay is preferred to Paul Pogba, Juan Mata gets the nod over Anthony Martial and Mourinho changes to a 4-3-3, despite the clamour for him to do so much sooner to get more out of Pogba. Even Pogba has admitted he&#39;s better in a three but Mourinho isn&#39;t having it - a talent like that should be able to play in multiple systems, not only one which suits him alone. 6:46PM Do you like holidays? Do you like football? Well wait a darned minute there because I might have the perfect little thing for you to read! The 10 best European football away days Incredibly it doesn&#39;t include a trip to Pittodrie, Aberdeen but perhaps that is fair, since once you&#39;ve attended a match there you never need to go another football game again. Wait, I mean you never want to go to another football game again. 6:39PM Sevilla starting lineup ONCE del #SevillaFC ante el @ManUtd_Es en la IDA de 1/8 de final de la @LigadeCampeones#vamosmisevilla#UCL#ThisIsSevillapic.twitter.com/fiz3jEbvp3— Sevilla Fútbol Club (@SevillaFC) February 21, 2018 6:38PM No Pogba - confirmed Controversial scenes, Clive. What&#39;s going on here then? Phenomenal scenes from Jose Mourinho. Martial dropped too. How #MUFC line up for tonight&#39;s #UCL clash with Sevilla... pic.twitter.com/7g80OaosMv— Manchester United (@ManUtd) February 21, 2018 6:25PM Good evening! Hello lovely humans, welcome to our liveblog for tonight&#39;s Champions League game featuring PAUL POGBA. [dabs everywhere] But wait - what&#39;s this? Pogba&#39;s on the bench?! That&#39;s what Jason Burt&#39;s heard and you can read all about it here. Could that switch make Man Utd more balanced on the pitch? Does it make them weaker? Who will dab? Why can&#39;t Jose Mourinho get the most out of Paul Pogba? Sevilla are fifth in La Liga and represent a real challenge for United tonight. They play some really nice football and have some excellent players - Ever Banega is an exceptional talent and has the potential to run the game. We&#39;ll find out the starting lineups shortly. Until then, let&#39;s all think about Pogba. And Romelu Lukaku - Sevilla aren&#39;t in the top six of the Premier League, which means he should be able to score against them.
Sevilla 0 Man Utd 0: David De Gea produces stunning save as United get job done against wasteful hosts
World class is an over used term in football and maybe with Paul Pogba that has been the case but there is no doubt that Manchester United have at least one player worthy of that status as goalkeeper David De Gea once again demonstrated his importance as he kept his team in this Champions League tie. Two superb saves from headers, the second breathtaking, at the end of the first half denied Sevilla who had countless other opportunities against an at times over-run United side who nevertheless go into the second leg of this last-16 encounter on March 13 as favourites to progress into the quarter-finals. Or maybe not if they play like this because for all of Jose Mourinho’s post-match protestations about his team being in control that was simply not the case while it is dispiriting that, once more, the United manager’s pre-occupation was to try and stop the opposition rather than impose him team on them. The visitors looked pedestrian, conservative, restrained; a team lacking in verve. It was a far cry, for example, from the way Liverpool destroyed Porto away last week. And surely United cannot keep relying on De Gea? In fact Mourinho congratulated himself on how his midfield had controlled the Sevilla playmaker Ever Banega – not quite true – and he lauded his decision to field Scott McTominay from the start, and as competently as the promising young Scot did perform, he is an essentially destructive, rather than constructive, player. Credit: GETTY IMAGES On his return from illness Pogba was dropped, and that obviously caused quite a stir, but he had to be called on after just 18 minutes when Ander Herrera pulled up injured as he attempted a back-heel – much to Mourinho’s frustration. Pogba’s contribution was later distilled by his manager into one about working hard for the team – not quite effusive praise – while Mourinho also launched himself into an argument that all players have to work hard, and not being free spirits, when he was asked an innocuous question about Alexis Sanchez. Sanchez was far from his best on his return to Champions League football following his January move from Arsenal and was withdrawn before the end. And neither was Pogba much better. This was hugely disappointing. United’s alleged control was arguable for De Gea made eight saves in all from 25 attempts at goal by Sevilla – the most for a United goalkeeper in a Champions League game since Edwin van der Sar versus Barcelona in May 2011. Average touch positions (0 min) And Sevilla, fifth in La Liga, are no Barcelona of that or even this vintage. Whatever their attacking intent and desire to score under their new head coach Vincenzo Montella for whom this was only a second match in this competition against Mourinho’s 140 games. And yet United’s display smacked of a performance from a team set out by a manager more concerned about stopping the opposition than winning the game. But Mourinho is a master of the knockout competitions, or at least going deep into them, and will argue this kind of occasion is about managing the two matches. And not just the one. Get through this tie and his approach worked. But United were flat. They were underwhelming. Except for De Gea who was elevated to such an imposing status that it seemed to get into the heads of the Sevilla players who, after his two saves just before half-time, continued to play well, attack well but snatched at chances. The closer to De Gea they got, in fact, the less sure they became. They did not look like they believed they could beat him. He got bigger, the goal got smaller. Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal The first save was smart enough as De Gea flicked a powerful header from Steven Nzonzi over the bar, after the midfielder had reached an acrobatic overhead kick back across the penalty area by the lively striker, Luis Muriel. And then De Gea made that incredible save from Muriel – soon after mix-up between the goalkeeper and defender Victor Lindelof – as the forward was picked out unmarked by Jesus Navas with a cross from the right. As Muriel reached the ball he seemed certain to plant his header, from no more than six yards, into the net but De Gea shot out an arm to block. It needed a double-take to believe what had happened. Muriel pressed his head against the post in disbelief for several seconds. When the half-time whistle blew soon after both Muriel and his team-mate Gabriel Mercado even took time to shake De Gea’s hand before he walked down the tunnel. Attempt Saved: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Luis Muriel, 45 + 1 min) There were more saves, relatively routine ones, from De Gea who turned away a skidding shot from Muriel, in the first half, and from Joaquin Correa after he jinked in from the right, and from Correa again as he attempted to bend the ball into the corner. But after his amazing save from Muriel it seemed Sevilla believed they had to find the precise finish and Clement Lenglet, Franco Vazquez and Muriel, again, were wasteful as they attempted that. It was summed up when Muriel crossed towards the far post and Correa appeared to have the chance to head home but was clearly mindful of De Gea scampering across and tried for too much power. Again it sailed over the bar. And what about Romelu Lukaku, United’s other big name? The striker was picked out by Sanchez with a clever lofted ball through, but despite having time and space he skied his volley high over the target. Then in the second half he controlled the ball with an arm before firing it into the net. It was rightly ruled out. And that was it. He did little else. David De Gea produced a stunning save to keep Man Utd in the game Credit: REUTERS In fact United only had a single shot on target and that was from McTominay, a first-time effort from outside the area, that was pushed away by goalkeeper Sergio Rico. Mourinho argued that the space opened up for United, but he must have been watching a different game. In this one he was indebted to Sevilla’s profligacy and the brilliance of De Gea. 10:03PM Jose Mourinho loves McTominay "OK. Decision at Old Trafford, it's a match in our house, I believe that Old Trafford misses a big European night. Of course we had last season but Europa League has a different meaning, and they can create similar atmosphere we had today and push us through a difficult match. "Can I hug you? [hugs Des Kelly] That's a question. I was in a press conference before and the questions were about Paul and I think the question should be about the kid. He was fantastic, did everything well, put lots of pressure on Banega which was important, always comfortable, simple in possession. He was brilliant. In my opinion the midfield started well and when Herrera came out, Paul worked hard." 9:42PM Team shapes Average touch positions (0 min) 9:38PM Paul Scholes "Bad game of football, a difficult watch to be honest. Job done for United, I think they'll be comfortable at Old Trafford." Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal 9:36PM Mourinho knows how setup a defence The 23rd clean sheet of the season for Man Utd. 9:35PM FULL TIME Not the most memorable of European nights. Sevilla are extremely medium, Man Utd didn't have enough to take anything home with them. There's something in Mourinho's team that doesn't quite click and this was another disjointed performance, albeit one that has produced the 0-0 he will have wanted. 9:34PM 90 mins +1 This game is done. Neither team really pushing for a goal, there's still no pace to the passing, it's a 0-0 game. 9:31PM 89 mins Rashford goes for the knuckle-ball, it flies off the mark and zips wide of the post. Banega off, Pizarro on. 9:31PM 88 mins Rashford wins a free-kick after a blatant foul 30 yards out. The replays of that Navas dive are painful viewing. 9:30PM 87 mins Sandro is involved straight away, links a pass and moves, Sevilla keep coming and Sarabia is played in behind! He pulls the ball back across the box - there must be a finish here! Sandro has to stop and turn a couple of times... and the shot is blocked. Navas comes steaming in to pick up the loose ball and goes flying over a tackle. The referee doesn't care and he's right because it's a dive. Boooooo! 9:28PM 85 mins Sandro is about to come on for Vazquez, but then Montella goes a bit mad on the touchline and decides to take off Muriel instead. The whole stadium seems perplexed by that change of heart but it makes sense. Striker for a striker. 9:25PM 83 mins 0-0 might seem like a decent result to take back to Old Trafford but it only takes one mistake and Sevilla to score from it and all of a sudden United need to score two. United are attacking now... and LUKAKU HAS SCORED! No he hasn't. It's a handball. Pogba's scooped pass for the assist there was superb. 9:23PM 81 mins Mata off for Martial. That'll give United some energy and speed on the wings for the final 10 minutes as they look for that crucial away goal. 9:21PM 78 mins Credit: REUTERS This picture gives you some idea of how close-range that De Gea save was earlier. You'd think it might concern Mourinho that the best thing United have done all night was stopping this header going in but the score is still 0-0 so who knows. I haven't won several European trophies, what do I know. 9:19PM 77 mins Rashford takes on Navas for pace but, somewhat unsurprisingly, isn't able to win that particular race. 9:17PM 75 mins Sanchez has been poor tonight. And actually, I'm not sure if I've seen him play well for Man Utd apart from that Yeovil game... he's doing too much and not sticking to his job on the left wing. Rashford comes on. 9:15PM 73 mins Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal None of these have been particularly close, except the two De Gea saved from close range. And they've just missed another! Muriel dances down the right and chips to the back post. Sarabia should really score from about four yards but heads over. That's a huge miss. 9:14PM 72 mins A cross from wide right is whipped low into the six yard box but Smalling makes sure Muriel can't get onto it. 9:13PM 70 mins Sevilla are painfully slow. It's so easy to shut them down and United are not having to work especially hard to do so. Lukaku holds off his man on the left, Sanchez takes the ball on and the pitch opens up for this United attack! There's a big chance here if Lukaku can find the pass... but a right footed pass across the pitch is easily cut out. 9:09PM 67 mins Banega goes for a knuckle ball, Juninho-style free-kick but De Gea catches easily. Lukaku does well to win a corner. 9:08PM 66 mins Correa comes inside from the left, goes past two players and then a stepover takes him into the area! He can shoot from here... but his shot flies into the stand. Another free-kick for Sevilla near the United box. 9:07PM 65 mins Banega hits a really good ball into the area... it's headed at goal from six yards... and De Gea saves again. This time it's a bit easier. Credit: REUTERS 9:05PM 63 mins Lukaku hits the wall. United keep some level of pressure up... but Sanchez and Pogba and Mata can't produce anything of note and Lukaku doesn't attack the cross with any real aggression. McTominay controls the ball well in the air, the Sevilla defender kicks his foot... aaaaand the referee gives a free-kick to Sevilla. Foul after foul after foul after foul. They're all so weak! Players falling over all the place. Put a lion on the pitch, see what happens. 9:03PM 61 mins More slow build up. The Sevilla fans boo, Sanchez is told where to go by McTominay after drifting inside the pitch but Sanchez's run towards the box is stopped by a slide tackle. United have a decent set piece position here. 9:01PM 59 mins United sit in their own defensive third, walking around the pitch as Sevilla jog their way forward. Muriel tries another shot at goal but puts it wide. De Gea wanders over, never worried about that one creeping in. Out: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Luis Muriel, 58 min) It'd be nice if Man Utd could do something exciting soon. Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal 8:59PM 56 mins Lukaku moves out to the right wing, dribbles past one man and then tries to pass across the box. It's aimed poorly and Sevilla come away with the ball, Lindelof pulls Vazquez's shirt and gives away a free-kick in the centre-circle. McTominay is fouled by Escudero... it's so scrappy. Both teams are slow in build up and then someone fouls someone else. Nothing comes from the free-kicks or corners. 8:56PM 54 mins Young tries to go past Sarabia but loses the ball and the counter-attack is on. Matic is caught behind the play, Muriel comes inside and shoots... but it's another corner. This is such a frustrating, scrappy game. A real Mourinho European match. He'll get them the result but it's far from beautiful flowing football. 8:54PM 52 mins Average touch positions (50 min) You can see why Mourinho needs Young to get forward. Sanchez is basically playing as a second striker and it's making United lopsided. Vazquez tries a shot from 20 yards but bends it way over the bar. 8:53PM 50 mins Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal 8:51PM 49 mins McTominay does well to shield the ball and link a few passes together in the midfield. Young overlaps and gets into the box, winning a corner. It seems that Mourinho has pushed his full-backs further forward in this half. Mata's first touch to kill the corner is amazing, he then sells a dummy to two defenders and chips into the centre but nobody is there. Sometimes Mata is ridiculously good. 8:49PM 47 mins Sandro (that guy Everton bought) is on the bench for Sevilla and has number 99 on his shirt. This. Ends. NOW! 8:48PM KICK OFF 2 Kick off 2 man utd "They don't look too threatening really," says Paul Scholes of Sevilla. I'd argue both look pretty tame. A 0-0 beckons! Or does it? Let's find out! 8:38PM De Gea praise from a proper goalkeeper This guy used to play in goal for Aberdeen, he knows what it means to face an onslaught of shots. David De Gea is incredible. What. A. Save. Don’t say “Anywhere else and it’s a goal.” or “He should score.” because nothing should detract from that save. From that range and with that power, he’s denied an almost certain goal. Just brilliant.— David Preece (@davidpreece12) February 21, 2018 8:35PM Sevilla's paper planes Credit: REUTERS 8:33PM That De Gea save Sure, the striker should have aimed towards the floor with this but I mean... come on. It's ludicrous that he can react quickly enough and get a strong enough arm at this shot to turn it over. It's astonishing. 8:32PM HALF TIME De Gea has just rescued Man Utd there. It should be 1-0 Sevilla. 8:32PM 45 mins +2 And more exciting! A long ball is read by Young, he cushions it with his first touch back to De Gea... and nobody picks it up! What are they playing at?! De Gea manages to hook the ball away before that becomes a tap in. Sevilla keep the pressure up, the ball is sent into the middle and MURIEL IS ALL ALONE! HE MUST SCORE OH MY HEAVENS LORDY LORDY WHAT A SAVE! That's an incredible save from De Gea! Muriel can't believe it! Attempt Saved: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Luis Muriel, 45 + 1 min) 8:30PM 45 mins +1 What a save by De Gea! The corner is headed to the back post, N'Zonzi tries a bicycle kick and it's turned at goal by another Sevilla player off the head. De Gea has to react instantly to dive and turn it over! 8:29PM 45 mins There are quite a few paper aeroplanes being thrown onto the pitch as United set up a corner. That corner goes so well that Sevilla are able to counter-attack quickly and win their own corner. Mourinho is furious. 8:27PM 43 mins Sanchez fouls Navas and is booked. It's harsh. Lukaku is back defending at right-back... Valencia hooks the ball away, Banega finds Correa... who does a little too much but does get a shot away! Low to the corner but De Gea saves. Valencia doesn't get close to Correa there. Keeper pick-up: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (David de Gea, 42 min) 8:25PM 41 mins Correa is in space wide left in the box but doesn't take his chance to shoot, controls, the defence gets back and his attempted flair pass is knocked behind for a corner. That turns into a goal kick. Sevilla are doing an awful lot without ever actually creating anything genuinely dangerous. 8:23PM 39 mins MCTOMINAAAAAAAAYYYYYYY has a shot saved from distance but it's a solid effort. The ball sits for him about 20 yards out in the kind of position that would make it a crime not to have a wee go. Rico is fairly comfortable with his save. Sevilla break forward but don't look too menacing again. Smalling heads a weak shot behind for a corner, Pogba clears. 8:22PM 37 mins Credit: GETTY IMAGES There he is. Meanwhile, Sevilla have a corner. Their crowd really dislikes many of the referee's decisions but it really does look like he's getting them all dead right. 8:19PM 35 mins McTominay lets me down and himself down and everyone down with a poor pass to Valencia, who has to work hard to win the 50/50 and then dives by the corner flag. The referee isn't having it, Sevilla play on and Vasquez is played in! Oooohhhhh he's a click away from controlling that and having an easy one-on-one but the ball runs past him and he wins a corner instead. Pogba fouls Banega in the centre-circle with a clumsy tackle. 8:17PM 33 mins Sanchez goes down off the ball as Mercado puts his arm out to block the run. There's nothing really in that either. The Sevilla crowd and team are getting a little wound up by the referee. Valencia has absolutely pied Correa with a shoulder drop and sprinted past him on the right but nothing comes of it. 8:15PM 31 mins Lukaku is being kicked around a little bit here. Sanchez points it out to the referee and convinces him to tell off Correa for... basically barging into him. Hmmm. There#s nothing in that for me, Clive. McTominay is having a decent game so far, his first touch is brilliant. 8:13PM 29 mins Correa has a bit of space on the left and dribbles into the penalty area after a superb first touch. He tricks his way into the box but doesn't get enough on his show and De Gea saves easily. 8:12PM 27 mins Credit: REUTERS United are slowly gaining more of the pitch, edging that defensive line further forward. 8:10PM 25 mins Lukaku is in! Great ball over the top, an even better run to get to it... and Lukaku punts his volleyed effort way over the bar. That's a really bad miss. If he had another go at it right now he'd bury it every time. 8:08PM 23 mins N'Zonzi is booked for catching Sanchez on the behind, or to be more specific, his buttock. Sanchez has felt that one, rolls around a bit and then tries to show everyone the wound he may have suffered before deciding maybe he shouldn't do that. The game is pretty scrappy now, both teams look organised and disciplined, though Sevilla are perhaps asking more of the questions. 8:05PM 20 mins Pogba's first involvement is to chase the ball down the right wing and lose it. He's in his dream midfield three now so there's no excuse if this doesn't work for him tonight. Young has to stay alert to head a long diagonal ball behind for a corner. Possession: Sevilla vs Man Utd 8:03PM 18 mins POGBA ALERT. POGBA ALERT. [dabs everywhere] Pogba is on the pitch. Mourinho's evil plans are in tatters. What are the odds he scores and does one of those "shhhhhhh!" celebrations? 8:02PM 17 mins Valencia carries the ball towards the box, Herrera overlaps and is into the box. The pass comes in, he back-heels across goal... and it's cleared away. Oh no! He's injured! Herrera's done for the night, having pulled a muscle with that little run. Darren Fletcher on commentary says "that looks terminal" but I'm not sure Herrera will die from the injury. I don't know for certain. But also I do. 8:01PM 16 mins Banega tries a long range effort but it's too high. Miss: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Éver Banega, 14 min) A chipped ball over the top towards Lukaku causes panic as Lenglet and Mercado struggle to cope with his strength and balance... but he can't take the ball down nor pass it to Mata and Sevilla deal with the situation well. Sevilla go forward quickly and get another shot away. This time it's wide. Miss: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Jesús Navas, 15 min) 7:57PM 13 mins Sanchez runs into space, controls and pushes the ball towards the box... but Navas speeds in (the one with the sharp blue eyes - don't act like you don't know) and shuts him down. 7:56PM 12 mins Sevilla taking their time with passes, United fall behind the halfway line to compact the midfield and Sevilla can't really go very far. United are effectively keeping them at arm's length. 7:53PM 9 mins Young does really well to stop Sarabia running directly at him and De Gea hits the ball long up the pitch. Valencia gets forward for a throw in, McTominay controls superbly and passes to Lukaku, who hits a ball out to the left wing and Sanchez gets his first touch! Corner to Man Utd. 7:51PM 6 mins Muriel is able to sprint past Smalling but although he's quicker to accelerate, the defender is able to hold him off and win the tackle. Correa tries a step over and goes down under a mistimed tackle from Mata. Sevilla are attacking with purpose here, passing the ball really nicely. 7:48PM 4 mins United have a lot of bodies behind the ball early on! Lukaku is the out-ball, tries to spin N'Zonzi but goes down and loses possession in the centre-circle. This is a definite 4-5-1 from United. Sevilla come forward, Muriel has the ball 25 yards out and tries a shot... SAVE by De Gea! That was a decent effort! 7:47PM 2 mins Sevilla win a corner early on, Banega whips it in but United defend well and get the second phase attack out for a throw. 7:45PM KICK OFF Sevilla kick off 7:42PM Here come the teams You can't even hear this song over the top of the Sevilla support. What a noise! 7:36PM This is genuinely excellent TV BT Sport making use of the expert pundits they have on offer is an absolute treat. I could watch Lampard and Scholes discuss the minute details of how to play in midfield, how they reacted after games, how they'd coach Pogba for the rest of the evening. Lampard has essentially said that Pogba needs to take some responsibility and can't rely on other people to reign him in when he goes wandering. "After Tottenham I wouldn't have slept but he's doing the same thing against Newcastle" is a rough paraphrase. 7:32PM More on Pogba "It's awareness and effort," continues Lampard, who knows exactly what it's like going from attacking midfield to a deeper role. This is great television, lovely stuff by the BT Sport lads. "We're still talking 18 months into his United career where his best position in the team is," says Scholes. "He's a player who scores goals, dictates the pace of the game. I don't think the team sets up to get the best out of Pogba," argues Ferdinand. 7:29PM Mourinho on Pogba This is from a BT Sport VT. "When you speak about Paul Pogba is a player who in his best moment had to stop twice, then when he's playing really well he is suspended." Pogba has been shunted out of momentum a couple of times this season and he's struggled ever so slightly in his last few games, trying to do a little too much. In a midfield two he needs to be a little bit better positionally. "It's all about defensive responsibility, Mourinho's trying to shock him", is what Frank Lampard thinks. 7:06PM Mourinho's reaction to Des Kelly's questions "Three questions and all about Paul?!" he asks after three questions about Paul Pogba's absence. Des knows what he's doing and laughs it off as he moves onto asking about the actual game. 7:03PM Mourinho's 4-3-3 Isn't that a thing. Scott McTominay is preferred to Paul Pogba, Juan Mata gets the nod over Anthony Martial and Mourinho changes to a 4-3-3, despite the clamour for him to do so much sooner to get more out of Pogba. Even Pogba has admitted he's better in a three but Mourinho isn't having it - a talent like that should be able to play in multiple systems, not only one which suits him alone. 6:46PM Do you like holidays? Do you like football? Well wait a darned minute there because I might have the perfect little thing for you to read! The 10 best European football away days Incredibly it doesn't include a trip to Pittodrie, Aberdeen but perhaps that is fair, since once you've attended a match there you never need to go another football game again. Wait, I mean you never want to go to another football game again. 6:39PM Sevilla starting lineup ONCE del #SevillaFC ante el @ManUtd_Es en la IDA de 1/8 de final de la @LigadeCampeones#vamosmisevilla#UCL#ThisIsSevillapic.twitter.com/fiz3jEbvp3— Sevilla Fútbol Club (@SevillaFC) February 21, 2018 6:38PM No Pogba - confirmed Controversial scenes, Clive. What's going on here then? Phenomenal scenes from Jose Mourinho. Martial dropped too. How #MUFC line up for tonight's #UCL clash with Sevilla... pic.twitter.com/7g80OaosMv— Manchester United (@ManUtd) February 21, 2018 6:25PM Good evening! Hello lovely humans, welcome to our liveblog for tonight's Champions League game featuring PAUL POGBA. [dabs everywhere] But wait - what's this? Pogba's on the bench?! That's what Jason Burt's heard and you can read all about it here. Could that switch make Man Utd more balanced on the pitch? Does it make them weaker? Who will dab? Why can't Jose Mourinho get the most out of Paul Pogba? Sevilla are fifth in La Liga and represent a real challenge for United tonight. They play some really nice football and have some excellent players - Ever Banega is an exceptional talent and has the potential to run the game. We'll find out the starting lineups shortly. Until then, let's all think about Pogba. And Romelu Lukaku - Sevilla aren't in the top six of the Premier League, which means he should be able to score against them.
World class is an over used term in football and maybe with Paul Pogba that has been the case but there is no doubt that Manchester United have at least one player worthy of that status as goalkeeper David De Gea once again demonstrated his importance as he kept his team in this Champions League tie. Two superb saves from headers, the second breathtaking, at the end of the first half denied Sevilla who had countless other opportunities against an at times over-run United side who nevertheless go into the second leg of this last-16 encounter on March 13 as favourites to progress into the quarter-finals. Or maybe not if they play like this because for all of Jose Mourinho’s post-match protestations about his team being in control that was simply not the case while it is dispiriting that, once more, the United manager’s pre-occupation was to try and stop the opposition rather than impose him team on them. The visitors looked pedestrian, conservative, restrained; a team lacking in verve. It was a far cry, for example, from the way Liverpool destroyed Porto away last week. And surely United cannot keep relying on De Gea? In fact Mourinho congratulated himself on how his midfield had controlled the Sevilla playmaker Ever Banega – not quite true – and he lauded his decision to field Scott McTominay from the start, and as competently as the promising young Scot did perform, he is an essentially destructive, rather than constructive, player. Credit: GETTY IMAGES On his return from illness Pogba was dropped, and that obviously caused quite a stir, but he had to be called on after just 18 minutes when Ander Herrera pulled up injured as he attempted a back-heel – much to Mourinho’s frustration. Pogba’s contribution was later distilled by his manager into one about working hard for the team – not quite effusive praise – while Mourinho also launched himself into an argument that all players have to work hard, and not being free spirits, when he was asked an innocuous question about Alexis Sanchez. Sanchez was far from his best on his return to Champions League football following his January move from Arsenal and was withdrawn before the end. And neither was Pogba much better. This was hugely disappointing. United’s alleged control was arguable for De Gea made eight saves in all from 25 attempts at goal by Sevilla – the most for a United goalkeeper in a Champions League game since Edwin van der Sar versus Barcelona in May 2011. Average touch positions (0 min) And Sevilla, fifth in La Liga, are no Barcelona of that or even this vintage. Whatever their attacking intent and desire to score under their new head coach Vincenzo Montella for whom this was only a second match in this competition against Mourinho’s 140 games. And yet United’s display smacked of a performance from a team set out by a manager more concerned about stopping the opposition than winning the game. But Mourinho is a master of the knockout competitions, or at least going deep into them, and will argue this kind of occasion is about managing the two matches. And not just the one. Get through this tie and his approach worked. But United were flat. They were underwhelming. Except for De Gea who was elevated to such an imposing status that it seemed to get into the heads of the Sevilla players who, after his two saves just before half-time, continued to play well, attack well but snatched at chances. The closer to De Gea they got, in fact, the less sure they became. They did not look like they believed they could beat him. He got bigger, the goal got smaller. Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal The first save was smart enough as De Gea flicked a powerful header from Steven Nzonzi over the bar, after the midfielder had reached an acrobatic overhead kick back across the penalty area by the lively striker, Luis Muriel. And then De Gea made that incredible save from Muriel – soon after mix-up between the goalkeeper and defender Victor Lindelof – as the forward was picked out unmarked by Jesus Navas with a cross from the right. As Muriel reached the ball he seemed certain to plant his header, from no more than six yards, into the net but De Gea shot out an arm to block. It needed a double-take to believe what had happened. Muriel pressed his head against the post in disbelief for several seconds. When the half-time whistle blew soon after both Muriel and his team-mate Gabriel Mercado even took time to shake De Gea’s hand before he walked down the tunnel. Attempt Saved: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Luis Muriel, 45 + 1 min) There were more saves, relatively routine ones, from De Gea who turned away a skidding shot from Muriel, in the first half, and from Joaquin Correa after he jinked in from the right, and from Correa again as he attempted to bend the ball into the corner. But after his amazing save from Muriel it seemed Sevilla believed they had to find the precise finish and Clement Lenglet, Franco Vazquez and Muriel, again, were wasteful as they attempted that. It was summed up when Muriel crossed towards the far post and Correa appeared to have the chance to head home but was clearly mindful of De Gea scampering across and tried for too much power. Again it sailed over the bar. And what about Romelu Lukaku, United’s other big name? The striker was picked out by Sanchez with a clever lofted ball through, but despite having time and space he skied his volley high over the target. Then in the second half he controlled the ball with an arm before firing it into the net. It was rightly ruled out. And that was it. He did little else. David De Gea produced a stunning save to keep Man Utd in the game Credit: REUTERS In fact United only had a single shot on target and that was from McTominay, a first-time effort from outside the area, that was pushed away by goalkeeper Sergio Rico. Mourinho argued that the space opened up for United, but he must have been watching a different game. In this one he was indebted to Sevilla’s profligacy and the brilliance of De Gea. 10:03PM Jose Mourinho loves McTominay &quot;OK. Decision at Old Trafford, it&#39;s a match in our house, I believe that Old Trafford misses a big European night. Of course we had last season but Europa League has a different meaning, and they can create similar atmosphere we had today and push us through a difficult match. &quot;Can I hug you? [hugs Des Kelly] That&#39;s a question. I was in a press conference before and the questions were about Paul and I think the question should be about the kid. He was fantastic, did everything well, put lots of pressure on Banega which was important, always comfortable, simple in possession. He was brilliant. In my opinion the midfield started well and when Herrera came out, Paul worked hard.&quot; 9:42PM Team shapes Average touch positions (0 min) 9:38PM Paul Scholes &quot;Bad game of football, a difficult watch to be honest. Job done for United, I think they&#39;ll be comfortable at Old Trafford.&quot; Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal 9:36PM Mourinho knows how setup a defence The 23rd clean sheet of the season for Man Utd. 9:35PM FULL TIME Not the most memorable of European nights. Sevilla are extremely medium, Man Utd didn&#39;t have enough to take anything home with them. There&#39;s something in Mourinho&#39;s team that doesn&#39;t quite click and this was another disjointed performance, albeit one that has produced the 0-0 he will have wanted. 9:34PM 90 mins +1 This game is done. Neither team really pushing for a goal, there&#39;s still no pace to the passing, it&#39;s a 0-0 game. 9:31PM 89 mins Rashford goes for the knuckle-ball, it flies off the mark and zips wide of the post. Banega off, Pizarro on. 9:31PM 88 mins Rashford wins a free-kick after a blatant foul 30 yards out. The replays of that Navas dive are painful viewing. 9:30PM 87 mins Sandro is involved straight away, links a pass and moves, Sevilla keep coming and Sarabia is played in behind! He pulls the ball back across the box - there must be a finish here! Sandro has to stop and turn a couple of times... and the shot is blocked. Navas comes steaming in to pick up the loose ball and goes flying over a tackle. The referee doesn&#39;t care and he&#39;s right because it&#39;s a dive. Boooooo! 9:28PM 85 mins Sandro is about to come on for Vazquez, but then Montella goes a bit mad on the touchline and decides to take off Muriel instead. The whole stadium seems perplexed by that change of heart but it makes sense. Striker for a striker. 9:25PM 83 mins 0-0 might seem like a decent result to take back to Old Trafford but it only takes one mistake and Sevilla to score from it and all of a sudden United need to score two. United are attacking now... and LUKAKU HAS SCORED! No he hasn&#39;t. It&#39;s a handball. Pogba&#39;s scooped pass for the assist there was superb. 9:23PM 81 mins Mata off for Martial. That&#39;ll give United some energy and speed on the wings for the final 10 minutes as they look for that crucial away goal. 9:21PM 78 mins Credit: REUTERS This picture gives you some idea of how close-range that De Gea save was earlier. You&#39;d think it might concern Mourinho that the best thing United have done all night was stopping this header going in but the score is still 0-0 so who knows. I haven&#39;t won several European trophies, what do I know. 9:19PM 77 mins Rashford takes on Navas for pace but, somewhat unsurprisingly, isn&#39;t able to win that particular race. 9:17PM 75 mins Sanchez has been poor tonight. And actually, I&#39;m not sure if I&#39;ve seen him play well for Man Utd apart from that Yeovil game... he&#39;s doing too much and not sticking to his job on the left wing. Rashford comes on. 9:15PM 73 mins Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal None of these have been particularly close, except the two De Gea saved from close range. And they&#39;ve just missed another! Muriel dances down the right and chips to the back post. Sarabia should really score from about four yards but heads over. That&#39;s a huge miss. 9:14PM 72 mins A cross from wide right is whipped low into the six yard box but Smalling makes sure Muriel can&#39;t get onto it. 9:13PM 70 mins Sevilla are painfully slow. It&#39;s so easy to shut them down and United are not having to work especially hard to do so. Lukaku holds off his man on the left, Sanchez takes the ball on and the pitch opens up for this United attack! There&#39;s a big chance here if Lukaku can find the pass... but a right footed pass across the pitch is easily cut out. 9:09PM 67 mins Banega goes for a knuckle ball, Juninho-style free-kick but De Gea catches easily. Lukaku does well to win a corner. 9:08PM 66 mins Correa comes inside from the left, goes past two players and then a stepover takes him into the area! He can shoot from here... but his shot flies into the stand. Another free-kick for Sevilla near the United box. 9:07PM 65 mins Banega hits a really good ball into the area... it&#39;s headed at goal from six yards... and De Gea saves again. This time it&#39;s a bit easier. Credit: REUTERS 9:05PM 63 mins Lukaku hits the wall. United keep some level of pressure up... but Sanchez and Pogba and Mata can&#39;t produce anything of note and Lukaku doesn&#39;t attack the cross with any real aggression. McTominay controls the ball well in the air, the Sevilla defender kicks his foot... aaaaand the referee gives a free-kick to Sevilla. Foul after foul after foul after foul. They&#39;re all so weak! Players falling over all the place. Put a lion on the pitch, see what happens. 9:03PM 61 mins More slow build up. The Sevilla fans boo, Sanchez is told where to go by McTominay after drifting inside the pitch but Sanchez&#39;s run towards the box is stopped by a slide tackle. United have a decent set piece position here. 9:01PM 59 mins United sit in their own defensive third, walking around the pitch as Sevilla jog their way forward. Muriel tries another shot at goal but puts it wide. De Gea wanders over, never worried about that one creeping in. Out: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Luis Muriel, 58 min) It&#39;d be nice if Man Utd could do something exciting soon. Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal 8:59PM 56 mins Lukaku moves out to the right wing, dribbles past one man and then tries to pass across the box. It&#39;s aimed poorly and Sevilla come away with the ball, Lindelof pulls Vazquez&#39;s shirt and gives away a free-kick in the centre-circle. McTominay is fouled by Escudero... it&#39;s so scrappy. Both teams are slow in build up and then someone fouls someone else. Nothing comes from the free-kicks or corners. 8:56PM 54 mins Young tries to go past Sarabia but loses the ball and the counter-attack is on. Matic is caught behind the play, Muriel comes inside and shoots... but it&#39;s another corner. This is such a frustrating, scrappy game. A real Mourinho European match. He&#39;ll get them the result but it&#39;s far from beautiful flowing football. 8:54PM 52 mins Average touch positions (50 min) You can see why Mourinho needs Young to get forward. Sanchez is basically playing as a second striker and it&#39;s making United lopsided. Vazquez tries a shot from 20 yards but bends it way over the bar. 8:53PM 50 mins Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal 8:51PM 49 mins McTominay does well to shield the ball and link a few passes together in the midfield. Young overlaps and gets into the box, winning a corner. It seems that Mourinho has pushed his full-backs further forward in this half. Mata&#39;s first touch to kill the corner is amazing, he then sells a dummy to two defenders and chips into the centre but nobody is there. Sometimes Mata is ridiculously good. 8:49PM 47 mins Sandro (that guy Everton bought) is on the bench for Sevilla and has number 99 on his shirt. This. Ends. NOW! 8:48PM KICK OFF 2 Kick off 2 man utd &quot;They don&#39;t look too threatening really,&quot; says Paul Scholes of Sevilla. I&#39;d argue both look pretty tame. A 0-0 beckons! Or does it? Let&#39;s find out! 8:38PM De Gea praise from a proper goalkeeper This guy used to play in goal for Aberdeen, he knows what it means to face an onslaught of shots. David De Gea is incredible. What. A. Save. Don’t say “Anywhere else and it’s a goal.” or “He should score.” because nothing should detract from that save. From that range and with that power, he’s denied an almost certain goal. Just brilliant.— David Preece (@davidpreece12) February 21, 2018 8:35PM Sevilla&#39;s paper planes Credit: REUTERS 8:33PM That De Gea save Sure, the striker should have aimed towards the floor with this but I mean... come on. It&#39;s ludicrous that he can react quickly enough and get a strong enough arm at this shot to turn it over. It&#39;s astonishing. 8:32PM HALF TIME De Gea has just rescued Man Utd there. It should be 1-0 Sevilla. 8:32PM 45 mins +2 And more exciting! A long ball is read by Young, he cushions it with his first touch back to De Gea... and nobody picks it up! What are they playing at?! De Gea manages to hook the ball away before that becomes a tap in. Sevilla keep the pressure up, the ball is sent into the middle and MURIEL IS ALL ALONE! HE MUST SCORE OH MY HEAVENS LORDY LORDY WHAT A SAVE! That&#39;s an incredible save from De Gea! Muriel can&#39;t believe it! Attempt Saved: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Luis Muriel, 45 + 1 min) 8:30PM 45 mins +1 What a save by De Gea! The corner is headed to the back post, N&#39;Zonzi tries a bicycle kick and it&#39;s turned at goal by another Sevilla player off the head. De Gea has to react instantly to dive and turn it over! 8:29PM 45 mins There are quite a few paper aeroplanes being thrown onto the pitch as United set up a corner. That corner goes so well that Sevilla are able to counter-attack quickly and win their own corner. Mourinho is furious. 8:27PM 43 mins Sanchez fouls Navas and is booked. It&#39;s harsh. Lukaku is back defending at right-back... Valencia hooks the ball away, Banega finds Correa... who does a little too much but does get a shot away! Low to the corner but De Gea saves. Valencia doesn&#39;t get close to Correa there. Keeper pick-up: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (David de Gea, 42 min) 8:25PM 41 mins Correa is in space wide left in the box but doesn&#39;t take his chance to shoot, controls, the defence gets back and his attempted flair pass is knocked behind for a corner. That turns into a goal kick. Sevilla are doing an awful lot without ever actually creating anything genuinely dangerous. 8:23PM 39 mins MCTOMINAAAAAAAAYYYYYYY has a shot saved from distance but it&#39;s a solid effort. The ball sits for him about 20 yards out in the kind of position that would make it a crime not to have a wee go. Rico is fairly comfortable with his save. Sevilla break forward but don&#39;t look too menacing again. Smalling heads a weak shot behind for a corner, Pogba clears. 8:22PM 37 mins Credit: GETTY IMAGES There he is. Meanwhile, Sevilla have a corner. Their crowd really dislikes many of the referee&#39;s decisions but it really does look like he&#39;s getting them all dead right. 8:19PM 35 mins McTominay lets me down and himself down and everyone down with a poor pass to Valencia, who has to work hard to win the 50/50 and then dives by the corner flag. The referee isn&#39;t having it, Sevilla play on and Vasquez is played in! Oooohhhhh he&#39;s a click away from controlling that and having an easy one-on-one but the ball runs past him and he wins a corner instead. Pogba fouls Banega in the centre-circle with a clumsy tackle. 8:17PM 33 mins Sanchez goes down off the ball as Mercado puts his arm out to block the run. There&#39;s nothing really in that either. The Sevilla crowd and team are getting a little wound up by the referee. Valencia has absolutely pied Correa with a shoulder drop and sprinted past him on the right but nothing comes of it. 8:15PM 31 mins Lukaku is being kicked around a little bit here. Sanchez points it out to the referee and convinces him to tell off Correa for... basically barging into him. Hmmm. There#s nothing in that for me, Clive. McTominay is having a decent game so far, his first touch is brilliant. 8:13PM 29 mins Correa has a bit of space on the left and dribbles into the penalty area after a superb first touch. He tricks his way into the box but doesn&#39;t get enough on his show and De Gea saves easily. 8:12PM 27 mins Credit: REUTERS United are slowly gaining more of the pitch, edging that defensive line further forward. 8:10PM 25 mins Lukaku is in! Great ball over the top, an even better run to get to it... and Lukaku punts his volleyed effort way over the bar. That&#39;s a really bad miss. If he had another go at it right now he&#39;d bury it every time. 8:08PM 23 mins N&#39;Zonzi is booked for catching Sanchez on the behind, or to be more specific, his buttock. Sanchez has felt that one, rolls around a bit and then tries to show everyone the wound he may have suffered before deciding maybe he shouldn&#39;t do that. The game is pretty scrappy now, both teams look organised and disciplined, though Sevilla are perhaps asking more of the questions. 8:05PM 20 mins Pogba&#39;s first involvement is to chase the ball down the right wing and lose it. He&#39;s in his dream midfield three now so there&#39;s no excuse if this doesn&#39;t work for him tonight. Young has to stay alert to head a long diagonal ball behind for a corner. Possession: Sevilla vs Man Utd 8:03PM 18 mins POGBA ALERT. POGBA ALERT. [dabs everywhere] Pogba is on the pitch. Mourinho&#39;s evil plans are in tatters. What are the odds he scores and does one of those &quot;shhhhhhh!&quot; celebrations? 8:02PM 17 mins Valencia carries the ball towards the box, Herrera overlaps and is into the box. The pass comes in, he back-heels across goal... and it&#39;s cleared away. Oh no! He&#39;s injured! Herrera&#39;s done for the night, having pulled a muscle with that little run. Darren Fletcher on commentary says &quot;that looks terminal&quot; but I&#39;m not sure Herrera will die from the injury. I don&#39;t know for certain. But also I do. 8:01PM 16 mins Banega tries a long range effort but it&#39;s too high. Miss: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Éver Banega, 14 min) A chipped ball over the top towards Lukaku causes panic as Lenglet and Mercado struggle to cope with his strength and balance... but he can&#39;t take the ball down nor pass it to Mata and Sevilla deal with the situation well. Sevilla go forward quickly and get another shot away. This time it&#39;s wide. Miss: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Jesús Navas, 15 min) 7:57PM 13 mins Sanchez runs into space, controls and pushes the ball towards the box... but Navas speeds in (the one with the sharp blue eyes - don&#39;t act like you don&#39;t know) and shuts him down. 7:56PM 12 mins Sevilla taking their time with passes, United fall behind the halfway line to compact the midfield and Sevilla can&#39;t really go very far. United are effectively keeping them at arm&#39;s length. 7:53PM 9 mins Young does really well to stop Sarabia running directly at him and De Gea hits the ball long up the pitch. Valencia gets forward for a throw in, McTominay controls superbly and passes to Lukaku, who hits a ball out to the left wing and Sanchez gets his first touch! Corner to Man Utd. 7:51PM 6 mins Muriel is able to sprint past Smalling but although he&#39;s quicker to accelerate, the defender is able to hold him off and win the tackle. Correa tries a step over and goes down under a mistimed tackle from Mata. Sevilla are attacking with purpose here, passing the ball really nicely. 7:48PM 4 mins United have a lot of bodies behind the ball early on! Lukaku is the out-ball, tries to spin N&#39;Zonzi but goes down and loses possession in the centre-circle. This is a definite 4-5-1 from United. Sevilla come forward, Muriel has the ball 25 yards out and tries a shot... SAVE by De Gea! That was a decent effort! 7:47PM 2 mins Sevilla win a corner early on, Banega whips it in but United defend well and get the second phase attack out for a throw. 7:45PM KICK OFF Sevilla kick off 7:42PM Here come the teams You can&#39;t even hear this song over the top of the Sevilla support. What a noise! 7:36PM This is genuinely excellent TV BT Sport making use of the expert pundits they have on offer is an absolute treat. I could watch Lampard and Scholes discuss the minute details of how to play in midfield, how they reacted after games, how they&#39;d coach Pogba for the rest of the evening. Lampard has essentially said that Pogba needs to take some responsibility and can&#39;t rely on other people to reign him in when he goes wandering. &quot;After Tottenham I wouldn&#39;t have slept but he&#39;s doing the same thing against Newcastle&quot; is a rough paraphrase. 7:32PM More on Pogba &quot;It&#39;s awareness and effort,&quot; continues Lampard, who knows exactly what it&#39;s like going from attacking midfield to a deeper role. This is great television, lovely stuff by the BT Sport lads. &quot;We&#39;re still talking 18 months into his United career where his best position in the team is,&quot; says Scholes. &quot;He&#39;s a player who scores goals, dictates the pace of the game. I don&#39;t think the team sets up to get the best out of Pogba,&quot; argues Ferdinand. 7:29PM Mourinho on Pogba This is from a BT Sport VT. &quot;When you speak about Paul Pogba is a player who in his best moment had to stop twice, then when he&#39;s playing really well he is suspended.&quot; Pogba has been shunted out of momentum a couple of times this season and he&#39;s struggled ever so slightly in his last few games, trying to do a little too much. In a midfield two he needs to be a little bit better positionally. &quot;It&#39;s all about defensive responsibility, Mourinho&#39;s trying to shock him&quot;, is what Frank Lampard thinks. 7:06PM Mourinho&#39;s reaction to Des Kelly&#39;s questions &quot;Three questions and all about Paul?!&quot; he asks after three questions about Paul Pogba&#39;s absence. Des knows what he&#39;s doing and laughs it off as he moves onto asking about the actual game. 7:03PM Mourinho&#39;s 4-3-3 Isn&#39;t that a thing. Scott McTominay is preferred to Paul Pogba, Juan Mata gets the nod over Anthony Martial and Mourinho changes to a 4-3-3, despite the clamour for him to do so much sooner to get more out of Pogba. Even Pogba has admitted he&#39;s better in a three but Mourinho isn&#39;t having it - a talent like that should be able to play in multiple systems, not only one which suits him alone. 6:46PM Do you like holidays? Do you like football? Well wait a darned minute there because I might have the perfect little thing for you to read! The 10 best European football away days Incredibly it doesn&#39;t include a trip to Pittodrie, Aberdeen but perhaps that is fair, since once you&#39;ve attended a match there you never need to go another football game again. Wait, I mean you never want to go to another football game again. 6:39PM Sevilla starting lineup ONCE del #SevillaFC ante el @ManUtd_Es en la IDA de 1/8 de final de la @LigadeCampeones#vamosmisevilla#UCL#ThisIsSevillapic.twitter.com/fiz3jEbvp3— Sevilla Fútbol Club (@SevillaFC) February 21, 2018 6:38PM No Pogba - confirmed Controversial scenes, Clive. What&#39;s going on here then? Phenomenal scenes from Jose Mourinho. Martial dropped too. How #MUFC line up for tonight&#39;s #UCL clash with Sevilla... pic.twitter.com/7g80OaosMv— Manchester United (@ManUtd) February 21, 2018 6:25PM Good evening! Hello lovely humans, welcome to our liveblog for tonight&#39;s Champions League game featuring PAUL POGBA. [dabs everywhere] But wait - what&#39;s this? Pogba&#39;s on the bench?! That&#39;s what Jason Burt&#39;s heard and you can read all about it here. Could that switch make Man Utd more balanced on the pitch? Does it make them weaker? Who will dab? Why can&#39;t Jose Mourinho get the most out of Paul Pogba? Sevilla are fifth in La Liga and represent a real challenge for United tonight. They play some really nice football and have some excellent players - Ever Banega is an exceptional talent and has the potential to run the game. We&#39;ll find out the starting lineups shortly. Until then, let&#39;s all think about Pogba. And Romelu Lukaku - Sevilla aren&#39;t in the top six of the Premier League, which means he should be able to score against them.
Sevilla 0 Man Utd 0: David De Gea produces stunning save as United get job done against wasteful hosts
World class is an over used term in football and maybe with Paul Pogba that has been the case but there is no doubt that Manchester United have at least one player worthy of that status as goalkeeper David De Gea once again demonstrated his importance as he kept his team in this Champions League tie. Two superb saves from headers, the second breathtaking, at the end of the first half denied Sevilla who had countless other opportunities against an at times over-run United side who nevertheless go into the second leg of this last-16 encounter on March 13 as favourites to progress into the quarter-finals. Or maybe not if they play like this because for all of Jose Mourinho’s post-match protestations about his team being in control that was simply not the case while it is dispiriting that, once more, the United manager’s pre-occupation was to try and stop the opposition rather than impose him team on them. The visitors looked pedestrian, conservative, restrained; a team lacking in verve. It was a far cry, for example, from the way Liverpool destroyed Porto away last week. And surely United cannot keep relying on De Gea? In fact Mourinho congratulated himself on how his midfield had controlled the Sevilla playmaker Ever Banega – not quite true – and he lauded his decision to field Scott McTominay from the start, and as competently as the promising young Scot did perform, he is an essentially destructive, rather than constructive, player. Credit: GETTY IMAGES On his return from illness Pogba was dropped, and that obviously caused quite a stir, but he had to be called on after just 18 minutes when Ander Herrera pulled up injured as he attempted a back-heel – much to Mourinho’s frustration. Pogba’s contribution was later distilled by his manager into one about working hard for the team – not quite effusive praise – while Mourinho also launched himself into an argument that all players have to work hard, and not being free spirits, when he was asked an innocuous question about Alexis Sanchez. Sanchez was far from his best on his return to Champions League football following his January move from Arsenal and was withdrawn before the end. And neither was Pogba much better. This was hugely disappointing. United’s alleged control was arguable for De Gea made eight saves in all from 25 attempts at goal by Sevilla – the most for a United goalkeeper in a Champions League game since Edwin van der Sar versus Barcelona in May 2011. Average touch positions (0 min) And Sevilla, fifth in La Liga, are no Barcelona of that or even this vintage. Whatever their attacking intent and desire to score under their new head coach Vincenzo Montella for whom this was only a second match in this competition against Mourinho’s 140 games. And yet United’s display smacked of a performance from a team set out by a manager more concerned about stopping the opposition than winning the game. But Mourinho is a master of the knockout competitions, or at least going deep into them, and will argue this kind of occasion is about managing the two matches. And not just the one. Get through this tie and his approach worked. But United were flat. They were underwhelming. Except for De Gea who was elevated to such an imposing status that it seemed to get into the heads of the Sevilla players who, after his two saves just before half-time, continued to play well, attack well but snatched at chances. The closer to De Gea they got, in fact, the less sure they became. They did not look like they believed they could beat him. He got bigger, the goal got smaller. Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal The first save was smart enough as De Gea flicked a powerful header from Steven Nzonzi over the bar, after the midfielder had reached an acrobatic overhead kick back across the penalty area by the lively striker, Luis Muriel. And then De Gea made that incredible save from Muriel – soon after mix-up between the goalkeeper and defender Victor Lindelof – as the forward was picked out unmarked by Jesus Navas with a cross from the right. As Muriel reached the ball he seemed certain to plant his header, from no more than six yards, into the net but De Gea shot out an arm to block. It needed a double-take to believe what had happened. Muriel pressed his head against the post in disbelief for several seconds. When the half-time whistle blew soon after both Muriel and his team-mate Gabriel Mercado even took time to shake De Gea’s hand before he walked down the tunnel. Attempt Saved: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Luis Muriel, 45 + 1 min) There were more saves, relatively routine ones, from De Gea who turned away a skidding shot from Muriel, in the first half, and from Joaquin Correa after he jinked in from the right, and from Correa again as he attempted to bend the ball into the corner. But after his amazing save from Muriel it seemed Sevilla believed they had to find the precise finish and Clement Lenglet, Franco Vazquez and Muriel, again, were wasteful as they attempted that. It was summed up when Muriel crossed towards the far post and Correa appeared to have the chance to head home but was clearly mindful of De Gea scampering across and tried for too much power. Again it sailed over the bar. And what about Romelu Lukaku, United’s other big name? The striker was picked out by Sanchez with a clever lofted ball through, but despite having time and space he skied his volley high over the target. Then in the second half he controlled the ball with an arm before firing it into the net. It was rightly ruled out. And that was it. He did little else. David De Gea produced a stunning save to keep Man Utd in the game Credit: REUTERS In fact United only had a single shot on target and that was from McTominay, a first-time effort from outside the area, that was pushed away by goalkeeper Sergio Rico. Mourinho argued that the space opened up for United, but he must have been watching a different game. In this one he was indebted to Sevilla’s profligacy and the brilliance of De Gea. 10:03PM Jose Mourinho loves McTominay "OK. Decision at Old Trafford, it's a match in our house, I believe that Old Trafford misses a big European night. Of course we had last season but Europa League has a different meaning, and they can create similar atmosphere we had today and push us through a difficult match. "Can I hug you? [hugs Des Kelly] That's a question. I was in a press conference before and the questions were about Paul and I think the question should be about the kid. He was fantastic, did everything well, put lots of pressure on Banega which was important, always comfortable, simple in possession. He was brilliant. In my opinion the midfield started well and when Herrera came out, Paul worked hard." 9:42PM Team shapes Average touch positions (0 min) 9:38PM Paul Scholes "Bad game of football, a difficult watch to be honest. Job done for United, I think they'll be comfortable at Old Trafford." Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal 9:36PM Mourinho knows how setup a defence The 23rd clean sheet of the season for Man Utd. 9:35PM FULL TIME Not the most memorable of European nights. Sevilla are extremely medium, Man Utd didn't have enough to take anything home with them. There's something in Mourinho's team that doesn't quite click and this was another disjointed performance, albeit one that has produced the 0-0 he will have wanted. 9:34PM 90 mins +1 This game is done. Neither team really pushing for a goal, there's still no pace to the passing, it's a 0-0 game. 9:31PM 89 mins Rashford goes for the knuckle-ball, it flies off the mark and zips wide of the post. Banega off, Pizarro on. 9:31PM 88 mins Rashford wins a free-kick after a blatant foul 30 yards out. The replays of that Navas dive are painful viewing. 9:30PM 87 mins Sandro is involved straight away, links a pass and moves, Sevilla keep coming and Sarabia is played in behind! He pulls the ball back across the box - there must be a finish here! Sandro has to stop and turn a couple of times... and the shot is blocked. Navas comes steaming in to pick up the loose ball and goes flying over a tackle. The referee doesn't care and he's right because it's a dive. Boooooo! 9:28PM 85 mins Sandro is about to come on for Vazquez, but then Montella goes a bit mad on the touchline and decides to take off Muriel instead. The whole stadium seems perplexed by that change of heart but it makes sense. Striker for a striker. 9:25PM 83 mins 0-0 might seem like a decent result to take back to Old Trafford but it only takes one mistake and Sevilla to score from it and all of a sudden United need to score two. United are attacking now... and LUKAKU HAS SCORED! No he hasn't. It's a handball. Pogba's scooped pass for the assist there was superb. 9:23PM 81 mins Mata off for Martial. That'll give United some energy and speed on the wings for the final 10 minutes as they look for that crucial away goal. 9:21PM 78 mins Credit: REUTERS This picture gives you some idea of how close-range that De Gea save was earlier. You'd think it might concern Mourinho that the best thing United have done all night was stopping this header going in but the score is still 0-0 so who knows. I haven't won several European trophies, what do I know. 9:19PM 77 mins Rashford takes on Navas for pace but, somewhat unsurprisingly, isn't able to win that particular race. 9:17PM 75 mins Sanchez has been poor tonight. And actually, I'm not sure if I've seen him play well for Man Utd apart from that Yeovil game... he's doing too much and not sticking to his job on the left wing. Rashford comes on. 9:15PM 73 mins Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal None of these have been particularly close, except the two De Gea saved from close range. And they've just missed another! Muriel dances down the right and chips to the back post. Sarabia should really score from about four yards but heads over. That's a huge miss. 9:14PM 72 mins A cross from wide right is whipped low into the six yard box but Smalling makes sure Muriel can't get onto it. 9:13PM 70 mins Sevilla are painfully slow. It's so easy to shut them down and United are not having to work especially hard to do so. Lukaku holds off his man on the left, Sanchez takes the ball on and the pitch opens up for this United attack! There's a big chance here if Lukaku can find the pass... but a right footed pass across the pitch is easily cut out. 9:09PM 67 mins Banega goes for a knuckle ball, Juninho-style free-kick but De Gea catches easily. Lukaku does well to win a corner. 9:08PM 66 mins Correa comes inside from the left, goes past two players and then a stepover takes him into the area! He can shoot from here... but his shot flies into the stand. Another free-kick for Sevilla near the United box. 9:07PM 65 mins Banega hits a really good ball into the area... it's headed at goal from six yards... and De Gea saves again. This time it's a bit easier. Credit: REUTERS 9:05PM 63 mins Lukaku hits the wall. United keep some level of pressure up... but Sanchez and Pogba and Mata can't produce anything of note and Lukaku doesn't attack the cross with any real aggression. McTominay controls the ball well in the air, the Sevilla defender kicks his foot... aaaaand the referee gives a free-kick to Sevilla. Foul after foul after foul after foul. They're all so weak! Players falling over all the place. Put a lion on the pitch, see what happens. 9:03PM 61 mins More slow build up. The Sevilla fans boo, Sanchez is told where to go by McTominay after drifting inside the pitch but Sanchez's run towards the box is stopped by a slide tackle. United have a decent set piece position here. 9:01PM 59 mins United sit in their own defensive third, walking around the pitch as Sevilla jog their way forward. Muriel tries another shot at goal but puts it wide. De Gea wanders over, never worried about that one creeping in. Out: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Luis Muriel, 58 min) It'd be nice if Man Utd could do something exciting soon. Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal 8:59PM 56 mins Lukaku moves out to the right wing, dribbles past one man and then tries to pass across the box. It's aimed poorly and Sevilla come away with the ball, Lindelof pulls Vazquez's shirt and gives away a free-kick in the centre-circle. McTominay is fouled by Escudero... it's so scrappy. Both teams are slow in build up and then someone fouls someone else. Nothing comes from the free-kicks or corners. 8:56PM 54 mins Young tries to go past Sarabia but loses the ball and the counter-attack is on. Matic is caught behind the play, Muriel comes inside and shoots... but it's another corner. This is such a frustrating, scrappy game. A real Mourinho European match. He'll get them the result but it's far from beautiful flowing football. 8:54PM 52 mins Average touch positions (50 min) You can see why Mourinho needs Young to get forward. Sanchez is basically playing as a second striker and it's making United lopsided. Vazquez tries a shot from 20 yards but bends it way over the bar. 8:53PM 50 mins Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal 8:51PM 49 mins McTominay does well to shield the ball and link a few passes together in the midfield. Young overlaps and gets into the box, winning a corner. It seems that Mourinho has pushed his full-backs further forward in this half. Mata's first touch to kill the corner is amazing, he then sells a dummy to two defenders and chips into the centre but nobody is there. Sometimes Mata is ridiculously good. 8:49PM 47 mins Sandro (that guy Everton bought) is on the bench for Sevilla and has number 99 on his shirt. This. Ends. NOW! 8:48PM KICK OFF 2 Kick off 2 man utd "They don't look too threatening really," says Paul Scholes of Sevilla. I'd argue both look pretty tame. A 0-0 beckons! Or does it? Let's find out! 8:38PM De Gea praise from a proper goalkeeper This guy used to play in goal for Aberdeen, he knows what it means to face an onslaught of shots. David De Gea is incredible. What. A. Save. Don’t say “Anywhere else and it’s a goal.” or “He should score.” because nothing should detract from that save. From that range and with that power, he’s denied an almost certain goal. Just brilliant.— David Preece (@davidpreece12) February 21, 2018 8:35PM Sevilla's paper planes Credit: REUTERS 8:33PM That De Gea save Sure, the striker should have aimed towards the floor with this but I mean... come on. It's ludicrous that he can react quickly enough and get a strong enough arm at this shot to turn it over. It's astonishing. 8:32PM HALF TIME De Gea has just rescued Man Utd there. It should be 1-0 Sevilla. 8:32PM 45 mins +2 And more exciting! A long ball is read by Young, he cushions it with his first touch back to De Gea... and nobody picks it up! What are they playing at?! De Gea manages to hook the ball away before that becomes a tap in. Sevilla keep the pressure up, the ball is sent into the middle and MURIEL IS ALL ALONE! HE MUST SCORE OH MY HEAVENS LORDY LORDY WHAT A SAVE! That's an incredible save from De Gea! Muriel can't believe it! Attempt Saved: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Luis Muriel, 45 + 1 min) 8:30PM 45 mins +1 What a save by De Gea! The corner is headed to the back post, N'Zonzi tries a bicycle kick and it's turned at goal by another Sevilla player off the head. De Gea has to react instantly to dive and turn it over! 8:29PM 45 mins There are quite a few paper aeroplanes being thrown onto the pitch as United set up a corner. That corner goes so well that Sevilla are able to counter-attack quickly and win their own corner. Mourinho is furious. 8:27PM 43 mins Sanchez fouls Navas and is booked. It's harsh. Lukaku is back defending at right-back... Valencia hooks the ball away, Banega finds Correa... who does a little too much but does get a shot away! Low to the corner but De Gea saves. Valencia doesn't get close to Correa there. Keeper pick-up: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (David de Gea, 42 min) 8:25PM 41 mins Correa is in space wide left in the box but doesn't take his chance to shoot, controls, the defence gets back and his attempted flair pass is knocked behind for a corner. That turns into a goal kick. Sevilla are doing an awful lot without ever actually creating anything genuinely dangerous. 8:23PM 39 mins MCTOMINAAAAAAAAYYYYYYY has a shot saved from distance but it's a solid effort. The ball sits for him about 20 yards out in the kind of position that would make it a crime not to have a wee go. Rico is fairly comfortable with his save. Sevilla break forward but don't look too menacing again. Smalling heads a weak shot behind for a corner, Pogba clears. 8:22PM 37 mins Credit: GETTY IMAGES There he is. Meanwhile, Sevilla have a corner. Their crowd really dislikes many of the referee's decisions but it really does look like he's getting them all dead right. 8:19PM 35 mins McTominay lets me down and himself down and everyone down with a poor pass to Valencia, who has to work hard to win the 50/50 and then dives by the corner flag. The referee isn't having it, Sevilla play on and Vasquez is played in! Oooohhhhh he's a click away from controlling that and having an easy one-on-one but the ball runs past him and he wins a corner instead. Pogba fouls Banega in the centre-circle with a clumsy tackle. 8:17PM 33 mins Sanchez goes down off the ball as Mercado puts his arm out to block the run. There's nothing really in that either. The Sevilla crowd and team are getting a little wound up by the referee. Valencia has absolutely pied Correa with a shoulder drop and sprinted past him on the right but nothing comes of it. 8:15PM 31 mins Lukaku is being kicked around a little bit here. Sanchez points it out to the referee and convinces him to tell off Correa for... basically barging into him. Hmmm. There#s nothing in that for me, Clive. McTominay is having a decent game so far, his first touch is brilliant. 8:13PM 29 mins Correa has a bit of space on the left and dribbles into the penalty area after a superb first touch. He tricks his way into the box but doesn't get enough on his show and De Gea saves easily. 8:12PM 27 mins Credit: REUTERS United are slowly gaining more of the pitch, edging that defensive line further forward. 8:10PM 25 mins Lukaku is in! Great ball over the top, an even better run to get to it... and Lukaku punts his volleyed effort way over the bar. That's a really bad miss. If he had another go at it right now he'd bury it every time. 8:08PM 23 mins N'Zonzi is booked for catching Sanchez on the behind, or to be more specific, his buttock. Sanchez has felt that one, rolls around a bit and then tries to show everyone the wound he may have suffered before deciding maybe he shouldn't do that. The game is pretty scrappy now, both teams look organised and disciplined, though Sevilla are perhaps asking more of the questions. 8:05PM 20 mins Pogba's first involvement is to chase the ball down the right wing and lose it. He's in his dream midfield three now so there's no excuse if this doesn't work for him tonight. Young has to stay alert to head a long diagonal ball behind for a corner. Possession: Sevilla vs Man Utd 8:03PM 18 mins POGBA ALERT. POGBA ALERT. [dabs everywhere] Pogba is on the pitch. Mourinho's evil plans are in tatters. What are the odds he scores and does one of those "shhhhhhh!" celebrations? 8:02PM 17 mins Valencia carries the ball towards the box, Herrera overlaps and is into the box. The pass comes in, he back-heels across goal... and it's cleared away. Oh no! He's injured! Herrera's done for the night, having pulled a muscle with that little run. Darren Fletcher on commentary says "that looks terminal" but I'm not sure Herrera will die from the injury. I don't know for certain. But also I do. 8:01PM 16 mins Banega tries a long range effort but it's too high. Miss: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Éver Banega, 14 min) A chipped ball over the top towards Lukaku causes panic as Lenglet and Mercado struggle to cope with his strength and balance... but he can't take the ball down nor pass it to Mata and Sevilla deal with the situation well. Sevilla go forward quickly and get another shot away. This time it's wide. Miss: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Jesús Navas, 15 min) 7:57PM 13 mins Sanchez runs into space, controls and pushes the ball towards the box... but Navas speeds in (the one with the sharp blue eyes - don't act like you don't know) and shuts him down. 7:56PM 12 mins Sevilla taking their time with passes, United fall behind the halfway line to compact the midfield and Sevilla can't really go very far. United are effectively keeping them at arm's length. 7:53PM 9 mins Young does really well to stop Sarabia running directly at him and De Gea hits the ball long up the pitch. Valencia gets forward for a throw in, McTominay controls superbly and passes to Lukaku, who hits a ball out to the left wing and Sanchez gets his first touch! Corner to Man Utd. 7:51PM 6 mins Muriel is able to sprint past Smalling but although he's quicker to accelerate, the defender is able to hold him off and win the tackle. Correa tries a step over and goes down under a mistimed tackle from Mata. Sevilla are attacking with purpose here, passing the ball really nicely. 7:48PM 4 mins United have a lot of bodies behind the ball early on! Lukaku is the out-ball, tries to spin N'Zonzi but goes down and loses possession in the centre-circle. This is a definite 4-5-1 from United. Sevilla come forward, Muriel has the ball 25 yards out and tries a shot... SAVE by De Gea! That was a decent effort! 7:47PM 2 mins Sevilla win a corner early on, Banega whips it in but United defend well and get the second phase attack out for a throw. 7:45PM KICK OFF Sevilla kick off 7:42PM Here come the teams You can't even hear this song over the top of the Sevilla support. What a noise! 7:36PM This is genuinely excellent TV BT Sport making use of the expert pundits they have on offer is an absolute treat. I could watch Lampard and Scholes discuss the minute details of how to play in midfield, how they reacted after games, how they'd coach Pogba for the rest of the evening. Lampard has essentially said that Pogba needs to take some responsibility and can't rely on other people to reign him in when he goes wandering. "After Tottenham I wouldn't have slept but he's doing the same thing against Newcastle" is a rough paraphrase. 7:32PM More on Pogba "It's awareness and effort," continues Lampard, who knows exactly what it's like going from attacking midfield to a deeper role. This is great television, lovely stuff by the BT Sport lads. "We're still talking 18 months into his United career where his best position in the team is," says Scholes. "He's a player who scores goals, dictates the pace of the game. I don't think the team sets up to get the best out of Pogba," argues Ferdinand. 7:29PM Mourinho on Pogba This is from a BT Sport VT. "When you speak about Paul Pogba is a player who in his best moment had to stop twice, then when he's playing really well he is suspended." Pogba has been shunted out of momentum a couple of times this season and he's struggled ever so slightly in his last few games, trying to do a little too much. In a midfield two he needs to be a little bit better positionally. "It's all about defensive responsibility, Mourinho's trying to shock him", is what Frank Lampard thinks. 7:06PM Mourinho's reaction to Des Kelly's questions "Three questions and all about Paul?!" he asks after three questions about Paul Pogba's absence. Des knows what he's doing and laughs it off as he moves onto asking about the actual game. 7:03PM Mourinho's 4-3-3 Isn't that a thing. Scott McTominay is preferred to Paul Pogba, Juan Mata gets the nod over Anthony Martial and Mourinho changes to a 4-3-3, despite the clamour for him to do so much sooner to get more out of Pogba. Even Pogba has admitted he's better in a three but Mourinho isn't having it - a talent like that should be able to play in multiple systems, not only one which suits him alone. 6:46PM Do you like holidays? Do you like football? Well wait a darned minute there because I might have the perfect little thing for you to read! The 10 best European football away days Incredibly it doesn't include a trip to Pittodrie, Aberdeen but perhaps that is fair, since once you've attended a match there you never need to go another football game again. Wait, I mean you never want to go to another football game again. 6:39PM Sevilla starting lineup ONCE del #SevillaFC ante el @ManUtd_Es en la IDA de 1/8 de final de la @LigadeCampeones#vamosmisevilla#UCL#ThisIsSevillapic.twitter.com/fiz3jEbvp3— Sevilla Fútbol Club (@SevillaFC) February 21, 2018 6:38PM No Pogba - confirmed Controversial scenes, Clive. What's going on here then? Phenomenal scenes from Jose Mourinho. Martial dropped too. How #MUFC line up for tonight's #UCL clash with Sevilla... pic.twitter.com/7g80OaosMv— Manchester United (@ManUtd) February 21, 2018 6:25PM Good evening! Hello lovely humans, welcome to our liveblog for tonight's Champions League game featuring PAUL POGBA. [dabs everywhere] But wait - what's this? Pogba's on the bench?! That's what Jason Burt's heard and you can read all about it here. Could that switch make Man Utd more balanced on the pitch? Does it make them weaker? Who will dab? Why can't Jose Mourinho get the most out of Paul Pogba? Sevilla are fifth in La Liga and represent a real challenge for United tonight. They play some really nice football and have some excellent players - Ever Banega is an exceptional talent and has the potential to run the game. We'll find out the starting lineups shortly. Until then, let's all think about Pogba. And Romelu Lukaku - Sevilla aren't in the top six of the Premier League, which means he should be able to score against them.
World class is an over used term in football and maybe with Paul Pogba that has been the case but there is no doubt that Manchester United have at least one player worthy of that status as goalkeeper David De Gea once again demonstrated his importance as he kept his team in this Champions League tie. Two superb saves from headers, the second breathtaking, at the end of the first half denied Sevilla who had countless other opportunities against an at times over-run United side who nevertheless go into the second leg of this last-16 encounter on March 13 as favourites to progress into the quarter-finals. Or maybe not if they play like this because for all of Jose Mourinho’s post-match protestations about his team being in control that was simply not the case while it is dispiriting that, once more, the United manager’s pre-occupation was to try and stop the opposition rather than impose him team on them. The visitors looked pedestrian, conservative, restrained; a team lacking in verve. It was a far cry, for example, from the way Liverpool destroyed Porto away last week. And surely United cannot keep relying on De Gea? In fact Mourinho congratulated himself on how his midfield had controlled the Sevilla playmaker Ever Banega – not quite true – and he lauded his decision to field Scott McTominay from the start, and as competently as the promising young Scot did perform, he is an essentially destructive, rather than constructive, player. Credit: GETTY IMAGES On his return from illness Pogba was dropped, and that obviously caused quite a stir, but he had to be called on after just 18 minutes when Ander Herrera pulled up injured as he attempted a back-heel – much to Mourinho’s frustration. Pogba’s contribution was later distilled by his manager into one about working hard for the team – not quite effusive praise – while Mourinho also launched himself into an argument that all players have to work hard, and not being free spirits, when he was asked an innocuous question about Alexis Sanchez. Sanchez was far from his best on his return to Champions League football following his January move from Arsenal and was withdrawn before the end. And neither was Pogba much better. This was hugely disappointing. United’s alleged control was arguable for De Gea made eight saves in all from 25 attempts at goal by Sevilla – the most for a United goalkeeper in a Champions League game since Edwin van der Sar versus Barcelona in May 2011. Average touch positions (0 min) And Sevilla, fifth in La Liga, are no Barcelona of that or even this vintage. Whatever their attacking intent and desire to score under their new head coach Vincenzo Montella for whom this was only a second match in this competition against Mourinho’s 140 games. And yet United’s display smacked of a performance from a team set out by a manager more concerned about stopping the opposition than winning the game. But Mourinho is a master of the knockout competitions, or at least going deep into them, and will argue this kind of occasion is about managing the two matches. And not just the one. Get through this tie and his approach worked. But United were flat. They were underwhelming. Except for De Gea who was elevated to such an imposing status that it seemed to get into the heads of the Sevilla players who, after his two saves just before half-time, continued to play well, attack well but snatched at chances. The closer to De Gea they got, in fact, the less sure they became. They did not look like they believed they could beat him. He got bigger, the goal got smaller. Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal The first save was smart enough as De Gea flicked a powerful header from Steven Nzonzi over the bar, after the midfielder had reached an acrobatic overhead kick back across the penalty area by the lively striker, Luis Muriel. And then De Gea made that incredible save from Muriel – soon after mix-up between the goalkeeper and defender Victor Lindelof – as the forward was picked out unmarked by Jesus Navas with a cross from the right. As Muriel reached the ball he seemed certain to plant his header, from no more than six yards, into the net but De Gea shot out an arm to block. It needed a double-take to believe what had happened. Muriel pressed his head against the post in disbelief for several seconds. When the half-time whistle blew soon after both Muriel and his team-mate Gabriel Mercado even took time to shake De Gea’s hand before he walked down the tunnel. Attempt Saved: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Luis Muriel, 45 + 1 min) There were more saves, relatively routine ones, from De Gea who turned away a skidding shot from Muriel, in the first half, and from Joaquin Correa after he jinked in from the right, and from Correa again as he attempted to bend the ball into the corner. But after his amazing save from Muriel it seemed Sevilla believed they had to find the precise finish and Clement Lenglet, Franco Vazquez and Muriel, again, were wasteful as they attempted that. It was summed up when Muriel crossed towards the far post and Correa appeared to have the chance to head home but was clearly mindful of De Gea scampering across and tried for too much power. Again it sailed over the bar. And what about Romelu Lukaku, United’s other big name? The striker was picked out by Sanchez with a clever lofted ball through, but despite having time and space he skied his volley high over the target. Then in the second half he controlled the ball with an arm before firing it into the net. It was rightly ruled out. And that was it. He did little else. David De Gea produced a stunning save to keep Man Utd in the game Credit: REUTERS In fact United only had a single shot on target and that was from McTominay, a first-time effort from outside the area, that was pushed away by goalkeeper Sergio Rico. Mourinho argued that the space opened up for United, but he must have been watching a different game. In this one he was indebted to Sevilla’s profligacy and the brilliance of De Gea. 10:03PM Jose Mourinho loves McTominay &quot;OK. Decision at Old Trafford, it&#39;s a match in our house, I believe that Old Trafford misses a big European night. Of course we had last season but Europa League has a different meaning, and they can create similar atmosphere we had today and push us through a difficult match. &quot;Can I hug you? [hugs Des Kelly] That&#39;s a question. I was in a press conference before and the questions were about Paul and I think the question should be about the kid. He was fantastic, did everything well, put lots of pressure on Banega which was important, always comfortable, simple in possession. He was brilliant. In my opinion the midfield started well and when Herrera came out, Paul worked hard.&quot; 9:42PM Team shapes Average touch positions (0 min) 9:38PM Paul Scholes &quot;Bad game of football, a difficult watch to be honest. Job done for United, I think they&#39;ll be comfortable at Old Trafford.&quot; Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal 9:36PM Mourinho knows how setup a defence The 23rd clean sheet of the season for Man Utd. 9:35PM FULL TIME Not the most memorable of European nights. Sevilla are extremely medium, Man Utd didn&#39;t have enough to take anything home with them. There&#39;s something in Mourinho&#39;s team that doesn&#39;t quite click and this was another disjointed performance, albeit one that has produced the 0-0 he will have wanted. 9:34PM 90 mins +1 This game is done. Neither team really pushing for a goal, there&#39;s still no pace to the passing, it&#39;s a 0-0 game. 9:31PM 89 mins Rashford goes for the knuckle-ball, it flies off the mark and zips wide of the post. Banega off, Pizarro on. 9:31PM 88 mins Rashford wins a free-kick after a blatant foul 30 yards out. The replays of that Navas dive are painful viewing. 9:30PM 87 mins Sandro is involved straight away, links a pass and moves, Sevilla keep coming and Sarabia is played in behind! He pulls the ball back across the box - there must be a finish here! Sandro has to stop and turn a couple of times... and the shot is blocked. Navas comes steaming in to pick up the loose ball and goes flying over a tackle. The referee doesn&#39;t care and he&#39;s right because it&#39;s a dive. Boooooo! 9:28PM 85 mins Sandro is about to come on for Vazquez, but then Montella goes a bit mad on the touchline and decides to take off Muriel instead. The whole stadium seems perplexed by that change of heart but it makes sense. Striker for a striker. 9:25PM 83 mins 0-0 might seem like a decent result to take back to Old Trafford but it only takes one mistake and Sevilla to score from it and all of a sudden United need to score two. United are attacking now... and LUKAKU HAS SCORED! No he hasn&#39;t. It&#39;s a handball. Pogba&#39;s scooped pass for the assist there was superb. 9:23PM 81 mins Mata off for Martial. That&#39;ll give United some energy and speed on the wings for the final 10 minutes as they look for that crucial away goal. 9:21PM 78 mins Credit: REUTERS This picture gives you some idea of how close-range that De Gea save was earlier. You&#39;d think it might concern Mourinho that the best thing United have done all night was stopping this header going in but the score is still 0-0 so who knows. I haven&#39;t won several European trophies, what do I know. 9:19PM 77 mins Rashford takes on Navas for pace but, somewhat unsurprisingly, isn&#39;t able to win that particular race. 9:17PM 75 mins Sanchez has been poor tonight. And actually, I&#39;m not sure if I&#39;ve seen him play well for Man Utd apart from that Yeovil game... he&#39;s doing too much and not sticking to his job on the left wing. Rashford comes on. 9:15PM 73 mins Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal None of these have been particularly close, except the two De Gea saved from close range. And they&#39;ve just missed another! Muriel dances down the right and chips to the back post. Sarabia should really score from about four yards but heads over. That&#39;s a huge miss. 9:14PM 72 mins A cross from wide right is whipped low into the six yard box but Smalling makes sure Muriel can&#39;t get onto it. 9:13PM 70 mins Sevilla are painfully slow. It&#39;s so easy to shut them down and United are not having to work especially hard to do so. Lukaku holds off his man on the left, Sanchez takes the ball on and the pitch opens up for this United attack! There&#39;s a big chance here if Lukaku can find the pass... but a right footed pass across the pitch is easily cut out. 9:09PM 67 mins Banega goes for a knuckle ball, Juninho-style free-kick but De Gea catches easily. Lukaku does well to win a corner. 9:08PM 66 mins Correa comes inside from the left, goes past two players and then a stepover takes him into the area! He can shoot from here... but his shot flies into the stand. Another free-kick for Sevilla near the United box. 9:07PM 65 mins Banega hits a really good ball into the area... it&#39;s headed at goal from six yards... and De Gea saves again. This time it&#39;s a bit easier. Credit: REUTERS 9:05PM 63 mins Lukaku hits the wall. United keep some level of pressure up... but Sanchez and Pogba and Mata can&#39;t produce anything of note and Lukaku doesn&#39;t attack the cross with any real aggression. McTominay controls the ball well in the air, the Sevilla defender kicks his foot... aaaaand the referee gives a free-kick to Sevilla. Foul after foul after foul after foul. They&#39;re all so weak! Players falling over all the place. Put a lion on the pitch, see what happens. 9:03PM 61 mins More slow build up. The Sevilla fans boo, Sanchez is told where to go by McTominay after drifting inside the pitch but Sanchez&#39;s run towards the box is stopped by a slide tackle. United have a decent set piece position here. 9:01PM 59 mins United sit in their own defensive third, walking around the pitch as Sevilla jog their way forward. Muriel tries another shot at goal but puts it wide. De Gea wanders over, never worried about that one creeping in. Out: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Luis Muriel, 58 min) It&#39;d be nice if Man Utd could do something exciting soon. Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal 8:59PM 56 mins Lukaku moves out to the right wing, dribbles past one man and then tries to pass across the box. It&#39;s aimed poorly and Sevilla come away with the ball, Lindelof pulls Vazquez&#39;s shirt and gives away a free-kick in the centre-circle. McTominay is fouled by Escudero... it&#39;s so scrappy. Both teams are slow in build up and then someone fouls someone else. Nothing comes from the free-kicks or corners. 8:56PM 54 mins Young tries to go past Sarabia but loses the ball and the counter-attack is on. Matic is caught behind the play, Muriel comes inside and shoots... but it&#39;s another corner. This is such a frustrating, scrappy game. A real Mourinho European match. He&#39;ll get them the result but it&#39;s far from beautiful flowing football. 8:54PM 52 mins Average touch positions (50 min) You can see why Mourinho needs Young to get forward. Sanchez is basically playing as a second striker and it&#39;s making United lopsided. Vazquez tries a shot from 20 yards but bends it way over the bar. 8:53PM 50 mins Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal 8:51PM 49 mins McTominay does well to shield the ball and link a few passes together in the midfield. Young overlaps and gets into the box, winning a corner. It seems that Mourinho has pushed his full-backs further forward in this half. Mata&#39;s first touch to kill the corner is amazing, he then sells a dummy to two defenders and chips into the centre but nobody is there. Sometimes Mata is ridiculously good. 8:49PM 47 mins Sandro (that guy Everton bought) is on the bench for Sevilla and has number 99 on his shirt. This. Ends. NOW! 8:48PM KICK OFF 2 Kick off 2 man utd &quot;They don&#39;t look too threatening really,&quot; says Paul Scholes of Sevilla. I&#39;d argue both look pretty tame. A 0-0 beckons! Or does it? Let&#39;s find out! 8:38PM De Gea praise from a proper goalkeeper This guy used to play in goal for Aberdeen, he knows what it means to face an onslaught of shots. David De Gea is incredible. What. A. Save. Don’t say “Anywhere else and it’s a goal.” or “He should score.” because nothing should detract from that save. From that range and with that power, he’s denied an almost certain goal. Just brilliant.— David Preece (@davidpreece12) February 21, 2018 8:35PM Sevilla&#39;s paper planes Credit: REUTERS 8:33PM That De Gea save Sure, the striker should have aimed towards the floor with this but I mean... come on. It&#39;s ludicrous that he can react quickly enough and get a strong enough arm at this shot to turn it over. It&#39;s astonishing. 8:32PM HALF TIME De Gea has just rescued Man Utd there. It should be 1-0 Sevilla. 8:32PM 45 mins +2 And more exciting! A long ball is read by Young, he cushions it with his first touch back to De Gea... and nobody picks it up! What are they playing at?! De Gea manages to hook the ball away before that becomes a tap in. Sevilla keep the pressure up, the ball is sent into the middle and MURIEL IS ALL ALONE! HE MUST SCORE OH MY HEAVENS LORDY LORDY WHAT A SAVE! That&#39;s an incredible save from De Gea! Muriel can&#39;t believe it! Attempt Saved: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Luis Muriel, 45 + 1 min) 8:30PM 45 mins +1 What a save by De Gea! The corner is headed to the back post, N&#39;Zonzi tries a bicycle kick and it&#39;s turned at goal by another Sevilla player off the head. De Gea has to react instantly to dive and turn it over! 8:29PM 45 mins There are quite a few paper aeroplanes being thrown onto the pitch as United set up a corner. That corner goes so well that Sevilla are able to counter-attack quickly and win their own corner. Mourinho is furious. 8:27PM 43 mins Sanchez fouls Navas and is booked. It&#39;s harsh. Lukaku is back defending at right-back... Valencia hooks the ball away, Banega finds Correa... who does a little too much but does get a shot away! Low to the corner but De Gea saves. Valencia doesn&#39;t get close to Correa there. Keeper pick-up: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (David de Gea, 42 min) 8:25PM 41 mins Correa is in space wide left in the box but doesn&#39;t take his chance to shoot, controls, the defence gets back and his attempted flair pass is knocked behind for a corner. That turns into a goal kick. Sevilla are doing an awful lot without ever actually creating anything genuinely dangerous. 8:23PM 39 mins MCTOMINAAAAAAAAYYYYYYY has a shot saved from distance but it&#39;s a solid effort. The ball sits for him about 20 yards out in the kind of position that would make it a crime not to have a wee go. Rico is fairly comfortable with his save. Sevilla break forward but don&#39;t look too menacing again. Smalling heads a weak shot behind for a corner, Pogba clears. 8:22PM 37 mins Credit: GETTY IMAGES There he is. Meanwhile, Sevilla have a corner. Their crowd really dislikes many of the referee&#39;s decisions but it really does look like he&#39;s getting them all dead right. 8:19PM 35 mins McTominay lets me down and himself down and everyone down with a poor pass to Valencia, who has to work hard to win the 50/50 and then dives by the corner flag. The referee isn&#39;t having it, Sevilla play on and Vasquez is played in! Oooohhhhh he&#39;s a click away from controlling that and having an easy one-on-one but the ball runs past him and he wins a corner instead. Pogba fouls Banega in the centre-circle with a clumsy tackle. 8:17PM 33 mins Sanchez goes down off the ball as Mercado puts his arm out to block the run. There&#39;s nothing really in that either. The Sevilla crowd and team are getting a little wound up by the referee. Valencia has absolutely pied Correa with a shoulder drop and sprinted past him on the right but nothing comes of it. 8:15PM 31 mins Lukaku is being kicked around a little bit here. Sanchez points it out to the referee and convinces him to tell off Correa for... basically barging into him. Hmmm. There#s nothing in that for me, Clive. McTominay is having a decent game so far, his first touch is brilliant. 8:13PM 29 mins Correa has a bit of space on the left and dribbles into the penalty area after a superb first touch. He tricks his way into the box but doesn&#39;t get enough on his show and De Gea saves easily. 8:12PM 27 mins Credit: REUTERS United are slowly gaining more of the pitch, edging that defensive line further forward. 8:10PM 25 mins Lukaku is in! Great ball over the top, an even better run to get to it... and Lukaku punts his volleyed effort way over the bar. That&#39;s a really bad miss. If he had another go at it right now he&#39;d bury it every time. 8:08PM 23 mins N&#39;Zonzi is booked for catching Sanchez on the behind, or to be more specific, his buttock. Sanchez has felt that one, rolls around a bit and then tries to show everyone the wound he may have suffered before deciding maybe he shouldn&#39;t do that. The game is pretty scrappy now, both teams look organised and disciplined, though Sevilla are perhaps asking more of the questions. 8:05PM 20 mins Pogba&#39;s first involvement is to chase the ball down the right wing and lose it. He&#39;s in his dream midfield three now so there&#39;s no excuse if this doesn&#39;t work for him tonight. Young has to stay alert to head a long diagonal ball behind for a corner. Possession: Sevilla vs Man Utd 8:03PM 18 mins POGBA ALERT. POGBA ALERT. [dabs everywhere] Pogba is on the pitch. Mourinho&#39;s evil plans are in tatters. What are the odds he scores and does one of those &quot;shhhhhhh!&quot; celebrations? 8:02PM 17 mins Valencia carries the ball towards the box, Herrera overlaps and is into the box. The pass comes in, he back-heels across goal... and it&#39;s cleared away. Oh no! He&#39;s injured! Herrera&#39;s done for the night, having pulled a muscle with that little run. Darren Fletcher on commentary says &quot;that looks terminal&quot; but I&#39;m not sure Herrera will die from the injury. I don&#39;t know for certain. But also I do. 8:01PM 16 mins Banega tries a long range effort but it&#39;s too high. Miss: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Éver Banega, 14 min) A chipped ball over the top towards Lukaku causes panic as Lenglet and Mercado struggle to cope with his strength and balance... but he can&#39;t take the ball down nor pass it to Mata and Sevilla deal with the situation well. Sevilla go forward quickly and get another shot away. This time it&#39;s wide. Miss: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Jesús Navas, 15 min) 7:57PM 13 mins Sanchez runs into space, controls and pushes the ball towards the box... but Navas speeds in (the one with the sharp blue eyes - don&#39;t act like you don&#39;t know) and shuts him down. 7:56PM 12 mins Sevilla taking their time with passes, United fall behind the halfway line to compact the midfield and Sevilla can&#39;t really go very far. United are effectively keeping them at arm&#39;s length. 7:53PM 9 mins Young does really well to stop Sarabia running directly at him and De Gea hits the ball long up the pitch. Valencia gets forward for a throw in, McTominay controls superbly and passes to Lukaku, who hits a ball out to the left wing and Sanchez gets his first touch! Corner to Man Utd. 7:51PM 6 mins Muriel is able to sprint past Smalling but although he&#39;s quicker to accelerate, the defender is able to hold him off and win the tackle. Correa tries a step over and goes down under a mistimed tackle from Mata. Sevilla are attacking with purpose here, passing the ball really nicely. 7:48PM 4 mins United have a lot of bodies behind the ball early on! Lukaku is the out-ball, tries to spin N&#39;Zonzi but goes down and loses possession in the centre-circle. This is a definite 4-5-1 from United. Sevilla come forward, Muriel has the ball 25 yards out and tries a shot... SAVE by De Gea! That was a decent effort! 7:47PM 2 mins Sevilla win a corner early on, Banega whips it in but United defend well and get the second phase attack out for a throw. 7:45PM KICK OFF Sevilla kick off 7:42PM Here come the teams You can&#39;t even hear this song over the top of the Sevilla support. What a noise! 7:36PM This is genuinely excellent TV BT Sport making use of the expert pundits they have on offer is an absolute treat. I could watch Lampard and Scholes discuss the minute details of how to play in midfield, how they reacted after games, how they&#39;d coach Pogba for the rest of the evening. Lampard has essentially said that Pogba needs to take some responsibility and can&#39;t rely on other people to reign him in when he goes wandering. &quot;After Tottenham I wouldn&#39;t have slept but he&#39;s doing the same thing against Newcastle&quot; is a rough paraphrase. 7:32PM More on Pogba &quot;It&#39;s awareness and effort,&quot; continues Lampard, who knows exactly what it&#39;s like going from attacking midfield to a deeper role. This is great television, lovely stuff by the BT Sport lads. &quot;We&#39;re still talking 18 months into his United career where his best position in the team is,&quot; says Scholes. &quot;He&#39;s a player who scores goals, dictates the pace of the game. I don&#39;t think the team sets up to get the best out of Pogba,&quot; argues Ferdinand. 7:29PM Mourinho on Pogba This is from a BT Sport VT. &quot;When you speak about Paul Pogba is a player who in his best moment had to stop twice, then when he&#39;s playing really well he is suspended.&quot; Pogba has been shunted out of momentum a couple of times this season and he&#39;s struggled ever so slightly in his last few games, trying to do a little too much. In a midfield two he needs to be a little bit better positionally. &quot;It&#39;s all about defensive responsibility, Mourinho&#39;s trying to shock him&quot;, is what Frank Lampard thinks. 7:06PM Mourinho&#39;s reaction to Des Kelly&#39;s questions &quot;Three questions and all about Paul?!&quot; he asks after three questions about Paul Pogba&#39;s absence. Des knows what he&#39;s doing and laughs it off as he moves onto asking about the actual game. 7:03PM Mourinho&#39;s 4-3-3 Isn&#39;t that a thing. Scott McTominay is preferred to Paul Pogba, Juan Mata gets the nod over Anthony Martial and Mourinho changes to a 4-3-3, despite the clamour for him to do so much sooner to get more out of Pogba. Even Pogba has admitted he&#39;s better in a three but Mourinho isn&#39;t having it - a talent like that should be able to play in multiple systems, not only one which suits him alone. 6:46PM Do you like holidays? Do you like football? Well wait a darned minute there because I might have the perfect little thing for you to read! The 10 best European football away days Incredibly it doesn&#39;t include a trip to Pittodrie, Aberdeen but perhaps that is fair, since once you&#39;ve attended a match there you never need to go another football game again. Wait, I mean you never want to go to another football game again. 6:39PM Sevilla starting lineup ONCE del #SevillaFC ante el @ManUtd_Es en la IDA de 1/8 de final de la @LigadeCampeones#vamosmisevilla#UCL#ThisIsSevillapic.twitter.com/fiz3jEbvp3— Sevilla Fútbol Club (@SevillaFC) February 21, 2018 6:38PM No Pogba - confirmed Controversial scenes, Clive. What&#39;s going on here then? Phenomenal scenes from Jose Mourinho. Martial dropped too. How #MUFC line up for tonight&#39;s #UCL clash with Sevilla... pic.twitter.com/7g80OaosMv— Manchester United (@ManUtd) February 21, 2018 6:25PM Good evening! Hello lovely humans, welcome to our liveblog for tonight&#39;s Champions League game featuring PAUL POGBA. [dabs everywhere] But wait - what&#39;s this? Pogba&#39;s on the bench?! That&#39;s what Jason Burt&#39;s heard and you can read all about it here. Could that switch make Man Utd more balanced on the pitch? Does it make them weaker? Who will dab? Why can&#39;t Jose Mourinho get the most out of Paul Pogba? Sevilla are fifth in La Liga and represent a real challenge for United tonight. They play some really nice football and have some excellent players - Ever Banega is an exceptional talent and has the potential to run the game. We&#39;ll find out the starting lineups shortly. Until then, let&#39;s all think about Pogba. And Romelu Lukaku - Sevilla aren&#39;t in the top six of the Premier League, which means he should be able to score against them.
Sevilla 0 Man Utd 0: David De Gea produces stunning save as United get job done against wasteful hosts
World class is an over used term in football and maybe with Paul Pogba that has been the case but there is no doubt that Manchester United have at least one player worthy of that status as goalkeeper David De Gea once again demonstrated his importance as he kept his team in this Champions League tie. Two superb saves from headers, the second breathtaking, at the end of the first half denied Sevilla who had countless other opportunities against an at times over-run United side who nevertheless go into the second leg of this last-16 encounter on March 13 as favourites to progress into the quarter-finals. Or maybe not if they play like this because for all of Jose Mourinho’s post-match protestations about his team being in control that was simply not the case while it is dispiriting that, once more, the United manager’s pre-occupation was to try and stop the opposition rather than impose him team on them. The visitors looked pedestrian, conservative, restrained; a team lacking in verve. It was a far cry, for example, from the way Liverpool destroyed Porto away last week. And surely United cannot keep relying on De Gea? In fact Mourinho congratulated himself on how his midfield had controlled the Sevilla playmaker Ever Banega – not quite true – and he lauded his decision to field Scott McTominay from the start, and as competently as the promising young Scot did perform, he is an essentially destructive, rather than constructive, player. Credit: GETTY IMAGES On his return from illness Pogba was dropped, and that obviously caused quite a stir, but he had to be called on after just 18 minutes when Ander Herrera pulled up injured as he attempted a back-heel – much to Mourinho’s frustration. Pogba’s contribution was later distilled by his manager into one about working hard for the team – not quite effusive praise – while Mourinho also launched himself into an argument that all players have to work hard, and not being free spirits, when he was asked an innocuous question about Alexis Sanchez. Sanchez was far from his best on his return to Champions League football following his January move from Arsenal and was withdrawn before the end. And neither was Pogba much better. This was hugely disappointing. United’s alleged control was arguable for De Gea made eight saves in all from 25 attempts at goal by Sevilla – the most for a United goalkeeper in a Champions League game since Edwin van der Sar versus Barcelona in May 2011. Average touch positions (0 min) And Sevilla, fifth in La Liga, are no Barcelona of that or even this vintage. Whatever their attacking intent and desire to score under their new head coach Vincenzo Montella for whom this was only a second match in this competition against Mourinho’s 140 games. And yet United’s display smacked of a performance from a team set out by a manager more concerned about stopping the opposition than winning the game. But Mourinho is a master of the knockout competitions, or at least going deep into them, and will argue this kind of occasion is about managing the two matches. And not just the one. Get through this tie and his approach worked. But United were flat. They were underwhelming. Except for De Gea who was elevated to such an imposing status that it seemed to get into the heads of the Sevilla players who, after his two saves just before half-time, continued to play well, attack well but snatched at chances. The closer to De Gea they got, in fact, the less sure they became. They did not look like they believed they could beat him. He got bigger, the goal got smaller. Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal The first save was smart enough as De Gea flicked a powerful header from Steven Nzonzi over the bar, after the midfielder had reached an acrobatic overhead kick back across the penalty area by the lively striker, Luis Muriel. And then De Gea made that incredible save from Muriel – soon after mix-up between the goalkeeper and defender Victor Lindelof – as the forward was picked out unmarked by Jesus Navas with a cross from the right. As Muriel reached the ball he seemed certain to plant his header, from no more than six yards, into the net but De Gea shot out an arm to block. It needed a double-take to believe what had happened. Muriel pressed his head against the post in disbelief for several seconds. When the half-time whistle blew soon after both Muriel and his team-mate Gabriel Mercado even took time to shake De Gea’s hand before he walked down the tunnel. Attempt Saved: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Luis Muriel, 45 + 1 min) There were more saves, relatively routine ones, from De Gea who turned away a skidding shot from Muriel, in the first half, and from Joaquin Correa after he jinked in from the right, and from Correa again as he attempted to bend the ball into the corner. But after his amazing save from Muriel it seemed Sevilla believed they had to find the precise finish and Clement Lenglet, Franco Vazquez and Muriel, again, were wasteful as they attempted that. It was summed up when Muriel crossed towards the far post and Correa appeared to have the chance to head home but was clearly mindful of De Gea scampering across and tried for too much power. Again it sailed over the bar. And what about Romelu Lukaku, United’s other big name? The striker was picked out by Sanchez with a clever lofted ball through, but despite having time and space he skied his volley high over the target. Then in the second half he controlled the ball with an arm before firing it into the net. It was rightly ruled out. And that was it. He did little else. David De Gea produced a stunning save to keep Man Utd in the game Credit: REUTERS In fact United only had a single shot on target and that was from McTominay, a first-time effort from outside the area, that was pushed away by goalkeeper Sergio Rico. Mourinho argued that the space opened up for United, but he must have been watching a different game. In this one he was indebted to Sevilla’s profligacy and the brilliance of De Gea. 10:03PM Jose Mourinho loves McTominay "OK. Decision at Old Trafford, it's a match in our house, I believe that Old Trafford misses a big European night. Of course we had last season but Europa League has a different meaning, and they can create similar atmosphere we had today and push us through a difficult match. "Can I hug you? [hugs Des Kelly] That's a question. I was in a press conference before and the questions were about Paul and I think the question should be about the kid. He was fantastic, did everything well, put lots of pressure on Banega which was important, always comfortable, simple in possession. He was brilliant. In my opinion the midfield started well and when Herrera came out, Paul worked hard." 9:42PM Team shapes Average touch positions (0 min) 9:38PM Paul Scholes "Bad game of football, a difficult watch to be honest. Job done for United, I think they'll be comfortable at Old Trafford." Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal 9:36PM Mourinho knows how setup a defence The 23rd clean sheet of the season for Man Utd. 9:35PM FULL TIME Not the most memorable of European nights. Sevilla are extremely medium, Man Utd didn't have enough to take anything home with them. There's something in Mourinho's team that doesn't quite click and this was another disjointed performance, albeit one that has produced the 0-0 he will have wanted. 9:34PM 90 mins +1 This game is done. Neither team really pushing for a goal, there's still no pace to the passing, it's a 0-0 game. 9:31PM 89 mins Rashford goes for the knuckle-ball, it flies off the mark and zips wide of the post. Banega off, Pizarro on. 9:31PM 88 mins Rashford wins a free-kick after a blatant foul 30 yards out. The replays of that Navas dive are painful viewing. 9:30PM 87 mins Sandro is involved straight away, links a pass and moves, Sevilla keep coming and Sarabia is played in behind! He pulls the ball back across the box - there must be a finish here! Sandro has to stop and turn a couple of times... and the shot is blocked. Navas comes steaming in to pick up the loose ball and goes flying over a tackle. The referee doesn't care and he's right because it's a dive. Boooooo! 9:28PM 85 mins Sandro is about to come on for Vazquez, but then Montella goes a bit mad on the touchline and decides to take off Muriel instead. The whole stadium seems perplexed by that change of heart but it makes sense. Striker for a striker. 9:25PM 83 mins 0-0 might seem like a decent result to take back to Old Trafford but it only takes one mistake and Sevilla to score from it and all of a sudden United need to score two. United are attacking now... and LUKAKU HAS SCORED! No he hasn't. It's a handball. Pogba's scooped pass for the assist there was superb. 9:23PM 81 mins Mata off for Martial. That'll give United some energy and speed on the wings for the final 10 minutes as they look for that crucial away goal. 9:21PM 78 mins Credit: REUTERS This picture gives you some idea of how close-range that De Gea save was earlier. You'd think it might concern Mourinho that the best thing United have done all night was stopping this header going in but the score is still 0-0 so who knows. I haven't won several European trophies, what do I know. 9:19PM 77 mins Rashford takes on Navas for pace but, somewhat unsurprisingly, isn't able to win that particular race. 9:17PM 75 mins Sanchez has been poor tonight. And actually, I'm not sure if I've seen him play well for Man Utd apart from that Yeovil game... he's doing too much and not sticking to his job on the left wing. Rashford comes on. 9:15PM 73 mins Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal None of these have been particularly close, except the two De Gea saved from close range. And they've just missed another! Muriel dances down the right and chips to the back post. Sarabia should really score from about four yards but heads over. That's a huge miss. 9:14PM 72 mins A cross from wide right is whipped low into the six yard box but Smalling makes sure Muriel can't get onto it. 9:13PM 70 mins Sevilla are painfully slow. It's so easy to shut them down and United are not having to work especially hard to do so. Lukaku holds off his man on the left, Sanchez takes the ball on and the pitch opens up for this United attack! There's a big chance here if Lukaku can find the pass... but a right footed pass across the pitch is easily cut out. 9:09PM 67 mins Banega goes for a knuckle ball, Juninho-style free-kick but De Gea catches easily. Lukaku does well to win a corner. 9:08PM 66 mins Correa comes inside from the left, goes past two players and then a stepover takes him into the area! He can shoot from here... but his shot flies into the stand. Another free-kick for Sevilla near the United box. 9:07PM 65 mins Banega hits a really good ball into the area... it's headed at goal from six yards... and De Gea saves again. This time it's a bit easier. Credit: REUTERS 9:05PM 63 mins Lukaku hits the wall. United keep some level of pressure up... but Sanchez and Pogba and Mata can't produce anything of note and Lukaku doesn't attack the cross with any real aggression. McTominay controls the ball well in the air, the Sevilla defender kicks his foot... aaaaand the referee gives a free-kick to Sevilla. Foul after foul after foul after foul. They're all so weak! Players falling over all the place. Put a lion on the pitch, see what happens. 9:03PM 61 mins More slow build up. The Sevilla fans boo, Sanchez is told where to go by McTominay after drifting inside the pitch but Sanchez's run towards the box is stopped by a slide tackle. United have a decent set piece position here. 9:01PM 59 mins United sit in their own defensive third, walking around the pitch as Sevilla jog their way forward. Muriel tries another shot at goal but puts it wide. De Gea wanders over, never worried about that one creeping in. Out: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Luis Muriel, 58 min) It'd be nice if Man Utd could do something exciting soon. Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal 8:59PM 56 mins Lukaku moves out to the right wing, dribbles past one man and then tries to pass across the box. It's aimed poorly and Sevilla come away with the ball, Lindelof pulls Vazquez's shirt and gives away a free-kick in the centre-circle. McTominay is fouled by Escudero... it's so scrappy. Both teams are slow in build up and then someone fouls someone else. Nothing comes from the free-kicks or corners. 8:56PM 54 mins Young tries to go past Sarabia but loses the ball and the counter-attack is on. Matic is caught behind the play, Muriel comes inside and shoots... but it's another corner. This is such a frustrating, scrappy game. A real Mourinho European match. He'll get them the result but it's far from beautiful flowing football. 8:54PM 52 mins Average touch positions (50 min) You can see why Mourinho needs Young to get forward. Sanchez is basically playing as a second striker and it's making United lopsided. Vazquez tries a shot from 20 yards but bends it way over the bar. 8:53PM 50 mins Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal 8:51PM 49 mins McTominay does well to shield the ball and link a few passes together in the midfield. Young overlaps and gets into the box, winning a corner. It seems that Mourinho has pushed his full-backs further forward in this half. Mata's first touch to kill the corner is amazing, he then sells a dummy to two defenders and chips into the centre but nobody is there. Sometimes Mata is ridiculously good. 8:49PM 47 mins Sandro (that guy Everton bought) is on the bench for Sevilla and has number 99 on his shirt. This. Ends. NOW! 8:48PM KICK OFF 2 Kick off 2 man utd "They don't look too threatening really," says Paul Scholes of Sevilla. I'd argue both look pretty tame. A 0-0 beckons! Or does it? Let's find out! 8:38PM De Gea praise from a proper goalkeeper This guy used to play in goal for Aberdeen, he knows what it means to face an onslaught of shots. David De Gea is incredible. What. A. Save. Don’t say “Anywhere else and it’s a goal.” or “He should score.” because nothing should detract from that save. From that range and with that power, he’s denied an almost certain goal. Just brilliant.— David Preece (@davidpreece12) February 21, 2018 8:35PM Sevilla's paper planes Credit: REUTERS 8:33PM That De Gea save Sure, the striker should have aimed towards the floor with this but I mean... come on. It's ludicrous that he can react quickly enough and get a strong enough arm at this shot to turn it over. It's astonishing. 8:32PM HALF TIME De Gea has just rescued Man Utd there. It should be 1-0 Sevilla. 8:32PM 45 mins +2 And more exciting! A long ball is read by Young, he cushions it with his first touch back to De Gea... and nobody picks it up! What are they playing at?! De Gea manages to hook the ball away before that becomes a tap in. Sevilla keep the pressure up, the ball is sent into the middle and MURIEL IS ALL ALONE! HE MUST SCORE OH MY HEAVENS LORDY LORDY WHAT A SAVE! That's an incredible save from De Gea! Muriel can't believe it! Attempt Saved: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Luis Muriel, 45 + 1 min) 8:30PM 45 mins +1 What a save by De Gea! The corner is headed to the back post, N'Zonzi tries a bicycle kick and it's turned at goal by another Sevilla player off the head. De Gea has to react instantly to dive and turn it over! 8:29PM 45 mins There are quite a few paper aeroplanes being thrown onto the pitch as United set up a corner. That corner goes so well that Sevilla are able to counter-attack quickly and win their own corner. Mourinho is furious. 8:27PM 43 mins Sanchez fouls Navas and is booked. It's harsh. Lukaku is back defending at right-back... Valencia hooks the ball away, Banega finds Correa... who does a little too much but does get a shot away! Low to the corner but De Gea saves. Valencia doesn't get close to Correa there. Keeper pick-up: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (David de Gea, 42 min) 8:25PM 41 mins Correa is in space wide left in the box but doesn't take his chance to shoot, controls, the defence gets back and his attempted flair pass is knocked behind for a corner. That turns into a goal kick. Sevilla are doing an awful lot without ever actually creating anything genuinely dangerous. 8:23PM 39 mins MCTOMINAAAAAAAAYYYYYYY has a shot saved from distance but it's a solid effort. The ball sits for him about 20 yards out in the kind of position that would make it a crime not to have a wee go. Rico is fairly comfortable with his save. Sevilla break forward but don't look too menacing again. Smalling heads a weak shot behind for a corner, Pogba clears. 8:22PM 37 mins Credit: GETTY IMAGES There he is. Meanwhile, Sevilla have a corner. Their crowd really dislikes many of the referee's decisions but it really does look like he's getting them all dead right. 8:19PM 35 mins McTominay lets me down and himself down and everyone down with a poor pass to Valencia, who has to work hard to win the 50/50 and then dives by the corner flag. The referee isn't having it, Sevilla play on and Vasquez is played in! Oooohhhhh he's a click away from controlling that and having an easy one-on-one but the ball runs past him and he wins a corner instead. Pogba fouls Banega in the centre-circle with a clumsy tackle. 8:17PM 33 mins Sanchez goes down off the ball as Mercado puts his arm out to block the run. There's nothing really in that either. The Sevilla crowd and team are getting a little wound up by the referee. Valencia has absolutely pied Correa with a shoulder drop and sprinted past him on the right but nothing comes of it. 8:15PM 31 mins Lukaku is being kicked around a little bit here. Sanchez points it out to the referee and convinces him to tell off Correa for... basically barging into him. Hmmm. There#s nothing in that for me, Clive. McTominay is having a decent game so far, his first touch is brilliant. 8:13PM 29 mins Correa has a bit of space on the left and dribbles into the penalty area after a superb first touch. He tricks his way into the box but doesn't get enough on his show and De Gea saves easily. 8:12PM 27 mins Credit: REUTERS United are slowly gaining more of the pitch, edging that defensive line further forward. 8:10PM 25 mins Lukaku is in! Great ball over the top, an even better run to get to it... and Lukaku punts his volleyed effort way over the bar. That's a really bad miss. If he had another go at it right now he'd bury it every time. 8:08PM 23 mins N'Zonzi is booked for catching Sanchez on the behind, or to be more specific, his buttock. Sanchez has felt that one, rolls around a bit and then tries to show everyone the wound he may have suffered before deciding maybe he shouldn't do that. The game is pretty scrappy now, both teams look organised and disciplined, though Sevilla are perhaps asking more of the questions. 8:05PM 20 mins Pogba's first involvement is to chase the ball down the right wing and lose it. He's in his dream midfield three now so there's no excuse if this doesn't work for him tonight. Young has to stay alert to head a long diagonal ball behind for a corner. Possession: Sevilla vs Man Utd 8:03PM 18 mins POGBA ALERT. POGBA ALERT. [dabs everywhere] Pogba is on the pitch. Mourinho's evil plans are in tatters. What are the odds he scores and does one of those "shhhhhhh!" celebrations? 8:02PM 17 mins Valencia carries the ball towards the box, Herrera overlaps and is into the box. The pass comes in, he back-heels across goal... and it's cleared away. Oh no! He's injured! Herrera's done for the night, having pulled a muscle with that little run. Darren Fletcher on commentary says "that looks terminal" but I'm not sure Herrera will die from the injury. I don't know for certain. But also I do. 8:01PM 16 mins Banega tries a long range effort but it's too high. Miss: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Éver Banega, 14 min) A chipped ball over the top towards Lukaku causes panic as Lenglet and Mercado struggle to cope with his strength and balance... but he can't take the ball down nor pass it to Mata and Sevilla deal with the situation well. Sevilla go forward quickly and get another shot away. This time it's wide. Miss: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Jesús Navas, 15 min) 7:57PM 13 mins Sanchez runs into space, controls and pushes the ball towards the box... but Navas speeds in (the one with the sharp blue eyes - don't act like you don't know) and shuts him down. 7:56PM 12 mins Sevilla taking their time with passes, United fall behind the halfway line to compact the midfield and Sevilla can't really go very far. United are effectively keeping them at arm's length. 7:53PM 9 mins Young does really well to stop Sarabia running directly at him and De Gea hits the ball long up the pitch. Valencia gets forward for a throw in, McTominay controls superbly and passes to Lukaku, who hits a ball out to the left wing and Sanchez gets his first touch! Corner to Man Utd. 7:51PM 6 mins Muriel is able to sprint past Smalling but although he's quicker to accelerate, the defender is able to hold him off and win the tackle. Correa tries a step over and goes down under a mistimed tackle from Mata. Sevilla are attacking with purpose here, passing the ball really nicely. 7:48PM 4 mins United have a lot of bodies behind the ball early on! Lukaku is the out-ball, tries to spin N'Zonzi but goes down and loses possession in the centre-circle. This is a definite 4-5-1 from United. Sevilla come forward, Muriel has the ball 25 yards out and tries a shot... SAVE by De Gea! That was a decent effort! 7:47PM 2 mins Sevilla win a corner early on, Banega whips it in but United defend well and get the second phase attack out for a throw. 7:45PM KICK OFF Sevilla kick off 7:42PM Here come the teams You can't even hear this song over the top of the Sevilla support. What a noise! 7:36PM This is genuinely excellent TV BT Sport making use of the expert pundits they have on offer is an absolute treat. I could watch Lampard and Scholes discuss the minute details of how to play in midfield, how they reacted after games, how they'd coach Pogba for the rest of the evening. Lampard has essentially said that Pogba needs to take some responsibility and can't rely on other people to reign him in when he goes wandering. "After Tottenham I wouldn't have slept but he's doing the same thing against Newcastle" is a rough paraphrase. 7:32PM More on Pogba "It's awareness and effort," continues Lampard, who knows exactly what it's like going from attacking midfield to a deeper role. This is great television, lovely stuff by the BT Sport lads. "We're still talking 18 months into his United career where his best position in the team is," says Scholes. "He's a player who scores goals, dictates the pace of the game. I don't think the team sets up to get the best out of Pogba," argues Ferdinand. 7:29PM Mourinho on Pogba This is from a BT Sport VT. "When you speak about Paul Pogba is a player who in his best moment had to stop twice, then when he's playing really well he is suspended." Pogba has been shunted out of momentum a couple of times this season and he's struggled ever so slightly in his last few games, trying to do a little too much. In a midfield two he needs to be a little bit better positionally. "It's all about defensive responsibility, Mourinho's trying to shock him", is what Frank Lampard thinks. 7:06PM Mourinho's reaction to Des Kelly's questions "Three questions and all about Paul?!" he asks after three questions about Paul Pogba's absence. Des knows what he's doing and laughs it off as he moves onto asking about the actual game. 7:03PM Mourinho's 4-3-3 Isn't that a thing. Scott McTominay is preferred to Paul Pogba, Juan Mata gets the nod over Anthony Martial and Mourinho changes to a 4-3-3, despite the clamour for him to do so much sooner to get more out of Pogba. Even Pogba has admitted he's better in a three but Mourinho isn't having it - a talent like that should be able to play in multiple systems, not only one which suits him alone. 6:46PM Do you like holidays? Do you like football? Well wait a darned minute there because I might have the perfect little thing for you to read! The 10 best European football away days Incredibly it doesn't include a trip to Pittodrie, Aberdeen but perhaps that is fair, since once you've attended a match there you never need to go another football game again. Wait, I mean you never want to go to another football game again. 6:39PM Sevilla starting lineup ONCE del #SevillaFC ante el @ManUtd_Es en la IDA de 1/8 de final de la @LigadeCampeones#vamosmisevilla#UCL#ThisIsSevillapic.twitter.com/fiz3jEbvp3— Sevilla Fútbol Club (@SevillaFC) February 21, 2018 6:38PM No Pogba - confirmed Controversial scenes, Clive. What's going on here then? Phenomenal scenes from Jose Mourinho. Martial dropped too. How #MUFC line up for tonight's #UCL clash with Sevilla... pic.twitter.com/7g80OaosMv— Manchester United (@ManUtd) February 21, 2018 6:25PM Good evening! Hello lovely humans, welcome to our liveblog for tonight's Champions League game featuring PAUL POGBA. [dabs everywhere] But wait - what's this? Pogba's on the bench?! That's what Jason Burt's heard and you can read all about it here. Could that switch make Man Utd more balanced on the pitch? Does it make them weaker? Who will dab? Why can't Jose Mourinho get the most out of Paul Pogba? Sevilla are fifth in La Liga and represent a real challenge for United tonight. They play some really nice football and have some excellent players - Ever Banega is an exceptional talent and has the potential to run the game. We'll find out the starting lineups shortly. Until then, let's all think about Pogba. And Romelu Lukaku - Sevilla aren't in the top six of the Premier League, which means he should be able to score against them.
 9:42PM Team shapes Average touch positions (0 min) 9:38PM Paul Scholes &quot;Bad game of football, a difficult watch to be honest. Job done for United, I think they&#39;ll be comfortable at Old Trafford.&quot; Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal 9:36PM Mourinho knows how setup a defence The 23rd clean sheet of the season for Man Utd. 9:35PM FULL TIME Not the most memorable of European nights. Sevilla are extremely medium, Man Utd didn&#39;t have enough to take anything home with them. There&#39;s something in Mourinho&#39;s team that doesn&#39;t quite click and this was another disjointed performance, albeit one that has produced the 0-0 he will have wanted. 9:34PM 90 mins +1 This game is done. Neither team really pushing for a goal, there&#39;s still no pace to the passing, it&#39;s a 0-0 game. 9:31PM 89 mins Rashford goes for the knuckle-ball, it flies off the mark and zips wide of the post. Banega off, Pizarro on. 9:31PM 88 mins Rashford wins a free-kick after a blatant foul 30 yards out. The replays of that Navas dive are painful viewing. 9:30PM 87 mins Sandro is involved straight away, links a pass and moves, Sevilla keep coming and Sarabia is played in behind! He pulls the ball back across the box - there must be a finish here! Sandro has to stop and turn a couple of times... and the shot is blocked. Navas comes steaming in to pick up the loose ball and goes flying over a tackle. The referee doesn&#39;t care and he&#39;s right because it&#39;s a dive. Boooooo! 9:28PM 85 mins Sandro is about to come on for Vazquez, but then Montella goes a bit mad on the touchline and decides to take off Muriel instead. The whole stadium seems perplexed by that change of heart but it makes sense. Striker for a striker. 9:25PM 83 mins 0-0 might seem like a decent result to take back to Old Trafford but it only takes one mistake and Sevilla to score from it and all of a sudden United need to score two. United are attacking now... and LUKAKU HAS SCORED! No he hasn&#39;t. It&#39;s a handball. Pogba&#39;s scooped pass for the assist there was superb. 9:23PM 81 mins Mata off for Martial. That&#39;ll give United some energy and speed on the wings for the final 10 minutes as they look for that crucial away goal. 9:21PM 78 mins Credit: REUTERS This picture gives you some idea of how close-range that De Gea save was earlier. You&#39;d think it might concern Mourinho that the best thing United have done all night was stopping this header going in but the score is still 0-0 so who knows. I haven&#39;t won several European trophies, what do I know. 9:19PM 77 mins Rashford takes on Navas for pace but, somewhat unsurprisingly, isn&#39;t able to win that particular race. 9:17PM 75 mins Sanchez has been poor tonight. And actually, I&#39;m not sure if I&#39;ve seen him play well for Man Utd apart from that Yeovil game... he&#39;s doing too much and not sticking to his job on the left wing. Rashford comes on. 9:15PM 73 mins Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal None of these have been particularly close, except the two De Gea saved from close range. And they&#39;ve just missed another! Muriel dances down the right and chips to the back post. Sarabia should really score from about four yards but heads over. That&#39;s a huge miss. 9:14PM 72 mins A cross from wide right is whipped low into the six yard box but Smalling makes sure Muriel can&#39;t get onto it. 9:13PM 70 mins Sevilla are painfully slow. It&#39;s so easy to shut them down and United are not having to work especially hard to do so. Lukaku holds off his man on the left, Sanchez takes the ball on and the pitch opens up for this United attack! There&#39;s a big chance here if Lukaku can find the pass... but a right footed pass across the pitch is easily cut out. 9:09PM 67 mins Banega goes for a knuckle ball, Juninho-style free-kick but De Gea catches easily. Lukaku does well to win a corner. 9:08PM 66 mins Correa comes inside from the left, goes past two players and then a stepover takes him into the area! He can shoot from here... but his shot flies into the stand. Another free-kick for Sevilla near the United box. 9:07PM 65 mins Banega hits a really good ball into the area... it&#39;s headed at goal from six yards... and De Gea saves again. This time it&#39;s a bit easier. Credit: REUTERS 9:05PM 63 mins Lukaku hits the wall. United keep some level of pressure up... but Sanchez and Pogba and Mata can&#39;t produce anything of note and Lukaku doesn&#39;t attack the cross with any real aggression. McTominay controls the ball well in the air, the Sevilla defender kicks his foot... aaaaand the referee gives a free-kick to Sevilla. Foul after foul after foul after foul. They&#39;re all so weak! Players falling over all the place. Put a lion on the pitch, see what happens. 9:03PM 61 mins More slow build up. The Sevilla fans boo, Sanchez is told where to go by McTominay after drifting inside the pitch but Sanchez&#39;s run towards the box is stopped by a slide tackle. United have a decent set piece position here. 9:01PM 59 mins United sit in their own defensive third, walking around the pitch as Sevilla jog their way forward. Muriel tries another shot at goal but puts it wide. De Gea wanders over, never worried about that one creeping in. Out: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Luis Muriel, 58 min) It&#39;d be nice if Man Utd could do something exciting soon. Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal 8:59PM 56 mins Lukaku moves out to the right wing, dribbles past one man and then tries to pass across the box. It&#39;s aimed poorly and Sevilla come away with the ball, Lindelof pulls Vazquez&#39;s shirt and gives away a free-kick in the centre-circle. McTominay is fouled by Escudero... it&#39;s so scrappy. Both teams are slow in build up and then someone fouls someone else. Nothing comes from the free-kicks or corners. 8:56PM 54 mins Young tries to go past Sarabia but loses the ball and the counter-attack is on. Matic is caught behind the play, Muriel comes inside and shoots... but it&#39;s another corner. This is such a frustrating, scrappy game. A real Mourinho European match. He&#39;ll get them the result but it&#39;s far from beautiful flowing football. 8:54PM 52 mins Average touch positions (50 min) You can see why Mourinho needs Young to get forward. Sanchez is basically playing as a second striker and it&#39;s making United lopsided. Vazquez tries a shot from 20 yards but bends it way over the bar. 8:53PM 50 mins Sevilla vs Man Utd shots on goal 8:51PM 49 mins McTominay does well to shield the ball and link a few passes together in the midfield. Young overlaps and gets into the box, winning a corner. It seems that Mourinho has pushed his full-backs further forward in this half. Mata&#39;s first touch to kill the corner is amazing, he then sells a dummy to two defenders and chips into the centre but nobody is there. Sometimes Mata is ridiculously good. 8:49PM 47 mins Sandro (that guy Everton bought) is on the bench for Sevilla and has number 99 on his shirt. This. Ends. NOW! 8:48PM KICK OFF 2 Kick off 2 man utd &quot;They don&#39;t look too threatening really,&quot; says Paul Scholes of Sevilla. I&#39;d argue both look pretty tame. A 0-0 beckons! Or does it? Let&#39;s find out! 8:38PM De Gea praise from a proper goalkeeper This guy used to play in goal for Aberdeen, he knows what it means to face an onslaught of shots. David De Gea is incredible. What. A. Save. Don’t say “Anywhere else and it’s a goal.” or “He should score.” because nothing should detract from that save. From that range and with that power, he’s denied an almost certain goal. Just brilliant.— David Preece (@davidpreece12) February 21, 2018 8:35PM Sevilla&#39;s paper planes Credit: REUTERS 8:33PM That De Gea save Sure, the striker should have aimed towards the floor with this but I mean... come on. It&#39;s ludicrous that he can react quickly enough and get a strong enough arm at this shot to turn it over. It&#39;s astonishing. 8:32PM HALF TIME De Gea has just rescued Man Utd there. It should be 1-0 Sevilla. 8:32PM 45 mins +2 And more exciting! A long ball is read by Young, he cushions it with his first touch back to De Gea... and nobody picks it up! What are they playing at?! De Gea manages to hook the ball away before that becomes a tap in. Sevilla keep the pressure up, the ball is sent into the middle and MURIEL IS ALL ALONE! HE MUST SCORE OH MY HEAVENS LORDY LORDY WHAT A SAVE! That&#39;s an incredible save from De Gea! Muriel can&#39;t believe it! Attempt Saved: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Luis Muriel, 45 + 1 min) 8:30PM 45 mins +1 What a save by De Gea! The corner is headed to the back post, N&#39;Zonzi tries a bicycle kick and it&#39;s turned at goal by another Sevilla player off the head. De Gea has to react instantly to dive and turn it over! 8:29PM 45 mins There are quite a few paper aeroplanes being thrown onto the pitch as United set up a corner. That corner goes so well that Sevilla are able to counter-attack quickly and win their own corner. Mourinho is furious. 8:27PM 43 mins Sanchez fouls Navas and is booked. It&#39;s harsh. Lukaku is back defending at right-back... Valencia hooks the ball away, Banega finds Correa... who does a little too much but does get a shot away! Low to the corner but De Gea saves. Valencia doesn&#39;t get close to Correa there. Keeper pick-up: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (David de Gea, 42 min) 8:25PM 41 mins Correa is in space wide left in the box but doesn&#39;t take his chance to shoot, controls, the defence gets back and his attempted flair pass is knocked behind for a corner. That turns into a goal kick. Sevilla are doing an awful lot without ever actually creating anything genuinely dangerous. 8:23PM 39 mins MCTOMINAAAAAAAAYYYYYYY has a shot saved from distance but it&#39;s a solid effort. The ball sits for him about 20 yards out in the kind of position that would make it a crime not to have a wee go. Rico is fairly comfortable with his save. Sevilla break forward but don&#39;t look too menacing again. Smalling heads a weak shot behind for a corner, Pogba clears. 8:22PM 37 mins Credit: GETTY IMAGES There he is. Meanwhile, Sevilla have a corner. Their crowd really dislikes many of the referee&#39;s decisions but it really does look like he&#39;s getting them all dead right. 8:19PM 35 mins McTominay lets me down and himself down and everyone down with a poor pass to Valencia, who has to work hard to win the 50/50 and then dives by the corner flag. The referee isn&#39;t having it, Sevilla play on and Vasquez is played in! Oooohhhhh he&#39;s a click away from controlling that and having an easy one-on-one but the ball runs past him and he wins a corner instead. Pogba fouls Banega in the centre-circle with a clumsy tackle. 8:17PM 33 mins Sanchez goes down off the ball as Mercado puts his arm out to block the run. There&#39;s nothing really in that either. The Sevilla crowd and team are getting a little wound up by the referee. Valencia has absolutely pied Correa with a shoulder drop and sprinted past him on the right but nothing comes of it. 8:15PM 31 mins Lukaku is being kicked around a little bit here. Sanchez points it out to the referee and convinces him to tell off Correa for... basically barging into him. Hmmm. There#s nothing in that for me, Clive. McTominay is having a decent game so far, his first touch is brilliant. 8:13PM 29 mins Correa has a bit of space on the left and dribbles into the penalty area after a superb first touch. He tricks his way into the box but doesn&#39;t get enough on his show and De Gea saves easily. 8:12PM 27 mins Credit: REUTERS United are slowly gaining more of the pitch, edging that defensive line further forward. 8:10PM 25 mins Lukaku is in! Great ball over the top, an even better run to get to it... and Lukaku punts his volleyed effort way over the bar. That&#39;s a really bad miss. If he had another go at it right now he&#39;d bury it every time. 8:08PM 23 mins N&#39;Zonzi is booked for catching Sanchez on the behind, or to be more specific, his buttock. Sanchez has felt that one, rolls around a bit and then tries to show everyone the wound he may have suffered before deciding maybe he shouldn&#39;t do that. The game is pretty scrappy now, both teams look organised and disciplined, though Sevilla are perhaps asking more of the questions. 8:05PM 20 mins Pogba&#39;s first involvement is to chase the ball down the right wing and lose it. He&#39;s in his dream midfield three now so there&#39;s no excuse if this doesn&#39;t work for him tonight. Young has to stay alert to head a long diagonal ball behind for a corner. Possession: Sevilla vs Man Utd 8:03PM 18 mins POGBA ALERT. POGBA ALERT. [dabs everywhere] Pogba is on the pitch. Mourinho&#39;s evil plans are in tatters. What are the odds he scores and does one of those &quot;shhhhhhh!&quot; celebrations? 8:02PM 17 mins Valencia carries the ball towards the box, Herrera overlaps and is into the box. The pass comes in, he back-heels across goal... and it&#39;s cleared away. Oh no! He&#39;s injured! Herrera&#39;s done for the night, having pulled a muscle with that little run. Darren Fletcher on commentary says &quot;that looks terminal&quot; but I&#39;m not sure Herrera will die from the injury. I don&#39;t know for certain. But also I do. 8:01PM 16 mins Banega tries a long range effort but it&#39;s too high. Miss: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Éver Banega, 14 min) A chipped ball over the top towards Lukaku causes panic as Lenglet and Mercado struggle to cope with his strength and balance... but he can&#39;t take the ball down nor pass it to Mata and Sevilla deal with the situation well. Sevilla go forward quickly and get another shot away. This time it&#39;s wide. Miss: Sevilla 0 - 0 Man Utd (Jesús Navas, 15 min) 7:57PM 13 mins Sanchez runs into space, controls and pushes the ball towards the box... but Navas speeds in (the one with the sharp blue eyes - don&#39;t act like you don&#39;t know) and shuts him down. 7:56PM 12 mins Sevilla taking their time with passes, United fall behind the halfway line to compact the midfield and Sevilla can&#39;t really go very far. United are effectively keeping them at arm&#39;s length. 7:53PM 9 mins Young does really well to stop Sarabia running directly at him and De Gea hits the ball long up the pitch. Valencia gets forward for a throw in, McTominay controls superbly and passes to Lukaku, who hits a ball out to the left wing and Sanchez gets his first touch! Corner to Man Utd. 7:51PM 6 mins Muriel is able to sprint past Smalling but although he&#39;s quicker to accelerate, the defender is able to hold him off and win the tackle. Correa tries a step over and goes down under a mistimed tackle from Mata. Sevilla are attacking with purpose here, passing the ball really nicely. 7:48PM 4 mins United have a lot of bodies behind the ball early on! Lukaku is the out-ball, tries to spin N&#39;Zonzi but goes down and loses possession in the centre-circle. This is a definite 4-5-1 from United. Sevilla come forward, Muriel has the ball 25 yards out and tries a shot... SAVE by De Gea! That was a decent effort! 7:47PM 2 mins Sevilla win a corner early on, Banega whips it in but United defend well and get the second phase attack out for a throw. 7:45PM KICK OFF Sevilla kick off 7:42PM Here come the teams You can&#39;t even hear this song over the top of the Sevilla support. What a noise! 7:36PM This is genuinely excellent TV BT Sport making use of the expert pundits they have on offer is an absolute treat. I could watch Lampard and Scholes discuss the minute details of how to play in midfield, how they reacted after games, how they&#39;d coach Pogba for the rest of the evening. Lampard has essentially said that Pogba needs to take some responsibility and can&#39;t rely on other people to reign him in when he goes wandering. &quot;After Tottenham I wouldn&#39;t have slept but he&#39;s doing the same thing against Newcastle&quot; is a rough paraphrase. 7:32PM More on Pogba &quot;It&#39;s awareness and effort,&quot; continues Lampard, who knows exactly what it&#39;s like going from attacking midfield to a deeper role. This is great television, lovely stuff by the BT Sport lads. &quot;We&#39;re still talking 18 months into his United career where his best position in the team is,&quot; says Scholes. &quot;He&#39;s a player who scores goals, dictates the pace of the game. I don&#39;t think the team sets up to get the best out of Pogba,&quot; argues Ferdinand. 7:29PM Mourinho on Pogba This is from a BT Sport VT. &quot;When you speak about Paul Pogba is a player who in his best moment had to stop twice, then when he&#39;s playing really well he is suspended.&quot; Pogba has been shunted out of momentum a couple of times this season and he&#39;s struggled ever so slightly in his last few games, trying to do a little too much. In a midfield two he needs to be a little bit better positionally. &quot;It&#39;s all about defensive responsibility, Mourinho&#39;s trying to shock him&quot;, is what Frank Lampard thinks. 7:06PM Mourinho&#39;s reaction to Des Kelly&#39;s questions &quot;Three questions and all about Paul?!&quot; he asks after three questions about Paul Pogba&#39;s absence. Des knows what he&#39;s doing and laughs it off as he moves onto asking about the actual game. 7:03PM Mourinho&#39;s 4-3-3 Isn&#39;t that a thing. Scott McTominay is preferred to Paul Pogba, Juan Mata gets the nod over Anthony Martial and Mourinho changes to a 4-3-3, despite the clamour for him to do so much sooner to get more out of Pogba. Even Pogba has admitted he&#39;s better in a three but Mourinho isn&#39;t having it - a talent like that should be able to play in multiple systems, not only one which suits him alone. 6:46PM Do you like holidays? Do you like football? Well wait a darned minute there because I might have the perfect little thing for you to read! The 10 best European football away days Incredibly it doesn&#39;t include a trip to Pittodrie, Aberdeen but perhaps that is fair, since once you&#39;ve attended a match there you never need to go another football game again. Wait, I mean you never want to go to another football game again. 6:39PM Sevilla starting lineup ONCE del #SevillaFC ante el @ManUtd_Es en la IDA de 1/8 de final de la @LigadeCampeones#vamosmisevilla#UCL#ThisIsSevillapic.twitter.com/fiz3jEbvp3— Sevilla Fútbol Club (@SevillaFC) February 21, 2018 6:38PM No Pogba - confirmed Controversial scenes, Clive. What&#39;s going on here then? Phenomenal scenes from Jose Mourinho. Martial dropped too. How #MUFC line up for tonight&#39;s #UCL clash with Sevilla... pic.twitter.com/7g80OaosMv— Manchester United (@ManUtd) February 21, 2018 6:25PM Good evening! Hello lovely humans, welcome to our liveblog for tonight&#39;s Champions League game featuring PAUL POGBA. [dabs everywhere] But wait - what&#39;s this? Pogba&#39;s on the bench?! That&#39;s what Jason Burt&#39;s heard and you can read all about it here. Could that switch make Man Utd more balanced on the pitch? Does it make them weaker? Who will dab? Why can&#39;t Jose Mourinho get the most out of Paul Pogba? Sevilla are fifth in La Liga and represent a real challenge for United tonight. They play some really nice football and have some excellent players - Ever Banega is an exceptional talent and has the potential to run the game. We&#39;ll find out the starting lineups shortly. Until then, let&#39;s all think about Pogba. And Romelu Lukaku - Sevilla aren&#39;t in the top six of the Premier League, which means he should be able to score against them.