Match in brief
The Red Devils started with elan, snapping into challenges, committing men forward and causing terror with their direct running. It soon brought the opener after Anthony Martial’s cute disguised pass led to a foul on Marcus Rashford from Diego Carlos. With a hop, skip and a jump, Bruno Fernandes dispatched the penalty.
United sat back, Sevilla grew into the game and on 26 minutes they were level as Suso ghosted in at the far post to expertly sweep Sergio Reguilón’s cross past the recalled David de Gea. Back came United, more sustained now, but the brilliant Yassine Bounou kept them at bay, a hat-trick of saves to deny Martial early in the second half the highlight.
Twelve minutes from time came the sucker punch as Jesús Navas whipped in a cross that the unmarked Luuk de Jong, a one-time Newcastle loanee, guided in on the volley. United threw everything forward in the final stages but were met with a wall of white. Sevilla’s remarkable love affair with this competition goes on.
Joe Walker, Sevilla
This is just Sevilla’s competition. They know how to get the job done, even when they are not at their best. Their know-how and nous got them over the line and they have taught United a harsh lesson in winning. Title number six is very much on the cards.
Matthew Howarth, Man. United
As was the case against Copenhagen, United failed to score a crucial second goal despite creating a plethora of chances early in the second half. The campaign ends in bitter disappointment for the Red Devils, who have now failed to win a trophy in three consecutive seasons – their longest run without silverware since the 1980s.
Julen Lopetegui, Sevilla coach: “It was a hard match. It was a good team performance but against United you need to suffer a lot and we did. United are a very big team who play good football. Our goalkeeper put in a good performance. In the end, we deserve to reach the final.”
Yassine Bounou, Sevilla goalkeeper: “I’m very happy. Now we concentrate on the final. We were clever and in the bad moments we were strong. When they had difficult moments, we scored the goals. This team has good motivation and now we have a beautiful final.”
Suso, Sevilla forward: “Sevilla always have a good relationship with this competition; we have to keep going. The Spanish mentality and philosophy is to play. United deserved a little more today but we are in the final.”
Ole Gunnar Solskjær, Man. United manager: “When you don’t take your chances, it’s going to be hard. We have a young team and at times today it showed that these players need to learn and get that consistency. When we create chances it’s scintillating at times. We definitely need to improve if we want to move up the table and take further steps in the cups.”
Harry Maguire, Man. United captain: “It’s difficult [to take]. The boys are devastated. The best team lost. We’ve been ruthless at times this season, but today we weren’t. We started with a high press, but we then let them have too much possession for our liking.”
Bruno Fernandes, Man. United midfielder: “When we concede, it’s the fault of everyone. You can’t concede from a throw-in in the first half. It’s mistake after mistake. Tonight was not enough. We play for Manchester United to win trophies so it is not enough.”
Sevilla are through to their sixth UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League final, and fourth in the last seven seasons. No other team has reached more than four finals, though Inter will go through to a fifth if they win on Monday.
The Spanish side have won all of their previous five UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League finals (2006, 2007, 2014, 2015, 2016).
Sevilla have a 100% record in UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League semi-finals, winning five out of five.
Sevilla are 20 matches unbeaten (W11 D9), winning eight of their last nine games.
Sevilla have not conceded a second-half goal in 12 matches.
Suso’s goal was Sevilla’s 125th in the UEFA Europa League, setting a new competition high.
Defeat ended United’s 15-game unbeaten run in the UEFA Europa League knockout phase.
Bruno Fernandes has scored eight goals in his last ten games, the last five coming from the penalty spot.
United were awarded 22 penalties in all competitions in 2019/20, converting 18. Bruno Fernandes scored eight out of eight.
Sevilla: Bounou; Navas, Koundé, Diego Carlos, Reguilón; Banega, Fernando, Jordán (Gudelj 87); Suso (Vázquez 75), En-Nesyri (L de Jong 56), Ocampos (Munir 56)
Manchester United: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka (James 87), Lindelöf, Maguire, Williams (Fosu-Mensah 87); Fred; Greenwood (Ighalo 90+3), Bruno Fernandes, Pogba, Rashford (Mata 87); Martial
Sevilla will face Inter or Shakhtar Donetsk in the final in Cologne on Friday. Manchester United (and Sevilla) will line up in next season’s UEFA Champions League group stage.
This article was previously published on eufa.com