Here’s about 5 players who let Manchester United down vs Sevilla, including two overpriced Mourinho signings who’ve put their season on the brink. The knives are well and truly out for pretty much everyone involved at Manchester United today after their shock defeat to Sevilla in last night’s Champions League clash at Old Trafford.
And yet, no one has really taken more flak for the result than manager Jose Mourinho, who has, in fairness, put together an expensively-assembled squad that continues to go missing in the most important games.
That said, Mourinho could also have done with more from a number of his players over both legs, particularly last night in front of their own fans with the quarter-finals of the Champions League within touching distance.
Here’s our pick of the five players who were most at fault for United in this disastrous result that puts their season on the brink…
A player attracting plenty of criticism, so an easy place to start – what on earth has happened to Alexis Sanchez? The Chile international had perhaps his worst game in a United shirt last night, but that’s not even saying much given how much he’s struggled since his move from Arsenal in January.
Alexis Sanchez lost the ball 42 times vs Sevilla – more than ANY player in the Champions League all season. United didn’t go all out to beat Manchester City to his signature for him to disappear in important Champions League games, so how much longer will he continue to be given Mourinho’s trust in matches? Based on this evidence, it shouldn’t be very much longer as he kept the likes of Juan Mata and Anthony Martial on the bench at Old Trafford.
He may have scored a decent goal at 2-0 down, but by that point all hope had gone and the Belgian failed to deliver when it really mattered. Lukaku has certainly divided opinion in his first season at United, with a fine start followed by a long goal drought and then a mild resurgence recently. Still, the 24-year-old missed a great opportunity from inside the area shortly before Wissam Ben Yedder went down the other end and made it 1-0. When you spend as much as United did on a striker, you want him finishing the straightforward chances in games like this – that he failed to find his composure at the crucial moment will raise questions over his big-game mentality once again.
While he cannot take too much criticism overall as he was benched for both legs, Paul Pogba showed in one important moment why he might not entirely have the trust of his manager at this stage. As you can see in the stills below, the Frenchman made little attempt to even pretend he was tracking back as Sevilla broke forward to score their opening goal. We know Pogba is not an out and out defensive midfielder, but at this level the protection afforded to United’s defence is inexcusable as Sevilla found themselves in acres of space late in the game.