Sevilla vs Manchester United: Can Ole Gunnar Solskjaer shine where Jose Mourinho failed? | Football News


Sevilla will give an indication of how far United has run under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Manchester United have a chance to prove how far they have moved away from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on Sunday in the Europa League semi-finals.

The signs have been very promising – both visually and in terms of results – but a victory over Sevilla to reach a major European final would shatter the theory that this team is going fast. A place in the final against Inter Milan or Shakhtar Donetsk is the price offered.

The last meeting between these two teams, just over two years ago, saw United ousted from the Champions League in the 16th round by the La Liga side at Old Trafford. It was a performance that embodied Jose Mourinho’s final months at work; unimaginative, stale and downright dull.

This game may stay somewhere in your memory bank as it was the defeat that sparked Mourinho’s infamous “legacy” rant, where he embarked on a 12-minute defense of his highest level record. You can read this legendary rant here.

United are shaking up a different team from Jose’s era for this win-win confrontation in Germany.

There are sparks all over the pitch, electricity in the fan base and a football brand closer to the traditional Manchester United way. Yet what Solskjaer lacks is the silverware on the mantelpiece – something Jose will tell you he achieved in this competition even with a much lower side.

Moment down: Jose Mourinho watches Man Utd lose to Sevilla in 2017

Moment down: Jose Mourinho watches Man Utd lose to Sevilla in 2017

Keeping away from United is a force of nature in this competition, which has won it five times since it was renamed and a side that has a top-notch tactician in the shelter of Julen Lopetegui.

If a job needs to be done in this tournament, call Sevilla.

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They showed against Wolves how a supremely organized elite European bully they are with and without the ball. A clean sheet there means they’ve just conceded a goal in their last eight games in all competitions. A fourth place – tied on points with third-placed Atletico Madrid – nationally shouldn’t be smacked of either.

United have been knocked out in the last four of this year’s Carabao Cup and FA Cup – something their boss was quick to refer to following their daring victory over FC Copenhagen.

He said, “Let’s see if we’ve developed throughout the season because we’ve had two semi-finals before. We want to take the next step.

“Semi-finals – it’s a good effort, decent but it’s not good enough. It’s not good enough for Man United yet.

“The team has grown and is increasingly hungry. Let’s make sure that the pain that we felt in the other two cups that we took out, that can be our difference maybe marginal. The difference that we want more than them.

He stressed that semi-final appearances were not enough. Now is the time to move to the next level.

Stop Banega, stop Seville

Head to head: Sevilla vs Manchester United

Head to head: Sevilla vs Manchester United

Sevilla absolutely took charge of the ball against Wolves, to suffocating levels.

It was this relentless possession-based pressure that sucked the lives of the opposition’s legs and opened the door to the winner. At this point, Sevilla’s spirits were sharper and that turned out to be crucial.

United must stop Sevilla from doing the same and stop them at the source. That source is Ever Banega, who was the peak conductor in the quarterfinal victory. After Raul Jimenez’s missed penalty, Joao Moutinho and Ruben Neves failed to get a kick due to the clever movement of the ball and Banega’s chemistry with his teammates in the front zones.

He had the most touches (139), the most successful passes (103) and created the most chances in the game (3) – this included the sublime cross to the winning goal, scored by dangerous Lucas Ocampos .

Banega also has a history with United. He was the standout player when Sevilla attacked Old Trafford in the last meeting. Marouane Fellaini was ordered to stop him and received the runaround.

United, like Wolves, are likely to play three in the middle of the park and one from Paul Pogba, Nemanja Matic or Bruno Fernandes will be tasked with getting closer to the Argentine. They’ll have to do a much better job of disrupting Banega’s flow than the Wolves did. Stop it, and United will have a platform to free their rampaging attacking players.

Speed ​​kills: United must use it

Wolves were largely toothless trying to test Sevilla’s well-organized defense, led by the impressive Jules Kounde, who was reportedly billed as the man to replace Sergio Ramos at Real Madrid. However, there was one weakness Solskjaer will have spotted: defending against pace.

The La Liga giants like to keep the ball, as shown by their 67% possession against Wolves, but it opens them up at the counter.

Adama Traore for the first 20 minutes scared their lives with his direct bursts that allowed their end line to take cover. It was his devastating run that panicked enough for Santos Silva to hold him back for the penalty. Wolves didn’t take advantage of the opportunity, with Jimenez pumping up his replicas from the spot – something United usually don’t pass up.

They have received 21 penalties in all competitions this season (four in the UEFA Europa League), including extra-time winner Fernandes in the quarter-finals – more than any other team in Europe’s top five leagues.

Moment down: Jose Mourinho watches Man Utd lose to Sevilla in 2017

Moment down: Jose Mourinho watches Man Utd lose to Sevilla in 2017

Many talk about United’s penalty shot in terms of conspiracy theory, but their ability to win fouls in and around the box is no accident. Marcus Rashford, Mason Greenwood and Anthony Martial are delicate clients when they are full skin. Yes, sometimes they look for the fault but it is a skill in itself, gained by thinking faster than the defender.

Sky Bet managed to 7/2 as United get their 22nd penalty of the season. With such pace, power, and cuteness, it’s a price that even the most hardened bookie would be nervous to pay big bucks.

Team news

Solskjaer’s side will have had six days to prepare for this confrontation and there are no new injury issues. Alex Tuanzebe, Phil Jones and Luke Shaw have all been ruled out for the remainder of the season due to injury.

Victor Lindelof and Matic look set to return to the starting XI in the semi-finals after being rested for the win against Copenhagen.

Sergio Romero has appeared in nine of the 11 Europa League games, but Solskjaer could decide to trust David de Gea in what is one of their biggest games of the season.

Sevilla are back in a full squad after midfielder Nemanja Gudelj, who tested positive for COVID-19 on returning to training to prepare for the Europa League, traveled to Germany Thursday after a period of isolation and a negative test.

Former Manchester City couple Jesus Navas and Fernando will start, as will the lively Suso, who made 21 appearances for Liverpool during a largely unsuccessful stint in the Premier League.

Match statistics

  • This will only be the third European meeting between Manchester United and Sevilla – their other two games have come in the last 16 games of the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League, with Sevilla winning 2-1 at Old Trafford in the second leg, after a goalless draw. in the first step.
  • Sevilla have reached the semi-final of the UEFA Europa League three times and won the tournament three times (2013/14, 2014/15, 2015/16); in fact, the Spaniards have only been eliminated in one of their last 20 knockout matches in the competition, losing 6-5 overall to Slavia Prague in the last 16 in 2018/19.
  • Ole Gunnar Solskjær have won 49 of their 89 games for Manchester United. A victory in this match would see him become the third fastest coach to achieve 50 wins in all competitions in club history after Ernest Mangnall (78) and José Mourinho (81).
  • Bruno Fernandes has been directly involved in more UEFA Europa League goals this season than any other player (11 for Man Utd and Sporting CP combined). He has scored (7) or assisted (4) in seven of his nine appearances in the competition this campaign.

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