Photo Credit: Photograph: Getty Images/Reuters
By Israel Igiri
Manchestr United crashed out of the Champions League as two second –half goals from substitute Wissam Ben Yedder secured a 2-1 victory for Sevilla at Old Trafford to progress to the quarter-finals of the competition.
Ben Yedder’s double which came in quick succession helped the Spanish side see off the Red Devils after the first leg had finished in a goalless draw in Spain in February.
The game which started brightly for the hosts, saw Romelu Lukaku skying a shot over the bar after some nice interplay with Jesse Lingard and then having another attempt from close range blocked by the Sevilla defence.
The away side who knew they only needed at least a score draw to go through on the night, also had chances to get a vital away goal as they were presented with chances as well. Joaquin Correa setting up Luis Muriel and Franco Vazquez with good looks at goal inside 15 minutes only for their shots to be misfired.
As the game approached the half-hour mark, Marouane Fellaini was in on goal after a one-two pass with Alexis Sanchez, and with only goalkeeper Sergio Rico to beat, his shot stung the hands of the shot stopper.
After the restart, Rico was called into action again, going low and to his right to tip a Lingard shot wide of the goal after receiving a wonderful pass from Lukaku.
With 60 minutes on the clock, Jose Mourinho introduced Paul Pogba to add more sparks to his attack, and the French midfielder tried his luck from distance few minutes later, but his curling left-footed effort shot wide of Rico’s goal.
As time ticked away, Vicenzo Montella sensed the game was for the taking by his side, and introduced Ben Yedder- the Rojiblancos’ top scorer in the competition with six goals, who made an immediate difference off the bench. With 13 minutes left, Ben Yedder got in between Eric
Bailly and Chris Smalling to finish clinically to David De Gea’s left after receiving a through ball from Sarabia.
In less than five minutes later, Ben Yedder had his double, heading home a Correa’s cross at the back post that the Spain international goalkeeper could only flap wildly at as he tried to keep it off the net.
Lukaku’s 84th-minute volley from a corner kick looked to have given the Manchester side a lifeline but proved to be a consolation as the Spanish side held on to a famous victory, making it to the last eight of the Champions League for the first time in their history.