Manchester United’s Champions League hopes remain alive after labouring to a 0-0 draw away to Sevilla. The Reds were far from impressive, but it is United who will be the happier of the two sides in the aftermath of the game.
Although a dull encounter, it provided plenty worth debate – here are the five major talking points:
The Pogba Problem
Left on the bench in favour of Scott McTominay, the Frenchman was introduced after 17 minutes due to an injury for Ander Herrera.
The game offered Pogba the perfect opportunity to impress both his managers and supporters following a recent spell of poor form, however, he failed to have any influence whatsoever on the tie – and his showing will do little to ease the growing animosities toward him at Old Trafford.
United’s Defensive Disaster
It is a major surprise that United did not end up conceding in the first leg.
They looked nervous from the offset and struggled to gather any form of a foothold in the game.
Chris Smalling and Victor Lindelof are not the calibre of defender that strike fear into teams and Sevilla enjoyed plenty of threat down Antonio Valencia’s flank tonight.
If United want to see off the Spaniards at Old Trafford in a few weeks’ time, they will have to be far more convincing at the back.
De Gea Heroic Once Again
One must wonder just where this club would be without the heroics of the Spanish goalkeeper.
His defence was questionable at best this evening and did nothing to help the cause, leaving it all to De Gea to stem the onslaught from the hosts.
His saves at the end of the first half were of world-class calibre, and were it not for his exploits, United would most certainly be trailing going into the second leg.
Sevilla Have Plenty To Offer
While a poor performance from United, Sevilla were impressive.
They moved the ball about with confidence and speed, got in behind on multiple occasions and had they showed better composure in front of goal, it can be argued that the tie would be effectively over.
They will be no pushovers next time around and proved this evening they are more than capable of defeating United as they dominated for the majority of the 90 minutes.
Mourinho’s Conservative Approach
This was a typical Jose Mourinho display – United did not play to win this game, and a draw was the aim from the outset.
Long balls were booted up the field, they refused to play out from the back.
Fans will be less than impressed with this approach, but they will not be surprised. United are capable of easily defeating teams like Sevilla on their day, but the leash is yet to be taken off in a big away game.
Jordan Norris, Pundit Arena