Sevilla boss Vincenzo Montella has come up with a peculiar way of stopping Manchester United and particularly Alexis Sanchez ahead of their meeting in the UEFA Champions League last 16 – by joking to kill the forward.
Sanchez is in line to make his Champions League debut for the Reds following his January move from Arsenal – the Chilean being eligible to play given that his former club contested in the Europa League.
Sevilla – although having won the Europa League on multiple occasions in recent seasons, are yet to crack the quarter-finals of Europe’s premier competition, and in order to do so – Montella has outlined that stopping Sanchez will be key to any potential success:
“I remember him really well from his stay in Italy. He has improved his style a lot during his career and I think he can be a really good player in transition. I think they have really good speed in attack.”
“Well, maybe we can lock him up with a padlock or tie him up with rope.”
United will go to Spain looking to make a statement, with Jose Mourinho’s side having last competed in the knockout stages in the 2013/14 campaign. With Liverpool and Manchester City all but qualified and Tottenham and Chelsea also impressing, United will be looking to follow in the footsteps of their domestic rivals by displaying good European form – and Montella admitted he is looking forward to the prospect of potentially outwitting Mourinho over the two legs.
“Mourinho was a pioneer when it comes to tactics in football. I have read many books and I think Mourinho is quite a good rival.”
Regardless of whether or not Sanchez gets killed, there is still plenty of other threats for Montella’s side to worry about – though if one thing is for certain, it’s that they are more than capable of causing an upset.
Jordan Norris, Pundit Arena
In this week’s episode of the Mixer Irish football podcast, we look back at last week’s season-opening Dublin derby and debate Graham Cummins’ controversial red card as we review and preview all of the latest League of Ireland action.