Live Commentary: Manchester United 0-0 Sevilla

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Good evening and welcome to Sports Mole‘s live text coverage of Manchester United‘s Champions League showdown with Sevilla at Old Trafford.

The last-16 tie is finely poised after the Red Devils failed to score an away goal in Spain three weeks ago and only escaped with a 0-0 draw because of David de Gea.

Jose Mourinho took a more adventurous approach to Saturday’s match with Liverpool as Marcus Rashford‘s double earned United a confidence-boosting victory over their rivals.

United should be comforted by the fact that 70% of away sides who draw the first leg of a Champions League knockout tie 0-0 end up progressing to the next round.

Make sure you don’t miss a moment of the action with our minute-by-minute updates below.


42 minA well-judged return pass from Rashford sets Lingard free to the right byline. He fizzes a cross in towards the near post which the so-far excellent Lenglet clears off the toe of Lukaku.

40 minYoung has bags of time and space to swing in a cross from the left, but he waits too long and Mercardo, playing slightly out of position at right back, closes him down to block the cross. The second ball falls to Fellaini whose own effort hits a Sevilla defender. United are building a little momentum here…

38 minSAVE! The hosts finally create something as Sevilla switch off while appealing for a foul on Banega by Fellaini, who plays a tight one-two with Sanchez and thrashes a left-footed shot towards the near post which Rico pushes away.

36 minA Kjaer clearance falls at the feet of Sanchez, who drops his shoulder to lose Sarrabia but then gets caught in two minds with a cross-cum-shot which Rico comes off his line to collect.

34 minSHOT! We’ve had our first shot on target of the game, but it is a very tame one from Muriel which De Gea collects with ease. His toothlessness could cost Sevilla this tie.

33 minOne of United’s best moves of the match so far starts with Lukaku dropping to the halfway line and switching the play to Young. Fellaini’s knockdown at the back post falls to a Sevilla defender.

31 minThe England forward is trying to get the Red Devils going here, skipping past two Sevilla players while bursting down the left only for Lenglet to come across and stop him in his tracks.

29 minRashford knocks a ball over the top for Lukaku, but Clement Lenglet does just enough to put the Belgian off and prevent him from bringing the ball under his control on the penalty spot.

27 minSHOT! Sarabia and Vasquez exchange flicks in the United half before the former releases Muriel down the left channel. The angle is against him as he shoots left footed across goal and wide, with De Gea unconcerned which is not how most United fans will feel right now.

25 minSanchez finally gets himself involved, cutting in from the left and whipping a deep cross towards the back post where Escudero heads behind under pressure from Rashford. Old Trafford rises…

22 minOn the Sevilla left, Correa looks like a tidy player. He has not long established himsef as a first-team regular but the 23-year-old looks to be the ball that the visitors are looking to most often.

20 minRashford and Lingard are being forced to drop into their own half to get possession, with Fellaini occupying a position just behind Lukaku when United have the ball. Their only success so far is when they have gone direct to one of the two big men, which is hardly ‘the United way’.

18 minMourinho may be a little concerned by his side’s start, which is a million miles away from the high-tempo of the Liverpool game. Sevilla have taken control of the game and had their mid-range shooting been a little more accurate then they might have really put the cat among the pidgeons.

16 minN’Zonzi, once of Blackburn and Stoke of course, picks out a really good pass in between the lines, and Muriel tees up Vasquez for a shot which ends up deep in the Stretford End.

14 minCHANCE! Bailly criminally gives the ball away in front of his own area and Sevilla work it to Muriel, who snatches at his first-time shot to let the Ivorian defender of the hook.

12 minSevilla have had lots of the ball in the last five minutes and have quickly quietened the Old Trafford crowd. The ball breaks to Vasquez but Bailly stretches out a leg to block his low shot.

10 minCLOSE! Banega swings a lovely corner into the near post and Correa made a run across Matic to win the header, glancing it just over the crossbar and onto the roof of the net.

8 minA careless pass out of defence from Valencia gifts the ball to Escudero, who should have picked out Muriel with a simple through-ball but wastes what was a promising opening for the visitors.

6 minYELLOW! Ever Banega is Sevilla’s creative force in midfield but a couple of times already he has been robbed by Fellaini, and the Argentine’s frustration causes him to jump in on Sanchez with a late slide tackle which earns him a deserved yellow card.

4 minRashford has started on the right wing, with Sanchez on the left and Lingard as the No.10. The two-goal hero from Saturday shifts and shoots but Sergio Escudero gets a vital block in.

2 minUnited release Lukaku early down the left and he bullies Kjaer off the ball before cutting inside and playing a one-two with Lingard. The subsequent right-footed shot is high and out of control.

1 minKICKOFF: Sevilla get the action underway, on their first ever competitive visit to Old Trafford…

7.43pmPREDICTION: It has been four years since David Moyes took United to the Champions League quarter-finals, and I think that wait will end tonight. United’s home record is mightily impressive and that front four should be enough to steer the hosts to a 2-0 victory.

7.41pmLess than five minutes until kickoff now, as the players emerge from the tunnel. Thankfully Fellaini is sporting his usual afro rather than this atrocity that he experimented with in Belgium’s World Cup marketing campaign.

7.39pmDe Gea was the first-leg hero and his Champions League form this season has been amazing…

7.37pmRoma and Shakhtar Donetsk also settle their last-16 tie, with the Ukranian outfit 2-1 up aggregate. I will keep you up to date on the score from the Italian capital, and the rest of the Champions League sides will be keeping an eye on that tie too as it will produce arguably the easiest last-eight opponent.

7.35pmA reminder of which teams have already booked their passage to the quarter finals – Real Madrid, Manchester City, Juventus and Liverpool – so the last-eight draw is already looking tasty!

7.33pmWhat the first-leg stalemate does is make the formula for United tonight pretty simple – win and they are through. A draw, unless it is another 0-0 and thus extra time and penalties, won’t be enough.

7.31pmHowever, it has not just been in England that Sevilla have struggled on their Champions League travels. After winning four of their first six away games in the competition, Los Rojiblancos have picked up just one win in their past 12 games on the road.

7.29pmTheir 2-2 draw at Anfield in September is the only time that Sevilla have visited England and avoided defeat in Europe’s top club competition, losing their other three Champions League matches.

7.27pmIn contrast, Sevilla have the second worst defensive record of those teams remaining in the competition. Only Porto (15) have let in more than Sevilla’s 12, with five apiece coming against Liverpool although the Spaniards did restrict Jurgen Klopp’s side to draws in each of their two group games.

7.25pmTheir defensive record has been the secret to United’s Old Trafford fortress. Only Barcelona (two) have conceded fewer goals in this season’s Champions League than United’s three.

7.23pmTheir outstanding home record should give the Red Devils confidence that they can get the job done tonight – they have won 15 of their 18 home games so far in all competitions this season.

7.21pmUnited are due a run deep into the Champions League, having struggled in the late Sir Alex Ferguson era. Since the 2011 final, United have won only one of their past eight knockout games, although this is the first year that they have reached the knockout stages of the competition in four years.

7.19pmWhen a Spanish side does not get in his way, there is no doubt that the Special One knows how to get things done in Europe. In 11 full seasons as manager in the Champions League, Mourinho has reached the quarter-finals eight times, falling only at this stage in 2005-06, 2008-09 and 2014-15.

7.17pmSpanish sides are Mourinho’s kryptonite in the Champions League. Five of his seven losses, in a total of 69 Champions League home games as manager, have been against teams from La Liga.

7.15pmHowever, it is usually low scoring when the Red Devils face La Liga opponents, and that might favour Sevilla in this instance if they can find an away goal. United have only bagged seven goals in 15 previous matches against Spanish sides, failing to score more than once in a single one of those games.

7.13pmUnited have an excellent record against Spanish sides at Old Trafford, having only lost one of their past nine home Champions League games – against Real Madrid at this stage in 2012-13.

7.11pmSTAT: Something which nervy United fans can lean on here; 70% of away sides who draw the first leg of a Champions League knockout tie 0-0 end up progressing to the next round.

7.09pmJoaquin Correa is recalled as another former Man City player – Nolito – is axed from the team which lost 2-0 to Valencia on Saturday, their second defeat in four matches since the first leg.

7.07pmThere is only one change for to the Sevilla XI which started at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, and again that is defensively minded with experienced defender Simon Kjaer in for Jesus Navas.

7.05pmMuriel was guilty of missing a golden chance for Sevilla in the first leg. Here is a reminder of the brilliant David de Gea save that denied the striker and kept the tie goalless heading to Old Trafford.

7.03pmVisiting manager Vincenzo Montella has signalled his intention to perform a Mourinho-esque smash-and-grab on United by leaving out top scorer Wissam Ben Yedder, who has 15 goals for the season including eight in the Champions League. Luis Muriel starts as the lone striker again.

7.01pmSevilla are without defenders Sebastien Corchia and Daniel Carrico, who failed a late fitness test Ex-Manchester City winger Jesus Navas is still nursing an injury and does not make the squad.

6.59pmEric Bailly emerged from his first start in three months unscathed to play again at centre-back this evening, which is a relief with Mourinho’s options there limited by injuries to Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo. Ander Herrera, who started in the first leg, and Daley Blind, are also unavailable for United.

6.57pmJesse Lingard is recalled as Mourinho goes with a 4-2-3-1 formation, as opposed to the more conservative three-man midfield that the Special One fielded in the first leg. United need to take the attack to Sevilla in the first half, as they did with Liverpool, otherwise this could get sticky in the second.

6.55pmAfter his brilliant two-goal haul against their Merseyside foes, Marcus Rashford earns back-to-back starts as he is preferred to Juan Mata and Anthony Martial, who is named among the substitutes after missing the last two matches. The Frenchman has been a super sub for United last season.

6.53pmPaul Pogba is back on the United bench after missing this weekend’s win over Liverpool, but Mourinho chooses not to start the Frenchman and instead hands Marouane Fellaini a first start since Novemebr, signalling his faith in the Belgian midfielder. Scott McTominay drops out of the XI.

6.51pmSEVILLA: Rico; Mercado, Kjaer, Lenglet, Escudero; N’Zonzi, Banega, Sarabia, Vazquez, Correa; Muriel
Subs: Ben Yedder, Geis, Soria, Pizarro, Pareja, Nolito, Lopes

6.49pmMANCHESTER UNITED: De Gea; Valencia, Bailly, Smalling, Young; Matic, Fellaini; Alexis, Lingard, Rashford, Lukaku
Subs: Romero, Darmian, Lindelof, Mata, McTominay, Pogba, Martial

6.47pmBecause of United’s failure to score in Spain last month, or more appropriately their willingness not to try, this tie is finely poised ahead of tonight’s second leg. An away goal for Sevilla would leave United needing to score two, which they haven’t done in their last 15 games with La Liga opposition.

6.45pmThe big games come thick and fast at this stage of the season, and after beating Liverpool in the Premier League on Saturday, Manchester United aim to join their fierce rivals in the last eight of the Champions League, but must first overcome Sevilla with the scores deadlocked at 0-0 from the first leg.

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