MANCHESTER, England – Sevilla prevailed 2-1 on Tuesday against highly favored Manchester United to win their Champions League round-of-16 tie and advance to the quarterfinals.
The two sides battled to a scoreless draw two weeks ago in the first leg in Seville and it was clear from the start of Tuesday’s contest that United coach Jose Mourinho would stick with the same approach: concede possession and wait for chances on the counter.
But the visitors went for broke, determined to get into the next phase after going out of the tournament in the round of 16 on their last three occasions.
Mourinho’s tactics looked like paying off in the first minute in front of 74,000 at Old Trafford, as Romelu Lukaku powered past Sevilla defender Kjaer and menaced the opposing goal.
Joaquin Correa had the best chance for Sevilla in the first half, redirecting Ever Banega’s corner, but the ball went just over the cross-bar.
Sevilla keeper Sergio Rico had to make a save after Marcus Rashford’s free kick took a threatening turn after deflecting off the defensive wall.
Rico had to be sharp again at the start of the second half to bat away a shot from Jesse Lingard as United began showing more ambition.
As the match entered the final 20 minutes of regulation, Sevilla coach Vincenzo Montella made what turned out to be the decisive move of the match when he sent in Wissam Ben Yedder for Muriel.
Ben Yedder etched his name in the history of “the theater of dreams” the first time he touched the ball, taking a pass from Sarabia and eluding Bailly to put the ball just inside David De Gea’s post to make it 1-0 for Sevilla.
Now in need of at least two goals to outweigh Sevilla’s away tally, Mourinho replaced Lingard and Antonio Valencia with Antony Martial and Juan Mata, respectively, and shifted to three at the back.
But before the changes could make a difference, Ben Yedder struck again, a goal in the 78th minute to make United’s task even harder.
Though De Gea quickly swept the ball out of the net, goal-line technology confirmed Ben Yedder’s 10th goal in Champions League play and left the hosts looking at a 2-0 deficit.
Lukaku clawed one back for United with six minutes left to avoid the home shutout.