Free Press Journal

Sevilla’s stunner


Humbles Man Utd to enter quarters along with Roma

Manchester : Sevilla prevailed 2-1 against highly favoured Manchester United to win their Champions League knockout stage tie and advance to the quarter-finals.

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 a 74,000 crowd at Old Trafford, as Romelu Lukaku powered past Sevilla defender Kjaer and menaced the opposing goal.

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.

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 theatre 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 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 cofirmed 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.

Meanwhile in Rome, Edin Dzeko’s second-half goal was just enough for AS Roma to win their  tie against Shakhtar Donetsk after losing the first leg in Ukraine.

That away tally by Cengiz Under turned out to be the difference for the Italian side with the score knotted 2-2 on aggregate here on Tuesday, allowing the Romans to reach the quarterfinals for the first time in 10 years.

Both sides were nervous to start Tuesday’s clash at Rome’s Olimpico stadium and the first half was plagued by offensive miscues at either end of the pitch.

Visiting keeper Andriy Pyatov was little troubled by a shot from Dzeko in the first minute and Shakhtar was generally better on the ball, though they could not translate that superiority into a goal.

Despite the shortcomings, Shakhtar was entitled to be the more satisfied at half-time, with their 2-1 advantage still intact.

But Roma came back from the break with renewed intensity and Dzeko scored in  the 51st minute to bring the sides level at 2-2.

Shakhtar shifted into a high press, creating openings for Roma on the counter and on one of those occasions, Ivan Ordets brought down Dzeko 20 yards from goal to earn a straight red card.

Going down to 10 men left Shakhtar in disarray and their frustration showed when Facundo Ferreyra, who scored in the first leg, plowed into a ball boy on the sideline and the youngster fell backwards over an advertising hoarding.