Football

Man Utd To Face Sevilla In UEFA Europa League Semi Final

Manchester United will face Sevilla in the UEFA Europa League semi-finals on Sunday, after the Spanish club defeated Wolverhampton Wanderers in their quarter-final this evening.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men booked a place in the last four by recording a 1-0 win over FC Copenhagen thanks to a confident Bruno Fernandes penalty that was scored in extra-time. 

We now know the reward for that victory is an exciting meeting with a Sevilla side that earned a slender but dominant 1-0 win over Wolves at the MSV Arena in Duisburg. 

Wolves made a decent start to the quarter-final by earning an early penalty, but striker Raul Jiminez saw his effort saved by the goalkeeper and the Spanish club controlled the game from there on.

Sevilla enjoyed 75 per cent of the possession and tallied 17 shots at goal, but their winning goal did not arrive until Lucas Ocampos headed home in the 88th minute.

Elsewhere this evening, Shakhtar Donetsk cruised to a comfortable 4-1 win over Basel to set up a semi-final against Internazionale, which will take place on Monday night at the Dusseldorf Arena.

COUNTDOWN TO SUNDAY

United have already been designated by UEFA as the away team for Sunday’s semi-final at Stadion Koln and kick-off is scheduled for 20:00 BST. 

The Reds have already had an extra 24 hours of preparation time and that could be indispensable, following a 60-match season that began one year ago today with an opening-day win over Chelsea.

Fans in the UK can watch the Europa League semi-final live on BT Sport, or follow our unrivalled updates via the Official App, ManUtd.com and, of course, MUTV’s radio commentary.

VIEWS FROM THE DRESSING ROOM

Nemanja Matic:

“Yes, I think we are in good condition. Of course the season is long but we knew it before, what we can expect and the most important [thing] now is to be mentally ready. Physically I feel we are fine. We are in the same position like every other team so it’s most important that we are mentally ready. I think that mental point will decide the semi-final – and final, of course.”

Victor Lindelof:

“An extra day of rest is always a positive thing. That extra day of rest… you never know in the last minutes of a game if that can be the difference.”

Juan Mata:

“I think the team is quite tired physically, and you could see in the game, it wasn’t the best of the games. But at this stage of the season, with so many games behind us, so many months, it’s very important to win games like we did and we go through. We came to Germany with the aim of staying for quite some time, and hopefully we can go on and win this tournament.”

WHY I WANTED SEVILLA

Club reporter Joe Ganley…

“Sevilla knocked us out of the Champions League at Old Trafford two years ago, in desperately disappointing circumstances. But United have come a long way since then. I remember Marcus Rashford slamming the roof of the tunnel in frustration as he left the field that night, but look at him and the rest of United’s forward line now: they’re purring. Knocking the Andalusians out of Europe would be a pleasing shot of revenge, and a welcome line in the sand to show how far we’ve progressed since 2018.

“Sevilla is arguably a tougher game than Wolves: Julen Lopetegui’s side are just as defensively solid – they boast the second-best backline in La Liga. But let’s remember: Ole’s side do well against stronger opposition. There was just one defeat in 10 Premier League games against fellow top six sides in 2019/20. So it might suit United and will feel like a proper European semi-final. That will be exciting for us fans, and it should bring the best out of the players. If we’re successful, it will probably knock the best remaining team in the competition out, too.”

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