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Rediff News  All News  » Sports » Champions League PIX: United knocked out by Sevilla, Roma in quarters

Champions League PIX: United knocked out by Sevilla, Roma in quarters

Last updated on: March 14, 2018 10:51 IST

IMAGES from the Champions League matches played on Tuesday

Sevilla’s Wissam Ben Yedder celebrates scoring a goal

IMAGE: Sevilla’s Wissam Ben Yedder celebrates scoring a goal against Manchester United at Old Trafford on Tuesday. Photograph: Jason Cairnduff/Reuters

Manchester United fans had just two days to savour their win over arch-rivals Liverpool before Spain's Sevilla brought them back down to earth, eliminating them from the Champions League on Tuesday.


The 2-1 win by Vincenzo Montella's side, who are in fifth place in La Liga and struggling to qualify for next year's competition, cuts United's European campaign short but they only had themselves to blame.

It was a disjointed display lacking conviction at times and strikingly different from the combative performance shown against Liverpool.

Mourinho's decision to change the team which played with great discipline and desire in the 2-1 Premier League win over Liverpool on Saturday was puzzling, especially given the alterations it forced across the field.

Marcus Rashford, so brilliant on the left with his two goals in the North West derby, was moved to the right flank while Alexis Sanchez, who had looked promising playing just behind Romelu Lukaku, was switched back to the left wing.

Scott McTominay, a calm defensive midfield presence against Liverpool was left out to make way for Marouane Fellaini, who only returned from injury last week and Juan Mata made way for Jesse Lingard.

Manchester United’s Alexis Sanchez wears a dejected look after the match

IMAGE: Manchester United’s Alexis Sanchez wears a dejected look after the match. Photograph: David Klein/Reuters

Whatever the motivation for the changes, whether tactical or rotation for freshness, the line-up simply did not work.

Chilean Sanchez has yet to settle in at Old Trafford following his January move from Arsenal and he appears to be lacking confidence and unsure of his role.

Rashford showed moments of his devastating acceleration and directness but he is more effective when cutting in from the left and Lingard's running straight at the Sevilla defence produced little other than lost possession.

With Nemanja Matic alone in the defensive midfield role, Fellaini was all over the midfield in his usual aggressive fashion but provided little composure or balance.

While Sevilla certainly did not sparkle, until the two stunning late goals from substitute Wissam Ben Yedder won the game, they had the calmness in midfield that was lacking from United's display.

Former Blackburn and Stoke midfielder Steven N'Zonzi was a cool and accomplished presence in the centre of the field while Ever Banega was inventive in his playmaker role.

Manchester United's Romelu Lukaku scores their first goal against Sevilla 

IMAGE: Manchester United's Romelu Lukaku scores their first and only goal against Sevilla. Photograph: David Klein/Reuters

Mourinho accepted his team had to improve in all areas to progress further next season but was not in the mood to criticise his team.

"We had good periods, we didn't have great control over the game, but I can't say there was anything wrong with my players and their intention to play," he said.

"That's football, we lost, but tomorrow is another day and Saturday is another match."

Progress may be being made by Mourinho but it is mid-March and his team are out of the race for the Premier League title, where they trail ManchesterCity by 16 points, and of Europe.

Suddenly the FA Cup, where United face Brighton in their quarter-final at Old Trafford on Saturday, takes on a little more significance.

Superb Dzeko goal sends Roma into quarter-finals

Roma's Edin Dzeko celebrates with Cengiz Under after scoring their first goal 

IMAGE: Roma's Edin Dzeko celebrates with Cengiz Under after scoring their first goal against Shakhtar Donetsk at Stadio Olimpico in Rome on Tuesday. Photograph: Max Rossi/Reuters

A determined AS Roma beat Shakhtar Donetsk 1-0 on Tuesday to reach the Champions League quarter-finals for the first time since 2008 as a magnificent finish by Bosnia striker Edin Dzeko sent them through on away goals.

Roma celebrated only their second win in six meetings with the Ukrainian side and got revenge for a 6-2 aggregate defeat by Shakhtar at the same stage of the competition in 2011.

They endured a nervy finish, however, as Shakhtar ended the match on the front foot despite playing the final few minutes with 10 men after Ivan Ordets was sent off.

Having trailed 2-1 from the first leg, Roma looked bereft of ideas for much of the contest at the Stadio Olimpico before Dzeko broke the deadlock in the 52nd minute following a tepid first half devoid of goal-mouth action.

The Bosnian took a defence-splitting pass from midfielder Kevin Strootman into his stride and beat the offside trap before he steered the ball into the far corner with the outside of his foot past advancing keeper Andriy Pyatov.

The former Manchester City striker, who has been linked with a move back to the Premier League, but said after the match that he did not want to leave Roma, was given a rousing send-off by the home fans when he was substituted in the dying minutes.

Roma's Kevin Strootman, Daniele De Rossi, Federico Fazio and Edin Dzeko jump to block a free kick by Shakhtar Donetsk's Alan Patrick

IMAGE: Roma's Kevin Strootman, Daniele De Rossi, Federico Fazio and Edin Dzeko jump to block a free kick by Shakhtar Donetsk's Alan Patrick. Photograph: Alessandro Bianchi/Reuters

"Everyone deserves a standing ovation because we all gave absolutely everything tonight and we fully deserve to be in the quarter-finals," Dzeko was quoted as saying by Sky Sports Italia.

"We achieved something that's been missing for 10 years and are now prepared to face anyone in the last eight. All the other teams are strong but we are strong too."

Shakhtar came close to extending their overall advantage in the 13th minute when Roma defender Alessandro Florenzi headed a floated free kick into the box inches wide of his own far post.

Roma's solitary glimpse of goal in the opening half came in the 28th minute when visiting keeper Pyatov palmed away a fizzing low cross by Aleksandar Kolarov to deny Dzeko a simple tap-in from close range.

The home side came out with renewed purpose in the second half and Dzeko delighted their vocal fans when he broke the deadlock with a trademark clinical finish.

Shakhtar Donetsk's Bernard is challehged by Roma's Konstantinos Manolas

IMAGE: Shakhtar Donetsk's Bernard is challehged by Roma's Konstantinos Manolas. Photograph: Max Rossi/Reuters

Dzeko also curled a shot from the edge of the penalty area inches wide in the 62nd minute before Shakhtar centre back Ordets was shown a straight red card in the 79th for hauling down the Bosnian when he was through on goal.

Despite being a man down, Shakhtar launched a late onslaught and had several dangerous raids down the left flank but the home team's defence held on until the final whistle.

Roma's former captain Francesco Totti, who watched anxiously from the terraces, was overjoyed at fulltime.

"A fantastic result, a fantastic Roma," he said on the club's official Twitter account.

"Among the eight best sides in Europe and we push onto the next round."

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