Europa League: Man Utd give up two-goal lead to draw with Sevilla
Manchester United conceded two own goals and lost Lisandro Martinez to a serious-looking injury in the final six minutes against Sevilla to put their Europa League hopes in jeopardy.
United looked to be coasting to a quarter-final first-leg victory at Old Trafford thanks to Marcel Sabitzer’s first-half double.
However, after Antony had hit the crossbar, Sevilla came back into the contest and profited from a terrible ending to the game for Erik ten Hag’s men.
First Tyrell Malacia diverted the ball past David de Gea after former Manchester City man Jesus Navas had pulled a low cross back from the goalline.
Then, two minutes into injury time, Youssef En-Nesyri’s off-target header struck Harry Maguire to leave De Gea helpless as it flew into the net.
The scoreline is bad enough as it leaves United facing a battle to secure the semi-final spot they seemed to have virtually sealed.
However, the loss of Martinez is a major concern, particularly as Raphael Varane had to be replaced at half-time.
Martinez had to be carried from the field by his Argentina team-mates Gonzalo Montiel and Marcos Acuna and then left for the dressing room on a stretcher in obvious pain after catching his foot in the turf with no opponent near him.
Having opted against replacing Marcus Rashford when his side were two goals up against Everton at the weekend and seeing the England man get injured, it was probably not a surprise when United boss Erik ten Hag took off key man Bruno Fernandes, plus Jadon Sancho and Anthony Martial after an hour.
At that point United had a healthy advantage, with Sabitzer profiting from excellent through balls from Fernandes and Martial and Ten Hag presumably reasoned it was a wise option not to take a risk with so many big games to come, knowing Fernandes is banned for the second leg anyway after he picked up another yellow card.
But the decision allowed Sevilla to gain some momentum. United’s goal came under threat and eventually, their lead disappeared.
Arguably though, the extent of Martinez’s injury is of more concern.