It took Wissam Ben Yedder all of six minutes to change the course of Sevilla’s season–and Manchester United’s.
The super sub scored in the 74th and 78th minutes after coming on in the 72nd to deal a shocking blow to Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United side, with Sevilla going through to the Champions League quarterfinals after a 2-1 aggregate triumph at Old Trafford.
The two sides played to a 0-0 stalemate in Seville in the first leg, with Man United taking a defensive approach on the road. The down side to that was that it meant that any Sevilla goal would change the tie given the away goal rules, and that came into play amid Ben Yedder’s heroics. Romelu Lukaku’s late consolation goal brought United closer, but the Red Devils are done in Europe for the season.
Without Paul Pogba from the start, as he continued to recover from a knock suffered last week, United carved out an early great chance, with Jesse Lingard cutting back a ball through the Sevilla box to the top of the 18, where Romelu Lukaku drilled a blast high and wide of the mark.
Sevilla fired a warning shot of its own in the 10th minute, when Joaquin Correa flashed a header just over David De Gea’s bar off a corner kick.
Sevilla came close again just before the half-hour mark, when Luis Muriel fired in a shot across the goal mouth that just evaded the far post.
Marouane Fellaini, getting the start in place of Pogba, sent in Man United’s most dangerous chance of the first half in the 38th minute. After a combination with Alexis Sanchez, he forced Sergio Rico into a tough, but assured, save off a powerful shot from the left channel.
Man United nearly went down at the start of the second half, when Eric Bailly made a potential series-saving tackle in the 48th minute. Correa looked like he’d have a clear look from the center of the box, but Bailly went to ground in a crunching move to take the ball off Correa while bringing him to the ground. An away goal for Sevilla would mean Man United needs two to go through.
The tables nearly turned for United in the 52nd minute, as he drifted centrally to take a pass from the right from Lukaku. He settled well and fired across goal, only for Rico to tip it wide for a corner. On the ensuing sequence, Marcus Rashford was able to fire a ball across the goal mouth, but no teammate was there to meet it.
Pogba entered at the hour mark for Fellaini, and some 11 minutes later he nearly brought the breakthrough on an audacious attempt from distance. It had Rico beat, but just missed tucking inside the left post, keeping the match, and series, scoreless.
Wissam Ben Yedder came off the bench to fire Sevilla into the lead in the 74th minute. His finish from the center of the box beat De Gea after a lethal counterattack, forcing United to need two goals in the final 16 minutes of the match to stave off elimination.
Ben Yedder scored moments later to all but put the tie to bed. De Gea got a hand to his close-range header, but it wasn’t enough to keep it out, as the extra official on the goal line correctly ruled that the whole ball crossed to make it 2-0 and forcing United to need three.
United had a pair of excellent chances after Ben Yedder’s second, with Chris Smalling missing a volley at the back post, while Lukaku fired a chance from in front over the bar after a feed from Juan Mata.
Lukaku pulled one back on his next opportunity, volleying home from just in front of the goal in the 84th minute, reducing Man United’s needs list to two goals again.
Ben Yedder was denied his hat trick off a breakaway in stoppage time, putting forth a rather feeble effort that was kicked away by De Gea with no defender in position to really force the issue.
Sevilla becomes the second Spanish team to go through, joining defending champion Real Madrid. Barcelona could become the third team, should it advance against Chelsea on Wednesday.