After Real Sociedad, Barcelona, Real Betis, the lucky draw brought MU to face Sevilla in the quarter-finals of the Europa League 2022/23. Coach Jorge Sampaoli’s teachers and students have an unbeaten record in the history of facing the “Red Devils” in Manchester (2 wins, 1 draw). Despite playing well in the European Cup, the “Red Devils” have a reason to be cautious before the competition against Sevilla.
Sevilla’s Europa League ‘DNA’
If Real Madrid has the Champions League DNA with 14 championships, Sevilla also owns the Europa League DNA. In history, no team has won the Europa League as much as Sevilla. In the 6 finals, the representative from Spain won all 6 times. Sevilla’s number of titles is twice as many as the second-placed team in history, Inter Milan (3 times).
“No one wants to meet MU, they are one of the best teams in the world right now. But we have beaten the opponent twice, once in the Champions League and once in the Europa League. Sevilla has ambition and self-confidence. believe in the current squad,” said Sevilla’s Vice President Jos Mara del Nido Carrasco after the draw ceremony.
In the 2019/20 season, Bruno Fernandes and his teammates lost to Sevilla 1-2 in the Europa League semi-finals. Earlier in the 2017/18 season, the “Red Devils” under the direction of Jose Mourinho were also eliminated in the round of 16 of the Champions League when losing to the La Liga club with a total score of 1-2.
“We have a closer connection with the Europa League than any other club. In the domestic league, it is true that Sevilla did not play well. But in the Europa League, the team has 29 times overcome opponents in the knockout round after 31 matches. Sevilla has never been eliminated when reaching the quarter-finals in this tournament,” added Mr. Carrasco.
Sevilla show the opposite face when returning to the familiar Europa League arena this season. Coach Jorge Sampaoli’s side beat PSV and Fenerbahce to fill their name in the quarterfinals. Before that, Sevilla disappointed in La Liga and Champions League. The team ranked 13th on the domestic league table and only 2 points above the relegation group. In the Champions League, this club also soon said goodbye to the tournament after the group stage when they only won 1 victory after 6 matches.
Europa League is the turning point tournament that helped Sevilla avoid a disastrous season. In the squad, the La Liga club still has the service of Suso, one of the two players who scored against David de Gea and caused MU to be eliminated in the Europa League 3 years ago. Besides, the talent of the former Champions League champion (Ivan Rakitic) and the experience of former Premier League players (Erik Lamela and Jesus Navas) are also useful to Sevilla.
Compared to the time when Mourinho or Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was still in charge, Erik ten Hag’s MU showed a clear improvement in the game. Express commented that the strong pressing style with the ability to quickly change status makes MU no longer afraid to meet the controlling teams from Spain like Sevilla.
“At MU, we have to win in all competitions. The Europa League is still an important tournament. This is where we can win the championship and win tickets to the Champions League next year,” coach Ten Hag shared. shared after the win against Betis on March 17.
Marcus Rashford is still the number one hope on MU’s attack this season. The English striker became the youngest player to reach 25 goals in the European arena of the “Red Devils” (25 years old, 136 days). If Rashford maintains his current ability to score goals, Sevilla’s poor defense (conceding 40 goals after 25 rounds in La Liga) is difficult to stand.
Besides Rashford, the pillars who played in La Liga like Casemiro or Raphael Varane will bring useful experiences to the “Red Devils”. With Varane alone, he has earned 11 victories for Real after 15 encounters with Sevilla in all competitions.
After winning the Carabao Cup, MU hopes to have at least one more title at the end of the season. If they continue to be crowned in the FA Cup or Europa League, this is considered a successful season for the “Red Devils” and coach Ten Hag personally.
Duy Luan | 11:00 18/03/2023