Even though Manchester United’s record against Spanish teams have been brilliant this season, Sevilla will be no pushover.
Manchester United’s love affair with Spanish side in this Europa League season continues after they were drawn alongside Sevilla in the quarter-finals. This will be the fourth Spanish outfit United will end up facing in this year’s competition. After being placed in the same group as Real Sociedad, the Red Devils had to overcome La Liga leaders Barcelona in the knockout playoffs before easing past Real Betis in the round of 16. This draw makes it a hat-trick of knockout ties against the Spanish sides.
Even though Manchester United’s record against Spanish teams have been brilliant this season, Sevilla will be no pushover. United will undoubtedly know that after being knocked out by them in recent past from Europe. Besides, Sevilla’s experience in this competition is immense, as they will always enter this tournament as a favourite. They might be sitting at lowly 13th in La Liga table currently, but Sevilla are capable of providing a tough fight for any side on a given day.
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The first leg of this quarterfinal tie will take place at Old Trafford on 13th April before Manchester United travel to Spain a week later on 20th April for the return fixture. Manager Erik ten Hag only had good words to describe the opponent after the draw was made. “So we go back to Seville. As you say, they have a very good record,” Ten Hag said during a press conference. “We have to be aware of it. So it’s going to be tough because they are really experienced in the Europa League, winning it so many times.”
“I don’t know their team now in detail so I have to focus on that. But for me the most important [game] is Fulham and I don’t look forward to Sevilla because first we have an international break and then we have three Premier League games, so there is much time to focus on that. But definitely I think all the opponents who come to this stage of the Europa League are strong. You have to play your best football if you want to go through. It’s definitely the case if you face Sevilla.”
Bruno Fernandes was yet again instrumental in helping Manchester United get past Real Betis in the Europa League round of 16 second leg. He was equally impressive in the first leg too. “He’s very strong; he’s very good at recovery first, so he is a really good athlete. He has so much energy, he can play in so many roles, for tactics [it is] brilliant for the team that he can play [these] roles,” the manager added.
“We can play him there [midfield] where we can benefit from him to overload areas, where he can outplay opponents, so we get in good situations and so we will create chances. He is also very important in the counter-press and in the pressing; so his transition is a really fantastic skill for him. He is an example for the team. I think his performance once again [was brilliant], [as well as] in recent weeks, he’s in brilliant form. It looks like he’s getting better and better from game to game.”
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