Manchester United surrenders two-goal lead as late own goals from Harry Maguire and Tyrell Malacia result in an unexpected 2-2 draw against Sevilla in the Europa League quarter-final first leg at Old Trafford. Despite Marcel Sabitzer’s first-half double, United’s failure to capitalize on their dominance proved costly, leading to a dramatic finale.
Sevilla was given a chance to recover in the tie when Tyrell Malacia scored an own goal in the 84th minute. Youssef En-Nesyri of LaLiga added to the Spanish team’s tally, with Maguire putting the ball in his own net during stoppage time, leaving Manchester United with a disappointing result.
Manchester United, who was already without their top scorer Marcus Rashford, felt the draw was like a loss, and the injury to centre-back Raphael Varane at half-time, and Lisandro Martinez’s stretchered-off incident in the second half could have made matters even worse.
Manchester United’s Europa League hopes now rely on securing a favorable outcome in the return fixture at Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan next Thursday. However, they will have to do so without their top scorer and potentially, their preferred centre-back pairing.
How did Manchester United lose their first-leg advantage in the Europa League quarter-final against Sevilla
Despite the absence of Marcus Rashford, Manchester United started the game with a dominant attacking performance, with Jadon Sancho nearly scoring the opener within 30 seconds, only to be ruled offside. However, United didn’t have to wait long to find the net, as Fernandes’ well-placed pass found Sabitzer who clinically finished past goalkeeper Yassine Bounou after being kept onside by Marcos Acuna.
Seven minutes after the first goal, Manchester United doubled their lead with another goal from Sabitzer, who timed his run perfectly and calmly finished past the goalkeeper after receiving an excellent pass from Martial. While former Tottenham forward Erik Lamela managed to escape a red card following a VAR review on his challenge on Casemiro, Fernandes was harshly penalised for handball while blocking Gudelj’s shot, picking up a booking that will rule him out of the second leg.
As the half came to a close, United seemed to lose their momentum and were saved from conceding by the heroics of goalkeeper De Gea, who brilliantly stopped Nianzou’s near-post header, and defender Varane, who headed the rebound off the goal line before Sevilla could score.
Maguire came on for the injured Varane at half-time, but it did not affect the flow of the game much. United came close to scoring a third goal when Antony’s curling shot hit the post. Eriksen, Weghorst, and Elanga were later substituted in as United attempted to secure a comfortable victory, but they were unsuccessful. Their inability to add another goal proved costly, as Malacia’s hesitation allowed Navas to score a late equalizer for Sevilla.
Sevilla’s late surge, ignited by Navas’ goal, proved to be the turning point in the game as they completed an astonishing comeback with En-Nesyri’s deflected effort finding the back of the net in stoppage time. The injury to Martinez added to United’s woes, making it a disastrous end to the match. United were lucky to avoid a defeat and now face a daunting task to advance in the competition.