THE NOTEBOOK: Misery for Man United captain Harry Maguire as his verbals backfire, howlers could cost David de Gea in contract talks and Pope Francis is a fan of defender Lisandro Martinez
Europa League kings Sevilla breezed past Manchester United into the semi-finals of their favourite competition as Youssef En Nesyri scored twice in a dominant 3-0 win on Thursday that secured a 5-2 aggregate triumph.
En Nesyri opened the scoring in the eighth minute, netting a close-range shot after Erik Lamela challenged Harry Maguire on the edge of the penalty area.
Sevilla extended the lead straight after halftime when defender Loic Bade scored with a towering header from a corner which went in off the crossbar.
En Nesyri wrapped up the win in the 81st minute after United goalkeeper David De Gea failed to deal with a long ball over the top and the Morocco striker finished well to move the Spanish side closer to a record-extending seventh victory in the competition.
Mail Sport’s JOE BERNSTEIN looks at some of the things you may have missed.
Early mouthful from Harry Maguire towards the officials was quickly followed by a blunder
Verbals backfire for Maguire
Erik Ten Hag has wanted Harry Maguire to be more vocal as Manchester United captain but it didn’t work to the defender’s advantage when an early mouthful towards the match officials was quickly followed by the blunder that saw Sevilla go ahead.
Maguire, who has been accused of being too passive wearing the armband, was first on the scene when Marcel Sabitzer was flattened by Marcao and quickly gave the referee and his assistant a verbal volley when the Sevilla player wasn’t punished.
It didn’t look entirely natural and in the very next attack, Maguire lost concentration to surrender possession which allowed Youssef En-Nesyri to score.
Maguire might be better off holding his counsel and concentrating on the basics of defending!
Pope Francis is Martinez fan
Injured United defender Lisandro Martinez has fans in high places as he recovers from a broken metatarsal sustained in the first leg against Sevilla.
Manchester mayor Andy Burnham presented Pope Francis with a signed No 6 shirt from his fellow Argentine and World Cup winner.
Smiles better for Lamela
Christian Eriksen and Erik Lamela signed for Tottenham on the same day in August 2013 when Daniel Levy spent the club’s Gareth Bale money and they spent seven years together at White Hart Lane which included a run to the Champions League final.
Eriksen had a happier time of it in north London but as Europa League rivals, it was Lamela smiling as he assisted the first Sevilla goal while the Dane found it tough going.
Numbers not adding up for De Gea
As negotiating tactics go, David de Gea’s howlers in Spain are likely to see the club deduct a nought on their contract offer, rather than add one.
De Gea is already facing a hefty cut on his current £375,000-a-week deal and Erik ten Hag might not be too disappointed if the Spaniard decides to move on.
De Gea’s kicking is considered a problem within the game and his decision to pass to Harry Maguire was criticised by TV pundit Robbie Savage who asked why he hadn’t passed to Aaron wan-Bissaka.
Things then went bad to worse when he clawed at thin air as Loic Bade’s header-cum-shoulder sailed over his head for the home side’s second goal.
Six of the best
Sevilla are undoubted kings of the Europa.
Since its predecessor the UEFA Cup was introduced in 1971, the Spaniards have won the competition six times — double anyone else.
All six of their triumphs have come since 2006, when they beat Middlesbrough 4-0 in Eindhoven to start their impressive run.
They beat Espanyol a year later, then Benfica in 2014, Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk in 2015, Liverpool in 2016 and Inter Milan in 2020.