Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag has insisted his players must have to “learn to kill the game” after they let Sevilla back into the game to squander a two-goal advantage to draw in the first leg of their Europa League quarter-final at Old Trafford on Thursday.
Marcel Sabitzer’s first-half brace put Manchester United in command at Old Trafford, where Antony struck the crossbar after the interval as the Red Devils looked to deservedly put the game to bed.
Much-changed Sevilla had generated nothing in response, but an 84th-minute own goal by Tyrell Malacia gave them a lifeline, with a serious-looking injury to Martinez swiftly exacerbating problems.
The Red Devils had already lost fellow centre-back Varane to injury and had used all of their substitutes when the Argentina international went down, meaning they finished the game with 10 men.
Six-time Europa League winners Sevilla pounced and Youssef En-Nesyri’s stoppage-time header bounced in off of Varane’s substitute Harry Maguire as the first leg ended 2-2.
In his assessment of the game, Ten Hag said to BT Sport: “I think we had the game in hand.
“We should have scored three or four … and then some unlucky moments with injuries. And then we conceded two own goals and that’s bad luck. We have to deal with it. Of course, we have to learn that we have to kill the game.”
What looked like a routine win turned into a nightmare, but a lackadaisical second-half attitude backfired on United, who could learn a lesson not to take anything for granted.