Manchester United were humiliatingly knocked out of the Champions League by Sevilla, as the conservative tactics consistently used by Jose Mourinho were exposed.
BT Sport pundits, Paul Scholes and Rio Ferdinand, accordingly broken down all aspects of the widely anticipated match, questioning mainly the winter signing Alexis Sanchez and the unfruitful tactics.
Ferdinand seemed to be highly concerned about the Sanchez situation, considering the series of meagre performances the talented forward has been exhibiting.
Rio stated: “It wasn’t just Sanchez. The whole eleven was shocking. The attitude just seemed off, lethargic. If you are a team at home, the onus on your is to attack and away the advantage from the opposing team and I thought the team started conservative.
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“Whether they were put out there to play like that or just they felt that way, this team looked like a team that didn’t have it in them to win this game. We were waiting to be taken off our feet and it just didn’t happen.”
Scholes primarily questioned the gaffer’s decision to start Marouane Fellaini, and further criticized his move to switch Marcus Rashford onto the right side, despite the overwhelming flair the forward showcased when deployed on the left against Liverpool.
“Rashford was frightening on that left side on Saturday, but he moved him to bring Sanchez into what he thinks is his best position,”the legendary midfielder said. “He gave the ball away so often and his manager has to see that in the ten games he has played, he has not been good.
“He needs to choose his best front three and be brave enough to leave one out. At the moment, Sanchez is the one to leave out. United were very poor. They just couldn’t get control of the game whatsoever. There was no energy and they lost the game pretty easily.”
Ferdinand then denied Mourinho’s post-match claim that his players tried to be aggressive from the start, stressing: “He can only be trying to protect his players when he said that. I hope he said something different in the dressing room and put his foot where it hurts because that was an embarrassing performance at Old Trafford.
“They did nothing to lift this crowd, nothing to lift anyone at home. If you don’t come with the right attitude, you get beat. You need cohesion and whatever you spend, you have to be brought together and that comes down to the manager.”
Scholes later combined with Ferdinand to scrutinize the manager’s comments, by adding: “It’s difficult to describe how bad that was. Lethargic, bad attitude….he said in his interview he was happy with their attitude, but he has to be protecting his players.
“The players have let him down tonight by being so mediocre against a poor team. You are going for a place in the Champions League quarter-final and there was no desire, heavy legs. It was poor. You can accept an off night if the attitude is right, but it wasn’t.
“You keep spending loads of money and yet we keep saying they are three or four players away. It’s almost like they have too much money and throwing it away willy-nilly.”
Nevertheless, Sevilla acquired the ticket to the next round owing to the efficacy of the brilliant marksman the manager substituted in. Wissam Ben Yedder came on in the 71st minute, and in seven minutes, won the fixture for his side with two goals.
The much-awaited game also provided him with two strikes which added up to his tally, which now stands at eight goals, making him the second-highest top goalscorer of the competition this season.