Cologne ended Manchester United’s European hopes, further strengthening the all too familiar path for Sevilla FC as the side won the semi-final 2-1.
United opened the scoring in the manner they have become all too familiar with now, with Bruno Fernandes converting yet another beautiful penalty. However, Suso equalized later in the first half and it was substitute Luuk de Jong’s 78th minute goal that settled it for the Spanish side.
1. Sevilla’s Luck
The perfect Europa League record continues for Sevilla who have an incredible unbeaten form heading into the final. That discipline was fully to the credit of Julen Lopetegui whose personal redemption arc meant that his players held on to the ball in a great manner, choking United’s late efforts.
Either Inter Milan or Shakhtar Donetsk await them in the final and the La Liga outfit will certainly be the favourites.
2. Bruno Fernandes
This was Manchester United’s 22nd penalty of the season and Bruno Fernandes’ 12th goal having successfully converted it. All from a player who arrived only in January. The next full season that is just a month away will see the Portuguese international give his complete effort to the side and it can only be speculated how many more he will be able to net then and with which penalty build-up style.
3. Solskjær’s Season
A pandemic and several ups and downs will ensure that Ole Gunnar Solskjær won’t forget his first full managerial season with the Red Devils all too easily. While he joins Frank Lampard in envying Mikel Arteta’s inaugural piece of silverware, the Norwegian gaffer will now have the freedom to direct his attention elsewhere.
In many ways, the issues that plagued his side in this semi-final eloquently summarize what needs to be solved in the transfer window, with a strong arrival at the right-forward a must, as well as a back-up striker who carries a punch and a centre-back who can give competition to Victor Lindelof.