Manchester United’s long and tiresome season came to an end on Sunday, in a manner that they won’t be altogether happy with. The semi-final of the Europa League saw Sevilla FC defeat them in a 2-1 encounter at Cologne.
The game started with United going ahead via Bruno Fernandes’ well-won and well-found penalty early on. However, a quick spell of play and a switched-off backline saw Suso equalize much before the half-time whistle.
However, things got even worse for the Premier League side’s backline as the period of play in which they ought to have been defending actively saw Luuk de Jong go unmarked with full freedom and the substitute made no error in burying the winner past David De Gea.
The clear man to blame here was Victor Lindelof who failed to mark de Jong, leading to the goal. This was realized by Fernandes seconds after conceding and the Portuguese international rushed to the Swedish defender to make his emotions known.
The exchange that followed wasn’t exactly a pleasant one with multi-lingual obscenities being showered.
— Football on BT Sport #Club2020 (@btsportfootball) August 16, 2020
However, on the bright side, it is great that the players are voicing their frustrations and holding one another accountable, even if Lindelof came across as more defensive to Fernandes’ accusations than in the actual build-up to the goal itself.
A similar thing had transpired between Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham players a few weeks prior and the Special One maintained that it was a positive thing to witness.
However, for Lindelof the weight of a vital knockout lost will still be looming as it was the kind of defensive performance that a team of United’s caliber ought not to have put up. For a side that has kept the maximum amounts of cleansheets in Europe this season, they sure didn’t have the disciplined backline to show for on Sunday.
Will this game kick-start a hunt for a potential replacement for the Swede?