Kicks of the Week: United reaches goalless draw against Sevilla

Nhan Doan

Sports Blogger



Sevilla 0, Manchester United 0


If getting a goalless draw at Sanchez Pizjuan was United manager José Mourinho’s plan from the beginning, then Wednesday’s match was another example of his classic pragmatic approach. United dropped deep from the beginning and looked to shut down Sevilla, the home team. Not surprisingly, United struggled to get out of Sevilla’s high press even after the introduction of Paul Pogba in the 17th minute. Most of the long balls aimed for Romelu Lukaku were inaccurate, and Lukaku, a striker, was held a mere spectator for most of the match.

Sevilla dominated the possession but couldn’t find the way to break the deadlock. The home team usually searched for inspiration from the wingers’ individual efforts. Sevilla controlled the midfield, but most of its 25 attempts on goal were low-quality shots. It created one clear-cut chance right before the break, but Luis Muriel’s free header within the six-yard box somehow couldn’t beat United keeper David De Gea.

United left Spain barely getting what it needed. Meanwhile, Sevilla might regret wasting chances when it travels to Old Trafford in three weeks, where United hasn’t lost in European competition since 2013.

Shakhtar Donetsk 2, AS Roma 1

A pair of second-half goals from Facundo Ferreyra and Fred gave Shakhtar a 2-1 come-from-behind victory against Roma on Wednesday at the Metalist Stadium.

Roma, the visitor, broke the deadlock before the break when Edin Dzeko wisely found Cengiz Under, who slotted home the opener, on the right side.

Roma couldn’t hold the advantage, though. In the 52nd minute, Shakhtar center back Yaroslav Rakitskiy found Ferreyra behind the Roma defense from inside his penalty box. Ferreyra calmly converted his one-on-one chance to tie the match.

The equalizer pushed Shakhtar’s momentum. Bernard and Taison had chances to put Shakhtar in front, but Roma’s keeper Allison denied them. Allison was beaten in the 71st minute, though, as Fred’s free kick found the top corner. Shakhtar could’ve  reached a bigger lead in the added time, but Allison denied Ferreyra’s close-range effort.

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