Seville: Manchester United coach Erik ten Hag said his players lacked passion and desire in their 3-0 thrashing by Sevilla in the Europa League on Thursday.
“Tonight we weren’t good enough, that was obvious, that was clear,” Ten Hag told reporters.
“I have to acknowledge (the lack of fight), it’s the truth, it’s hard, it’s tough, it’s unacceptable.”
After a 2-2 quarter final first leg draw at Old Trafford the Red Devils were soundly thumped at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.
Home fans created a raucous atmosphere. Once Youssef En Nesyri scored after seven minutes following a Harry Maguire error, the visitors never looked like getting back into the game.
Loic Bade headed home early in the second half and En-Nesyri added another after a David de Gea mistake.
Threat of relegation
Despite Sevilla’s struggles in La Liga, sitting 13th and still not safe from the threat of relegation, the Andalusians outfought and outplayed Manchester United, third in the Premier League.
Manchester United failed to trouble Sevilla goalkeeper Yassine Bounou, with a Casemiro effort from distance as close as they came.
“We have to be better. It’s not about playing skills, it’s about character, to be composed and have desire and passion. They had more willingness to win and it can’t be. I think that’s unacceptable,” added Ten Hag.
No foothold in the game
Sevilla coach Jose Luis Mendilibar said his side followed the gameplan and didn’t allow Manchester United to get a foothold in the game.
“Our idea was to press them when they had the ball at the back, I think it went quite well, we scored the first goal robbing the ball on the edge of their box,” said the coach.
“Aside from the goals, I think that we stopped the opponent and they didn’t play in any moment with comfort.
“I think we were superior… I think it was the merit of our players.”
Juventus completed a good evening for the club by holding on away to Sporting and advancing to the semi-finals on 2-1 aggregate while Bayer Leverkusen won 4-1 in Belgium to eliminate Union Saint-Gilloise 5-2 on aggregate.
Juventus started fast as Adrian Rabiot spun and scored after Sporting failed to clear a ninth minute corner.
The French midfielder then fouled Manuel Ugarte in the penalty area and Marcus Edwards converted the 20th-minute penalty.
Struggling to creat chances
After that the home team struggled to create chances against the Juventus defence and Ricardo Esgaio and Sebastian Coates missed Sporting’s best chances in the closing minutes.
In Brussels, Union Saint-Gilloise could not claim a second German scalp.
In the first leg in Leverkusen, Union Saint-Gilloise had managed a draw as they had in the round of 16 on their way to eliminating Union Berlin.
On Thursday, their hopes of a repeat began to fade after 90 seconds, as Moussa Diaby pounced on some poor defending and rounded goalkeeper Anthony Moris.
Mitchel Bakker volleyed a second after 38 minutes. On a night when goalkeepers were punished for trying to pass out, Morris played the ball straight to Jeremie Frimpong who fired it straight back past the Luxembourg international after 60 minutes.
Casper Terho replied for Union but Adam Hlozek quickly restored the three goal advantage.
Fiorentina blow away three-goal advantage
In the Europa Conference League, Fiorentina blew a three-goal first-leg advantage over Lech Poznan before scoring twice in the last 12 minutes to lose 3-2 at home but advance 6-4 on aggregate.
Gent took the lead against West Ham at the London Stadium when Hugo Cuypers put them ahead on aggregate after 20 minutes.
But Michail Antonio levelled and after Lucas Paqueta converted a penalty and Declan Rice scored from an angle, Antonio finished off a comfortable 4-1 win for West Ham to advance 5-2 on aggregate.
France’s last representative in Europe, Nice went out 3-2 on aggregate after losing 2-1 in extra time at home to Basel. Kasim Adams headed the deciding goal in the 98th minute.