As it happened: Wasteful United miss out on Europa League final to hoarders Sevilla
 (Photo by Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images)

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There will be plenty of fallout from this from a United perspective over the coming days and there will be plenty of reaction and analysis across VAVEL UK. That's their season over and they will head back home tomorrow.

For Sevilla, they will be in Friday's final against either Inter or Shakhtar, who face off tomorrow in the other semi-final.

Anyhow, thanks for your company this evening. It's been emotional. Until the next time....Goodnight.

FT Analysis: Sevilla 2-1 Manchester United

Navas is in tears, Banega is tub-thumping and Lopetegui is applauding his players who put in everything to get over the line here. They move into their sixth final in 14 years in this competition thanks to goals from Suso and De Jong which overturned United's early break-through. The Spanish side showed plenty of character and discipline in seeing this result through. Bounou in goal was superb whilst the attacking full-backs brought so much energy and the midfield of Banega and Fernardo were very hard-working.

United on the other hand will be hugely disappointed. They played well, really well at times, but in both boxes they lacked something. They simply should have scored more than once. Their single goal for the second game running came from the penalty spot and that is not good enough if you want to progress at this level. They racked up chances, especially at the start of the second-half, but were not clinical enough to score a second. Then at the other end, some lackadaisical defending allowed De Jong space and time to tap in a relatively straight forward finish after a cross that was delivered too easily.

Solskjaer didn't have anything on the bench that could make the difference and by the end they were simply panicking. Clear minds and control have been lacking from United's two performances in Germany and despite playing well and having the lion share of chances and possession, they failed to make it count in the critical area. 

 

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FT: Sevilla 2-1 Manchester United

IT'S OVER!!! Sevilla go into the final and United head home, their European adventure has ended and they have now lost three semi-finals this season.

 

90+6' Sevilla 2-1 Manchester United

Crosses are being whipped in from everywhere but it's all rather rushed by United. Then De Jong is sent through with very little in his way but rather than choosing to go towards the corner flag he dillies and dallies towards goal where he is dispossessed.

90+5' Sevilla 2-1 Manchester United

Cool heads are needed now for both United and Sevilla. One senses that there will be one more chance before we finish.

90+4' Sevilla 2-1 Manchester United

Fernandes scoops a pass over to James who has to chase to keep the ball in play. He does so right on the byline and sends a delivery into the Sevilla area but there's no one there in dark grey to capitalise.

90+3' Sevilla 2-1 Manchester United

Ighalo is coming on for United in the place of Greenwood but he has got very little time to make an impact.

90+1' Sevilla 2-1 Manchester United

James tries to weaves his way forward but rather than going on the outside, he opts to move inside and in to trouble. Sevilla are now in two banks of four and look to be relishing this challenge of keeping a growing United wave at bay.

90' Sevilla 2-1 Manchester United

Six minutes are to be played for stoppages and all it takes for United is the ball to break for them.

89' Sevilla 2-1 Manchester United

United are starting to force it now. They have less than 60 seconds left plus stoppage time. Remember how many chance they had during that 10 minute blitz at the beginning of the second-half, they will be disappointed with this.

87' Sevilla 2-1 Manchester United

Three changes for United: 

Fosu-Mensah for Williams

James for Wan-Bissaka

Mata for Rashford

One change for Sevilla:

Gudelj for Jordan

85' Sevilla 2-1 Manchester United

Well, we've got a check for a penalty for United (yes, another one!). Fernandes goes down under pressure from Fernando but it didn't appear that there was anything untoward, and the Dr. agreed. VAR is checking but they also agree that Fernando's hustling was fair.

83' Sevilla 2-1 Manchester United

Another poor pass gives Williams far too much to do and hands Sevilla a throw-in near the United box. Sevilla are the absolute masters of killing a game by passing the ball around - United cannot waste possession.

80' Sevilla 2-1 Manchester United

There's a spring in the step of Sevilla now. They are more than happy to keep the ball with neat passes amongst themselves. But still they attack and Munir moves into space on the far flank, he slightly overplays the ball and it goes out for a goal-kick. United look rather lost at the moment. The wind has gone from their sails.

78' Sevilla 2-1 Manchester United - GOAL!

SEVILLA HAVE GONE AHEAD. AND IT'S DE JONG who hasn't scored in 11 games....until now! It's a cross from Navas from the right, that arrives plump in the six-yard box in between Lindelof and Maguire but there is De Jong who taps into the net as easy as you like. There will be questions raised as to Lindelof's body positioning there, he did not anticipate the arrival of the Dutchman and how costly may that prove.

 

75' Sevilla 1-1 Manchester United

Sevilla are pressing really high now, they sense a bit of an opening after those few attempts. Yet United will fancy their chances on the counter. Speaking of which, Williams somehow finds himself arriving in the Sevilla area from a central position. But it looks like he forgets the ball and just dives towards goal. Oh well, there is real ebb and flow in this game now. Intensity to the maximum.

72' Sevilla 1-1 Manchester United

We haven't seen too much of De Gea of late but Sevilla are making headway now. All of their players are comfortable on the ball and are displaying some great vision with searching passes. Reguillon is caught by Wan-Bissaka right on the tip of the United area. It's a promising position and Jordan goes for power with his right-foot but it cannons off the four-man wall. Suso's rebound is charged down and then Lindelof deals with a third effort. 

The referee has just indicated that a check is on-going regarding a possible handball by Fernandes when blocking Jordan's free-kick but it doesn't appear that the Portuguese raised his arm or made his silhouette any larger. Correct, no handball is given. Carry on!

68' Sevilla 1-1 Manchester United

Pogba takes a shot on the half-volley but it sails over Bounou's goal. He has been a little sloppy in the past 15 minutes, giving the ball away with some poor passing and then spurning a good position with a hopeful shot.

66' Sevilla 1-1 Manchester United

Both sets of players getting fired up. Even Solskjaer has his sleeves rolled up; he means business. Everything is a battle at the moment - it's great to watch. Rashford is the latest to receive a yellow card.

63' Sevilla 1-1 Manchester United

A Spanish or English team has been eliminated from Europe in each of the past three evenings (Man City, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid). Here on the fourth, that will continue. Will it be 3-1 to Spain or can England make it 2-2? In this moment it's hard to know.

61' Sevilla 1-1 Manchester United

This is a duel that could not only be a delight to watch for the next half-hour but could also be pivotal: Munir -v- Williams. Two pacey players on the far side of the pitch. Just now Munir has broken down that flank but United's full-back makes a tremendous recovery run to not only stop the Sevilla attacker in his tracks but also draw a foul. 

60' Sevilla 1-1 Manchester United

Lindelof a bit too heavy there. He rushed into the side of Banega but did win the ball. Yet Dr Brych feels that it was a touch on the weighty side and awards Sevilla a free-kick. But those in white can't make hay from it.

58' Sevilla 1-1 Manchester United

This tweet x17

 

56' Sevilla 1-1 Manchester United

Some substitutions of the Sevilla variety to make you aware of...

Ocampos off, Munir on. En-Nesyri off, De Jong on.

55' Sevilla 1-1 Manchester United

When I was covering United's quarter-final match against Copenhagen, it was clear that they were lacking a clinical edge despite creating so many chances and, of course, the Danes' keeper Johnsson had a night to remember. But the same is happening this evening. United are creating but are not finishing. At times this season they have scored for fun but for some reason they are struggling to get the ball into the net here in Germany.

53' Sevilla 1-1 Manchester United

United again through on goal. Banega is dispossessed in centre-field. Pogba passes to Martial who takes the ball into the area and sees his shot kept out by the trailing leg of Bounou. Solskjaer's side have got to take one of these chances.

52' Sevilla 1-1 Manchester United

Greenwood is finding himself on the ball much more at the start of this half. I wonder if that's a deliberate tactical ploy or if he's just been told to get involved.

50' Sevilla 1-1 Manchester United

Goodness gracious! That was some passage of play. How did United not score...!?! A cross to the back post... MARTIAL IS ONE V ONE! The goalie saves! He passes back inside! RASHFORD! BLOCKED! United keep going, Martial dances around three players, cuts it to Fernandes and he absolutely powers a volley from 12 yards out... but it's deflected behind!

48' Sevilla 1-1 Manchester United

Sevilla are quite happy in manoeuvring in tight spaces. Even when pressed from all angles Diego Carlos and his fellow defenders are happy to spin and turn and weave their way out of pressure.

47' Sevilla 1-1 Manchester United

And straight away we are right back in the thick of it. Fernandes produces some magic with a perfectly weighted pass to find Greenwood. The 18-year-old brings the ball under control with a fine touch and then shoots at goal but it's blocked by the hip of Bounou who did well to get out and spread himself. Still, United have to take chances like these if they are to get through this.

46' Sevilla 1-1 Manchester United

Right, where were we? Let's hope this game continues as we left it. Sevilla kick us off for the second-half.

A gallery of the first half

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HT: Sevilla 1-1 Manchester United

The doctor blows his whistle and that brings an end to what has been a hugely exciting first-half. There was plenty of attacking and some lovely play in general. United took the lead early on through yet another penalty which Fernandes converted superbly. Then Sevilla responded deeper in the half with a sweeping attack, finished off by the delicate finish of Suso. There's is still so much to play for. Rejoin us in 15' when we will resume.

45+1' Sevilla 1-1 Manchester United

Fernandes catches a shot on the half-volley and stings the palms of Bounou but it was straight at the goalkeeper. Moments later, United are attacking again with Pogba playing a lovely through ball to Rashford but the ball gets stuck under his feet.

45' Sevilla 1-1 Manchester United

There will just be two minutes added for stoppages. Rashford has just swiped an attempt wide after some productive play in the build-up.

42' Sevilla 1-1 Manchester United

Greenwood curls a lovely high-ball forward in search of Rashford and it is brought down brilliantly by the England international. Still, Sevilla rumble United out of possession. They are good at that; they just harry and chase and pressurise. Williams has gone down having collided with En-Nesyri but there was nothing really in that.

41' Sevilla 1-1 Manchester United

Jesus Navas, the Sevilla captain, has now given away a free-kick and United take it quickly. It comes to nothing but Sevilla have got to be careful not to give too many of these away, especially in dangerous areas.

38' Sevilla 1-1 Manchester United

Banega has given away a free-kick over 30 yards out from Sevilla's goal.  Surely Rashford is not going to hit this?!? He does! And it's goal-bound, wobbling all the way with dip and curve, but Bounou gets behind it and manages to punch well clear. That was a good effort by the United forward. Plus it wouldn't be a Sevilla game if Banega doesn't give away a few fouls. Now all we're waiting for is a yellow card and we'll have a full house.

36' Sevilla 1-1 Manchester United

Well worked move by United. Pogba and Greenwood combine on the right, take their time, the ball is played along the 18 yard line and Martial has timed his run perfectly to attack it. He puts power on the shot, opens his foot to place it into the top corner... but smashes it over the bar. On target there was no way that wasn't a goal. 

34' Sevilla 1-1 Manchester United

Ocampos's movement is quite something. He keeps cropping up across Sevilla's attack. He is very nimble and quick-footed but so far Maguire and Lindelof at the heart of United's defence have dealt reasonably well with the opposition's thrusts forward.

32' Sevilla 1-1 Manchester United

Going into this game, one did think that there would be goals here. On one hand there's a very possession-based side with attacking full-backs who can afford to leave out their leading goalscorer in this competition. And then on the other there's a team with a front-three that most club's in the world would take and a No10 who has arrived and had such a positive impact especially in front of goal.

30' Sevilla 1-1 Manchester United

Fernandes has just tried to beat the goalkeeper from the halfway line as United win a free-kick there. Way over but absolutely worth a punt considering his form of late - he is such a good playmaker.

29' Sevilla 1-1 Manchester United

United go on the attack and Wan-Bissaka gets forward for one of the first times of the game. I wonder if he's been told to start getting up the wing more often. A corner comes to nothing.

27' Sevilla 1-1 Manchester United

It must be said that Sevilla had responded well to going a goal behind. A lot of that had come down the left and the influential Reguillon, his pass that set-up Suso was very inviting. Also Williams was surprisingly out of position in that goal too, both of United's full-backs have got a tough task ahead this evening.

26' Sevilla 1-1 Manchester United - GOAL!

Sevilla have equalised. A lovely crafted goal by the Andalucian's. The ball is worked to the right where Ocampos plays a nice ball to Reguillon who had made a neat run in the inside channel. The full-back's ball was sent across a rather empty penalty area but Suso was there at the back post to direct the ball past a scampering De Gea. 1-1 and all to play for!

 

23' Sevilla 0-1 Manchester United

A lot of Sevilla's play is going through Banega and Suso. This could be Banega's last game for the club should Sevilla not progress. He first joined the club in 2014 and has won three Europa Leagues with them, he will be hoping to go out with a fourth.

20' Sevilla 0-1 Manchester United

Sevilla are committing plenty of players forward and they've just given away a free-kick on Martial when trying to track back as United counter once more. The game has just entered a niggly period in which players are going down and the referee's cards are coming out.

17' Sevilla 0-1 Manchester United

United look very dangerous when they break with pace. Remember Wolves had much trouble breaking down this Sevilla defence last week in the quarters but this English side are having far more joy. Just now Greenwood has shown his strength to hold off two defenders when working into the penalty area before letting rip. 

15' Sevilla 0-1 Manchester United

Now Sevilla attack. Ocampos brings a save from De Gea at his near post. We've got a good'un here folks, a really fast-paced encounter. Long may it continue.

14' Sevilla 0-1 Manchester United

Fred goes close for United. He wins the ball initially in the middle of the pitch and United proceed up-field. They are aided by Sevilla's full-backs being exceptionally high up the field, affording a lot of space either side of the the central defenders. The ball finds its way back to the Brazilian who, from a tight angle, shoots into the side netting. Good from Solskjaer's men.

11' Sevilla 0-1 Manchester United

Pogba is put under pressure with a risky pass in the midfield and though he skips past one challenge, can't hold off the next. Sevilla are pushing now to try and get back in the game. Banega has the ball in the area, wants to line up a shot and goes down way too easily as Maguire chases him back. Should have taken a shot.

09' Sevilla 0-1 Manchester United - GOAL!

Fernandes, of course, does the business. He fires into the roof of the net from the penalty spot and gives United the lead. That will just be what Solskjaer would have dreamt of last night.

 

07' Sevilla 0-0 Manchester United - PENALTY!

United have a penalty. At least they think so, it's just being checked by the powers that be. Firstly Rashford broke into the box and fired low straight at goalkeeper Bounou but the ball then fell for Fernandes who miscued his attempt.

The penalty has been awarded - that's United's 22nd this season in all competition: quite unbelievable!

06' Sevilla 0-0 Manchester United

It is worth reminding readers who are not avid Spanish football followers that this is Julen Lopetegui's third managerial role in as many years. He was in charge of the Spanish national team going into the World Cup in 2018 but was sacked because he had already agreed to take the manager's position at Real Madrid, which he did but only lasted a few months. Now he's at Sevilla and currently getting wet in Koln.

04' Sevilla 0-0 Manchester United

First proper attack by Sevilla and it comes down the left. Reguillon tries to send a low cross into the area but it's blocked well by Lindelof. Quite a bright start from both here.

03' Sevilla 0-0 Manchester United

De Gea gets his first touch in this competition since October. That is a curious decision of Solskjaer's regarding the goalkeeper but he is the manager and that is what is paid to do (i.e make decisions which some of us may not agree with).

02' Sevilla 0-0 Manchester United

United made a slow start in their quarter-final victory against Copenhagen but will not be afforded that by Sevilla this evening. Straight from the off, though, Solskjaer's side are on the front foot and Fernandes sees a shot cannon off a Sevilla defender for a corner.

Kick-off is nigh

So just one match separates Sevilla and United from a place in this season's Europa League final where they will face either Inter or Shakhtar.

In this semi-final, United are going to get us underway and are kicking from right to left in their new away kit of the charcoal variety. Sevilla are all in white.

Five minutes to go

The native officiating team for this evening's semi-final is  headed by the hugely-experienced and highly-respected referee Dr Felix Brych. The German is about to lead out the two sets of players into the somewhat sterile surroundings of a virtually empty Stadion Koln.

Solskjaer speaks to BT Sport

A few words from Solskjaer on his decision to start De Gea ahead of Romero:

"Of course it's difficult when Sergio's playing well but David's really really good in training and looks ready. We hope he's going to prove to make a difference for us. Romero is disappointed, he's a top professional and he's ready if we need him."

And on the match itself:

"We have to win tonight, it's the toughest opponent we've had since lockdown. We want to prove we're the toughest team they've had since lockdown."

 

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Warm-ups are taking place

Both teams are out on the pitch at the Stadion Koln warming up. There is some slight precipitation in the air, let's hope that doesn't dampen the affair.

 

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New threads treading the boards this evening

Well, well, well!

So Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has opted for David De Gea in goal this evening - that is quite a surprise. Sergio Romero has been quite fantastic for United in Europe this season (keeping seven clean sheets in nine starts) and it is a big decision by the manager to drop him here in the semi-final. It's quite difficult to understand why, especially as De Gea scuppered United's last semi-final appearance in the FA Cup last month.

In other news, Victor Lindelof returns to partner Harry Maguire in central defence, with Eric Bailly dropping to the bench. But Fred, who was taken off in the quarter-final tie on Monday, keeps his place ahead of Nemanja Matic.

 

It's far simpler for Sevilla who are unchanged from their semi-final. That means there is still no place for Munir El Haddadi, who leads the club's scoring charts in the competition with five goals and also two assists.

Youssef En-Nesyri, a January arrival from Leganes, is the preferred striker to lead the line alongside Suso, formerly of Liverpool, and Lucas Ocampos.

 

Evening All!

Good evening everyone! Let's get straight to business... the teams.

Sevilla: Bounou; Jesus Navas (c), Kounde, Diego Carlos, Reguilon; Banega, Fernando, Jordan; Suso, En-Nesyri, Ocampos.

Subs: Vaclik, Sanchez, Sergi Gomez, Munir, Gudelj, Escudero, L. De Jong, Oliver Torres, Vazquez, Alonso, Genaro, Pablo Perez.

Man Utd: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire (c), Williams; Fred, Pogba; Greenwood, Fernandes, Rashford; Martial.
 

Subs: Grant, Romero, Bailly, Fosu-Mensah, Mengi, Pereira, James, Lingard, Mata, Matic, McTominay, Ighalo.

Follow via VAVEL UK

We'll be back an hour before kick-off with confirmed team news, pre-game chat and in-game analysis. Do not miss a detail with the live coverage that VAVEL UK will be offering for this semi-final between Sevilla and Manchester United.

How to watch the semi-final

This game is available on TV via BT Sport in the UK, Jake Humphrey will anchor the coverage from the studio with a collection of pundits whilst Ian Darke will lead the commentary team out in Cologne.

You can also listen to the game on radio with both talkSport and BBC 5 Live carrying the match.

But, best of all, you can follow all of the action live on this page on VAVEL UK. We know which one you'll chose!

Press Conferences

Sevilla manager, Lopetegui:

"We are calm, we are really up for the game and we can't wait for it to come around. We are ambitious. The dressing room is, above all, excited. They can't wait to face the game we have in front of us."

"This is the best United we have seen in the last few years. They've found their way and for that they're unbeaten since January in a league that's as competitive as the Premier League. We are up against a complete outfit who will make us play at our best."

"They've had a day's extra rest but whenever this side faces difficulty we grow. We will try to ensure that makes us stronger. It's the luck of the draw but we will adapt and be ready."

"We like playing in these kind of important matches, of course. It's what we have worked and fought for all season. We have the chance to play in a really special match against a big club." 

 

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Sevilla goalkeeper, Yassine Bounou:

"We are really up for this and can't wait for the game. Personally here at Sevilla I've always felt part of things, whether I've been playing or not."

"We always study for each game but games are full of moments, and a moment is where anything can happen."

 

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Manchester United manager, Solskjaer:

"We have had a few good days preparing, recovering and training. It's not very often we have six days between games, so we are ready. I'm looking forward to the semi-finals. We've been in them twice this season [in the FA Cup and League Cup] but we are not satisfied."

"In any game it is important to start well. If you start on the back foot, if you don't get first touches and tackle you go searching."

"[Our plan is to] Score more goals than them! We have to play our best game, play out of their press, be clever, be creative and step up in those big moments. These games will be decided on a set piece of a piece of individual brilliance."

"I think Sergio [Romero] is in a unique or special situation because he is in a goalkeeper department with one of the best from the last ten years. David [De Gea] has been exceptional, but it says so much about Romero that whenever he plays he performs. He has been a very good goalkeeper for us."

 

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Manchester United midfielder, Bruno Fernandes:

"The team and staff helped me a lot [adapting to English football]. It was much easier for me. Maybe I already played in Italy so I know how it is to be in different leagues but the Premier League is different. I have the confidence from my club and my team-mates, and that helps you play your game."

"It is time for big players to step up, big game moments. You have to have 100 per cent focus. We have learnt it is very painful to lose a semi-final."

 

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United must watch out for Banega

This could be Ever Banega's last game in a Sevilla shirt. The Argentine, now in his second spell at the club having spent a single season at Internazionale in Italy, will head to Saudi Arabia to see out his playing career after Sevilla's run in this competition. He has already won the competition three times with the club.

Banega has been one of Sevilla's best signings of the past decade and this season may have been his best. The possessional play that Julen Lopetegui's side deploy perfectly suits Banega, who uses positional awareness and perceptive passing to orchestrate his team's attacking play.

He capped off a a man-of-the-match performance in the quarter-final victory over Wolves by delivering a pinpoint cross for Lucas Ocampos's late headed winner. As ever, he was heavily involved in much that Sevilla did, he racked up 139 touches and completed 109 passes during the 90 minutes.

That game showed, once again, that the midfielder's on-pitch intelligence is the polar opposite of his off-the-field carelessness - he was fined for breaking lockdown rules. 

And the conclusion for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is simple: if you want to stop Sevilla, you have to stop Ever Banega.

Team News

United have had six days to prepare for this showdown and there are no new injury concerns having spent that time training at a base just outside Cologne. Alex Tuanzebe, Phil Jones and Luke Shaw have all been ruled out for the remainder of the season with injury.

Victor Lindelof and Matic look poised to return to the starting XI in the semi-final after being rested for the win over Copenhagen.

Sergio Romero has featured in nine of the 11 Europa League games but Solskjaer may decide to trust David de Gea in what is one of their biggest games of the season.

Sevilla are back to a full-strength squad after midfielder, Nemanja Gudelj, who tested positive for COVID-19 on the return to training to prepare for the Europa League, has travelled to Germany on Thursday following a period of isolation and a negative test.

Former Manchester City pair Jesus Navas and Fernando will start as will the lively Suso, who made 21 appearances for Liverpool during a largely unsuccessful spell in the Premier League.

 

Possible XIs:

United Romero; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Williams; Matic, Pogba; Greenwood, Fernandes, Rashford; Martial.

Sevilla Bounou; Navas, Carlos, Kounde, Reguilon; Banega, Fernando, Jordan; Suso, En-Nesyri, Ocampos.

Preamble

Manchester United have progressed to the final from each of their past four European semi-final appearances (2008, 2009 and 2011 Champions League and 2017 Europa League), winning the trophy on two of those four occasions. 

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side got the better of a stubborn Copenhagen side in extra-time in their quarter-final last week thanks to their 21st penalty in all competitions this season, four of which have come in the Europa League.

Here, though, United face a team which knocked them out of Europe two seasons ago (in the last-16 round of the Champions League). Sevilla have reached the Europa League semi-final on three previous occasions and gone on to win the tournament each time (2014, 2015, 2016). Before that they won back-to-back Uefa Cups in the competition's previous guise.

Julen Lopetegui's team needed an 88th-minute winner to emerge past Wolves in the last round. And United's task is a tough one as their opponents have only been eliminated in one of their past 20 knockout ties in the competition.

Solskjaer's team have lost out in the semi-finals of the League Cup and FA Cup already this season - will it be third time lucky for them?

 

Match Info

Kick-off in Cologne is at 20:00 BST and sees the last remaining Spanish team in European competition come up against the last remaining English team.

This is the first of two semi-finals with Internazionale facing Shakhtar Donetsk on Monday.

Welcome

Welcome to VAVEL UK's Live coverage of the first Europa League semi-final between Sevilla and Manchester United.

I'm Oliver Miller and will be guiding you through the game as the two teams vie for a place in Friday's final.

I will be providing you with pre-game analysis, team news and live updates once the game gets underway.

 

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