David de Gea

AP Photo/Dave Thompson

Three things from Manchester United’s Champions League exit


Manchester United disappointed on many levels in bailing out of the UEFA Champions League at the Round of 16.

[ RECAP: Man Utd 1-2 (1-2 agg.) Sevilla ]

It wasn’t a matter of bounces, as United was outplayed by the visitors and failed to show anything clinical in attack aside from a Jesse Lingard chance and workmanlike 90 minutes from Romelu Lukaku.

Here are three things we gathered from the contest.

Alexis invisible

For a guy making loads and loads of money and seeking a more ambitious club than Arsenal, Alexis Sanchez essentially went missing at Old Trafford on Tuesday.

The No. 7 red shirt was involved in some combination play, creating some first half chances, but was nowhere near the difference maker he was so many times for the Gunners.

Maybe this is down to Jose Mourinho and Sanchez still familiarizing themselves with each other’s strengths, but the Chilean missed a chance to become an Old Trafford hero in a building which has seen so many heroes etch their way into memory.

UPDATE: You know who agrees? Rio Ferdinand, who said, “The whole 11 today were shocking.”

Mourinho not bailed out by De Gea

Just days after outfoxing Jurgen Klopp in a big derby win, Jose Mourino failed to deliver another winning tactical plan for Manchester United.

Mourinho entered the match with a nil-nil score line, and apparently didn’t think his side could score one more goal than it conceded at Old Trafford.

Marouane Fellaini started the match in the midfield, and the first half saw loads of balls sent to him at the back post for knockdowns. Super sub Jesse Lingard also started and was quite active, denied by Sergio Rico’s fine form.

Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial were on the bench to start, both recovering from injuries but fit for substitute roles.

Was Sevilla prepared for more from United? Steven N’Zonzi seems puzzled by the hosts.

“I thought they were going to press a little bit more, but I don’t really want to talk about the game it’s a great win,” N’Zonzi said.

So often, Mourinho has been bailed out by his talent, in particular his dynamic keeper David De Gea.

But De Gea was slow to recognize Wissam Ben Yedder’s intentions on Sevilla’s first goal (below), and his attempt to slap the Frenchman’s difficult back post header over the goal ended up bounding off the post and into the net.

While he’s not the villain of the loss, he wasn’t near his impervious best on the United goals.

Lukaku makes some amends as the lone bright spot

Romelu Lukaku has, rightly or wrongly, been criticized for his big game performances.

He wasn’t perfect on Tuesday, but the Big Belgian was one of United’s lone bright spots well before he bullied his way into the box to score the side’s lone goal of the tie.

Just as he did against Liverpool at the weekend, Lukaku ran himself ragged tracking down passes and getting very physical with Sevilla’s back line.

It just wasn’t enough, as the bevy of busy and creative players able to play off Lukaku simply did not.

Man United issue Real Madrid De Gea message

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Jose Mourinho has told Real Madrid to forget about reigniting their bid to sign David De Gea.

De Gea, 27, has once again been the star performer for Manchester United with the Spanish goalkeeper in sublime form all season and clearly in the conversation (if not dominating it) as the best stopper on the planet right now.

Amid reports that reigning European champs Real Madrid were due to once again test the waters with a bid for De Gea, Mourinho told Spanish outlet La Sexta the following.

“I see him here – I don’t know what the intentions are of Real Madrid but they should think about another player,” Mourinho said.

So, in a nutshell: get lost. He is ours.

However, De Gea has just 18 months left on the four-year contract he signed at United in 2015 after his move to Real Madrid failed at the last minute amid reports that a fax machine didn’t work properly in Real Madrid’s offices.

With De Gea leading the way in the race for the Golden Glove in the Premier League and also Spain’s undisputed No.1, the Spaniard is in a strong bargaining position when it comes to requesting a new deal at Old Trafford.

United have the second best defensive record in the Premier League with just 23 goals conceded across 30 games and with Mourinho’s men in second place in the PL, plus hoping to get into the last eight of the UEFA Champions League when they face Seville on Tuesday and also in the FA Cup quarterfinals. Progress is being made.

That progress will come to a shuddering halt if De Gea’s contract is allowed to run down to just one year remaining and his future will become an increasingly debated topic over the next few months if he doesn’t sign a new deal at United.

He makes United’s defenders better and the entire team seems steadier due to his presence. Mourinho and United must pay De Gea the big bucks if they’re serious about challenging Manchester City for the Premier League title for many years to come. It’s really as simple as that.

Manchester United 2-1 Liverpool: Mourinho’s men grind it out

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  • Rashford 2-0 LFC at half
  • Bailly own goal gives Reds life
  • 200th meeting of the clubs

Marcus Rashford‘s first half brace gave Manchester United a 2-1 win over rivals Liverpool in a nasty tilt at Old Trafford on Saturday.

Liverpool is winless in five matches against Man Utd — the previous four were draws — and has only one win in 10 versus the Red Devils since the start of 2014-15 season.

An Eric Bailly own goal was the only way through for Liverpool, as the Reds dropped five points back of second place United. The victorious Red Devils are 13 points behind leaders Man City, but now 12 points clear of fourth place Chelsea.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Rashford’s bullet opener followed a Romelu Lukaku flick of David De Gea‘s massive goal kick in the 14th minute.

Virgil Van Dijk missed a free header off a corner kick when his effort went off his shoulder and wide of the goal, and the other end of the pitch soon saw Rashford back in business.

Lukaku won a long ball and turned his effort to Juan Mata. The Spaniard was tackled, but the ball came clean to Rashford for another smashing finish beyond Loris Karius.

Roberto Firmino worked himself clear for a long hard rip in the 31st minute that fired right into the arms of De Gea.

It was close to a 3-0 when Mata hit a shot wide of the far post.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Liverpool looked better after the break, and Salah was defied by his touch and Chris Smalling off a Firmino chipped feed in the 50th minute.

Sadio Mane led a break and couldn’t find Salah. Ashley Young did well to cut out the danger, but Liverpool was just a hair off.

Liverpool got one back in the 66th minute when Mane’s hopeful cross was directed into the United goal by an almost impossibly positioned Bailly.

Man Utd 2-1 Chelsea: Lukaku on point

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  • Lukaku the star
  • Assists Lingard winner
  • Willian gave Chelsea lead
  • Sides split season series

Romelu Lukaku scored and set up Jesse Lingard for the winner as Manchester United came back to beat Chelsea 2-1 at Old Trafford on Sunday.

Willian scored the Blues’ opener.

The win moves Manchester United back into second place with 59 points. Chelsea now sits fifth with 54 points.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

The visitors were nearly in front when Morata belted Marcos Alonso‘s cross off the bar, and the rebound popped over the goal.

The 10th minute saw Paul Pogba win a free kick off Morata at the corner of the 18.

Anthony Martial broke up a long spell of Chelsea possession with a dribble and cross that failed to meet a receiver in the 25th minute.

Antonio Rudiger blocked a Lukaku chance moments later, then Courtois stopped Alexis Sanchez.

A yellow card came N'Golo Kante‘s way after the Frenchman chopped down countryman Pogba following a nifty move in the 30th minute.

Willian broke up a cross and then was there at the other end to finish his move and start the scoring. There was a rare David De Gea mistake on the finish, but Willian hammered his effort.

Lukaku then defied critics of his big match record in starting and finishing a terrific team goal with Nemanja Matic, Sanchez, and Martial.

Andreas Christensen was stunned after head-to-head contact with Lukaku just before the goal, but play was not stopped.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

A slow first stanza of the second half hoped for change with Jesse Lingard’s entry for Martial.

Courtois made a fantastic tip save of a Lukaku side volley in the 68th, off a Sanchez cross.

Lukaku did his best Lingard in a role reversal with the wide man, working the right to send a cross inside for the Englishman to head home.

Willian tried to answer back within a minute, but De Gea went low to collect the shot.

Fabregas was offside by a razor-thin margin when his clean finish slid inside the far post with five minutes to play.

Lukaku effectively killed the game with a 60-yard dribble and shot, blocked out for a throw, deep into stoppage time.

De Gea remarks on that save after Man Utd draws Sevilla

AP Photo/Miguel Morenatti)
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It was probably the save of the UEFA Champions League’s Round of 16’s first legs, as David De Gea slapped away Luis Muriel’s bid to give Sevilla a halftime lead over Manchester United on Wednesday in Spain.

[ MORE: Recap | Mourinho reacts ]

Playing in his home country, De Gea had a massive outing in the scoreless draw.

The defiance of Muriel was De Gea’s second big save of the first half’s closing moments, and one of eight in the match.

“It was a good moment, a good save of course, especially because of the moment in the game. It was the last minute of the first half, it was important to not concede a goal. We defended well. They had control of the game, but it remains open.”

Watch the save below, and then catch De Gea against Chelsea on Sunday as two of the Premier League’s biggest clubs duke it out for Top Four positioning at Old Trafford (Watch live Sunday at 9:05 a.m. ET online via NBCSports.com).