Harry Maguire didn’t need too many words to express his pain after Manchester United outshot Sevilla 20-9 but lost 2-1 in Europa League semifinal action on Sunday in Germany, but he used plenty.
“The boys are devastated,” Maguire said. “We created numerous amounts of chances, gotta win the game. The best team lost. They punished us for missing the chances. We’ve been ruthless at times this year, today wasn’t one of them.”
United out-attempted Sevilla 20-9 but fell asleep on two crosses into the box from Sergio Reguilon and Jesus Navas that were finished by Suso and Luuk de Jong.
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Maguire and center back partner Victor Lindelof couldn’t get to the crosses before they reached back post targets lost by fullbacks Brandon Williams and Aaron Wan-Bissaka as United tossed away an early lead in Cologne.
“We started the high press, we scored, and maybe let them out a bit too easy,” he said. “We’ve gotta do better. We conceded from two crosses. It’s not good enough but we worked our socks off and we deserved to win the game and deserved get through. Ultimately we fell short in a semi-final for the third time this year. It’s disappointing.
“We have a good group of lads. We know what it means to play for this club. Losing is not acceptable. Getting to semi-finals isn’t acceptable. We have to concentrate to take it to the next step. The improvement we made this year is massive. We played a good Sevilla team and dominated the game. Another day we win it and everyone goes on about how well we played. Losing is not acceptable for this club.”
The Red Devils bowed out of three tournaments at the semifinal stage this season, Maguire’s first with the team and manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s first full campaign as United manager.
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Maguire still expressed hope that a piece of silverware is around the corner.
“It’ll happen soon,” he told BT Sport. “We want to win it as soon as possible. If we take another giant step next season we’ll improve again. We want to silverware. We got to three semifinals. Tonight we turned up and the best team’s lost. Maybe that little bit of inexperience cost us. We shouldn’t have conceded that second goal.”
Solskjaer didn’t use his any subs until the 87th minute, asking veterans Juan Mata and Odion Ighalo to conjure an equalizer in stoppage time.
After the manager’s meager lineup decisions against Chelsea in the FA Cup semi, fans will be asking questions about his decisions in big games until he gets another chance. That won’t happen until at least the Champions League group stage early this winter.
"The boys in there are devastated."
"We need to get better. Losing is not acceptable."
A disappointed Harry Maguire reflects on Man Utd's third semi-final exit of the season.
— Football on BT Sport #Club2020 (@btsportfootball) August 16, 2020