Manchester United duo David de Gea and Harry Maguire have come in for serious criticism for how they gifted Sevilla the lead in the second leg of their Europa League quarter-final.
Man Utd travelled to Spain with the tie level on aggregate after a 2-2 draw last week. They had been 2-0 up on that occasion, but own goals from Tyrell Malacia and Maguire gave them work to do in Seville.
Things did not get off to the ideal start for Man Utd, since they went 1-0 down within eight minutes. Youssef En-Nesyri scored for Sevilla, but the focus was on the errors at the back by Man Utd.
Goalkeeper De Gea received the ball from centre-back Maguire before giving it back to him under pressure. The Man Utd captain was robbed of possession, allowing Sevilla to pounce.
Former Tottenham winger Erik Lamela won the ball before En-Nesyri was able to slot it into the bottom corner.
According to talkSPORT co-commentator Andy Townsend, it was an ‘unbelievably poor’ goal to concede.
Townsend told the radio station: “Disastrous for United… that is unbelievably poor, that really is. No need to concede a goal like that.
“Really careless from United, that is.”
Although it was Maguire to lose the ball, fingers of blame have also been pointed at De Gea for giving it back to him in the first place with his back to goal and two or three opponents surrounding him.
And Townsend advised: “When you have the ball at your feet, you’re the boss. Don’t give it to Maguire if there’s a danger of him losing the ball.”
Neville: ‘Maguire will get battered but…’
Meanwhile, former Man Utd defender Gary Neville tweeted: “Maguire will get battered but that pass from De Gea I wouldn’t like.”
By half time, the scoreline remained 1-0, giving Man Utd plenty of work to do in order to remain in the competition.
Maguire was starting the match after coming on as a substitute for Raphael Varane in the first leg and also featuring from the first minute of the Premier League win over Nottingham Forest in between.
However, the former Leicester City man hasn’t been a regular starter this season, with incidents like this putting pressure on his future at the club.
De Gea, for his part, has been in the spotlight for a perceived lack of suitability for Erik ten Hag’s preference of playing from the back. Even so, he is reportedly close to signing a new contract at the club.
Errors like this one will have to be eradicated in order to make that a worthwhile decision.