It’s Manchester United in a European cup semi-final! Who cares if it’s the one that doesn’t really matter – it’s still a semi-final. And just try telling that to all the fans who have made their way…. oh. Well. Still counts. Sort of.
An Inter Milan vs Manchester United is the final most neutrals would want to see, particularly as so many ex-United players are currently under the employ of Antonio Conte’s current club, but United aren’t there yet. First is a tricky tie against Sevilla.
Managed by Julen Lopetegui, that guy who was fired from Spain and Real Madrid within a few weeks of each other, they managed to finish fourth in La Liga and absolutely dominated Wolves in the quarter-finals. United have the better individual players but this might be a match which suits a patient counter-attack approach – something United’s quick forwards are excellent at.
Victory tonight would be Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s 50th in charge of United, something he will have achieved quicker than anyone to manage the club except two. Fancy a guess as to who those might be?
Answer: Ernest Mangnall and Sir…. Jose Mourinho.
If he is to pull off that achievement, the referee might be useful. United have been awarded 21 penalties in all competitions this season and Bruno Fernandes will be available to score more this evening, assuming that’s what happens. It’s not a conspiracy of course, you have to be in the right place to draw fouls in the box after all, and United’s quick forward play can be a nightmare to defend against. Sevilla certainly didn’t like playing against Adama Traore in their last match – Rashford, Greenwood and Martial need to go at them hard and fast.
Ever Banega is the pick of the Sevilla players but we can talk more about him closer to the game. You never know, none of these lads might actually play!
Kick off is at 8pm and you can watch the game on BT Sport, while getting analysis and updates all match long from me right here in this liveblog.