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Manchester United escape Sevilla with goalless UCL draw

Manchester United escape Sevilla with goalless UCL draw

The hosts played well and had most of the significant scoring chances but could not get past the Spanish goalkeeper David De Gea.

It was the highlight of another solid performance by De Gea, and it helped United hold Sevilla to a 0-0 draw in their first-leg match in the last 16 of the Champions League on Wednesday. He also stopped a long-range shot by Muriel by making a hard diving save close the ground.

The Sevilla crowd was ready to erupt when forward Luis Muriel appeared free from markers inside the area, with the ball in flawless position for his header just a few meters (yards) from the goal.

De Gea joined United from Atletico Madrid in 2011, and Ferdinand admits there were players in Sir Alex Ferguson's squad at the time who were not convinced early on, with the former England defender suggesting he was among them.

Just moments after being involved in a defensive mix-up, De Gea produced an incredible one-handed stop to prevent a point-blank Muriel header rippling the net.

Muriel paid tribute to De Gea for denying him and said he was disappointed his side did not take their chances. "I could have gone for the corner but I chose to strike it harder instead of placing it. De Gea is a great goalkeeper and made a great save". "I made a save and I'm happy for that".

Sevilla continued in the ascendancy after the break and racked up 25 attempts over the course of the evening - but none found the back of the net as Mourinho's men somehow returned to Old Trafford unscathed.

Joaquin Correa, a nuisance down the left, twice forced the Spain goalkeeper into action, before the Spain goalkeeper superbly tipped over a glancing Steven N'Zonzi header.

In Kharkiv, Shakhtar Donetsk's South American blend proved too strong for AS Roma as goals from Facundo Ferreyra and Fred gave them a 2-1 win in freezing conditions.

Pogba was expected to go straight back into United's starting line-up, but will start among the substitutes at the Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.

Against the crackling atmosphere inside Sevilla's Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán, this was United's first Champions League knockout game since the David Moyes era.

Sevilla coach Vincenzo Montella had warned ahead of the match that his strikers had to improve in front of goal because missed chances could be costly against United's defense.

The Spanish side created far more chances than Jose Mourinho's side in Seville.

Sevilla remained dominant at the start of the second half, but its inability to craft clear-cut chances blighted its play, seeming to run out of ideas once in the final third. "But we have to be satisfied because it's still wide open".

United forward Romelu Lukaku spurned a rare clear opening in the first period when he punted a pass from Alexis Sanchez well over the bar and the Belgian had a goal ruled out for handball late in the second.

United boss Jose Mourinho omitted Paul Pogba from his starting lineup once again despite the France worldwide having recovered from the illness which kept him out of the weekend win over Huddersfield Town, although that plan lasted only 17 minutes before an injury to Ander Herrera led to Pogba's introduction earlier than expected.

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