Jose Luis Mendilibar, the Sevilla coach, was quite happy at the end of the clash at Old Trafford. In a game where luck helped Sevilla in the last two goals of the tie, the Basque coach analyzed the bad start of his team. “The truth is that after half an hour, losing 2-0, I thought, my God, what is this. We’re going to Seville with our ears down”, stated Mendilibar at the conclusion of the match, which leaves open the Andalusian team’s pass to the semifinals of the Europa League. Mendilibar made seven changes with respect to Sevilla’s starting eleven against Celta: he was thinking of the duel against Valencia in the League, where he is in 13th place. The Basque, however, knew how to turn his team’s approach around with the entries in the second half of players like Navas, Suso and En-Nesyri, who changed the game. “The changes improved the team, it’s true. Many footballers hadn’t played for a while, like Marcao, but we knew how to join the lines better. I told the players with the 2-0 scoreline that if we scored a goal we would go into the tie. In the end, I think that Sevilla has something special with this competition”, added the Basque coach.
Mendilibar made his debut as a coach in the Europa League. After 450 games in the First Division, the coach had only led Athletic in the summer of 2005 in an Intertoto tie against Cluj, which they lost. Almost 18 years later, he managed to draw a two-way tie in the quarterfinals of the Europa League and at the home of Manchester United. “Everything has been a good feeling on a personal level, but we weren’t doing well in the first part of the game. They came out very fast. We have tied with two rebounds, but we have also looked for it and they have called the time. We were even able to win the game at the end”, reviewed Mendilibar. “Now we are going to think about Valencia, which is an important game, and then we will think about the return against United”, he concluded.
“We have had too much respect for United,” Gudelj said, while teammates like En-Nesyri highlighted his team’s ambition in the final stretch of the clash. “We have done our job. They have scored two goals against us. We lacked some concentration in the first half, but the second half was good and we tied the game because we went after them to find a prize”, reported the Moroccan, who came on in the second half to replace his teammate Lamela. “The team has insisted, despite the 2-0 loss. The second part has been very complete and we have put them there. I am very happy with the team’s work”, reviewed Navas, whose entry in the second half helped Sevilla a lot.
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Source: EL PAIS