Sports Desk, Apr 13 (EFE).- Sevilla trailed Manchester United 2-0 heading after 83 minutes of Thursday’s Europa League quarterfinal first leg at Old Trafford, but the hosts conceded two own goals in the space of eight minutes and the Red Devils will have it all to do when the teams meet next week in Seville.
United, currently fourth in the Premier League and an FA Cup semifinalist, were expected to easily dispatch a Sevilla side suffering through their worst season in years.
And the hosts had the ball in the net 26 seconds after the opening whistle courtesy of Antony, only to see the goal disallowed for offside.
Sevilla goalkeeper Bono denied Antony in the 13th minute, but couldn’t stop Marcel Sabitzer in the 14th.
Six minutes later, Anthony Martial – playing for the injured Marcus Rashford – robbed the ball from Sevilla’s Tanguy Nianzou in midfield and then passed to Sabitzer, who made it 2-0.
The Red Devils continued to create chances and the closest Sevilla came to responding before the break was a Nianzou header off a corner that spurred David De Gea into action.
United made a change at the back to start the second half, replacing the injured Raphael Varane with Harry Maguire.
Both teams struggled on the attack and the first threat on either goal came only in the 61st minute with a fine effort by Antony that hit the post.
In search of a third goal, United coach Erik ten Hag made a triple-change, replacing Bruno Fernandes, Anthony Martial, and Jadon Sancho with Christian Eriksen, Anthony Elanga, and Wout Weghorst.
As the contest entered the final 10 minutes of regulation, Ten Hag pulled Antony in favor of Facundo Pellistri.
In the 84th minute, Sevilla sub Jesus Navas tried his luck from inside the six-yard box and the ball ricocheted off defender Tyrell Malacia and De Gea before settling in the United net.
Malacia’s own goal was followed by an injury to United defender Lisandro Martinez, who had to be helped off the pitch.
Because Ten Hag had already used all five substitutions, United had to play the rest of the match with 10 men and six-time Europa League winners Sevilla pushed hard for the equalizer.
De Gea did well to stop Youssef En-Nesyri in the first minute of stoppage time. But the Moroccan got his head to the ensuing corner and the shot bounced off Maguire and into the net for the 2-2.
In other Europa League action, Feyenoord blanked AS Roma 1-0, Bayer Leverkusen and Union Saint-Gilloise drew 1-1, and Juventus eked out a 1-0 victory over Sporting CP.
The Bianconeri had only 41 percent possession and put three shots on target to six for the visitors from Portugal, but Federico Gatti’s goal in the 73rd minute proved sufficient.
Juve benefited from strong performances in goal by Wojciech Szczesny, who left the game with chest pain late in the first half – a subsequent exam detected no problem – and Mattia Perin.
But a one-goal margin is not much against Sporting, who ousted co-favorites Arsenal from the tournament in the round of 16.