Manchester United captain Harry Maguire made a mistake that facilitated Sevilla’s first goal in the Europa League match on Thursday.
Gary Neville was swift to defend Harry Maguire after the Manchester United captain made a mistake in the Europa League quarter-final against Sevilla.
Maguire started for the Reds in the second leg against the La Liga side but was dropped after just eight minutes when the hosts took the lead against Erik ten Hag’s side. The England international lost the ball on the edge of his own penalty area after receiving the ball from David de Gea.
The United keeper passed the ball to his captain at Maguire’s request, but was stripped off by three Sevilla forwards and dispossessed by Erik Lamela, who pinch-kicked the ball. The former Tottenham man set up Youssef En-Nesyri, who overtook helpless De Gea.
It gave Sevilla a 3-2 aggregate lead at the start of the second leg after falling two goals back in last week’s first leg at Old Trafford. While Maguire was criticized for the goal, former defender Neville blamed De Gea rather than the England centre-back.
He tweeted: “Maguire will be beaten but I wouldn’t like that pass from De Gea!”
Paul Scholes, speaking on BT Sport, added: “Get rid of it. Clean up your lines. I can only think of a centre-back in world football who would want the ball in that position and be able to handle it – Harry Maguire is not one of them. David de Gea can see that, he can see there are three men around him and he doesn’t feel comfortable in that position.
“We saw how hostile that crowd was before the game, they were so aggressive and so against Manchester United they deserve recognition, but as I said in the warm-up, we praised how huge and hostile the crowd was, so when the players see them you have to go into that box and think, ‘Well, I have to be prepared for this, my first touch has to be ready.’
“You see Jadon Sancho in the first five minutes the ball bounced off him three times and he had terrible passing weight. I’m a big fan of the kid but you have to come alive, you have to be ready. They just weren’t ready.”
Maguire made just his second European start this season at the Estadio Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán, with first-choice centre-backs Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane both picking up injuries in the first leg.
The Reds lost 3-0 and 5-2 on aggregate after Loic Bade scored with his shoulder in the second period.