Manchester United survived plenty of pressure to claim a 0-0 draw at Sevilla in the first leg of their Champions league last-16 clash, owing particular thanks to an immense David de Gea save at the end of the first half.
Sevilla controlled proceedings for much of the game and, although they generally struggled to craft clear-cut chances, Luis Muriel saw their best denied in stunning fashion by De Gea as United battled to return home with honours even.
The pre-match debate surrounding Jose Mourinho's decision to drop Paul Pogba took on a new dimension after just 17 minutes when the Frenchman replaced the injured Ander Herrera, though he was unable to flourish as Sevilla dominated.
United had to rely on the heroics of De Gea to keep them on level terms at the break, with the Spain international denying both Gabriel Mercado and Muriel late on – the Colombian drawing a remarkable save from the former Atletico Madrid star.
The second half was similarly frustrating for the home side and United began to see more of the ball after the hour as the contest opened up.
But ultimately neither team could find a way through, with Pablo Sarabia wasting a good chance for Sevilla late on, giving Vincenzo Montella's men work to do in the return leg at Old Trafford on March 13.
Full of attacking intent and purposeful going forward, Sevilla established early control and played some eye-catching football.
Goalscoring opportunities were not exactly a regular occurrence, but Muriel forced De Gea into a fine stop from distance in the fourth minute and Jesus Navas shot just wide of the bottom-left corner from a similar distance a few moments later.
Pogba was then handed his chance of a reprieve, replacing the stricken Herrera, and United appeared to become more stable in midfield as a result.
Their first chance came soon after, but Romelu Lukaku blasted his volley well over from just inside the area following Alexis Sanchez's excellent lofted pass.
The visitors were fortunate to still be on level terms at half-time, though.
De Gea rescued United twice right at the end of the half, tipping Mercado's header over before then producing an excellent save to deny Muriel's nodded effort.
Sevilla remained dominant at the start of the second half, but their inability to craft clear-cut chances blighted their play, seeming to run out of ideas once in the final third.
Muriel summed up Sevilla's frustrations just before the hour mark, dragging a left-footed effort wide of the right-hand post.
De Gea was eventually called into action again in the 64th minute, but he had little difficulty getting down to keep Clement Lenglet's header.
The United goalkeeper was helpless 15 minutes from time, but Sarabia headed over from close range following Muriel's right-wing cross.
That proved to be the final chance and it will be United who look ahead to the second leg with the greater satisfaction, having emerged from a tough contest with no damage done.
Key Opta facts:
- Five of Manchester United's last seven Champions League away matches in Spain have ended goalless.
- This was Manchester United's ninth clean sheet in their last 11 matches in all competitions and their 23rd in all competitions this season – three more than any other Premier League side.
- United have drawn 22 matches in the Champions League goalless, a record they share with AC Milan.
- Sevilla failed to score in a home Champions League game for the first time – this was their 19th home match in the competition.
- Only Aleksandar Kolarov (nine times v FK Qarabag in September) has been fouled more in a Champions League game this season than Alexis Sanchez in this match (6).
- Scott McTominay became the fourth youngest Englishman to start a Champions League knockout match for the Red Devils – only Wayne Rooney, Phil Neville and Phil Jones were younger.
23 de marzo 2018
|Buffon: Messi more complete than Ronaldo|
|Neymar is irreplaceable, says Tite|
|Halep joined by Pliskova and Kerber on mixed day for seeds in Miami|
|Rahm joins Johnson in early elimination, McIlroy hits back|
|Red Wings´ Green to undergo cervical spine surgery|
|Conti: Milan much better thanks to Gattuso|
|Show must go on in Hollywood! - Pogba and Mkhitaryan say Ibrahimovic goodbyes|
|Arthur: I´ll find out if Messi is from this planet|
|Barcelona better than Real Madrid even if Neymar signs - Iniesta|
|I haven´t booked a holiday yet - Leno hoping for World Cup call|
|I may be 40 but I´m still Juve´s number one – Buffon bullish over Italy return|
22 de marzo 2018
|Italy coach Di Biagio dismisses Raiola rage over Balotelli snub|
|Lopetegui not ruling out Martinez World Cup chances|
|Late Widnes rally sees off Salford|
|Ailing Halep battles past Dodin in Miami|
|Spain defender Ramos targeting Casillas caps record|
|Pogba gets no special treatment from Deschamps|
|Defending champion Johnson dumped out of WGC Dell Match Play|
|Ibrahimovic to LA Galaxy? Beckham, Drogba, Pirlo and the other stars to try MLS|
|Wilshere out for England with Pickford to face Netherlands|
|Southgate rejects England safety concerns over World Cup|
|Great things come to an end - Ibrahimovic confirms Man Utd departure|
|This is Messi´s team - Sampaoli puts faith in Barcelona superstar|
|Tony Romo plays rollercoaster first round in PGA Tour debut|
|Total embarrassment: Hussain and Willis slam England following Auckland humiliation|
|Elgar urges South Africa to ´brush off´ disappointment of collapse|
|Juventus to play in MLS All-Star Game|
|Low confirms Can will miss Spain game|
|Tiger´s Masters timeline: Can Woods rediscover his best Augusta form?|
|Morgan to captain World XI for T20 hurricane fundraiser|
|Ibrahimovic released by Manchester United|
|Santos not interested in Ronaldo to China links|
|French Open prize money up to €2.2m for singles champions|
|WATCH: Messi scores superb solo strike in Argentina training|
|Zimbabwe´s World Cup hopes all but over after UAE loss|
|Koeman names Van Dijk new Netherlands captain|
|Dybala and Icardi´s World Cup hopes doused by Sampaoli|
|Pierre-Paul joins revamped Bucs pass rush in trade|
|I almost s*** myself - Pique on Keane rant|
|UEFA order PSG to close Auteuil stand|
|Cummins puts Australia in control as South Africa collapse after tea|
|Surgery on both elbows for ´different animal´ Parker|
|Director of rugby Kennedy leaves London Irish|
|Brilliant Bale basks in Wales record|
|Romo hits back-to-back birdies on PGA Tour debut|
|Neuer needs to play to make Germany´s World Cup squad – Low|
|All we can do is take it on the chin - Bayliss responds to Auckland humiliation|
|China 0 Wales 6: Record-breaking Bale leads demolition job in perfect start for Giggs|
|Curry closer to return than Durant - Kerr|
|Alonso expects McLaren to be at ´lowest level´ in Melbourne|
|Serena´s conqueror and a new tennis superstar - who is Naomi Osaka?|
|Bale becomes Wales´ record goalscorer with China hat-trick|
|Hamilton warns Ricciardo not to rock Red Bull boat|
|It could have been worse! England´s lowest Test totals|
|The ´reality for people with a brain´ is Manchester United are in transition, Mourinho claims|
|Black Caps seamer savours Boult from the blue|
|West Ham ban disruptive fans for life after Burnley chaos|
|Storm respond by beating Cowboys|
|Ten wickets in 79 minutes - a timeline of England´s Auckland horror show|
|England´s bleak winter sinks to new low|
|Iniesta hints at post-World Cup international retirement|
|All we do is talk s*** - Pique goads Madrid stars over WhatsApp|
|England like rabbits in the headlights - Bayliss|
|Euro 2016 humiliation helped England, claims Dele Alli|
|58 all out! Shambolic England overshadow Broad milestone|
|Iniesta confident of two more years in Barcelona starting XI|
|Kane probably the best striker in the world - Maguire|
|Broad strikes again – the Opta data behind the England bowler´s 400th wicket|
|Wenger told Wilshere he could leave Arsenal|
|An India hat-trick and THAT Ashes annihilation: Broad´s finest Test spells|