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.
20 de junio 2018
|Astros´ win streak ends at 12|
|Lahm backs Germany, Low after losing start|
|Messi has all our support – Dybala|
|Strickland apologises for ´stupid decision´ that led to broken hand|
|Five-time Open Championship winner Thomson dies aged 88|
|´Positive´ Pogba not bitter towards media, says Varane|
|Portugal privileged to have ´humble´ Ronaldo, says Pepe|
|Strickland breaks hand punching door after blown save, out for up to eight weeks|
|He will have received good money – Costa delighted by Griezmann extension|
|Kane: Pochettino sent me love hearts after World Cup heroics|
|Nationals place Adams on 10-day DL with broken finger|
|Dybala: I can play alongside Messi|
|Lewandowski: Poland didn´t take enough risks|
|England´s Kane aiming to reach Ronaldo, Messi levels with World Cup performances|
19 de junio 2018
|Kicker given three-year match-fixing ban|
|England confirm Alli thigh injury|
|Federer through, Zverev out in Halle|
|Back on the map and earning letters from ladies, Tabarez embraces Uruguay´s heritage|
|Rampant England rout Australia in record-breaking display|
|Pulisic in right place at Dortmund, says Arena|
|Wilshere confirms Arsenal exit|
|NASCAR at Sonoma: TV schedule, standings, qualifying drivers for Toyota/Save Mart 350|
|Muguruza and Kvitova cruise through in Birmingham|
|Leno among top 10 most expensive goalkeepers|
|Pained Salah unable to halt Russia´s unlikely march|
|Kyrgios downs ´legend´ Murray as Dimitrov and Djokovic progress|
|Neymar pain normal – Coutinho unconcerned by ankle issue|
|Russia 3 Egypt 1: Salah strikes but hosts right on course for last 16|
|We must make Ronaldo less exceptional, says Morocco boss Renard|
|Chandimal handed one-Test ball tampering ban, faces further ICC charge|
|Arsenal sign goalkeeper Leno from Leverkusen|
|Mexico style in Germany win surprised Arena|
|Monaco complete €20m move for Lyon teenager Geubbels|
|Saudi team don´t know cause of aeroplane fire, Pizzi reveals|
|Champions League qualifying draw: Celtic travel to Armenia, Ajax face Sturm Graz|
|I´ve never seen a player win on his own – Santos shrugs off Ronaldo dependence|
|Murray impresses despite narrow defeat on return|
|West Ham land club-record Diop signing|
|El Hadji Diouf hails ´perfect start´ for Senegal|
|Cisse and Senegal give cause for African celebration|
|Carvajal ready to face Iran - Hierro|
|Japan´s World Cup victory over Colombia sparks celebrations on the streets of Tokyo|
|Poland 1 Senegal 2: Good fortune and bad errors hand Africans Group H win|
|England shatter ODI world record with total of 481 against Australia|
|Best yet to come from England hero Kane, says Rashford|
|Salah starts for Egypt against Russia|
|De Jong expects to stay at Ajax|
|Barcelona angered by Pique´s involvement in Griezmann saga|
|Federer begins Halle defence with comfortable Bedene win|
|Tabarez not worried by slow Suarez start|
|Brazil´s Neymar felt pain in his ankle, CBF confirms|
|Griezmann understands Atletico fans´ nerves over Barcelona speculation|
|Queiroz salutes Hierro for uniting Spain|
|Stump from Scotland´s defeat of England auctioned for charity|
|Red Bull will not have works team label, confirm Honda|
|Neymar hobbles out of Brazil World Cup training|
|Ronaldo´s revelry, Messi´s miss and Sanchez´s shocker - Russia 2018, World Cup of the penalty|
|Brazil ask FIFA to explain VAR decisions against Switzerland|
|Colombia 1 Japan 2: Sanchez red spoils Pekerman´s plans|
|Argentina v Croatia: Mercado wants an end to ´Messidependencia´|
|Hoffenheim director suggests €50m bid could land Kramaric|
|England will emerge as a ´champion team´, insists Jones|
|Ryder Cup teams shaping up great, says Strange|
|We cannot replace Iniesta – Abidal|
|Colombia´s Sanchez sees second-quickest World Cup red card|
|France v Peru: Varane and Les Bleus calm after unconvincing start|
|Semenya challenges IAAF hyperandrogenism rule with CAS|
|No Germany line-up changes needed, says Neuer|
|James absent from Colombia line-up|
|Alli to have scan on thigh knock after England win|