No blowouts today! In a change of pace from what the normal has been the last couple match days. The last day of Champions League action for a few weeks ended in some dramatic fashion.
Shakhtar Donetsk 2-1 AS Roma
What a game. The first leg of this draw had it all; some heroic defending and goalkeeping, great goals and individual play-making. Roma drew first blood after some great passing that left Cengiz Ünder right in front of goal alone to finish the shot. The second half was not a good one for Roma though. Ferreyra, the Shakhtar Donetsk player, opened the scoring with a fast break in which he just had to beat one defender to have a cool calm finish. That’s a nice result right? Well Donetsk was not gonna let it be, they continued pushing, and on a free kick, Fred, channeled his inner Messi and banged the winner off the crossbar. While there was plenty of time after the goal for Roma to equalize, their efforts fell short and now they will have plenty of ground to make up.
Sevilla 0-0 Manchester United
The headlines on this game are already how Manchester United escaped with a draw, and rightfully so.
Yes, the only reason Manchester United is leaving Spain with a scoreless draw is David de Gea, who time and time again has continued to prove himself as the top goalkeeper currently playing. If we look closer though we can see that Sevilla just dominated this game, the possession stats were overwhelmingly theirs. Shots on goal were 8-1 in favor of Sevilla. Point blank saves were just a norm for de Gea this game, it quite literally felt like nothing was gonna beat the brick wall that is David de Gea.
Sevilla will definitely be regretting not having put a couple on United to have a better chance away but they certainly did their part. There is the argument that it is simply the Mourinho way to sit back and defend, absorb the pressure. Surely conceding so many shots on goal could not be part of the process, if David de Gea does not have an outstanding game, this draw is over before it even gets to the second leg.
This United squad needs to start playing better. The amount of talent available on the squad and the lack of results being delivered is terrible. Even after this match though Manchester United have to be the favorite to go through.
The return legs for both of these matches will be March 13. Will Roma come back? Can United depend on their players, not just their keeper?