Scholes hits out at Man United's second half display in Sevilla draw

‘They thought it was too easy, a stroll in the park’: Paul Scholes accuses Man United of ‘complacency’ after they threw away 2-0 lead against Sevilla in Europa League quarter-final – insisting Sir Alex Ferguson ‘wouldn’t have allowed’ it

  • Man United conceded two late goals as they were held to a 2-2 draw by Sevilla
  • Paul Scholes felt complacency was a major issue for United in the second half
  • He labelled their second half performance at Old Trafford a ‘complete disaster’ 

Paul Scholes believes complacency was a major factor in Manchester United throwing away a two-goal lead in their 2-2 draw with Sevilla.

United took control of their Europa League quarter-final when Marcel Sabitzer scored two quickfire goals in the first half, but United struggled to kick on after the break and were punished by their Spanish opponents.

Tyrell Malacia deflected the ball into his own net with six minutes remaining, and United then shipped another own goal in the third minute of added time as Harry Maguire inadvertently headed the ball past David de Gea.

Scholes was bemused by United’s second half showing, and put it down to complacency creeping in after a straightforward first 45 minutes, while also insisting the same thing would not have happened under Sir Alex Ferguson when he was a player.

‘I think it is possible [to take you foot of the gas in the second half]. Did it happen when we played? Possibly, but I don’t think the manager would have allowed us to be complacent in the second half,’ Scholes told BT Sport. 

Manchester United conceded two late goals as they drew 2-2 with Sevilla on Thursday

Paul Scholes believes complacency was an issue for United after they dominated the first half

‘When you are in a quarter-final like that, this is the time to win the game. That should have been three, four, five nil against that opposition. It is almost as if they thought it was too easy, a stroll in the park. You can’t do that in Europe and against Sevilla, we know their record.’

‘Sevilla weren’t great in the first half and United were playing so well, you were thinking this is three, four, five and the end of the game tonight. The second half was a complete disaster.

‘You never felt Sevilla were putting that much pressure on United. It was just a strange second half. You can only put it down to complacency.’

Sevilla got back into the game when they pulled a goal back late on, and Malacia did not cover himself in glory with his defending.

The full back allowed a floated through ball to go through to Jesus Navas and then compounded his error by deflecting the resulting cross into his own net.

Scholes was far from impressed with Malacia’s failure to spot the danger, and fellow pundit Owen Hargreaves admitted the mistake was a costly one that turned the match on its head.

Tyrell Malacia made an error and then deflected the ball into his own net for Sevilla’s first goal

Scholes and Owen Hargreaves think Erik ten Hag will be disappointed that his side allowed Sevilla to get back into the tie

‘Malacia has to deal with that. He cannot afford to let that ball bounce. He has to come and get rid of it,’ Scholes said.

‘He is unaware of the danger behind him. That is where the danger is. It is an easy ball, swing your right foot at it. You cannot let the ball bounce. Maybe he thinks it will skid on but from then on things go from bad to worse.’

Hargreaves agreed, adding: ‘It was an easy ball for Malacia to deal with, maybe he was wary of it bouncing awkwardly. 

‘When he looks back tomorrow he will think: “why didn’t I just clear it?” From then on the game changed.’

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