Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says his side want to end their semi-final heartbreaks this season as they take on Europa League experts Sevilla on Sunday.
Solskjaer has led United to two semi-final appearances this season with all ending in defeats.
United faced rivals Manchester City in the last four of this season’s Carabao Cup and lost 3-2 on aggregate.
And in the Emirates FA Cup clash against Chelsea inside Wembley stadium they were beaten 3-1.
And speaking ahead of Sunday’s clash, Solskjaer said their main target is to go a step further.
“For me as well, I’m looking forward to it,” he said in his press conference.
“We’ve already been to a semi twice this season [in the Carabao and FA Cups] and we’re happy going as far as we have, but we’re not satisfied. We want to go one step further.”
United’s only hope of a silverware this season lies in the Europa League.
The last time the Red Devils won a trophy was in the 2016/2017 campaign under Jose Mourinho.
During his time at the club Mourinho led them to the Carabao Cup and Europa League title.
United have booked their spot in next season’s Champions League but if Solskjaer wants to lay down a marker ahead of the new campaign, a trophy is essential.
And to stand a chance of landing a trophy since 2017, they must go past Sevilla who have a record five Europa League titles.
Solskjaer may revert back to the majority of the tried-and-tested lineup which dispatched teams with relative ease upon the restart.
That would mean a return for Nemanja Matic in the middle of the park alongside Paul Pogba, potentially dropping Fred down to the bench, while Victor Lindelof may replace Eric Bailly in the heart of the United defence.
Fernandes, Mason Greenwood, Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford have chalked up a remarkable 64 goals and 23 assists between them this season, but the quartet will be in for a difficult night against the staunch rearguard action of Sevilla.
For Sevilla, they were certainly made to work for their victory over Wolves in the quarter-final.
The story could have been completely different had Raul Jimenez not missed from the penalty spot, but Lucas Ocampos’s 17th goal of the season in the 88th minute ultimately proved the difference on the night.
Just like United, Sevilla are already assured of Champions League qualification owing to their fourth-placed finish in the 2019-20 La Liga season, but a piece of silverware at the end of a turbulent campaign would give them the confidence to push on and try to reduce the gap to Real Madrid and Barcelona next season.
On his thoughts about the big encounter, former Manchester City winger Jesus Navas said:”I’ve played against them various time. I remember the passion that surrounds the Manchester Derby. I had the fortune of experiencing some very special matches. Some of them were great moments.
“We know they’re tough opponents and it will be complicated. We are clear about what we have to do. Let’s hope we can go out there and win the match. They have quick players in attack who are dangerous. But we’re focusing on ourselves and we know what we have to do in every match, and, above all, we’ll stay calm when it’s necessary to then attack.”
Julen Lopetegui could very well stick with the same starting lineup that got the job done against Wolves, which would mean another start for Yassine Bounou in goal following his penalty save from Jimenez.
The centre-back pairing of Diego Carlos and Jules Kounde have both been linked with moves elsewhere during the summer transfer window, but the duo will simply be focused on keeping Fernandes and co at bay on Sunday evening.Copyright © 2020 Completesports.com All rights reserved. The information contained in Completesports.com may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the prior written authority of Completesports.com.