This nightmare at the Theatre of Dreams was no more than Manchester United deserved, not least for their cautious approach against unfancied Seville, who march into the quarter-finals of the Champions League at their expense.
Jose Mourinho’s men did not just play with the handbrake on for the opening 80 minutes or so, they were almost in reverse gear, so shot-shy were the Reds until the final minutes of this last 16 second leg.
By then it was too late, after an inspired substitution by Vincenzo Montella in the 72nd minute turned the game in favour of the Spanish side who had shown more composure on the ball and more adventure in attack than United.
Montella sent on Wissam Ben Yedder to replace the wasteful Muriel in attack, and within six minutes the French striker had scored twice to end Mourinho’s dreams of a third Champions League trophy.
Even though Romelu Lukaku scored a late goal to set up a slim chance of a fantastic comeback, it was of little consolation as United crashed out of the biggest cup competition in the game.
And they have only themselves to blame. Having exceeded expectations with the way they blew Liverpool away in the opening 25 minutes last Saturday, they went back into their shell and started in a curiously cautious way, even though Mourinho had set out with largely the same team that beat Liverpool.
Marcus Rashford, who had caused chaos against Jurgen Klopp’s men from the left wing, was switched to the right in order to accommodate Alexis Sanchez on his favoured flank.
But it did no favours to either player, as the Chilean disappointed again, especially in a flat first-half, and Rashford struggled to recreate his scintillating goalscoring form from the weekend.
Sanchez gave the ball away in promising positions, chipping forward hopeful rather than penetrative passes, and failing to get past the last man.