Paul Scholes has hit out at Manchester United’s complete lack of speed, energy or desire during their 2-1 defeat to Sevilla in the Champions League.
Jose Mourinho’s men started tentatively and afforded Sevilla plenty of possession during what was a dour first half.
Man United picked up the pace briefly after the break but failed to produce clearcut opportunities, and ultimately found themselves victim of two sucker-punches from Yassim Ben Yedder in quick succession.
And Scholes, speaking on BT Sport of the game, was on the verge of speechlessness.
Mourinho can rightly claim to have excellent pedigree in this competition and in European competition in general, but you can only hope that, once the dust has settled and he has time to reflect, he will conclude that he got this game – one of the biggest of the season – completely wrong.
The attitude towards this tie – an air of caution, of negativity, of perhaps even fear – was poor from the very start. United shifted the ball around as if they did not have a plan, or at least no clear idea how to implement it if there was one. It felt like they were defending a lead they did not have.
Against a side that has conceded five to Eibar, Real Betis and Spartak Moscow this season, Mourinho and his team displayed no attacking ambition at all – apart from when the tie was done.
If you do that then, frankly, you do not deserve to go any further in this competition. Not just out – out with a whimper.