Rio Ferdinand slams Manchester United squad for a lack of character after crashing out of Champions League

by Harry Robinson

Rio Ferdinand has viciously criticised Manchester United’s shocking performance against Sevilla as they crashed out of the UEFA Champions League in the round of 16.

After appalling displays both away from home in Spain and then at Old Trafford on Tuesday night, manager Jose Mourinho has huge questions to answer after showing the La Liga side far too much respect in both legs.

Man United were uninventive in attack, lacked any urgency, were ill-disciplined in defence and only looked as if they were going for the game for a short few minutes after Sevilla’s second goal.

Romelu Lukaku scored a consolation goal, but United then failed to continue in that vain, falling to a terrible 2-1 defeat. Ferdinand didn’t hold back in his criticism, at all.

“They looked like a team thrown together, full of strangers,” Ferdinand said.

“They played nervously and cautiously in the beginning.”

The 2008 Champions League winner with United criticised the attitude of United’s players.

“In these games, you have to go out and take the game by the scruff of the neck,” Ferdinand continued.

“That takes personality, takes character to go and do that. In this stadium, you’ve got to give the fans something to chant about.”

“This stadium tonight was quiet, and that’s down to the players, you’ve got to inspire them.”

At no point in the tie, over more than three hours of football, did United try to take the game to Sevilla. It was a shocking approach, from manager and players.

Old Trafford was the quietest it has been for a European knockout game, and it’s no surprise. The players offered nothing. The inquest into a self-inflicted defeat will last a long time.

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