Harry Maguire and David De Gea errors bookended an embarrassing 3-0 defeat at Sevilla as Manchester United’s Europa League dreams went up in smoke in Spain.
A week on from blowing a comfortable two-goal lead in the first leg of this quarter-final, the Red Devils withered rather than rallied at the rocking Estadio Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan.
Youssef En-Nesyri capitalised on a Maguire mistake and, after Loic Bade’s header, punished De Gea’s slip in a 3-0 win that saw United make a humiliating Europa League exit 5-2 on aggregate.
The Red Devils had knocked out Barcelona and Real Betis to reach this stage, but for the sixth season running their European dreams ended in defeat to Spanish opposition.
Sevilla began that run in 2018 and had the visitors on the backfoot from the outset on Thursday, when Erik ten Hag’s call for his players to keep their cool fell on deaf ears.
The home side’s pressure forced Maguire into an error from a poor De Gea pass out, with Erik Lamela winning the ball and En-Nesyri striking home in the seventh minute.
Lucas Ocampos had a goal disallowed and abject United were fortunate not to be further behind at the break, only to concede again 76 seconds after the restart.
In fact, things got even worse as En-Nesyri scored from distance into an empty net after De Gea failed to clear a high ball.
Few could have envisaged this outcome when Marcel Sabitzer’s brace put United in cruise control last Thursday.
But Sevilla rode their luck and capitalised on United’s absentees at Old Trafford, before running amok in front of their incredible support.
The corner of United fans were surrounded by an imposing white wall, with toilet roll streaming down from the stands and flags waving in the air as the teams emerged.
Maguire played back to De Gea and called for the return ball, only for a poor ball out and the attention of three Sevilla players to see him panic.
Lamela blocked his attempted pass away from danger, with En-Nesyri collecting the ball and driving past United’s statuesque goalkeeper to send the home fans wild.
It was a nightmare start for United, whose defence looked rattled and were struggling to create clear-cut chances.
Antony shanked wide and Aaron Wan-Bissaka struck straight at Yassine Bounou, with Casemiro heading over for the toothless visitors.
Sevilla looked most likely to score. Lamela was all too easily able to get away a shot and De Gea would be beaten again before the break.
Ocampos brilliantly steered home, only for the goal to be ruled out by the VAR for Marcos Acuna straying offside in the build-up.
Marcus Rashford and Luke Shaw replaced Jadon Sancho and Aaron Wan-Bissaka, but any hope of a comeback was swiftly punctured.
Rakitic sent over a corner from the right and Bade sent a header looping over De Gea and in off the underside of the bar.
It was a gut punch that Sevilla quickly attempted to turn into a knockout blow, with De Gea pushing away a Rakitic shot for a corner that sparked a wild melee.
Wout Weghorst replaced Anthony Martial and Casemiro was on his knees after being handed a booking that ruled him out of the semi-final first leg. A stage United would not get to.
Perhaps United’s desperation played a part in De Gea’s decision to race off his line to deal with a ball, only to slip and present En-Nesyri with the chance to score from distance.
United’s humbling was complete and their reaction in Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final against Brighton will be fascinating.