More often than not, in sport you get what you deserve.

On Tuesday night at Old Trafford, that’s exactly how it played out for Manchester United.

The Sevilla side which dumped them out of the Champions League currently sit fifth in La Liga, 27 points behind leaders Barcelona and with a goal difference of minus six. West Ham have managed as many goals in the Premier League as they have in the Spanish top flight and they are weaker this season than they were when Leicester City beat them at the last 16 stage a year ago.

Yet, for all this, United afforded them the kind of respect you might expect when facing a genuine European heavyweight – not a team who considers Stephen Nzonzi as one of its key players.

Sevilla had looked the likelier to score in the goalless draw in the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan three weeks ago, but still, as unthreatening as United had been that night, at least they had returned to Manchester knowing they had an advantage. In that sense, Mourinho has been partially vindicated. Surely, a Big European Night At Old Trafford™ would help carry United to the quarter finals…

And in truth, the early signs had been promising. Boosted by the weekend win against Liverpool (a result and performance that seems all the more miraculous now), the opening few minutes had seen the home side play with tempo. Romelu Lukaku, one of few United players to come out of the night exempt from any real blame, had made Simon Kjaer’s attempt to shoulder charge him off the ball…

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