Sevilla vs Manchester United - Sevilla need to kill off Alexis Sanchez threat - Montella

Posted Wednesday, February 21, 2018 by PA

Sevilla vs Manchester United - Sevilla need to kill off Alexis Sanchez threat - Montella

Sevilla may have to “kill” Manchester United’s Alexis Sanchez to make it out of the Champions League last-16 for the first time, according to head coach Vincenzo Montella.

The Red Devils have made this knockout stage of European football’s top competition for the first time since 2014, while the Andalusian club met Leicester at this juncture last year.

Sevilla were knocked out by the Foxes and are now hoping to make it to the Champions League quarter-finals at the fourth time of asking – and Montella joked extreme measures may be needed.

As well as hoping Paul Pogba is not well enough to play, the Italian suggested January signing Sanchez could be in for a very tough evening.

“I remember him really well from his stay in Italy,” Sevilla coach Montella said of the former Udinese, Barcelona and Arsenal forward.

“He has improved his style a lot during his career and I think he can be a really good player in transition. I think they have really good speed in attack.

“Well, maybe we can kill him or knock him down or something!”

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho says he is not looking any further in the competition than the Sevilla tie.

He said: “I normally say that Champions League dreams, they start around the quarter-finals and not yet.

“The last-16 still looks a long way to go. At the moment, we have to focus on a very difficult moment.”

Pogba was named in the United squad after illness and Mourinho expects the France international to play a part.

He added: “When a player is in a competitive (training) session it is normally because they are ready without problems.

“I don’t think it’s fair to speak about the responsibilities of a player. I don’t even like the fact that the player that cost X millions doesn’t have the same responsibility of one that cost three times X. They have the same responsibility.”

Mourinho returns to Spain hoping to make more winning memories after spending three seasons in charge of Real Madrid in which he won the 2010-11 Copa del Rey and the LaLiga title along with the Supercopa the following season.

He said: “There were just three (trophies). I came here in a difficult period for my club (Real Madrid), in a period of a great dominance of our big rival.

“To win the league meant a lot. The UEFA Cup (with Porto) in Sevilla in 2003 meant a lot.”

He was wary of opposite number Montella’s organisational skills.

He added: “Montella is Italian – they know how to organise their team from the defensive point of view.
“Sevilla can be nice to us, say we are favourites – that means absolutely nothing. They have good players, good mentality. A club of cups.”

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