Then he began: “We weren&apost good enough tonight. That was obvious and we didn&apost have the standards that you expect from Manchester United. We have to face that we let ourselves down and we let the fans down.
“If you want to win trophies, if you want to be successful, you need character. We have to be better. It&aposs not about playing skills. Its about character, to be composed, to have desire and passion. Sevilla had more willingness to win, and that can&apost be. I think it&aposs unacceptable.”
He continued: “We lost the battles. Sevilla had more passion, more desire, more willingness, and that&aposs difficult to win games. The players have to perform. I believe in them and trust them, but they have to show it and they were not good enough.
“We have shown on so many occasions good things but tonight we weren&apost ready for the game. This was a great opportunity, a great occasion, to win something and we gave it away. We have to blame ourselves.”
United had just crashed out of the Europa League quarter-finals after a spectacular 3-0 defeat against Sevilla at the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium and his press conference lasted just under six minutes.
Sevilla&aposs 2-2 draw at Old Trafford after scoring two goals in the final minutes was a disaster, but the performance from United in the reverse fixture in Spain was catastrophic.
An amateurish mix-up between David de Gea and Harry Maguire gave Sevilla the lead within seven minutes in that game and they almost scored again in the 41st minute when VAR ruled out Lucas Ocampos&apos goal due to offside.
The Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan was a cauldron of noise and United&aposs players froze. Sevilla made it 2-0 just moments after the restart and they increased their advantage again with 10 minutes left to make sure of the result.
“A lot of things happened,” Christian Eriksen said when asked to explain the display. “We didn&apost really get in the game from the first minute. I think we tried, but today, we gave them a lot of opportunities to finish us off.
“I think we lost a bit of coolness in the build-up. They were high pressure and we didn&apost deal well with that. I think we made more mistakes than we normally do and personally or not, I think the whole team couldn&apost catch up on the mistakes.
“No I don&apost think it&aposs anything with that [atmosphere], take away where we play, if we give away goals as we did today, we&aposll lose. It&aposs nothing to do with the atmosphere, I just think our own game was not strong enough.”
Eriksen denied the raucous atmosphere had contributed to the result but the evidence suggested otherwise. There had been prior suggestions of a mentality flaw within the dressing room and it had been exposed again.
United had lost 7-0 at Anfield and 2-0 at St. James&apos Park in the weeks leading up to the Sevilla game and those embarrassing performances were other examples of United struggling when the noise was deafening.
The concern about the players&apos mentalities on such occasions is nothing new. This is a team that went undefeated an entire league season away from home as recently as 2020/21 and that campaign was played behind closed doors.
The players&apos personalities have been questioned and Paul Scholes, in an interview with TNT Sports, admitted that he fears the worst for United&aposs trip to the Parken Stadium to play F.C. Copenhagen on Wednesday night.
Theyre in big trouble, Scholes said. “I always say in the Champions League, win your home games and try and get a draw or a win in an away game and you usually qualify.
If I was a betting man, Id say they wouldn&apost qualify from the group. They showed last year theyre frail in away games – you think of Sevilla away. It was a brilliant atmosphere. It was hostile – they crumbled, they couldnt handle it.
“It makes me worry about going to Copenhagen, who arent a brilliant team but theyre organised. I dont know if theres the character and fighters in that team to be able to cope with a big atmosphere.”
Copenhagen are Denmark&aposs most successful club and they share the Parken Stadium with the Danish national team. It&aposs an atmospheric ground and another raucous European evening is awaiting United&aposs players.
Copenhagen&aposs manager Jacob Neestrup told reporters ahead of the game: What can they [United] expect? I would say with all the respect I felt when I stepped into Old Trafford, then I felt the historical atmosphere.
“But you cant compare Old Trafford with Parken because the intensity is times 100 in terms of what we played in two weeks ago. Then this is a standard [that], for me, is way above Premier League, to be honest.”