Julen Lopetegui: Sevilla Face ‘Biggest Team in the World’ Manchester United in Europa League

Julen Lopetegui

Sevilla manager Julen Lopetegui has branded Manchester United as the “biggest team in the world” ahead of the clubs’ Europa League semi-final meeting this Sunday.

The former Spain and Real Madrid manager’s comments come after he led his side to a 1-0 victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers at the quarter-final stage.

Julen Lopetegui Ready for Manchester United Test

Deserved Victory Over Wolves for Sevilla

Wolves’ 383-day-long European adventure was ended by Sevilla in Germany after Lucas Ocampos netted a late header.

Raul Jimenez failed to convert a penalty earlier on in the game, but Sevilla dominated the match from that moment onwards and were able to stretch their unbeaten run to 19 games to set up the clash with Ole Gunner Solskjaer’s in-form Manchester United side.

The Red Devils won the competition under José Mourinho in 2017, but this Sevilla team are the true Europa League specialists, having triumphed in the competition three times in a row between 2014 and 2016.

Additionally, the Spanish outfit have won all three matches they have played against English sides at neutral venues. They added victory over Wolves to a 4-0 win over Middlesbrough in 2006 and a 3-1 success against Liverpool in 2016.

Julen Lopetegui: Nobody Bigger Than United

Despite his club’s history in the competition, Sevilla manager Lopetegui is under no illusion as to the size of the challenge in their way.

“We are going to play against Manchester United in the next match – they’re the biggest team in the world but we’re going to be prepared for them,” the Sevilla boss said of the English giants.

“We’re focused on the next game, against a top, historic side, one of the best in the history of the sport who are in great form. We will give our best as we always do.

“To play against them will be really tough, but we’ll go into it believing we can beat them.”

Solskjaer Inspired by Semi-Final Defeats

Manchester United have fallen at the semi-final stage of both the FA Cup and the Carabao Cup this season.

They were beaten over two legs by Manchester City in the latter competition, before defeat against Chelsea in the FA Cup last month.

Talking to Stewart Gardner of MUTV, Solskjaer outlined his determination to make the next step and play in a cup final with his young squad this campaign: “Reaching semi-finals is a good effort; decent, but it’s not good enough for Manchester United. The team has been developing and getting more-and-more hungry, but let’s make sure that hurt that we felt in the two other cups we went out of can maybe be the marginal difference, in that we want it more than them.

“When I lose a game or lose at something I don’t want that feeling again, so I would think they’re ready for Sunday.”

 

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