Rio Ferdinand Brands Manchester United As ‘A Team Full Of Strangers’
Manchester United legend-turned-pundit Rio Ferdinand viciously criticised the performance of his former club who failed to show up against Sevilla in the Champions League on Tuesday night. The round of 16 tie had been excellently poised following a goalless draw in the first-leg in Seville, but United struggled to make the most of their home advantage.
Right from the off, Jose Mourinho’s side gave control of possession to the opposition, and they were very fortunate to have not conceded before the break. The game continued in the same vein after the interval until Wissam Ben Yedder’s arrival changed the complexion of the tie. The Frenchman took advantage of some tired legs in the United defence to score two goals within four minutes, and this ended United’s chances of progressing as Romelu Lukaku netted the sole consolation in a 2-1 aggregate defeat.
Speaking after the game, Ferdinand was visibly angered by the showing from United, and he happened to suggest that there were playing like a team of strangers. He continued to question the player’s personality and character as they went down with a whimper, he said: “Terrible. I didn't see this result or performance coming, especially after the result at the weekend against Liverpool.
“The way in which they played, I thought they would have brought confidence into this game. It was like a team thrown together, full of strangers. They just went out there and played nervous and cautious from the beginning. In these games, you have got to take the game by the scruff of the neck. That takes personality, it takes character to go on and do that.”
With the defeat, United are out of contention for silverware on three fronts, and they now have to rely upon winning the FA Cup to avoid a trophy-less season. United secured an FA Cup final triumph back in 2016 when Louis van Gaal was still at the helm, but they face a difficult task this time around with Tottenham Hotspur reckoned as many as favourites, having played their home games at Wembley, where the semi-finals and final of the competition are scheduled.