Two things from Old Trafford stick in the memory. The first is Celta Vigo’s pride in having lost despite embracing the spirit, the essence of the game.
The second is Manchester United’s relief in reaching the Europa League final, despite ignoring the essence of the game.
United ignore essence of football
To put it another way, Celta burst forward, with almost everyone contributing to the attack. By contrast, Wayne Rooney went to the corner flag in an attempt to waste time. Only one team played with authority, but only one team can go through. Because of that, it is important to remember Celta’s journey to this stage of the competition.
The match provided food for thought. Are the United players really this bad? Or do they just appear to have lost their mojo because everything that makes a footballer has been sucked out of them: the desire to play with the ball, to cherish it, to run with it?
Celta will return home proud
Without the ball, Manchester United reduce the game to a profession… playing enjoyable football is somewhat more difficult. For their part, Celta delivered the best response.
The players in sky blue appeared superior, because under positive leadership, they enjoy playing with the ball. They return home with their heads held high.