ERIK TEN HAG saw his mix’n’match side slump to another warm up defeat.
And the result, following a 4–2 loss to Cadiz three days earlier, will surely have left him with mixed feelings about the trip to southern Spain.
Nabil Fekir nabbed the winner and it will have been not so much the loss but the lack of any real attacking ambition that will have left Ten Hag scratching that shiny head of his.
For certain he’ll want to get back down to work with his top men as soon as possible with the World Cup drawing to its climax.
Only around 5,000 fans turned up in giant green – seated hulk of the Estadio Benito Villamarin stadium – capacity 60,000.
Among that smattering of supporters high in the corner of one stand were around 200 United fans.
And even if the clash will have disappointed boss ten Hag the weather will at least have suited him, his players and indeed those fans who did make their way to Seville.
For the temperature, if not exactly balmy, was certainly far more enjoyable than the freeze that had caused a couple of inches of snow to fall around Old Trafford.
David de Gea, back on home country soil, had no heavy lifting to do before Ten Hag began ringing the changes at half time.
Just as he had done against Cadiz he deployed a side from the first whistle made up of his more experienced players.
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Joining De Gea were the likes of Anthony Martial, Scott McTominay, Victor Lindelof and Aaron Wan–Bissaka.
Most of his biggest stars, of course, were still in Qatar or resting, their World Cup done – a bit like Bruno Fernandes following Portugal’s shock quarter final defeat to history–makers Morocco.
For all the tepid nature of this mid – season warm – up, Teden Mengi still had to be stretchered off just over 18 minutes in with a damaged left knee.
Last season’s FA Youth Cup winning captain Rhys Bennett replaced the 20 year old against the side that lie sixth in La Liga.
Come the break Tom Heaton replaced De Gea while Martial was also back in his track suit although Lindelof, McTominay and top prospect Alejandro Garnacho stayed on.
Within a couple of minutes of the re – start Heaton was picking the ball out of his net, beaten by a close – range finish from French striker Fekir.
The side managed by Manuel Pellegrini who led Manchester City to 2014 Premier League triumph, easily cut through ten Hag’s mix’n’match line – up.
That goal brought a much – needed increase in intensity and just before Anthony Elanga became one of seven changes by the 62nd minute Ten Hag gave him an ear – bashing for failing to follow his instructions.
That exchange showed that, no matter how uninspiring the display was, he wants to use every minute of action to help his side develop.
Although by the time the real action resumes for United with a December 21 Carabao Cup clash against Burnley only a handful at best of those who headed back to sub-zero Lancashire by private jet will figure.