Manchester United survived plenty of pressure to claim a 0-0 draw at Sevilla in the first leg of their Champions league last-16 clash, owing particular thanks to an immense David de Gea save at the end of the first half.
Sevilla controlled proceedings for much of the game and, although they generally struggled to craft clear-cut chances, Luis Muriel saw their best denied in stunning fashion by De Gea as United battled to return home with honours even.
The pre-match debate surrounding Jose Mourinho's decision to drop Paul Pogba took on a new dimension after just 17 minutes when the Frenchman replaced the injured Ander Herrera, though he was unable to flourish as Sevilla dominated.
United had to rely on the heroics of De Gea to keep them on level terms at the break, with the Spain international denying both Gabriel Mercado and Muriel late on – the Colombian drawing a remarkable save from the former Atletico Madrid star.
The second half was similarly frustrating for the home side and United began to see more of the ball after the hour as the contest opened up.
But ultimately neither team could find a way through, with Pablo Sarabia wasting a good chance for Sevilla late on, giving Vincenzo Montella's men work to do in the return leg at Old Trafford on March 13.
Full of attacking intent and purposeful going forward, Sevilla established early control and played some eye-catching football.
Goalscoring opportunities were not exactly a regular occurrence, but Muriel forced De Gea into a fine stop from distance in the fourth minute and Jesus Navas shot just wide of the bottom-left corner from a similar distance a few moments later.
Pogba was then handed his chance of a reprieve, replacing the stricken Herrera, and United appeared to become more stable in midfield as a result.
Their first chance came soon after, but Romelu Lukaku blasted his volley well over from just inside the area following Alexis Sanchez's excellent lofted pass.
The visitors were fortunate to still be on level terms at half-time, though.
De Gea rescued United twice right at the end of the half, tipping Mercado's header over before then producing an excellent save to deny Muriel's nodded effort.
Sevilla remained dominant at the start of the second half, but their inability to craft clear-cut chances blighted their play, seeming to run out of ideas once in the final third.
Muriel summed up Sevilla's frustrations just before the hour mark, dragging a left-footed effort wide of the right-hand post.
De Gea was eventually called into action again in the 64th minute, but he had little difficulty getting down to keep Clement Lenglet's header.
The United goalkeeper was helpless 15 minutes from time, but Sarabia headed over from close range following Muriel's right-wing cross.
That proved to be the final chance and it will be United who look ahead to the second leg with the greater satisfaction, having emerged from a tough contest with no damage done.
Key Opta facts:
- Five of Manchester United's last seven Champions League away matches in Spain have ended goalless.
- This was Manchester United's ninth clean sheet in their last 11 matches in all competitions and their 23rd in all competitions this season – three more than any other Premier League side.
- United have drawn 22 matches in the Champions League goalless, a record they share with AC Milan.
- Sevilla failed to score in a home Champions League game for the first time – this was their 19th home match in the competition.
- Only Aleksandar Kolarov (nine times v FK Qarabag in September) has been fouled more in a Champions League game this season than Alexis Sanchez in this match (6).
- Scott McTominay became the fourth youngest Englishman to start a Champions League knockout match for the Red Devils – only Wayne Rooney, Phil Neville and Phil Jones were younger.
|Van Dijk and Gundogan expect tough City-Liverpool tie|
|VAR to be introduced in Eredivisie|
|Di Biagio sees bright Italy future with Cutrone and Chiesa|
|Koeman won´t rule out Van Persie Netherlands return|
|I ate badly for years – how Messi solved his vomiting problem|
|Tuchel feels he would still be at Dortmund without bomb attack|
|Pogba shows off new haircut as Ben Yedder trolls Man United star|
|Pogba cannot be happy but must focus on France, says Deschamps|
|Debuchy disappointed to be left out of latest France squad|
|Barton rejects England´s World Cup chances|
|Sevilla coach Montella interested in Italy job|
|Football brain lacking, poor attitude and fourth choice – The Mourinho-Shaw saga at Manchester Unite|
|UEFA charges Marseille and Lyon for Europa League trouble|
|Injured Chiellini out of Italy squad|
|Buffon cites Astori among reasons for Italy return|
|Welbeck faces no action over alleged dive against Milan|
|Barcelona? I´m staying with PSG, insists Marco Verratti|
|Bastian Schweinsteiger & Ana Ivanovic announce birth of son|
|The numbers behind Cristiano Ronaldo´s 50 hat-tricks|
|Consistency the only thing stopping me from being the best, claims Depay|
|Guardiola second to none tactially, says Man City midfielder Gundogan|
|Liverpool captain Henderson ponders Salah and Suarez comparison|
|Messi worried by the uncertainty retirement brings|
|Rants, criticism a familiar story – Is Mourinho set for Man United exit?|
|Messi desperate for World Cup success|
|Napoli causing Juventus problems as Sarri revels in crucial win|
|The better Ronaldo is, the better Madrid will be – Vazquez lauds four-goal hero|
|Salah ´unstoppable´ like Messi, says Watford boss Gracia|
|Demanding Mourinho is still special, insists Matic|
|Dallas 3 Seattle Sounders 0: Dempsey sees red after VAR|
|Ronaldo ´from another galaxy´, says Zidane|
|Eusebio Sack-ristan: Real Sociedad part company with head coach|
|Fassone ready for Gattuso talks after Milan resurgence|
|Napoli 1 Genoa 0: Albiol goal maintains pressure on Juve|
|Real Madrid 6 Girona 3: Four-goal Ronaldo continues hot streak with 50th career hat-trick|
|USA boss Sarachan calls up Weah for Paraguay friendly|
|Excellent Leipzig deserved Bayern win - Heynckes|
|Conte impressed by Morata´s return to scoring form|
|I lost the game myself - Simeone accepts responsibility for Atletico Madrid defeat|
|Borussia Dortmund to delay final Stoger decision - Zorc|
|Puel stands by Schmeichel after FA Cup blunder|
|Neymar could be back for Coupe de France final, says Silva|
|Valverde waits on Iniesta answer as Barcelona captain considers exit|
|Villarreal 2 Atletico Madrid 1: Unal deals LaLiga title race blow for Simeone´s men|
|Leicester City 1 Chelsea 2 (aet): Pedro and Morata send Conte´s men through|
|RB Leipzig 2 Bayern Munich 1: Werner strike seals memorable triumph|
|Gattuso demands lift from out-of-favour Kalinic|
|Messi puts us where we are right now - Alcacer hails Barcelona superstar|
|Sampaoli ´right´ to pick others - Icardi understands Argentina snub|
|Barcelona 2 Athletic Bilbao 0: Messi and Alcacer secure comfortable success|
|Hughes excited by Southampton quality|
|Nice prepared for ´likely´ Balotelli departure|
|Germany defender Halstenberg extends RB Leipzig contract|
|No offers for Roma´s Alisson, says Monchi|
|Constant compliments guarantee defeat, claims Inter boss Spalletti|
|Scoring 100th Serie A goal at Sampdoria was ´destiny´, says Icardi|
|Stoger happy with Gotze response after public criticism|
|AC Milan 3 Chievo 2: Silva spares Rossoneri once more|
|Silva confident Neymar´s future is at PSG|
|´Shameful´ PSG cannot buy a team, says Balotelli|
|Everton goal hero Tosun glad Palace move fell through|
|Wigan Athletic 0 Southampton 2: Hojbjerg and Cedric give Hughes first win|
|Fiorentina rename training ground after late captain Astori|
|Borussia Dortmund 1 Hannover 0: Batshuayi the difference again for Stoger´s men|
|Nice 1 Paris Saint-Germain 2: Alves earns late victory for runaway leaders|
|Icardi 100: Inter captain´s Serie A landmark in Opta numbers|
|Sampdoria 0 Inter 5: Four-goal Icardi demolishes former side|
|Van Gaal: Heynckes can become a Bayern Munich god|
|Real Madrid without Ramos for Girona test|
|Icardi reaches 100 Serie A goals against former club Sampdoria|
|Cardiff trip to Derby postponed due to snow|
|Ogbonna gets Italy call as cover for doubtful Chiellini|
|Sunderland suspend Gibson after drink-driving charge|
|Winning FA Cup is not important, claims Chelsea coach Conte|
|No one will be compared to me – Cristiano Ronaldo|
|Melbourne Victory 5 Central Coast Mariners 2: Berisha leads rout with hat-trick|
|Marotta dismisses Allegri-PSG links as Juve focus on Can|
|MLS Review: Champions Toronto still winless, Atlanta crush Whitecaps|
|Lukaku: A lot of players will join Manchester United next season|
|Salah and Liverpool don´t fear Man City: We´ve beaten them!|
|What can I lose? - Mourinho defends criticism of Man Utd players|
|Mourinho accuses Manchester United of being scared to play|
|Mourinho delivers stinging Shaw criticism after FA Cup win|
|Allegri waits on Chiellini update after Juve´s SPAL stalemate|
|Klopp eases concerns over Can´s back complaint|
|Matic was an island of personality - Mourinho questions United mentality|
|SPAL 0 Juventus 0: Scudetto charge halted by Serie A strugglers|
|Manchester United 2 Brighton and Hove Albion 0: Lukaku & Matic book semi-final spot|
|Klopp: Salah could be among world´s best, but don´t compare him to Messi|
|Championship Review: Wolves on the charge as Monk lifts Birmingham´s spirits|
|Salah threatening Rush´s record for goals in single Liverpool season|
|Hodgson hopes Zaha avoided injury|
|Liverpool 5 Watford 0: Inspirational Salah nets four as Reds bounce back|
|Lambert rues Everton´s ´offside´ opener in costly Stoke City defeat|
|Man Utd bench Pogba & Sanchez for FA Cup quarter-final|
|Pardew: Evans loss key to Bournemouth defeat|
|Salah breaks Torres´ impressive Liverpool record|
|We are not heroes one day and villains the next – Mourinho continues defence of Sevilla exit|
|They have many players who´d get in my team – The Sevilla stars Mourinho should buy|
|Mario Gomez will not beg for World Cup place|
|Bournemouth 2 West Brom 1: Stanislas piles misery on Pardew|
|Buffon to play on for Italy as Di Biagio calls up uncapped duo|
|Huddersfield Town 0 Crystal Palace 2: Tomkins and Milivojevic secure priceless win|
|Stoke City 1 Everton 2: Tosun at the double after Adam´s early dismissal|
|Simeone insists Atletico can survive injury crisis|
|Leipzig out to halt Bayern celebrations at Red Bull Arena|
|Board accepts responsibility for West Ham woes, Brady claims|
|In-form Eriksen hopes he hasn´t hit Tottenham ceiling|
|Roma boss Di Francesco happy with Messi, Barca challenge|
|The directors know where to find me - Gattuso awaits Milan talks|
|Zidane focused on Real Madrid players, not Neymar|
|Mourinho´s United rant recalls unhappy Madrid demise|
|Swansea City 0 Tottenham 3: Eriksen leads Kane-less Spurs into FA Cup semis|
|Valverde not worried about Barcelona legacy|
|Bale is happy at Real Madrid, says Zidane|
|Spalletti seeks consistency as Inter prepare for final push|
|Absence of ´best in the world´ Busquets makes Rakitic key for Barca|
|A-League Review: Sydney stumble again as Jets close gap|
|Dreadshock! Neymar reveals new hairdo|
|Villarreal defender Semedo denied bail on attempted murder charge|
|Messi: I´m a less selfish player|
|Coaching Italy would be extraordinary – Mancini|
|Intensity key to Liverpool toppling Man City, says Klopp|
|People listen to idiots - Mourinho cites ´dictionary of life´ in extraordinary rant|
|Mourinho tells struggling Manchester United stars to ´grow up´|