David de Gea’s stunning first-half save helped Manchester United claim a creditable draw at Sevilla in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie.
The Spain keeper had kept out efforts from Joaquin Correa and Steven N’Zonzi before showing quick reflexes to produce a one-handed save on the stroke of half-time and deny Luis Muriel’s header.
United, who were playing their first Champions League knockout game in four years, offered little offensively, with Romelu Lukaku spurning their best chance when he volleyed well over early on before substitute Marcus Rashford dragged a shot wide in the closing stages.
Paul Pogba started on the bench for the visitors, but came on after just 17 minutes following an injury to Ander Herrera.
Sevilla finished the game with 25 attempts on goal but a mixture of De Gea’s saves and poor finishing from the hosts left them frustrated at the final whistle.
Manchester United will be the happier of the two teams heading into the return leg at Old Trafford on Tuesday, 13 March with Jose Mourinho’s side winning 15 of their 18 games on home soil this season.
Elsewhere on the night, Shakhtar Donetsk came from behind to win their Champions League last-16 first leg clash with Roma thanks to a stunning free-kick by Brazil midfielder Fred.
Argentinean striker Facundo Ferreyra, who didn’t play a minute for Newcastle during a season-long loan in 2014-15, struck to cancel out the opener by Roma’s exciting Turkish winger Cengiz Under.
Then Fred, 24, who has been linked with a move to Premier League leaders Manchester City, curled his free-kick over the wall and into the top corner.
Shakhtar, who had defender Serhiy Kryvtsov stretchered off before half-time, travel to Rome for the second leg on Tuesday, 13 March (19:45 GMT).
Eusebio Di Francesco’s Roma, who are third in Serie A, impressed in the first half with ex-Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko linking up well with Under.
But Shakhtar, who have now won 12 of 15 games in Kharkiv where they play due to conflict in their eastern Ukraine home, were only denied a bigger lead by Roma goalkeeper Alisson Becker, who denied Marlos, Taison and Ferreyra in added time.