Tyrell Malacia and Harry Maguire both scored in their own net as Sevilla took advantage of ten-man Man Utd to snatch a 2-2 draw from two goals down on Thursday evening.
Having won their play-off against Barcelona and beaten Real Betis in the last-16, Erik ten Hag’s side looked set to head to Spain on course to knock out a third LaLiga side.
Marcel Sabitzer’s quick-fire first-half brace put United in control of the Europa League quarter-final against Sevilla, with Antony hitting the woodwork as they pushed for a deserved third.
David De Gea had denied Tanguy Nianzou in first-half stoppage-time but the six-time champions had offered precious little until a manic conclusion.
First Malacia was caught napping and ended up turning in former Manchester City man Jesus Navas’ hopeful cross, before key defender Lisandro Martinez pulled up in agony.
Fellow centre-back Raphael Varane had already been withdrawn at the break and United ended the match with 10 men having already made their allotted five changes.
Sevilla smelt blood and equalised in stoppage time as substitute Youssef En-Nesyri’s header ricocheted in off Maguire.
If that late sucker punch and United’s growing injury list was not enough, they also head to Spain for the reverse fixture without suspended Bruno Fernandes.
It was an incredible conclusion to a match that Ten Hag’s men had looked set to run away with.
Jadon Sancho’s opener inside 30 seconds was ruled out for offside and much-changed Sevilla were breathing a sigh of relief when Yassine Bounou brilliantly turned wide an Antony attempt.
But United’s early pressure told in the 14th minute. Play continued after impressive work by Anthony Martial on the left and Fernandes brilliantly played onto Sabitzer, who saw his strike fly in via a slight Marcao deflection.
The on-loan Bayern Munich midfielder’s second United goal would be followed by his third seven minutes later.
Casemiro cut out a Sevilla cross in the United box and sent the ball looping out to Martial, who span as he collected the ball just inside his own half.
The former Sevilla loanee moved forward and brilliantly held up the ball, before twice cutting away from danger and superbly slipping in SC to slam home at the end of another fine run.
Casemiro pointed at Martial during the celebrations in recognition of his excellent work.
United kept their foot on Sevilla’s throat in search of a third that did not arrive before the break, with Erik Lamela perhaps fortunate not to see red for an ugly challenge on Casemiro.
Referee Felix Zwayer’s next yellow card was far harsher as Fernandes was booked for handball he could do little to avoid, ruling him out next week’s return fixture in Spain.
It was an impressive first-half display by United but Sevilla came close to halving the deficit in stoppage time, with De Gea turning away a Nianzou header from a corner.
Varane kept his cool to head the looping ball off the line but did not return for the second half, with Maguire introduced from the bench.
United looked comfortable and the lively Antony bent wide soon after play resumed. More fine hold-up play from Martial resulted in the Brazil international going closer still, running at a stumbling Marcao and picking his moment to cut in and curl a left-footed shot that hit the upright.
Both sides made a string of changes as the first leg appeared set to peter out, only to burst into life in the 84th minute.
Malacia failed to check his shoulder and attempted to let a ball go out, only to panic and deflect Navas’ hopeful cross onto De Gea and into the net.
Matters quickly worsened as Martinez went down clutching his right ankle with nobody around him. Marcos Acuna and Gonzalo Montiel, fellow World Cup winners with Argentina, carried off the distraught defender, who eventually left on a stretcher as supportive United fans chanted ‘Argentina’.
That exit left United down to 10 men and Sevilla attacked with renewed vigour.
Suso and En-Nesyri had efforts before the latter’s hopeful header flew in off Maguire, securing the Andalusians a famous draw.