SEVILLE, Spain -- Manchester United followed manager Jose Mourinho's game plan against Sevilla, according to Chris Smalling.
United drew 0-0 at Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan in their round-of-16 first leg clash on Wednesday night.
Mourinho's team managed just one shot on target while David De Gea had to be in fine form at the other end as Sevilla peppered United's goal with 25 shots of their own, but Smalling insisted the game had gone to plan.
"I think the game plan was executed as the manager wanted," he told MUTV. "I think they tired in the second half in the last 20 minutes when we applied pressure.
"It was very open in the second half but it's a result which means we're confident at home. It opened up in the second half and obviously in the last five minutes of the first half, David made a couple of good saves but other than that they didn't really have many clear-cut chances and it's in our hands at home -- you have to win at home to go through anyway.
"The atmosphere was very good here, you can tell it was emotional and we had to dig in at times."
Sevilla qualified for the knockout rounds despite conceding 12 goals in their six group games -- the most of any team to reach the round of 16.
But they also failed to score in a Champions League home game for the first time leaving the tie in the balance ahead of the second leg at Old Trafford on March 13.
"Of course we wanted to score a goal," Victor Lindelof told MUTV. "We didn't manage to do that tonight.
"Right now we have to rest a little bit and we can look at the game again to see where we could have done better.
"It's an important week for us -- now we have to go back to Manchester, relax and recover because we have another important game [against Chelsea on Sunday].
"[The second leg] is going to be a tough game but we'll be playing at home with our fans behind us and we're looking forward to that game."