Manchester United vs Real Sociedad – Match Analysis

After the 4-0 demolition in Turin, the second-leg was more of a formality for Manchester United. This match at Old Trafford had less drama and was played out as a 0-0 draw. It also sent United into the last-16 of the Europa League where they face AC Milan.

There were two notable highlights of the match:

  • At 17 years and 23 days, Newcastle-born Shola Shoretire became the youngest player to appear for Manchester United in a European game. He beat Norman Whiteside‘s record by 108 days.
  • Amad Diallo made his Old Trafford debut.
The future does look bright.

This is how the match unfolded.

First-Half: Hop, skip, and a missed penalty

Even with a 4-0 lead from the first leg, Ole sent out a strong line-up being respectful of the opposition. Fernandes and Martial both started the match. With Henderson in the goal and Bailly partnering Lindelof in the defense. Telles and Wan-Bissaka were the full-backs. Midfield was run by Fred and Matic, with Greenwood and James on the flanks.

Real Sociedad almost commenced a surprising comeback when James gave away a penalty around the 13th-minute mark. Mikel Oyarzabal took a leaf out of Bruno’s penalty-taking book and tried to copy the jump before taking the penalty which he sent flying past the post. Not everyone can be Bruno, sigh!

Januzaj then sent a low and dangerous cross which had to be cleared by Lindelof. Manchester United came close on a couple of occasions as well. Fernandes saw Sociedad goalkeeper Alex Remiro off his line and struck the crossbar with his shot. He then turned the provider with a glorious ball to James, whose header was saved by Alex Remiro.


Second-Half: subs and a disallowed goal

Manchester United made three changes at half-time bringing on Rashford, Brandon Williams, and Tuanzebe for Bruno Fernandes, Wan-Bissaka, and Fred.

Early in the second half, Rashford (who took the captain’s armband from Bruno) almost scored with a free-kick. On the other side, Modibo Sagnan headed against the bar for the visitors. Both sides trying hard to break the deadlock.

At the 63′ minute-mark, Alex Tuanzebe powered in a header from an Alex Telles corner. On closer inspection by VAR and referee Lawrence Visser, it was disallowed. Why? Because Lindelof had flying-Bruce-Lee-kicked Jon Bautista. He got shown a yellow card for the same.

Shola Shoretire and Amad Diallo both came on for United and got some valuable game-time. The game ended 0-0 and United marched on to the last-16.

Manchester United and some stats

  • United has progressed from all five of their last-32 ties in the Europa League.
  • United has gone unbeaten in each of their last 15 matches at Old Trafford in the Europa League. The last one was a 3-2 defeat by Spanish opponents Athletic Bilbao in March 2012.
  • United’s Fernandes has hit the woodwork more times in all competitions than any other Premier League player since the start of February 2020 (11).
  • Oyarzabal has become the first visiting player to fail to score a penalty at Old Trafford against United since October 2014.

Author: PM

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