Manchester United vs Real Sociedad Player Ratings

Manchester United began their Europa League campaign with a 1-0 defeat to Spanish side Real Sociedad. Brais Mendez got the only goal of the game from the penalty spot in the second half to give Real Sociedad the win. The decision to award the penalty was controversial as the ball clearly came off Martinez’s knee before hitting his arm.

Manchester United vs Real Sociedad Summary

The game was allowed to go ahead by UEFA following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, however there was no music in the stadium and both sides wore black armbands as a mark of respect.

Erik ten Hag made a few changes to the side for this encounter against Real Sociedad. Cristiano Ronaldo, Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof, Anthony Elanga, Fred and Casemiro were all given rare starts in a strong United lineup. Despite the strong lineup, the Red Devils didn’t play with any real intensity.

There was a lack of creativity from both sides throughout the first half. Eriksen was United’s best player and did create some half chances. Elanga had the beating of his fullback, but his lack of end product was costly. Ronaldo did put the ball in the back of the net with a towering header, however the goal was rightly disallowed for offside.

Second Half

At the interval, Dalot and Eriksen made way for Martinez and Fernandes. United did improve with these changes and should of been 1-0 up just minutes after the restart. Fernandes put a delightful ball into the box, only for Ronaldo to head wide.

Against the run of play, the Real Sociedad took the lead. David Silva’s effort was adjudged to have hit Martinez’s arm and a penalty was awarded. Following a lengthy VAR check, the penalty was surprisingly given.

Mendez made no mistakes from 12 yards and the visitors were in front. The home side didn’t respond with any kind of conviction. There were a few nervy moments late on but Ten Hag’s men didn’t find the equaliser.

Manchester United vs Real Sociedad Player Ratings

David de Gea 6/10

Went the right way for the penalty but got nowhere near it. Dealt with most things thrown his way on a relatively quiet evening for the keeper.

Diogo Dalot 7/10

Was energetic and creative in the first half. Did venture too far forward at times leaving his side vulnerable at the back. Was taken off at halftime for a rest.

Victor Lindelof 5/10

Calm and composed when deployed in central defence but shaky at right back. Kubo had the better of him on every occasion in the second half.

Harry Maguire 6/10

Didn’t put a foot wrong but perhaps slightly too cautious at times. Needs to be more effective in bringing the ball out from the back, but a steady performance overall.

Tyrell Malacia 6/10

Energetic as usual. Didn’t offer much in the final third but was tidy in possession. Should have slipped in Elanga a few times.

Casemiro 4/10

A rusty performance on his first start for the Reds. Aerially superb but below par when he had the ball at his feet. Saw his late effort parried away.

Fred 3/10

Failed in the number ten position to create anything. Too passive and wasteful in possession. Slightly better in the box to box role but a poor performance from the Brazilian.

Christian Eriksen 8/10

United’s best player and only played for 45 minutes. Set up Ronaldo with some delightful passes. Like Dalot, he was taken off at half time. Nevertheless, a tremendous display from the Dane.

Antony 6/10

Didn’t impact the game as much as he would have liked, but a promising display. Showed great trickery to evade his man and got the fans off their seats with some fast dribbling in the second half.

Anthony Elanga 6/10

Very good in the first half. Made great runs and made it easy for Eriksen to pick him out. Beat his man on numerous occasions, but his final ball let him down. Anonymous at times in the second period but, an encouraging display from the United youngster.

Cristiano Ronaldo 4/10

Scored but was well offside. Better in the first half but didn’t have much of an impact. Had even less of an impact in the second half and needs to improve if he wants to start in the league.

Subs

Lisandro Martinez 7/10

Wrongly penalised for the penalty. Had a great cameo with some last ditch defending and composure on the ball.

Bruno Fernandes 6/10

Made an immediate impact setting up Ronaldo with a great cross. Wasn’t as impactful in the latter stages.

Alejandro Garnacho 6/10

Lifted the crowd with his electric pace and dribbling. Created two opportunities.

Jadon Sancho 5/10

Didn’t impact the game.

Charlie McNeill 5/10

Made his debut for the Reds.

Manager: Erik ten Hag 6/10

Named a strong lineup when many suggested that more changes were needed. Fred as the 10 with Eriksen deeper didn’t work whatsoever. Took off United’s best performers at halftime although this was due to fitness rather than performance. Won’t be pleased with the flat performance.

Man of the Match: Christian Eriksen

Author: Rajan Sangha

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