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UEFA Champions League
October 24, 2013
• Old Trafford, Manchester
Referee: B. Nijhuis
• Attendance: 74654
Íñigo Martínez 2' (own goal)
That's it from me - I've been Tom J Doyle (@TomJDoyle), and thank you for joining us for the Live Text Commentary of Manchester United 1-0 Real Sociedad. Bye for now.
Bayer Leverkusen thrashed Shakhtar Donetsk 4-0 in Germany tonight, which means United top the group with seven points, Leverkusen on six, Shakhtar on four, and Sociedad languishing on none - the league is proving problematic, but Moyes has taken to Europe like a fish to continental waters.
That's it, and Manchester United get the points tonight after a 1-0 victory over Real Sociedad. The hosts were on top for much of the game, but the Basque visitors hit the woodwork a couple of times and threatened to ruin yet another Old Trafford day for David Moyes. Wayne Rooney excelled while Ryan Giggs played like a man 15 years younger, but the manager may just be pleased with another win after a difficult start at the club.
90' + 2'
Kagawa tries to slide Rooney in here but the ball is a touch too heavy - though the duo's link-up play has been promising tonight.
90' + 2'
The break comes to nothing and De Gea will take as much time as possible over his goal kick now.
90' + 1'
120 seconds left and United have a corner - Young and Rooney will surely waste time here - but no, Rooney boots it into the area for some unknown reason and Sociedad get forward...
90' + 1'
Agirrexte is almost away in the box but a combination of Evra's footwork and Jones' brute force leave him without the ball and in a heap.
Normal time is up, and we'll have three minutes of injury time - can United hold on for another valuable three points?
Rooney goes down under a clumsy challenge in the box, but the referee waves play-on despite United's protests. Moments later Kagawa twists away but can only find the side-netting with a left-footed shot.
Giggs slides Kagawa in down the right with a lovely through ball, and the Japanese finds Rooney in the centre with a curled cross - but the ball runs through the England forward's legs. He's offisde though, so his blushes are somewhat spared.
De La Bella wastes an effort and punches the floor in frustration as time starts ticking away - their Champions League campaign looks to be over before it's really begun.
So close to a second for United! Rooney takes on the whole Sociedad defence on his own before selflessly crossing for Young, but Bravo is alert to the danger and is off his line well to slide the ball away from the winger. The Sociedad keeper has been in fine form tonight.
Young bears down on goal on the left and shanks an effort into the crowd - not a top effort from the United winger, who's been under fire this season from fans and pundits alike.
Rooney has Valencia to the right and Ashley Young to the left, but instead tries to bend an effort over Bravo - but the Sociedad keeper easily stops the effort. A waste from the striker when when options were available.
Hernandez has toiled well today but hasn't found the goal he would have wanted, and Ashley Young replaces him for the final 10 minutes.
A Sociedad free kick hits the stanchion behind De Gea's goal - a goal for the visitors would be a killer for Moyes now.
The ball flies over to Agirrexte, who makes a total hash of the shot/cross/whatever it was that he was trying to do. Not a great start.
A double change for the visitors as Imanol Agirrexte and Chroi Castro come on for a last roll of the dice by Arrsate - his team are almost certainly out of the competition if they lose tonight, so they may as well go all out now.
Still United look for the vital second goal, with Kagawa cleverly turning in the area only to be crowded out of a shooting chance.
It's Rooney's turn to waste a great chance now, as he smashes a half-volley over the bar after a cute flicked through-ball from Valencia. How many more opportunities will they get before Sociedad punish them?
United are really pushing for a second goal here in an attempt to avoid another finish like the Southampton game on Saturday - they've got just over 20 minutes to stick or twist...
Oh Shinji! What a waste from the Japanese playmaker, who is teed up from the right by Valencia with the goal gaping - but the midfielder takes a heavy touch and then finishes against a desperate defensive lunge. A confident Kagawa would surely have taken that first time.
Rooney has been on top form tonight, and looks the most likely threat for United - he had five of United's seven first-half shots according to Opta Sports, and looks a new player under Moyes this season.
Valencia hits the post! Rooney feeds a delicious ball through the Sociedad defence, and the winger takes his time to line up a shot from the right - but can only find Bravo's right-hand post. Kagawa tries to finish on the rebound, but his effort is well blocked, and Sociedad survive.
Carrick looks to feed Hernandez through in the area, but he's muscled off the ball well - frustrating for the Mexican.
Rooney lines up a shot from 30 yards, but it's not got enough power and direction and can only find the grateful clutches of Bravo.
Rooney and Kagawa combine well to feed Valencia on the right, but the Ecuadorian can only find the hands of Bravo with a low drive - disappointing given the time and space he had on the ball.
First change of the night for United, and Moyes has replaced Rafael with Chris Smalling - the Brazilian is on a yellow and Sociedad have been targeting him with runs and high balls, so it makes sense to take him off with a card-happy official.
Off the bar! Zurutuza gets down the left flank well, and rather than cross he attempts a cheeky shot at the near post. It's a fizzed effort on the rise, and De Gea scrambles across goal only to see it clip the top of the woodwork. A sharp intake of breath from the Spaniard there...
That's a big waste from Zurutuza, who curls an effort wide of De Gea's left-hand post with plenty of team mates to aim for inside the area.
A silly foul from Valencia here as he clumsily kicks Vela with the ball high in the air, and Sociedad have a chance to put in a telling set piece...
Chance for Jones! Kagawa delivers a great ball to the back post where the centre-back is completely unmarked, yet he can only power an effort at Bravo from six yards, with the keeper parrying well.
It's all Sociedad as they sense a chance to get back in the game now - but United are an ever-present danger on the counte, as Martinez is forced to clear an inviting ball from Evra inside his own six-yard box.
So close for Sociedad! Zurutuza sees a shot deflected off to a team mate after Giggs loses control too easily outside his box, while the visitors play pinball in their build-up play before Evans luckily slices a clearance over his own bar from six yards out. The centre-back had no control over that, and is fortunate not to level things up with another own goal.
Serefovic has another shot from 25 yards deflected wide for a corner after Michael Carrick lost the run of the ball - the Basque side are turning up the prtessure a notch now.
Now then, Valencia goes down in the Sociedad box under a nudge from Martinez, but none of the nearby officials give anything - the correct call. As always it was a case of probably being a foul anywhere else on the pitch, but never a penalty.
Its a very bright start to the half from the visitors, who look full of belief after the break. Arrasate must have had a word or three with them.
Sociedad get the second half underway now - and almost get an equaliser 30 seconds in! Griezmann gets away from Rafael down the left and whips in a cross for the onrushing Vela, who can't meet the ball despite a desperate lunge. Not great from the United centre-backs to lose him so easily there.
Moyes' side need a little more bite to go with their bark, says @JuliusOmokhunu: "Man U looking threatening, but goals are what counts, not threats."
While Sociedad trail by a goal, Manchester United have never scored more than once in their last 12 Champions League games against Spanish opposition, according to Opta Sports - one strike may well be all they need for a point, then.
That's the interval, and Manchester United lead Real Sociedad 1-0 courtesy of a comical own goal from Inigo Martinez after fine work from Wayne Rooney. The Red Devils have generally looked in control at Old Trafford, but Antoine Griezmann's fine free kick off the woodwork late in the half will give David Moyes something to think about for the second 45 minutes.
Offside is called from the corner routine, and we'll have one minute of injury time.
Kagawa shows fine feet with a lovely turn to get free into the area now, but his cut-back is put out for a corner - he maybe should have tested Bravo, but it's much better from the playmaker.
Off the bar! When the free kick is eventually taken, Antoine Griezmann curls a delicious effort off of De Gea's bar from 25 yards, and the rebound ends up high over the bar. That's a real wake-up call for United with just a one-goal lead.
Yellow Card Xabi Prieto
Referee Bas Nijhuis is not a referee for the players - Rafael almost gets a second yellow for a foul, and Xabi prieto now earns a caution for taking the resulting free kick too quickly. There have been no truly bad challenges so far, and far, far too many bookings. Poor refereeing.
Boom! Phil Jones flies in from nowhere and meets the ball full-on, but heads it miles over. That's disappointing for a player with his talent in the air.
Yellow Card Markel Bergara
Giggs rolls the ball to the side for Rooney to strike, but the shots deflects out for a corner kick.
Giggs drives at goal and Markel Bergara tugs him back for a certain booking. The important thing is that Rooney has a chance to strike a free kick from around 30 yards...
United's goal came after 69 seconds by the way - the quickest goal in this season's Champions League, according to Opta Sports.
Vela is almost through now in the area, but Rafael shows a good turn of pace to snuff out any shooting chance, and United keep their lead.
Yellow Card Shinji Kagawa
Kagawa now goes into the book after being turned on the wing cutely by Carlos Martinez. That's a nailed-on booking, but the second half could get interesting if the bookings keep coming like this.
It's end to end without either side really having any decent chances of late. Both teams are confident on the ball, but neither has quite found the guile since the opener.
Good stop by De Gea! Giggs is caught in possession and Seferovic is bearing down on Evans 45 yards from goal. The forward rolls the ball to the right and unleashes a drive from 25 yards which takes a deflection off the Northern Irishman, and the Spanish keeper has to be alert to tip the ball over the bar.
Yellow Card Rafael
Rafael now gets a yellow for an overzealous challenge on De La Bella - there's minimal contact and it's 50 yards from goal, but it's clear that the referee will be cautioning every mistimed slide tonight.
Evans and Prieto come to blows now, with the Sociedad captain not happy with the United defender's apparent use of an elbow in an aerial challenge. There was nothing really involved, yet the Spaniard isn't happy one bit.
Sociedad certainly aren't showing any fear, but they constantly look at risk of being caught on the counter - and that's exactly what the majority of these United players will prefer, given their experience of big European nights. Arrasate could urge a little more caution to prevent his side losing this one before half time.
Yellow Card Carlos Vela
First booking of the night for Vela now as he slides through Jones and clatters into Evra, leaving the United pair in a heap and his name in the book. A tad harsh, but he'll have to be careful.
Hernandez heads it in! - but no, it's been ruled out for offside. United play a short corner on the right and Giggs drives into the area before lifting a lovely cross to the back post, which the Mexican nods in - but he was three yards offside. A clear call if ever there was one.
Carlos Vela is all mouth and no running at the moment, giving his team mates defensive instructions while failing to do anything to get back. Not a great showing from the former Arsenal man.
Rooney tries a spectacular bicycle kick from 12 yards which flies high over the bar - but United have the freedom of the right wing to do as they please, with Rafael and Antonio Valencia proving far too much for Sociedad to handle.
Kagawa tries to link with Rooney down the left now, but his pass is too long and Sociedad win a goal kick off the striker. The Japanese has been quiet so far, and needs a little more precision to make a mark.
Saying that, Rooney should make it 2-0 here, but his free volley from eight yards is well saved from Bravo. The England striker meets Rafael's cross well enough, but a player of his quality should be burying such gilt-edged chances.
Sociedad are settling into this game though, and it takes United two attempts to clear a cross from the left. United have the early goal, but the visitors no longer look dazzled by early onslaught.
The England striker can only find the wall, but Moyes will be very happy with his contributions so far.
Martinez's calamitous finish may distract attention away from what was a gorgeous sequence of turns from Rooney, who is in some of the best form of his career - and now he has a chance from a free kick 25 yards out...
Kagawa is too slow in possession here as he attempts a soft pass to Giggs, and the ball is stolen with Sociedad winning a corner from a deflected shot. Not great from the Japanese playmaker, but the set piece comes to nothing.
Hernandez wants a penalty here as he falls to the floor under pressure from Martinez and cannot meet Patrice Evra's cross from the left - both players hit the deck, but it was a fair battle. A great start from the hosts.
Well, United have their early lead - but only Martinez will know what was going through his mind for that horror show. The ball bounced and gave him ample time to work out how to deal with it, yet he ran to meet it like a predatory striker, and finished it like a four-year-old. A real comedy of errors, and now Sociedad have a mountain to climb.
Own Goal Íñigo Martínez
GOAL!!! What a start for Manchester United - but it's a nightmare for Real Sociedad. Wayne Rooney twists and turns his way into the area from the left and curls in a glorious effort which cannons back off of Bravo's left-hand post. There's panic in the box and Inigo Martinez inexplicably finishes the ball into his own net from eight yards under no pressure. Ridiculous.
We're underway at Old Trafford! United kick things off and Giggs puts in a drag-back 20 seconds in - 39 years young, the Welshman...
United have failed to keep a clean sheet in their last nine games in the Champions League, their longest such run in the competition says Opta Sports. Expect goals then.
The sides are out, the crowd sounds magnificent, and we're moments away from what should be a top European tie...
According to Moyes, Van Persie has "two bad toes" and a groin problem so he's being rested with Stoke in mind at the weekend. Usually United wouldn't have to rest players for Stoke, but the Potters may fancy their chances against the Red Devils in their current league form.
It's a big night for Phil Jones and Jonny Evans - with Rio Ferdinand looking creaky of late and Nemanja Vidic constantly having to manage his troublesome knee, it's fair to say that the centre-back positions are up for grabs this season. A good run of form for either player could potentially see a long-term starting role secured by the end of the season.
The Sociedad fans are in fine voice - there's apparently 6,000 of them packed into Old Trafford, and they won't go quietly tonight.
If you want to get involved on the action, remember to send your thoughts to my Twitter handle @TomJDoyle, and the best thoughts will be featured here.
We're 15 minutes away from kick-off, and United starlet Adnan Januzaj will have to settle for a place on the becnh after shooting into the first team this season. He's signed a new deal at Old Trafford and will be around for a while yet, so nights like these are still very much a learning experience.
When results aren't going your way, it's probably not ideal for the media to be full of news about your trophy-laden predecessor - and with Sir Alex Ferguson's autobiography is dominating the front and back pages, David Moyes must be wondering what he's done to deserve this sort of start at United. A win tonight is a must.
So the big news for United tonight is that Robin van Persie misses out, allowing a rare starting berth for Javier Hernandez. Ryan Giggs also brings his experience to the centre, while Shinji Kagawa - remember him? - also starts for Moyes.
Real Sociedad subs: Zubikarai, Agirretxe, Pardo, Ansotegui, Castro, Cadamuro, Ros.
Real Sociedad starting XI: Bravo, Carlos Martinez, Mikel Gonzalez, Martinez, De la Bella, Vela, Zurutuza, Markel, Prieto, Griezmann, Seferovic.
Man Utd subs: Lindegaard, Buttner, Smalling, Fellaini, Nani, Young, Januzaj.
Man Utd starting XI: De Gea; Rafael, Jones, Evans, Evra; Valencia, Carrick, Giggs, Kagawa; Rooney, Hernandez.
These sides have never met in European competition, though now is perhaps the perfect time for Moyes’ side to meet the Primera Liga outfit. Midfielder David Zurutuza has spoken of the player feeling like they are “sinking”, as they find themselves 12th in Spain with 10 points after nine games.
The Basque club have no points from their opening two games, and realistically need a win to stand a chance of qualifying for the knockout rounds - and with Bayer Leverkusen scoring twice in a 4-2 defeat at the Theatre of Dreams in the opening round of fixtures, Arrastate may be tempted to go on the offensive.
David Moyes is feeling the pressure after yet another disappointing result at the weekend with Southampton netting at the death to secure a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford, leaving them eight points adrift of Premier League leaders Arsenal after just eight games. However, their European form can be something of a mild comfort for United fans, and victory over Jagoba Arrastate's bottom-placed side would give the hosts the initiative in the group.
Good evening and welcome to the LIVE Text Commentary of Manchester United vs Real Sociedad on Matchday 3 of the Champions League. I'm Tom J Doyle (@TomJDoyle) and I'll be guiding you through all the action at Old Trafford as the Red Devils look to cement their place at the top of Group A tonight.
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