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Manchester United v Real Sociedad Live Commentary, 08/09/2022

FT
0 - 1
MUN
RSO
Brais Méndez (59 pen)
Old Trafford

Commentary

That's all from us, we hope you enjoyed the game. Until the next one, goodbye!
Despite a loss in a very close game, Manchester United can't be too disheartened about the result, particularly with perceived 'easier' matches coming up against Sheriff and Omonia, the former of whom beat the latter 3-0 in the corresponding fixture. Sociedad will feel much the same way, but beginning the campaign with three points is exactly the start they'll have wanted, particularly if it's to be a shoot-out between themselves and the Red Devils for top spot.
Aihen Munoz was simply outstanding down the left for the visitors, running up and down the flank all game long, and finishing it with 6 entries into the final third, making five crosses and maintaining an 80 per cent passing accuracy. He won nine of his 14 duels, and won the ball seven times in total, via five tackles and two clearances.
Erik Ten Hag's maiden European campaign at Old Trafford gets off to a disappointing start, with Mendez's 59th minute penalty sealing the three points for Real Sociedad. After a passive first half, United came into their own at times in the second, testing Remiro on several occasions, but a handball by Martinez during one of Sociedad's less frequent attacks gave the visitors the perfect chance to snatch the victory. It was a chance they took, holding out a 1-0 victory despite a flurry of attacking changes for the home side.
90' + 3' FULL-TIME: MANCHESTER UNITED 0-1 REAL SOCIEDAD.
90' + 3' Cho latches onto Merino's chipped pass over the top, and looks to get around Martinez before going down in the box. It would've been a very soft penalty, and the referee is having none of it.
90' + 2' SAVED!!! Garnacho cuts inside and finds Casemiro, who has time to turn and pick his spot, aiming to place a low shot into the far corner, but Remiro gets down to save and hold it!
90' + 1' We're into three minutes of added time, and can the home side find that equaliser?
90' SO CLOSE!!!! Sociedad should double their lead after Sorloth dispossesses Lindelof and surges into the United half. He and Cho have a two-on-one over Fred, but Sorloth refrains from passing until he reaches the box, by which time De Gea can race out and collect the ball! Cho was begging for it long before the pass, and could've well wrapped this game up!
Beñat Turrientes
Yellow Card
Real Sociedad
89' Ronaldo shapes to shoot but dribbles towards the box, before being brought down by Turrientes and winning a dangerous-looking free-kick. The Sociedad substitute is booked following the challenge.
88' OVER!!! Martinez breaks the first line of Sociedad defence again before finding Garnacho, who shoots from 25 yards but can only send his effort over the crossbar!
86' Ronaldo goes down in the box under pressure from Zubimendi, but the referee waves away any penalty claims and play will carry on!
85' WIDE!!! Martinez strides forward before finding Fred to his left, and his low cross is met by Ronaldo arriving late, but he can only blast a first-time effort wide of the mark!
Álex Sola
Gorosabel
Real Sociedad
84' Gorosabel also comes off, with his place at right-back taken by Alejandro Sola.
Beñat Turrientes
Brais Méndez
Real Sociedad
84' Mendez's penalty separates the two sides at the moment, but his industrious performance in midfield comes to an end as he's replaced by Benat Turrientes.
C. McNeill
T. Malacia
Manchester United
83' United left-back Malacia makes way, with his place taken by another youth product in Charlie McNeill.
Fred
Yellow Card
Manchester United
83' A poor touch from Fred gives Zubimendi the chance to nick the ball, but he's caught late by the Manchester United midfielder sliding in, and Fred is booked by the referee.
81' Fred floats a cross to an unmarked Sancho at the far post, but the winger gets his attempted volley horribly wrong, and it bounces behind for a goal kick!
80' SAVED! Cho and Mendez play a good one-two on the edge of the box, and the substitute knocks the ball past Fred before curling a left-footed shot towards the corner, which De Gea saves comfortably!
Barrenetxea
T. Kubo
Real Sociedad
78' Kubo has been bright for the visitors in their two-pronged attack, and comes off now for Ander Barrenetxea to see out the game.
77' SAVED!!! United keep the ball well, with Fred teeing up Casemiro on the edge of the box. He strikes a low effort that is swerving wildly, and Merino does very well to get down and tip it away!
75' The hulking Sorloth bullies Sancho off the ball before steaming towards the defence, cutting inside and shaping to shoot before a sliding Martinez manages to win the ball!
73' Despite lacking the quality of United's other wide options, Elanga was still superbly industrious for the 70 minutes he was on the pitch. As well as managing two (blocked) shots and two key passes, he was involved in 13 duels and won the ball five times, including via three successful tackles and an interception.
A. Garnacho
A. Elanga
Manchester United
71' Elanga's been largely ineffective in the final third, and a fellow youth product of the hosts' academy comes on in his place, Alejandro Garnacho.
J. Sancho
Antony
Manchester United
71' Antony is next off for the home side, with Jadon Sancho coming on to replace him out wide.
Aihen Muñoz
Yellow Card
Real Sociedad
70' After a promising Sociedad attack, led by Cho, comes to an end, United look to counter through Antony, but he's body-checked by Munoz and the left-back picks up a yellow card.
68' Fernandes puts a ball over the top for Casemiro to chase, and his hooked cross back in is picked up by Malacia. Forced onto his weaker right foot, he attempts a shot, but drags it well wide of the target and behind!
67' Malacia links up with Elanga, who sees a cross blocked back into his path. He snatches at a follow-up shot, but it hits Elustondo and is deflected away!
M. Cho
David Silva
Real Sociedad
65' Silva is the next to come off for Sociedad, and he's replaced by new signing Mohamed-Ali Cho.
65' OVER!!! Fernandes crosses from the right-hand touchline, looking for Casemiro at the far post. The midfielder arrives late, and heads the ball into the ground, before it bounces up and just over the bar!
64' Kubo gets into space down the left and shoots, forcing a decent parry from De Gea. United break forward at lightning speed, with Munoz having to get back to block Antony's cross and concede a corner!
62' Silva has three goals and two assists in eight appearances against Manchester United at Old Trafford, all coming in the Premier League with Manchester City between 2011 and 2019. His eight seasons in the blue half of Manchester haven’t been forgotten by the Old Trafford faithful, but after having the shot which forced the penalty, it may well be Silva who gets the last laugh.
David Silva
Yellow Card
Real Sociedad
60' Silva chases Casemiro into midfield and needlessly fouls the Brazilian, picking up a yellow card for his troubles.
Brais Méndez
Penalty Goal
Real Sociedad
59' GOOOOAAAALLLL!!! There's the opener!!!! It's Mendez who steps up, smashing the penalty into the bottom right corner, and beyond the reach of De Gea to make it 1-0 to the visitors!!! They've been very passive so far this half, but now they have the lead, and Manchester United have to try and turn this game around now!
Lisandro Martínez
Yellow Card
Manchester United
57' Martinez is shown a yellow card for the handball, which is a tad harsh given the ball appears to have bounces up off his leg before striking his elbow.
57' PENALTY!!!! The Sociedad corner comes to Kubo, who cuts the ball back to Silva. His shot bounces off the arm of Martinez, and the referee has no hesitation in pointing to the spot!
56' Kubo gets around the outside of Maguire before crossing for Sorloth, but Lindelof flies in to knock it away and concedes a corner!
54' WIDE!!! Munoz whips in a good cross from the left touchline, that evades Martinez before finding Sorloth, but the substitute can't connect properly with his header and sends it wide!
52' Martinez looks for Ronaldo down the left, but the Manchester United forward is returning from and offside position and so is flagged for the third time in the game!
50' United have started the half brightly, with Ronaldo in particular looking very much in the mood to score a goal that will count, unlike his first half header. He's had two attempts at goal already, but has been caught offside the same number of times.
48' OVER!!!! Elanga controls a throughball, teeing up Ronaldo to shoot in the process. The forward obliges, smashing a dipping shot from 2 yards that just shaves the top of the crossbar!
46' Antony tees up Fernandes to cross, but Ronaldo mistimes his jump at the far post and misses a relatively easy header!
46' Ronaldo kicks off for United, and we're back underway at Old Trafford!
Lisandro Martínez
Diogo Dalot
Manchester United
46' Dalot also comes off, with Lisandro Martinez introduced, suggesting that a formation change could be on the cards.
A. Sørloth
U. Sadiq
Real Sociedad
46' Sociedad also make changes, as Alexander Sorloth comes on for Sadiq up front.
Bruno Fernandes
C. Eriksen
Manchester United
46' Erik Ten Hag makes half-time changes for Manchester United, swapping out Eriksen for Bruno Fernandes.
The sides head back out for the second half, and can the hosts find an opener sooner rather than later?
Dalot has been United's best so far in this game, managing more successful passes than anyone else on the pitch, and completing all of his 12 in Sociedad's half. One of these created a goalscoring chance, and the other was nodded in off the bar by an offside Ronaldo. Defensively, he's also won the ball five times, a joint-high for his team, including one interception to deny the visitors.
A first-half lacking in quality ends, with neither side creating much in the way of chances, aside from Ronaldo's headed goal which was ruled out for offside. Sociedad's packed midfield and organised defence has frustrated the hosts, but the Red Devils need to add more speed and creativity to their attacks if they're to find an opener at Old Trafford.
45' HALF-TIME: MANCHESTER UNITED 0-0 REAL SOCIEDAD.
44' Antony intercepts Pacheco's pass and fends off Merino before feeding Elanga. He attempts to put Ronaldo through on goal, but his final pass is a poor one and Munoz cuts it out.
42' Eriksen spots the run of Ronaldo down the right, but the latter's cross into the six-yard box is easily dealt with by Sociedad captain Elustondo.
40' Antony cleverly flicks the ball over Munoz's head, but can't get to the loose ball before Pacheco and Remiro is able to recover possession for the away side.
38' A poor pass from Fred allows Sadiq to knock the ball past Lindelof, but Casemiro gets back to block his shot from a tight angle, and concede a corner.
37' That would've been a fantastic opener, but Ronaldo is denied his first goal of the season thanks to the offside flag. The ball in from his fellow Portuguese Dalot was superb too, and he's been one of United's best performers under Erik Ten Hag.
35' BALL IN THE NET!!! After running out of room to cross on both flanks, United come central and Dalot crosses for Ronaldo. It's a great header from the striker, and Remiro tips it onto the bar before it bounces over the line, but the flag is up against Ronaldo as he runs away celebrating, meaning the goal won't count!
33' Manchester United boss Erik ten Tag has lost eight of his 20 home matches in major European competitions as a manager, compared to only two of his 20 away matches.
31' A hacked clearance from the visitors allows Antony to cross from the right. He finds Casemiro, but he loses possession in the Sociedad box, and Real race away on the counter!
29' Fred skips past Mendez in midfield, before having a shot 20 yards from goal that whistles over the crossbar!
27' WIDE!!! United can't clear a cross and Silva plays in Mendez, whose first time shot flies just wide of De Gea's right post!
26' The corner floats all the way to Antony on the edge of the box, who hits it back towards goal, but Remiro catches the attempted cross!
25' CHANCE!!! Good play from the hosts as Fred stretches to find Eriksen on the edge of the box. He feigns shooting before teeing up Ronaldo, but a crucial intervention from Pacheco forces a corner before he can shoot!
23' BLOCKED!!! Elanga skilfully gets past Gorosabel with searing pace, and cuts the ball back from the byline. Fred arrives, hitting a left-footed effort towards goal, but a Merino block sends it behind for a corner!
21' Munoz flies in to dispossess Antony, but his challenge sees the ball skidding away for a corner before Remiro intervenes!
19' Manchester United have never conceded in four previous meetings with Real Sociedad, facing no side more often in their history without conceding a goal.
17' CHANCE!!! Eriksen whips a cross into the area, aiming for Ronaldo, but it's just a fraction too high for the striker and goes behind!
16' A fast break from the hosts sees Elanga running into space, but the play slows down as he links up with Fred, and Antony's attempted ball to Ronaldo is easily cut out.
14' CHANCE!!! A loose ball breaks Ronaldo's way as he streaks into the box. He looks to cut inside Elustondo, but Gorosabel gets back to knock the ball away and Remiro gathers!
14' Remiro dawdles on the ball with no clear passing options in front of him, only kicking it long when Ronaldo begins to press. It's a poor kick though, going straight out for a throw!
12' Manchester United are currently unbeaten across their last 18 home matches in the Europa League, starting with victory against FC Midtjylland in February 2016, and have won 14 of these such games.
10' Antony loses out to Silva in midfield, and Merino crosses for Sadiq. It looks to be a good ball, but just loops over the head of the striker and goes out.
9' Silva slides in on Fred and catches the Manchester United midfielder on the halfway line, and the crowd certainly let him know of their disapproval!
7' Real Sociedad have never won against English opponents in Europe, scoring only once across six matches, four of which they lost. Nonetheless, their last match against English opponents happened to be a 0-0 draw against Manchester United at Old Trafford in February 2021.
5' Casemiro crosses into the box for Ronaldo at the far post. He's blocked off by Elustondo, but the Sociedad captain's interference causes Remiro to drop it, but Elustondo turns Ronaldo to come away from danger with the ball at his feet!
4' Dalot surges down the right and skips past Munoz, but loses out to the Sociedad left-back and subsequently fouls him.
2' Kubo looks to find space down the left, but is soon barrelled into touch by Casemiro and Antony.
1' Sociedad kick off via the boot of Sadiq, and we're underway in Manchester!
The players are out on the pitch, and following the minute's silence in remembrance of Queen Elizabeth, we'll be underway at Old Trafford.
Umar Sadiq had already scored twice in three games this season before Sociedad bought him from Almeria, and the Nigerian international scored on his debut for the visitors too, suggesting he’ll be one hell of a handful for the Red Devils’ defence.
United’s £82 million signing from Ajax, Antony, had a dream debut against Arsenal, scoring his side’s opener in a 3-1 win. He’s the only player in the starting XI to have scored a goal so far this season though, and will look to provide Cristiano Ronaldo with plenty of chances to get off the mark.
REAL SOCIEDAD SUBS: Andoni Zubiaurre, Alex Sola, Asier Illarramendi, Igor Zubeldia, Ander Barrenetxea, Mohamed Ali-Cho, Ander Guevara, Roberto Navarro, Alexander Sorloth, Benat Turrientes, Urko Gonzalez, Jon Karrikaburu.
REAL SOCIEDAD (4-3-1-2): Alex Remiro; Andoni Gorosabel, Artiz Elustondo, Jon Pacheco Dozagarat, Aihen Munoz; Brais Mendez, Martin Zubimendi, Mikel Merino; David Silva; Umar Sadiq, Takefusa Kubo.
MANCHESTER UNITED SUBS: Tom Heaton, Martin Dubravka, Lisandro Martinez, Bruno Fernandes, Raphael Varane, Jadon Sancho, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Scott McTominay, Alejandro Garnacho, Zidane Iqbal, Charlie McNeil, Tyler Fredricson.
MANCHESTER UNITED (4-3-3): David De Gea; Diogo Dalot, Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire, Tyrell Malacia; Christian Eriksen, Casemiro, Fred; Antony, Cristiano Ronaldo, Anthony Elanga.
Manchester United paid tribute to the UK's longest-serving monarch, but confirmed the game would go ahead following talks with the UEFA and the FA. The match itself is between the two strongest teams in group E, both of whom are hoping to get their European campaigns off to a strong start.
Tributes will be paid before the fixture following the announcement that the Queen has died aged 96 in Balmoral on Thursday. A minute's silence will take place before the game, while black armbands will be worn.
Hello, and welcome to live coverage of this UEFA Europa League fixture, as Manchester United take on Real Sociedad at Old Trafford.