Manchester United drew 0-0 with Real Sociedad at Old Trafford in the UEFA Europa League round of 32 second leg. United’s four goals in the first leg saw them through to the round of 16 in the competition. Bruno Fernandes almost scored in the first half and Axel Tuanzebe found the back of the net with a thundering header in the 63rd minute of the match but because of a Victor Lindelof foul, VAR and the referee ruled out the goal, which was a shame for the defender. Amad Diallo made his home debut with Shola Shoretire becoming the youngest United player to feature in European competition, which will be something for him to be proud of. United will find out their fate in the competition on Friday as the round of 16 draw is made.
United started well but the Spanish side has set themselves up a little differently, cautiously if you will. The away side won a penalty in the 13th minute of the match after Daniel James supposedly fouled Andoni Gorosabel inside the box but it seemed like the player stopped his run, putting his leg across James to force the foul. Mikel Oyarzabal took the penalty with Dean Henderson looking to make the dive, stopping it and watching the ball rise into the Stretford End. United almost took the lead in the 24th minute of the match but Bruno Fernandes could not place the ball into the back of the net. United have done enough to win the tie though with four goals scored in the away leg, played in Turin, last week.
In the 35th minute of the match, Fernandes played the ball into James, who was running into the box. The Welshman played his header towards goal but the goalkeeper made a precise save to deny the Welshman from his third goal in three consecutive matches. Fred was booked in the 40th minute of the match for a foul on Adnan Januzaj, giving away a free-kick which United regained possession from. United were unlucky in the first half and should have perhaps scored at least one goal, which is the same that could be said for the visitors, who scuffed up a good penalty. United were still winning 4-0 on aggregate and will be aiming to ensure they are in Friday’s draw for the round of 16 stage of the competition.
Solskjaer made a triple substitution at the start of the second half with Marcus Rashford replacing Bruno Fernandes, Axel Tuanzebe replacing Fred and Brandon Williams replacing Aaron Wan-Bissaka. Almost four minutes into the half, Real Sociedad attempted to score, beating Henderson but not finding the back of the net. Williams became United’s second player to be booked in the match with Fred booked in the 40th minute of the first half and the right-back booked in the 49th minute. Minuted later, he fouled an opposition player once again, not getting a second booking this time. He will perhaps need to tread carefully or face being sent off this evening, which would be a lowly occasion for him.
Solskjaer made his fourth substitution in the 59th minute of the match with Amad Diallo replacing Daniel James, who had seemingly got himself a knock, which hopefully is not anything serious. United opened the scoring in the 63rd minute of the match through Axel Tuanzebe, whose header thundered into the back of the net. However, VAR looked at the incident between Victor Lindelof and Jon Bautista in which the Swede jumped up to reach the ball and collided with the Real Sociedad player, right in the face. The goal was disallowed, which was a shame for Tuanzebe and Lindelof was booked for the foul. United attempted to get a goal minutes later with Anthony Martial on the attack but nothing came of it and United were back to the drawing board.
United made their fifth substitution in the 76th minute of the match with Shola Shoretire becoming the youngest player to play for United in European competition. He replaced Mason Greenwood. United kept on trying to find a goal, which was not coming, unfortunately. Some will find some negativity from that, despite United being 4-0 up on aggregate from the first leg and the Spanish side not seeking to get a goal themselves. Perhaps keeping a clean sheet at Old Trafford will be something for the opposition to be proud of? Diallo and Shoretire got stuck into the game but expecting a lot from them is not what we need to be doing right now. They both need to find their feet inn the squad and work from there.
Manchester United: Henderson; Wan-Bissaka (Williams 46′), Bailly, Lindelof, Telles; Matic, Fred (Tuanzebe 46′); Greenwood (Shoretire 76′), Fernandes (Rashford 46′), James (Diallo 59′); Martial
Substitutes Not Used: De Gea, Grant, Bishop; Maguire, Shaw; Galbraith
Bookings: Fred 40′, Brandon Williams 49′, Victor Lindelof 65′
Written by John Walker