Manchester United v Real Sociedad: Europa League – how it happened – The Guardian

Key events

This result checks the recent momentum built by Erik ten Hag, as well as putting Manchester United on the back foot in Group E. Only the group winners advance to the knockout stage automatically, where the second-placed team plays against a club cashed out of the Champions League. The other game in the group saw Sheriff win 3-0 at Omonia Nicosia. Thanks for reading this MBM on a solemn night at Old Trafford.

FULL TIME: Manchester United 0-1 Real Sociedad

Real Sociedad scores against, and then beat, Manchester United for the first time in their history. The penalty decision that went in their favor was questionable, but the overall performance of La Real was very decent. They are celebrating a famous victory on an otherwise dreary evening at Old Trafford.

Casemiro reacts at the final whistle as Manchester United lose at home.
Casemiro reacts at the final whistle as Manchester United lose at home. Photo: Craig Brough/Reuters

90 min +2: Casemiro tries to steer a shot into the bottom right, but it is telegraphed and easily smothered by Remiro.

90 min +1: The first of three added minutes passes without incident.

90 min: United throw everyone forward. The Real counter. Sorloth bids down the middle with players on either side. It’s three against one! Sorloth gets in front of Fred, then unselfishly rolls towards Cho on the right … but the pass is no good and De Gea can save the day. That should settle it.

89 min: Ronaldo is dropped in full flight, just to the left of the D. Yellow for Turrientes. Ronaldo himself takes the free kick, and soars senselessly into the wall.

88 min: Garnacho swings a leg at the ball from 25 yards. His speculative effort flies harmlessly. “I think you are right about ‘clear and obvious’ benefiting the visitors,” writes Kári Tulinius. “In general, VAR in European competitions seems a lot less happy than VAR in England. I don’t really remember seeing a bad VAR incident for a long time outside the Premier League. Why that is, I don’t really know.”

86 min: Real makes a double change, replacing Mendez and Muñoz with Sola and Turrientes.

85 min: Fred whistles a cross into the mixer from the left. Ronaldo can’t get a goal. Got together again. Ronaldo tries to catch another left cross. He crosses, with Zubimendi behind him, but the referee shows no interest in awarding the spot-kick that Ronaldo claims for. It is the right decision.

84 min: Charlie McNeill comes in for his United debut. The young striker replaces Tyrell Malacia.

83 min: Fred is booked for catching Zubimendi on the ankle with his studs. He can’t complain about that one.

81 min: Martinez rakes a nice diagonal ball to Garnacho on the left side. He cuts in and lays to Fred, who swings the ball towards Sancho, near the far post. Sancho catches at his shot and a good chance is rejected.

80 min: Cho curls to the bottom left. Easy for De Gea. The away fans are in good voice now.

79 min: Pacheco slides down Ronaldo’s back, who felt it. Just a free kick. It could easily be yellow.

78 min: The excellent Cuba gives way to Ander Barrenetxea.

77 min: Casemiro sends a low curling shot towards the bottom right. It’s on target, but an easy save for Remiro, who palms confidently away from the goal.

75 min: Sorloth barrels down the middle and very nearly frees Kubo into the box with a slide-rule pass. Cuba is denied by a good sliding interception by Martinez.

74 min: That penalty decision for Sociedad again. Pure speculation, but the clear-and-obvious mistake may have benefited the visitors. It was a pretty harsh decision, but you could make a case for it if you were so inclined, and so the VAR man might not have felt empowered to overturn it. Even so, you would see that decision overturned more often than not.

72 min: Cuba crosses again from the left. Malacia cuts a wild attempted clearance for a corner. Nothing comes from the result set. Cuba has been great since the restart.

71 min: … so Antonio’s last act of the evening is a clothesline. He is replaced by Jadon Sancho, while Elanga makes way for 18-year-old Argentine winger Alejandro Garnacho.

Antony leaves.
Antony leaves. Photo: Alex Livesey/Danehouse/Getty Images

70 min: Munoz hangs a horizontal leg across Antonio’s waist to stop the winger in full flight. It’s an absurd challenge, and could so easily be red. But it is only yellow. Say what you will about this umpire, he is no homer.

68 min: A bouncing ball falls at the feet of Malacia, who catches his shot from the edge of the D. Goal kick. He had time to do a little better.

67 min: Elanga has a strike from just inside the box on the left. He claims his shot hits Elustondo’s hand, but the referee isn’t interested at all. The fans of United are starting to feel a little upset, although it seemed to be from the chest of the defender of the Sociedad.

Elanga demands punishment.  No dice.
Elanga demands punishment. No dice. Photo: Craig Brough/Reuters

65 min: 18-year-old striker Momo Cho comes on for Silva, who leaves for more pantomime booing.

64 min: This game has opened. The increasingly influential Cuba sees low drive blocked. Joined then to fight through Antony, who wins a corner on the right. The ball is worked back up the flank to Fernandes, who flicks one in from deep. Casemiro meets at the far post with a downward header that goes into the top of the net.

62 min: It turns out that Martinez was also booked for his role in the penalty. Insult to injury, given how harsh the decision was.

61 min: This is Real Sociedad’s first goal against Manchester United, in four and a half matches. Mendez almost makes it two in three minutes, but his attempted curler towards the top right is blocked.

60 min: Silva goes into the book as a result of coming through the back of Casemiro.

GOAL: Manchester United 0-1 Real Sociedad (Méndez 59 pen)

Mendez cracks powerfully in the lower-right corner. De Gea almost got there … actually he might have got something on it … but it was powerfully struck and perfectly placed. The Real takes the lead.

Brais Mendez celebrates scoring the penalty.
Brais Mendez celebrates scoring the penalty. Photo: Craig Brough/Reuters

58 min: The punishment stands! That seems a bit harsh, not least because the shot hit Martinez’s body first, and his arm wasn’t exactly miles away from his torso. But VAR is not for moving.

Punishment for Real Society

57 min: The corner worked to Silva, who tries to send a curler into the top left corner. His shot hits Martinez on the hip, then up on his arm. The referee points to the point, then book Fernandes for complaining. But VAR will check…

The referee gave it!
The referee gave it! Photo: Craig Brough/Reuters

56 min: Kubo whips another magic cross in from the left. Sorloth prepares to side-foot home from six yards, but Martinez puts a leg out to save a certain goal. corner From who…

55 min: The home fans engage in some anti-Glazer chanting.

54 min: Space for Cuba out on the Sociedad left. He curls a good cross into the box for Sorloth, who beats Martinez all end only to power a header over the bar. That was a great opportunity, at ten meters.

52 min: A pinball game starts in midfield.

50 min: Pacheco is down, swung after snapping at Ronaldo. An accident, nothing more, and he’s good to go again once he gets his breath back.

48 min: Malacia slips a pass down the inside-left channel for Elanga, who turns and cushions a pass for Ronaldo. He takes a touch then sends a screamer over the crossbar from 25 yards. The keeper was probably behind that if it was intended, but his usage wasn’t all that, so you never know.

Ronaldo tries on goal early in the second half.
Ronaldo tries on goal early in the second half. Photo: Craig Brough/Reuters

46 min: A very uncertain start to the second half from Sociedad. Zubimendi slices high into the air, forcing Remiro to punch clearly with great uncertainty. Then Fernandes crosses from the right. Ronaldo should score, six yards out, but flashes his header wide left.

United kick off the second half. They made two changes at the break: Christian Eriksen and Diogo Dalot make way for Bruno Fernandes and Lisandro Martinez. Meanwhile Sociedad swapped Umar Sadiq for former Crystal Palace striker Alexander Sorloth.

HALF TIME: Manchester United 0-0 Real Sociedad

The whistle goes at the end of an unsurprisingly subdued first half.

44 min: Antony latches onto a loose pass and feeds Elanga, who fails to release Ronaldo with an easy pass down the inside-right. Ronaldo shows some frustration.

42 min: Ronaldo escapes after a long pass to the right and latches onto the mixer, but the chase was not worth it. There is no one with him, and the captain of La Real Elustondo explains easily.

40 min: Antony has been quiet until now, but now he escapes from a tight spot near the right corner flag by knocking the ball around Munoz and herring into the box after it. But Merino comes across and soars a clearance right into him. The ball goes towards Remiro, who does not drop this one.

39 min: Merino meets the corner, coming in from the left, at the near post. He tries to tap into the six-yard box, but falls over his own feet, allowing the hosts to clear.

38 min: Sadiq catches a loose pass and drives towards the United box down the left. He is about to shoot when Casemiro arrives to block out for a corner.

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