Manchester United and Real Sociedad played out a tepid 0-0 draw in the second leg of their Europa League round of 32 tie, a contest decided a week ago in a 4-0 win for the Red Devils in Turin. A somewhat weakened Real Sociedad side made their way to Manchester needing a remarkable result to knock United out of Europe and looked to take the initiative in the first 20 minutes with assertive, attacking football.
However any feint hope they might have had of turning the game into the contest seemed to have been snuffed out by their response to Mikel Oyarzabal blazing a penalty over the bar in the 14th minute.
United had a goal denied in the second half -- what would have been Axel Tuanzebe's first for the club -- when VAR spotted Victor Lindelof barging into an opponent as this tie instead proved to be a game where Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could introduce some of his bright young players: a home debut for Amad Diallo followed by Shola Shoretire becoming this team's youngest ever debutant in Europe. Here's how the individual Manchester United players rated:
Manchester United player ratings
Dean Henderson: If there was a silver lining for Henderson to the cloud that was the penalty United conceded in the first half it might have been the chance to make a big save to prove his worth to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Instead he had no chance when Mikel Oyarzabal blazed the ball over the bar. Indeed he did not have a save to make so all that can be said is he claimed his crosses well. Rating: 5
Aaron Wan-Bissaka: Adnan Januzaj and Mikel Oyarzabal gave the United right-back plenty to think about, particularly early on when Real Sociedad were playing with feint hope of turning this tie. For the most part Wan-Bissaka dealt with all the pressure on his flank rather ably. Rating: 6
Victor Lindelof: The Swede was not afraid of pushing United and their defensive line up as he looked to build good possession from deep. He did so rather effectively although it was a shame to see a clumsy jump at a corner denying Tuanzebe a goal. Rating: 7
Eric Bailly: His recovery pace is such a crucial weapon that you wonder why he is not a regular. Certainly games like this will burgeon his case no end, he did not put a foot wrong in a relatively pressured first half. Rating: 7
Alex Telles: A quiet night for the Brazilian but certainly not one where he blotted his copy book with two key passes. That's as many as Bruno Fernandes, always a good bellwether for a creative performance. Rating: 6
Nemanja Matic: The ideal midfielder to quell any hopes of La Real spreading panic among the United ranks. He completed 66 of his first 71 passes and those that went astray were rarely the sort to invited pressure on the United defence. Rating: 6
Fred: Hardly a remarkable half from the Brazilian, who gave away a pair of clumsy fouls late on in the opening period. He supplemented that with plenty of occasions where he recovered possession, six times in 45 minutes was more than adequate. Rating: 6
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Daniel James: The Welshman's defining contribution in this game might have been the penalty he conceded but he looked encouraging when he was running in the opposite direction, completing both his take-ons in another good attacking performance that emphasizes the depth of Solskjaer's attacking options. Rating: 6
Bruno Fernandes: Set aside for a moment the baffling decision to hand him another start for a tie that was as good as over before kick-off, Fernandes did offer joyous flashes in his 45 minutes. Best of all was one outstanding pass over the top for James. Rating: 6
Mason Greenwood: It was a struggle for Greenwood to get into this contest for most of the first half though a delicate run and explosive shot in the 56th minute was a reminder of the threat he can pose. Rating: 5
Anthony Martial: This was not vintage Martial by any stretch of the imagination but it was a step in the right direction with the No. 9 a little more assertive in his running and explosive in his movement. A curling strike just tipped over the bar by Aleix Romero typified what was nearly a very good night for the Frenchman. Rating: 6
Marcus Rashford (sub, Fernandes, 46'): Much like Fernandes, it was hard to understand what the value in bringing him onto the pitch was other than to mark the five-year anniversary of his breakout moment against Midtjylland. He very nearly did so with a wonderful dipping free-kick. Rating: 5
Brandon Williams (sub, Wan-Bissaka, 46'): Teetering on the brink of a second yellow card five minutes into a rare appearance was not how Williams would have wanted his game to go. Rating: 5
Axel Tuanzebe (sub, Fred, 46'): Though his first senior goal for Manchester United, a header of supreme authority, was denied because of a foul by Lindelof we're going to give him a bonus point because of the lovely thump the ball made when he connected with it. That aside this was a solid performance from the youngster. Rating: 7
Amad Diallo (sub, James, 58'): As a first touch at Old Trafford, tracking back and winning the ball off a Real Sociedad player was a thoroughly impressive start. He continued in the fashion he had begun and made several encouraging darts down the right. Rating: 6
Shola Shoretire (sub, Greenwood, 76'): United's youngest player in European football did not look overawed by the occasion even if he had few opportunities to express himself in the game. Rating: N/A
Manager - Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: It's hard to put together a particularly convincing argument for why so many important players needed to feature in tonight's game but it was encouraging to see Solskjaer blooding some of the best and brightest from United's youth setup. Rating: 5