An underwhelming performance from the Manchester United players against Real Sociedad resulted in the first loss for the Red Devils in five games. Erik ten Hag’s side suffered a disappointing 0-1 defeat to the Spanish side on Thursday at Old Trafford in their opening game of the 2022/23 Europa League campaign.
Having made numerous changes to the starting line-up, the Red Devils struggled to stamp their authority in the game for most of the ninety minutes, with the team failing to replicate their recent performances in the Premier League.
A spiritless start to the game saw both sides struggle to make the best use of possession throughout the first half. Failing to create a commendable number of goal-scoring opportunities, Manchester United remained relatively ineffective in attack while Real Sociedad, too, struggled to gain momentum before the break.
Following a cautious start, a change in game-plan saw the Spanish side employ a proactive approach in the second half. A controversial penalty decision for handball in the 59th minute against United centre-back Lisandro Martinez resulted in the visitors scoring the only goal of the evening as the Red Devils continued struggling to break down the opposition till the final whistle.
With a number of surprisingly disappointing performers on the evening, Ten Hag will be keen on nurturing significant improvement over the coming weeks. Expected to retain his preferred starting line-up for the next fixture, United will be keen on avoiding a repeat of Thursday’s display at Old Trafford moving forward.
Manchester United Player Ratings Vs Real Sociedad: Starting XI
David De Gea (GK) – 6/10: Relatively untested, De Gea remained steady between the sticks on Thursday. With much to be desired of the Spaniard’s contribution in the build-up play, De Gea will be keen on improving his performances moving forward.
Diogo Dalot (RB) – 6/10: Steady throughout his time on the pitch, the Manchester United defender remained a reliable presence at right-back against Real Sociedad. Expected to play the majority of games moving forward, the Portuguese full-back will be keen on remaining consistent over the coming weeks.
Harry Maguire (RCB) – 6/10: Decent in his approach, Maguire remained a reliable presence in the backline on Thursday. Expected to remain a squad player over the foreseeable future, Maguire will be keen on staking a claim for a spot in the starting line-up moving forward.
Victor Lindelof (LCB) – 6/10: Having started his first game of the season after returning from injury, Lindelof remained a steady presence in the back-line. Expected to be utilised as a backup centre-back, the Swedish international will be hoping to receive adequate game-time over the course of the campaign.
Tyrell Malacia (LB) – 6/10: Having cemented his spot as the starting left-back, Malacia will be keen on continuing to deliver consistent displays over the coming weeks. Amongst the promising performers in recent weeks, the Dutch full-back will be keen on delivering impactful displays moving forward.
Casemiro (CDM) – 5/10: Although at times, underwhelming in his decision-making, new signing Casemiro remained a steady presence in midfield. With much left to be desired from his performances, the Brazilian will be hoping to gain match fitness ahead of challenging for a first-team spot over the coming weeks.
Christian Eriksen (CM) – 6/10: Despite being substituted at half-time, Eriksen remained pivotal to United’s transitions on Thursday. With the team having struggled to progress the ball from defence to attack following his departure, the Danish midfielder has proven to be crucial to the team’s prospects in recent weeks.
Fred (CAM) – 5/10: Deployed in a relatively unfamiliar attacking role, the Manchester United midfielder inevitably struggled to deliver an impactful performance against Real Sociedad. Expected to be utilised as a squad player moving forward, Fred will be looking to make the best of his opportunities over the coming weeks.
Antony (RW) – 6/10: A victim of United’s lack of progression up the pitch, recent signing Antony struggled to have a significant impact – failing to test the opposition’s defence on Thursday. Expected to retain his place in the starting line-up moving forward, the Brazilian winger will be keen on delivering valuable contributions moving forward.
Anthony Elanga (LW) – 5/10: Another victim of the team’s inability to utilise the width of the pitch against Sociedad, Elanga struggled to make the best use of possession against Sociedad. Expected to be granted adequate game-time moving forward, the youngster will be keen on making the best of his opportunities this season.
Cristiano Ronaldo (ST) – 5/10: Having struggled to contribute to the team’s performance, Ronaldo remained relatively unimpactful on the pitch. Likely to be utilised as a squad player over the course of the campaign, the Portuguese striker will be keen on improving his performances moving forward.
Manchester United Player Ratings Vs Real Sociedad: Substitutions
Bruno Fernandes (CAM) – 6/10: Introduced at half-time, Fernandes, too, remained relatively unimpactful on Thursday. Expected to play a pivotal role under Ten Hag, the Portuguese midfielder will be hoping to deliver resonating performances over the coming weeks.
Lisandro Martinez (LCB) – 6/10: Steady in defence, Martinez remained a reliable presence in the backline. Having been amongst the team’s most proficient players in recent weeks, the centre-back will be keen on continuing to deliver consistent performances moving forward.
Jadon Sancho (RW) – 6/10: Relatively unimpactful, Sancho struggled to make the best use of possession on Thursday. Expected to challenge for a place in the starting line-up, Sancho will be keen on delivering notable performances moving forward.
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Alejandro Garnacho (LW) – 6/10: A lively addition, Garnacho remained a notable presence on the flank during his cameo against Sociedad. Expected to gain adequate minutes moving forward, the youngster will be keen on making the best of his opportunities over the course of the campaign.
Charlie McNeill (ST) – 6/10: A debut cameo saw academy prospect McNeil deliver a decent performance on Thursday. Likely to be granted game-time across cup competitions this season, the youngster will be hoping to deliver valuable contributions moving forward.
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