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Manchester United 0-1 Real Sociedad: Main Talking Points After United Open Their Europa League Campaign With A Controversial Defeat

Although Manchester United might have been looking to lay down an early Europa League marker on Thursday night, the Premier League giants opened their Group E adventure with a 1-0 loss against Real Sociedad.

Despite opening their European campaign by enjoying four domestic victories on the spin, Erik ten Hag’s side would have been disappointed by a largely flat display at Old Trafford.

With Sociedad awarded a hugely controversial penalty just before the hour-mark, Brais Mendez’s strike from 12 yards clinched a famous win for the Spanish outfit.

Watching United crash back down to earth after their eye-catching Premier League purple patch, we have taken a look at the main talking points.

United’s fringe players fail to take their chance

Heading into Thursday’s Group E opener after picking up a stellar 3-1 victory at home against Arsenal, Manchester United certainly found the mood in their camp at the highest it has been in recent memory.

Skyrocketing their way up the Premier League table, it was expected by many around Old Trafford that ten Hag would take the chance to make some alterations here.

However, while the former Ajax boss might have recalled both Harry Maguire and five-time Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo, United’s fringe superstars failed to take their chance.

Along with handing blockbuster summer arrival Casemiro a full debut on Thursday, the decision to play Fred as a number 10 left plenty confused around the red half of Manchester.

With it appearing that Ronaldo would be on his way out of Old Trafford before the summer transfer window slammed shut, the Portuguese icon cut a frustrated figure and further questions will certainly be asked about the 37-year-old’s role going forward.

Likewise, with Maguire tumbling down ten Hag’s pecking order and with the duo of Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane seen to be the Dutchman’s number one partnership, the ex-Leicester defender failed to stake any real…
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Author : Tom Dunstan

Publish date : 2022-09-09 06:32:48

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