Monday, January 30

Ronaldo’s Europa League debut was irritating in Man United loss


MANCHESTER, England Manchester United opened their Europa League marketing campaign in inauspicious vogue, falling to Real Sociedad at Old Trafford, 1-0. A spot kick objective from Brais Méndez was the distinction as Erik ten Hag’s facet could not muster a response.

Report: Man United-Real Sociedad | Europa League table | Upcoming fixtures

For Sociedad, the win was their first towards an English group in a aggressive match. Here is ESPN’s Rob Dawson with response and evaluation.

JUMP TO: Player ratings | Best/worst performers | Highlights and notable moments | Post-match quotes | Key stats | Upcoming fixtures

Rapid Reaction

1. Manchester United’s Europa League marketing campaign begins with a defeat

Erik ten Hag insisted at his information convention on Wednesday that he would take the Europa League severely, however regardless of the Dutchman selecting a robust group together with Cristiano Ronaldo, Harry Maguire, David De Gea, Christian Eriksen and Antony, Real Socieded nonetheless left Old Trafford with three factors. Man United ended the evening with extra pictures and extra possession than the Spanish facet, however goalkeeper Alejandro Remiro was by no means compelled into something greater than a routine save.

It’s not the top of the world for Ten Hag and he’ll nonetheless anticipate to do sufficient over the subsequent 5 group video games to progress to the subsequent spherical, however the end result will stall the momentum constructed up after 4 Premier League wins in a row.

As properly as being a disappointing evening for Ten Hag, the defeat will not do his squad gamers any favours, both. Ronaldo, Maguire, Fred, Casemiro, Victor Lindelof and Anthony Elanga have been all introduced into the group after watching the profitable run from the bench, however nobody did sufficient to counsel they’ll preserve their place for the subsequent sport within the league.

2. Cristiano Ronaldo pissed off in his return

Ten Hag picked a robust group to kick off the Europa League group stage however nonetheless made quite a few modifications, together with handing a recall to Ronaldo. The 37-year-old hoped a summer time transfer would imply taking part in Champions League soccer elsewhere this season, however as a substitute he made his first profession look within the Europa League, and it did not seem like he loved the expertise.

(Ronaldo 20 years in the past did play within the UEFA Cup, the predecessor to the Europa Cup, which had a barely completely different format underneath a unique title. Ronaldo’s Sporting CP facet misplaced to Partizan on a 6-4 combination within the first spherical.)

Yet to attain this season, he had a first-half objective dominated out for offside and noticed one other couple of half-chances snuffed out by some dogged Real Sociedad defending. He additionally took a few heavy challenges within the second half and seemed to be in some discomfort towards the top.

The profit for Ronaldo is that, after lacking nearly all of preseason, he obtained 90 minutes in his legs — however it wasn’t a efficiency that steered he might be again within the group for a Premier League sport anytime quickly.

For now, he might need to attend for his probability within the Europa League and hope he can regain his scoring contact quickly and power Ten Hag into bringing him again for video games within the league. In the meantime, he’s more likely to must accept his function as an affect substitute.

Stream on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga, MLS, more (U.S.)

3. Real Sociedad courageous on the massive stage

Real Sociedad have had a combined begin to their season in LaLiga with two wins from their first 4 video games, however on the eve of their go to to Old Trafford, coach Imanol Alguacil promised that his group would not be shy about making an attempt to assault Man United.

“We’re going to go for the opponents,” Alguacil stated in a information convention. “We’re going to indicate character and take the initiative.”

He might be delighted on the method his gamers carried out his directions. Despite arising towards a robust United group — maybe stronger than they anticipated — Real Sociedad had loads of the ball, significantly within the first half, and despite the fact that they did not vogue many clear-cut probabilities, they did sufficient to win the sport.

Led by former Manchester City midfielder David Silva, they have been courageous on the ball and saved making an attempt to go out from the again after they obtained the possibility, even underneath strain from United’s press. There continues to be an extended solution to go, however after profitable at Old Trafford, they are going to be eyeing prime spot within the group to earn a greater draw within the knockout rounds.

Player rankings

Manchester United: De Gea 6, Dalot 7, Malacia 7, Lindelof 6, Maguire 6, Casemiro 7, Fred 5, Eriksen 7, Elanga 5, Antony 5, Ronaldo 5.

Subs: Fernandes 6, Martinez 6, Sancho 6, Garnacho 6, McNeill 6.

Real Sociedad: Remiro 6, Gorosabel 6, Munoz 7, Elustondo 7, Pacheco 7, Mendez 7, Zubimendi 7, Merino 7, Kubo 7, Silva 7, Umar 7.

Subs: Sorloth 6, Cho 6, Barrenetxea 6, Turrientes 6, Sola 6.

Best and worst performers

BEST: Christian Eriksen

It was a shock that Eriken began and it appeared preplanned that he got here off at half-time, however United regarded like they wanted him within the second half.


The Brazilian began in an unfamiliar place because the No. 10 in Ten Hag’s system, and within the first half Fred may barely discover one other pink shirt with a go.

Highlights and notable moments

Queen Elizabeth II, Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, died Thursday on the age of 96 after reigning for 70 years.

Players wore black armbands, and a second of silence was held at Old Trafford earlier than kickoff.

“A minute’s silence might be held earlier than kickoff which can permit the groups, match officers and everybody in attendance to pay their respects to Her Majesty, The Queen,” stated a press release from Manchester United.

What would a match be lately be with out a little VAR drama?

In the second half, a David Silva shot hit the leg after which arm of Lisandro Martínez. The referee on the sphere, Marco Di Bello, known as it as a dealing with violation and a penalty, and a VAR examine agreed with the choice, leading to Brais Méndez’s scored penalty to place Sociedad forward.

After the match: What the managers, gamers stated

Manchester United canceled their postgame information convention in gentle of the demise of Queen Elizabeth II.

Key stats (supplied by ESPN Stats & Information)

  • This was Cristiano Ronaldo’s first look within the Europa League. He did compete within the competitors’s predecessor, the UEFA Cup, in 2002. His Sporting CP facet misplaced to Partizan on a 6-4 combination within the first spherical.

  • Ronaldo has scored in each competitors he has performed in additional than as soon as, apart from Europa League/UEFA Cup. This is the third time he has been held scoreless in a Europa League/UEFA Cup match, and his group has by no means received a match within the competitors (0-2-1 W-L-D).

Up subsequent

Manchester United: The Red Devils return to Premier League motion after they head to Crystal Palace on Sunday at 11:30 a.m. ET.

Real Sociedad: Los Txuri-Urdin return to LaLiga motion after they go to Getafe on Sunday at 12:30 p.m. ET.


2022-09-08 22:40:28

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