Man Utd 0 – 1 Company


A controversial penalty ended Manchester United’s four-game winning streak as Real Sociedad secured a 1-0 victory at Old Trafford in the Europa League.

Following the death of Queen Elizabeth II earlier in the evening, both groups of players wore black armbands and a minute’s silence was impeccably observed by all inside the pitch before kick-off .

UEFA decided it was too late to postpone the match, but Old Trafford was understandably below full capacity and a subdued atmosphere reflected the nation’s mood. Ads were low-key, while billboards were black with muted branding.

Image:
Manchester United players and supporters during a minute’s silence for Queen Elizabeth II

The game’s only goal came in the 59th minute in controversial circumstances. Lisandro Martinez, introduced as a half-time substitute, was credited with handling the ball in the box as he blocked a close-range shot from David Silva, despite the former Manchester City midfielder’s effort deflecting the Argentinian’s thigh first.

Italian referee Marco Di Bello immediately awarded a penalty and after being checked by VAR, his decision stood. Brais Mendez stepped in to put Sociedad ahead, his powerful and precise kick too good for David de Gea.

Team News

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has made six changes to his squad for Thursday’s Europa League opener against Real Sociedad.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Casemiro and Harry Maguire have been named in the starting line-up, alongside Victor Lindelof, Fred and Anthony Elanga.

They replaced Raphael Varane, Lisandro Martinez, Scott McTominay, Bruno Fernandes, Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford. Anthony Martial remained absent due to injury.

Ronaldo made just his second start of the season, while summer signing Casemiro started his first game for United against a Real Sociedad side including former Manchester City midfielder David Silva.

Earlier Cristiano Ronaldo, who was back in United’s starting line-up for the first time since August 13, thought he had put his side ahead in the first half but his powerful header from a Diogo Dalot cross was correctly ruled out for offside. .

The 37-year-old saw two more efforts miss the target after the break before Sociedad went past, while Casemiro – on his United debut – saw his long shot well saved by Alex Remiro as United looked for a equalizer.

However, that hasn’t happened and sees Erik ten Hag, who made six changes to his squad following Sunday’s win over Arsenal, lose his first European game as United manager.

United are bottom of Group E after Matchday 1, with Sheriff Tiraspol beating Omonia Nicosia 3-0 in Cyprus in the evening’s other game.

However, the result prompted a muted response from players and sideline staff at the final whistle in light of the sad news from Buckingham Palace.




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