Manchester United have returned to Europa League knockout rounds for the second year in a row and we could already pretty much say they are through to the next round! The Red Devils have been so good against Real Sociedad beating them 4-0 away from home – away from both teams’ homes, since the match had to be played in Turin, at Juventus’ stadium, due to coronavirus pandemic. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side shined throughout, as Bruno Fernandes scored a brace, before Marcus Rashford made it three with almost 30 minutes left. Daniel James made it 4-0 in the dying minutes of the match, just to seal the entire two-legged affair.
Here is what we learned from this big United win.
Fernandes Shows His Quality
Bruno Fernandes was there for Man United to show his qualities in the Champions League too, but now the team had to take a step down to Europa League, it is not a surprise that the Portuguese’ qualities shine even brighter. It was Fernandes who scored the opener just before the half hour mark, before doubling the score at the start of second half. Both of his goals came after clever finishes, when he took the most out of the current situation and Real Sociedad’s defensive issues. After such a fine performance, former Sporting man can count on getting a day off next Thursday.
James And Greenwood Get Their Chances
Since the moment everyone realised Man United will have to play Europa League this season, most fans realised this was going to be a chance for younger players to get their playing minutes and also for Solskjaer to rotate his side and keep the players fresh. It was not a surprise then to see changes in the team, but it was interesting to see Mason Greenwood finally start as the centre-forward. James, on the other hand, had to play on the right, which is not his favourite place. Both players did well, although their performances started getting better only as the time was passing by. In the end, James even got himself on the scoresheet.
Real Sociedad Defensively Soft
Real Sociedad have shown something that many Spanish teams show – good skills on the ball and the slickness in possession. But that was far from enough to do more against United. Real Sociedad maybe have been slick with the ball, but ultimately, their defensive issues had shown and they were very soft in that regard, which the two opening goals further illustrate. They will now have to focus on La Liga, where they are in fifth place, still very far from the fourth place which leads to Champions League. That might be a too big of a task for this team.
Diallo Makes Man United Debut
It was a great moment 83 minutes into the match, when we had the chance to see Mason Greenwood give his place to Amad Diallo. The youngster who shined for the youth team ever since arriving from Atalanta got his first team debut in a European game.
Obviously, there was not much time for him to do something more meaningful, but the fans did not miss the fact that he needed just seven minutes to complete three take-ons and make everyone wonder what the future holds for him at Man United…