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Manchester United v Real Sociedad: Europa League – live | Europa League

The whistle goes at the end of an unsurprisingly low-key first half.

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Manchester United: de Gea, Dalot, Lindelof, Maguire, Malacia, Eriksen, Casemiro, Fred, Antony, Ronaldo, Elanga.
Subs: Martinez, Bruno Fernandes, Varane, Heaton, Sancho, Wan-Bissaka, Dubravka, McTominay, Garnacho.

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Real Sociedad: Remiro, Gorosabel, Elustondo, Pacheco, Munoz, Zubimendi, Mendez, Merino, Silva, Sadiq, Kubo.
Subs: Sola, Illarramendi, Zubeldia, Barrenetxea, Cho, Zubiaurre, Guevara, Navarro, Sorloth, Turrientes, Gonzalez, Karrikaburu.

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Referee: Marco Di Bello (Italy).

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Yes, yes, Manchester United would rather be in the Champions League. But whenever they contest the Europa League, they take it seriously. The last two times they’ve started at the group stage, they’ve either gone on to win the competition (2017) or make it to the semis (2020). The last time they were parachuted into the competition from the Champions League, they reached the final (2021). If recent history is anything to go by, they’ll embark on another deep run this time round.

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Real Sociedad are first up. They’ve not started their La Liga campaign particuarly well – just two wins in their first four, plus a home 4-1 spanking by Barcelona – and they’ve recently lost their star striker Alexander Isak to Newcastle. But manager Imanol Alguacil is in bullish mood nonetheless, stating that “for me, there is only one big club, which is ours!” He’s promised to go all out for the win tonight, stating “I would not like to draw being shut inside the box. I would prefer to lose and with a team that goes for it. There is no other way. We have to be brave all of the time!”

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Erik ten Hag is likely to name a much-changed side from the 3-1 win over Arsenal. Casemiro could make his full debut, while newly styled bit-part players Cristiano Ronaldo and Harry Maguire may also start. Another run to the business end of the Europa League starts here? Kick off is at 8pm BST. It’s on!

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Key events

HALF TIME: Manchester United 0-0 Real Sociedad

The whistle goes at the end of an unsurprisingly low-key first half.

44 min: Antony latches onto a loose pass and feeds Elanga, who fails to release Ronaldo with an easy pass down the inside-right. Ronaldo shows a smidgen of frustration.

42 min: Ronaldo scampers after a long pass down the right and hooks into the mixer, but the chase wasn’t worth it. There’s nobody up with him, and La Real’s captain Elustondo clears up with ease.

40 min: Antony has been quiet so far, but now he escapes from a tight spot near the right-hand corner flag by knocks the ball around Munoz and haring into the box after it. But Merino comes across and blooters a clearance straight into him. The ball ricochets towards Remiro, who doesn’t drop this one.

39 min: Merino meets the corner, coming in from the left, at the near post. He attempts to flick into the six-yard box, but falls over his own feet, allowing the hosts to clear.

38 min: Sadiq intercepts a loose pass and drives towards the United box down the left. He’s about to shoot when Casemiro arrives to block out for a corner.

36 min: Dalot curls in from the right. Ronaldo rises and hangs in the air. He powers a header towards the top right. Remiro gets a hand to it, but can’t stop it hitting the underside of the bar and flying into the net. What a header! Unfortunately, he was clearly offside when the cross came in, and the flag goes up accordingly.

Ronaldo has the ball in the net from a powerful header but had strayed offside.
Ronaldo has the ball in the net from a powerful header but had strayed offside. Photograph: Oli Scarff / AFP / Getty Images

34 min: Ronaldo channels his salad days by dribbling at pace down the inside left. He nearly busts his way through a thicket of players, but has to settle for a corner, from which nothing comes.

32 min: The game falls a little flat again. Nobody could find fault.

30 min: Fred shoots from distance. His effort by him pings off the back of Elanga and away from danger.

29 min: United ping it around the middle awhile. The sort of confident possession that didn’t look within their wheelhouse a month ago. Erik ten Hag has got to work quickly.

27 min: A poor Lindelof headed clearance drops to Silva, whose first-time cushioned pass drops to Mendez on the penalty spot. He’s got to hit the target at least, but sends his instant shot wide left. That was a glorious opportunity for La Real to take the lead.

25 min: Fred spins and finds Eriksen in space down the inside-left channel. He dinks a cute reverse pass towards Ronaldo, on the penalty spot. Ronaldo takes a touch only for the ball to rear up, allowing Pacheco to nip in and head out for a corner. Nothing comes of that set piece either.

23 min: Elanga turns on the jets and swans past Gorosabel as though the Sociedad right-back wasn’t there. He reaches the byline and cuts back for Fred, who is in a pocket of space in the box but clips his shot off the nearest defender. Just a corner, and nothing comes from that.

Anthony Elanga is causing all sorts of problems for Real Sociedad down the left.
Anthony Elanga is causing all sorts of problems for Real Sociedad down the left. Photograph: Jan Kruger / UEFA / Getty Images

21 min: A few pantomime boos as Silva picks up possession. Otherwise, it’s become pretty subdued again, understandably so. An awful lot of emotional energy will be spent during the next couple of weeks.

Boooooo etc.
Boooooo etc. Photograph: Craig Brough / Reuters

19 min: Munoz and Silva attempt to open up United with a one-two down the inside-left channel. Silva’s return pass is uncharacteristically clunky, and Dalot can intercept and clear.

17 min: Eriksen glides down the inside-right channel and loops a pass towards Ronaldo on the penalty spot. Ronaldo winds his neck back to power a header goalwards, but the cross is just a little bit too high. United beginning to get a few things together.

16 min: A fine pass by Dalot from the right-back position to set Ronaldo scampering, mind.

14 min: A long ball down the middle nearly releases Ronaldo. The younger version would have zipped clear and shot, but this veteran one allows Gorosabel to get back into position and nick the ball away. Turns out the flag went up for offside anyway.

Old man Ronaldo.
Old man Ronaldo. Photograph: Dave Thompson / AP

13 min: Remiro dallies with the ball at his feet, hoping to draw United forward before picking a pass further upfield. He then flays it straight out of play for a throw.

11 min: Merino curls a cross into the United box from a deep position on the left. Just too strong for Sadiq, who was in a bit of space just inside the area on the right.

9 min: Silva slides in late on Fred. Some pernickety referees would flash yellow, but there didn’t seem to be any malice in the tackle, and – quite rightly – it’s no more than a free kick.

8 min: Malacia picks up a loose ball and moves down the inside-left channel. He feeds Fred infield, and keeps going in the hope of receiving a return pass. But Fred’s dink forward flies out for a goal kick.

6 min: Manchester was home to David Silva for ten years. He’s enjoying his return to the city during these early exchanges, probing down both flanks. Sociedad are seeing their fair share of the ball.

4 min: Fred floats a ball into the Sociedad box. Remiro should claim, but he drops the ball under absolutely no pressure whatsoever. He gets away with it as Gorosabel tidies up.

2 min: Both sets of fans get a little atmosphere going with a smattering of song. Otherwise, a tentative start.

Sociedad, whose fans had raised their scarves in a show of respect, kick off. There’s a strange, subdued, surreal atmosphere, as you’d expect in the circumstances.

A minute of silence in memory of Queen Elizabeth II. A poignant moment, perfectly observed by all in Old Trafford.

silence
Photograph: Craig Brough / Reuters
Minutes' silence
Photograph: Craig Brough / Reuters

The teams take to the pitch. Manchester United wear red shirts and white shorts, while Real Sociedad sport second-choice black. Both teams wear black armbands in memory of Queen Elizabeth II.

A lovely stat here. Thanks to our man Daniel Harris for sourcing this tweet.

Today at Old Trafford,Real and United will play with 2 amazing records

United has been playing 4,153 games(85 years) in a row with at least 1 own youth player in the squad

La Real has been playing 2,745 games(65 years)in a row with at least 1 own youth player in its starting 11 pic.twitter.com/3G9qmcvFQU

— Atotxa.org (@atotxaorg) September 8, 2022

n”,”url”:”https://twitter.com/atotxaorg/status/1567811907943366657″,”id”:”1567811907943366657″,”hasMedia”:false,”role”:”inline”,”isThirdPartyTracking”:false,”source”:”Twitter”,”elementId”:”7247ceba-218b-47b9-8249-d76839051bbb”}}”>

Today at Old Trafford, Real and United will play with 2 amazing records

United has been playing 4,153 games (85 years) in a row with at least 1 own youth player in the squad

La Real has been playing 2,745 games (65 years) in a row with at least 1 own youth player in its starting 11 pic.twitter.com/3G9qmcvFQU

– Atotxa.org (@atotxaorg) September 8, 2022

United have never lost to Real Sociedad. They were paired for the first time in the 2013-14 Champions League groups, United winning their home tie 1-0 thanks to an early Inigo Martinez own goal, then drawing 0-0 in San Sebastián. They were again drawn together in the Round of 32 of the 2020/21 Europa League, United winning 4-0 in Turin – the tie had been moved to a neutral venue as a result of Spanish Covid restrictions – with Bruno Fernandes scoring twice, Marcus Rashford and Dan James getting the others. The return leg at Old Trafford was another goalless draw.

1963: Queen Elizabeth II presents the FA Cup to Noel Cantwell. Manchester United had beaten Leicester City 3-1 in the Wembley final.

As expected, Manchester United hand a full debut to Casemiro. Cristiano Ronaldo and Harry Maguire both return to the starting line-up, as Erik ten Hag makes six changes to the starting XI named against Arsenal last weekend. Victor Lindelof, Fred and Antony Elanga also come in to face a Real Sociedad side including former Manchester City star David Silva.

The teams

Manchester United: de Gea, Dalot, Lindelof, Maguire, Malacia, Eriksen, Casemiro, Fred, Antony, Ronaldo, Elanga.
Subs: Martinez, Bruno Fernandes, Varane, Heaton, Sancho, Wan-Bissaka, Dubravka, McTominay, Garnacho.

Real Sociedad: Remiro, Gorosabel, Elustondo, Pacheco, Munoz, Zubimendi, Mendez, Merino, Silva, Sadiq, Kubo.
Subs: Sola, Illarramendi, Zubeldia, Barrenetxea, Cho, Zubiaurre, Guevara, Navarro, Sorloth, Turrientes, Gonzalez, Karrikaburu.

Referee: Marco Di Bello (Italy).

The passing of Queen Elizabeth II was announced by Buckingham Palace at 6.30pm this evening. Manchester United have made the following statement regarding tonight’s match.

Following direction from the FA and Uefa, tonight’s Uefa Europa League fixture against Real Sociedad will take place as planned at Old Trafford.

A minute’s silence will be held before kick-off which will allow the teams, match officials and everyone in attendance to pay their respects to Her Majesty, The Queen. Both teams will wear black armbands and the flags at Old Trafford will fly at half-mast as a sign of our utmost respect.

The club has issued a statement regarding this evening's game at Old Trafford, following the death of Her Royal Highness The Queen Elizabeth II.

— Manchester United (@ManUtd) September 8, 2022

n”,”url”:”https://twitter.com/ManUtd/status/1567933687806808074″,”id”:”1567933687806808074″,”hasMedia”:false,”role”:”inline”,”isThirdPartyTracking”:false,”source”:”Twitter”,”elementId”:”835a0e82-016d-427c-b60e-0687e83cd753″}}”>

The club has issued a statement regarding this evening’s game at Old Trafford, following the death of Her Royal Highness The Queen Elizabeth II.

– Manchester United (@ManUtd) September 8, 2022

Preamble

Yes, yes, Manchester United would rather be in the Champions League. But whenever they contest the Europa League, they take it seriously. The last two times they’ve started at the group stage, they’ve either gone on to win the competition (2017) or make it to the semis (2020). The last time they were parachuted into the competition from the Champions League, they reached the final (2021). If recent history is anything to go by, they’ll embark on another deep run this time round.

Real Sociedad are first up. They’ve not started their La Liga campaign particuarly well – just two wins in their first four, plus a home 4-1 spanking by Barcelona – and they’ve recently lost their star striker Alexander Isak to Newcastle. But manager Imanol Alguacil is in bullish mood nonetheless, stating that “for me, there is only one big club, which is ours!” He’s promised to go all out for the win tonight, stating “I would not like to draw being shut inside the box. I would prefer to lose and with a team that goes for it. There is no other way. We have to be brave all of the time! “

Erik ten Hag is likely to name a much-changed side from the 3-1 win over Arsenal. Casemiro could make his full debut, while newly styled bit-part players Cristiano Ronaldo and Harry Maguire may also start. Another run to the business end of the Europa League starts here? Kick off is at 8pm BST. It’s on!

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