Real Sociedad defeated Manchester United 1-0 at Old Trafford in the Europa League, snapping their four-game winning streak.
Both teams’ players donned black armbands in remembrance of Queen Elizabeth II, who passed away earlier in the evening, September 8, 2022. A minute of silence was also held by everyone present inside the stadium before kickoff.
Since the news broke when Old Trafford was already filled, UEFA concluded it was too late to postpone the match. Announcements were understated, and the branding on the advertising boards was muted while the game went on under a subdue atmosphere.
The lone goal of the contest was scored under questionable circumstances in the 59th minute. Despite David Silva’s close-range drive rebounding off the Argentine’s thigh before crossing the goal line, Lisandro Martinez, who came on as a halftime substitute, was adjudged to have handled the ball in the box.
After being verified by VAR, Italian referee Marco Di Bello instantly called for a penalty, and his call stood. David de Gea was unable to stop Brais Mendez’s strong and accurate penalty kick as Sociedad took the lead.
For the first time since August 13, Cristiano Ronaldo was back in the starting lineup for Manchester United. Ronaldo initially believed he had given his team the lead, but his forceful header from a Diogo Dalot cross in the 36th minute was rightfully ruled out for offside.
After the break, the 37-year-old had two more shots go wide before Sociedad took the lead. As the hosts sought a tying goal late on, Casemiro, who was making his complete United debut, saw a shot from a distance superbly saved by Alex Remiro.
Erik ten Hag, who made six team changes after Sunday’s triumph over Arsenal, lost his first European game in charge of United in front of the club’s home fans.
After 59 minutes, Brais Mendez converted the lone penalty after a controversial handball call against substitute Lisandro Martinez.
At the start of the second half, Ronaldo also headed a cross from Bruno Fernandes wide.
On September 15, Manchester United will play Sheriff Tiraspol in Moldova in their second group match.
For the first time in their history, Real Sociedad scores against Manchester United and then defeated them at Old Trafford.
Although the penalty call in their favor seemed questionable, La Real’s overall performance was quite good. On a somber night at Old Trafford, they celebrated a historic triumph.
Silva aims to send a curler into the top-left corner after the corner has been worked. His bullet strikes Martinez’s hip, then travels up and onto his arm. The referee identified the incident, then recorded Fernandes for complaint.
That outcome checked Erik ten Hag’s recent upward trend and placed Manchester United on the defensive in Group E.
Only the group winners advance directly to the knockout round; the second-place team must play a club eliminated from the Champions League.
In the other group match, Sheriff defeated Omonia Nicosia 3-0.