PLAYER REVIEWS: Fred fails to take on a more sophisticated role as Manchester United slip to surprise Europa League defeat at Old Trafford… but Christian Eriksen’s creativity offers positives for Erik ten Hag’s side
- Manchester United slipped to loss in opening night in Europa League group stage
- Erik ten Hag’s team struggled in attack despite controversial defeat
- Cristiano Ronaldo endured a bad night in front of Old Trafford’s goal
- But his teammates fared slightly better in Real Sociedad’s 1-0 defeat
Manchester United slipped to an opening night loss in the Europa League after being surprisingly beaten 1-0 at home by Real Sociedad in their first group match.
On a bleak night in the UK after the sad passing of Queen Elizabeth, United failed to get into top gear en route to a controversial defeat to the Spanish side.
A highly controversial penalty kick led Sociedad to take a shot from 12 yards to seal the win, but did one of United’s players impress boss Erik ten Hag on Thursday night? Sportsmail looks at how the Dutch side scores.
Manchester United 4-3-3
David de Gea – 6
A quiet game for the United stopper who barely made a valuable save after the penalty kick all evening. Guessed right with the spot kick but couldn’t get a clean hand to keep it out.
David de Gea just failed to catch Real Sociedad’s penalty in Manchester United’s loss
Diogo Dalot – 6.5
Attempted to attack the wing but maybe a little too much and better teams would have taken advantage of the gaps left behind him. Substituted at half time but unlikely due to poor performance and his departure was probably already planned.
Victor Lindelof – 6
Decent performance in the first half despite not much going on but seemed to struggle in the second period as Sociedad started exploiting space to United’s right.
Harry Maguire – 6
Needed a clean slate with a positive performance. Didn’t get the first but the England centre-back did little wrong on an otherwise tidy night for the underfire star.
Harry Maguire did little wrong in United’s defense despite his side’s defeat at Old Trafford
Tyrell Malacia – 6.5
Showed potential and looked dangerous at times to attack the left side. Late on, but this was far from a poor performance from the summer signing.
Christian Eriksen – 7
On another night, he would definitely have grabbed an assist. United’s most threatening player with many weighted crosses and passes in the penalty area that would have greatly encouraged Ten Hag on the sidelines. United missed his threat in the second half.
Christian Eriksen was United’s most dangerous player before retiring at halftime
Casemir – 6.5
The Brazilian’s full-length debut won’t exactly go down in history as a memorable debut, nor will it be known as a disaster. Had little to protect United’s defense but did manage to come back often when called upon and made a crucial block.
Fred – 5
Ten Hag experimented with the Brazilian in the first period with a more advanced role. Saw a lot of the ball but couldn’t make a fitting last pass and the experiment was stopped in the second half when he fell deeper. Booked in for a bad challenge.
Fred couldn’t shine in a more advanced role and had little influence after falling deeper
Anthony – 6.5
Looked good on the ball with his usual tricks but there was no end product from the attacker although he saved a decent effort well.
Cristiano Ronaldo – 6.5
Heavily involved but this is not the Ronaldo of yesteryear. Constantly offside, also because of his disallowed goal, which he managed brilliantly with a jumping header. Faded badly as United withered in the second half.
Cristiano Ronaldo had a night to forget in front of goal after seeing a header disallowed
Anthony Elanga – 6.5
Connected well with teammates, but didn’t get in the way of scoring opportunities. Just as ineffective as Antony was on the other side.
Lisandro Martinez – 6.5
Played out on a header early in the second half, but improved as the half progressed and was penalized very severely for the penalty call that went against him.
Bruno Fernandes – 6.5
Came through for the second half and immediately impressed with a cross that headed Ronaldo wide. Then almost nothing for the rest of the half.
Bruno Fernandes couldn’t offer the same creativity as Eriksen after his intermission
Jadon Sancho – 6
Came through the final 20 minutes with United chasing the game but barely contributing, narrowly failing to make it to the end of a Fred cross as its highlight.
Charlie McNeill – 6
Made his debut in the last five minutes, but far too late to have any impact.
Alejandro Garnacho -6
Came along with Sancho but also failed to get United into gear.