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5 things we learned from Manchester United's 1-0 win vs Real Sociedad in the Europa League

Yusuf Haq

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5 things we learned from Manchester United's 1-0 win vs Real Sociedad in the Europa League

It was a win, but it wasn't enough. Manchester United emerged victorious in San-Sebastián but will have to play an extra two Europa League fixtures.

Alejandro Garnacho's early goal gave United hope that they would make it through as group winners with a two goal win, but a poor second half showing meant that The Reds only won by one.

Here are five things UtdDistrict learnt from the 1-0 win:

#1: United need an Antony backup

Antony's signing for £85m this summer turned heads, but he provided a needed profile in Manchester United's team - particularly for Erik ten Hag's style of play.

In the last couple of matches without this profile due to a small injury, despite winning it is evident how much United need it, as without it they lack width.

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If he is not back for Villa on the weekend, even though he is right footed a run-out for Facundo Pellistri could be needed just to provide some width.

#2: Alejandro Garnacho is a star

The young Argentina winger scored his first of what fans hope will be many goals for United tonight, and it was an extremely well taken finish on his weaker left foot.

Alejando Garnacho scored the winning goal as Manchester United beat Real Sociedad 1-0 on Thursday (Image: Alamy)
Alejando Garnacho scored the winning goal as Manchester United beat Real Sociedad 1-0 on Thursday (Image: Alamy)

When he did have the ball, he looked to make things happen and was United's only real wide threat in attack all game. The result may not have been what United needed, but they have a star on their hands.

#3: Harry Maguire out of favour?

With one centre back coming off with a knock, it would usually make sense to replace him with another centre back with over half an hour left to play.

Despite this, Erik ten Hag overlooked Harry Maguire when Victor Lindelöf came off injured at this point, instead bringing on Scott McTominay and going for what looked like a 3-3-3-1.

Before the game too, the Dutchman said that Lindelöf had earned his starting place over Maguire because of his performances. With the World Cup around the corner, Maguire will be anxious what his lack of minutes for club mean for the tournament.

#4: United need to strengthen the squad still

The lack of an Antony backup was already mentioned, but Erik ten Hag needs a much stronger squad than the one he has if he wants to rebuild Manchester United.

Some players are not good enough, some do not have the required profile, and some positions do not have enough strength in depth. Tonight was another reminder that more work still needs to be done.

#5: United victims of poor refereeing decisions again

The first leg was lost due to a penalty being given that should not be a penalty in any universe, essentially a punishment for Lisandro Martínez having arms rather than actually using them against the rules.

Today was yet another poor refereeing display against Manchester United, and because of it the side will have to play two extra fixtures in what is already the most congested football season ever.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Manchester United, Europa League, Real Sociedad, Alejandro Garnacho, Antony, Football

Yusuf Haq
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