Real Sociedad 4-0 Manchester United: 3 Things We Learned

Manchester United's Bruno Fernandes.

Pool via REUTERS/Shaun Botterill

A comfortable European night in Turin for Manchester United, as the away side registered a 4-0 win over Real Sociedad in the Europa League round of 32.

Bruno Fernandes led the United attack with a brace before Marcus Rashford and Daniel James added to the scoreline to ensure there’s no hope left for a second-leg fight-back in La Real’s camp.

1. Clean sheet for Vocal Henderson

While Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be pleased with the number of goals his side scored, a rare cleansheet will be the biggest positive to take home for the United boss.

Adnan Januzaj’s early miss was the only time Real Sociedad threatened Dean Henderson’s goal. Despite a quiet night between the sticks, his instructions to his teammates throughout the game were audible in an empty stadium.


2. Finish Like Haaland

Rashford was directly involved in two goals tonight, setting the opener for Fernandes and grabbing a goal of his own in the second-half. Further, he could have scored two more had he not squandered easy goal-scoring opportunities early on in the game.

Although it seems harsh to criticise him following another productive display, the Englishman needs to become more composed in such situations to avoid frustration in tight encounters.

Despite earning massive praises for his brace against Sevilla in the Champions League, Erling Haaland’s overall display wasn’t any better than that of the United forward. The Norwegian was just more predatory. In order to be talked about in the same breath as Haaland and Mbappe, Rashford needs to follow the suit.


3. Disappointing Opposition Scouting

Imanol Alguacil’s tactical setup was naive to say the least. The game was effectively over after the opening goal, as the decision to play high – without any plan to stop United in transition – led to the away side’s next three goals.

The Spanish tactician will have to come up with a different plan for the second leg fixture, or else the aggregate score of the tie could be in the region of Southampton’s 9-0 thrashing at the Theatre of Dreams.