Madrid, Nov 6 (IANS) Real Sociedad and Manchester United drew their Champions League tie in the Anoeta Stadium 0-0 Tuesday night in a result which will please the English side much more that the Basques.
Although the draw means Real Sociedad have taken their first point in the competition and mathematically they still have a chance of reaching the last 16 of the competition, the reality is they need a miracle to even finish third in the group and qualify for the Europa League in the New Year and the home fans will be disappointed by a seeming lack of ambition from their side over the 90 minutes of the game, reported Xinhua.
Both sides began confidently with Manchester United happy to play the ball in their own half and wait for the chance to hit the Basque outfit on the break and they almost got their reward when Patrice Evra crossed for Shinji Kagawa, who is now getting more time on the pitch from coach David Moyes.
Claudio Bravo had to be attentive to block a dangerous Kagawa cross.
The home side’s best chance of the half came just ahead of the half hour when Imanol Agirretxe slipped when presented by a opportunity thanks to the good work of David Zurutuza.
Real Sociedad looked to open the full width of the pitch in an open game and just before the break Alberto De la Bella saw a shot go just wide of the David de Gea’s left hand post.
Real Sociedad had been guilty of being timid in the first half but came out of the blocks in the second period with a clear desire to try and take control of the game with an ambition which had been lacking in the first 45 minutes.
However, it was United who missed the best chance of the game so far when Javier Hernandez sent Kagawa’s cross over the bar from inside of the six yard box.
The English side appeared to be playing with one eye on their game this coming weekend and with 25 minutes remaining David Moyes replaced the ever-dangerous Wayne Rooney and Hernandez with Robin Van Persie and Ashley Young and their first act was to combine for Van Persie to hit the post with a left foot shot.
Manchester United were generously given a penalty with just over 20 minutes to go when Young took advantage of a slightest of touches from Markel Bergara to fall to the ground, but Bravo was the hero with a fine save to deny Van Persie and keep his side in the game.
At the other end Carlos Vela went close with his chest as he tried to deflect Xabi Preito’s shot, but Real Sociedad coach Jagoba Arrasate looked to have given up the ghost when he replaced forwards Agirretxe and Griezmann with Chori Castro and Haris Seferovic, who was booed by the home fans after a gesture he made to them at the weekend.
Marouane Fellaini was sent off for United in the last minute, but even with a player less against them, the home side seemed almost scared to try and win the game although Seferovic wasted a half chance when his control let him down.