Manchester United comfortably secured their place in the Europa League last-16 draw after a 0-0 draw with Real Sociedad saw them progress 4-0 on aggregate.
It was a straightforward evening for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side at Old Trafford – with the headline event being the introduction off the bench of two of their brightest young stars.
The La Liga side – thumped 4-0 in Turin in the first leg – squandered an early chance from the spot. But they hardly laid a glove on United after that with Amad Traore and Shola Shoretire handed home European debuts for the Red Devils.
Axel Tuanzebe was denied a first goal for the club after a VAR review, while the crossbar was also rattled at either end in an otherwise pretty timid affair.
Sociedad made a bright start and won a penalty when Dan James got on the wrong side and brought down Andoni Gorosabel in the area.
However, Mikel Oyarzabal was too clever for his own good and after a hop, skip and jump blazed his spot-kick way off target.
The Basque outfit continued to press, however, with Adnan Januzaj at the heart of all their good work.
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A brilliant United move then almost saw the opener from Bruno Fernandes. The chance was created by Fred who, after dancing round the keeper, cut the ball back for the Portuguese. His first-time effort had to be sent airborne given the bodies between him and the goal. However, unfotunately for him, it cannoned off the crossbar with Sociedad then able to clear the danger.
James was the next to try his luck, latching on to Fernandes’ lofted pass, his header was comfortably saved by Alex Remiro.
That’s how the half finished, with neither making the breakthrough.
United brought on Marcus Rashford at half-time and he almost made an immediate impact. With the ball 25 yards from goal, his swerving free-kick completely bamboozled Remiro by just flew a yard wide.
The visitors were then unfortunate not to grab the lead themselves when Modibo Sagnan’s header slammed against the crossbar.
Mason Greenwood then worked some space down the right and saw a low drive hit the sidenetting.
Diallo, Shoretire given their chance
With 58 minutes on the clock, United handed a home debut to big January signing Diallo. His first touch saw him take the ball in a tight corner and dance round a Sociedad defender. A sign of great things to come for United….
Tuanzebe then thought he’d opened the scoring when his powerful header hit the back of the net following a corner. However, after a VAR review the goal was chalked off. That’s after Victor Lindelof clattered into a Sociedad’s Jon Bautista as the corner was floated over. The Swede also collected a yellow card for his troubles.
Anthony Martial was the next to try his luck when his drive was tipped over.
Another bright young hope, Shoretire, was then introduced off the bench.
However, the game finished goalless as United progressed 4-0 on aggregate. The draw for the next round will take place at midday on Friday, with TEAMtalk bringing you details of all eight ties.