By Lee Savery.
Manchester United secured a point in a bore draw in Spain but remain top of group A.
After a first half with hardly any openings for either side, the away side finally started to create some opportunities. The first of these fell to Javier Hernandez when he smashed over Shinji Kagawa’s cross from inside the box. With an empty net waiting, it was easier to score. It was no surprise that the Mexican started tonight after his manager’s glowing words about him after Hernandez had used Twitter to retweet an article suggesting he should leave the club.
Robin van Persie, who was a second half substitute, would also miss a sitter as he turned Ashley Young’s cross onto the post. He would later hit that same post from the penalty spot after Young had been dragged down by Sociedad defender Markel Bergara, although replays showed that the England winger had fallen rather easily. Just another act of simulation on an already tarnished reputation.
The home side were poor for much of the game and hardly tested David de Gea. However, former Arsenal player Carlos Vela saw a late effort almost turned in by Xabi Prieto’s chest. The final ten minutes dawdled by before Marouane Fellaini was sent off for a second yellow card.
The point for United kept them top of Group A as Bayer Leverkusen & Shakhtar Donetsk also drew a blank in their match. This will be a three points missed against poor opposition and a misstep on the journey to the knockout stages. United had enough opportunities to win but their finishing was poor. Progression is still in the team’s hands and a win in Germany against Leverkusen will see them progress to the next round.
A disappointing night for David Moyes’ men but they remain in control of their group.
United team: De Gea, Smalling, Evra, Ferdinand, Vidic, Valencia, Fellaini, Giggs, Kagawa (Jones 91′), Hernández (Young 63′), Rooney (van Persie 63).
Unused substitutes: Lindegaard, Büttner, Anderson, Nani.
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