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Manchester United 0-0 Real Sociedad: Rotated squad seal passage to Round of 16 with goalless draw

Business done and dusted, onto the Round of 16...

Manchester United v Real Sociedad - UEFA Europa League Round Of 32 Leg Two Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Manchester United and Real Sociedad played out a goalless draw in the second leg of their Round of 32 Europa League tie, giving the Red Devils a 4-0 aggregate win and passage to the Round of 16. Despite CBS’ best efforts the game was available for viewing, as long as you were willing to cycle through the different streams to find whichever mismatched one featured United.

Former United player Adnan Januzaj pulled the strings early for the Spanish visitors, but United still looked the stronger side despite the multiple squad rotations. In the 12th minute Daniel James gifted Real Sociedad a penalty. Taken by the captain Ozyarabal, the shot was blasted well wide of Dean Henderson’s goal, a penalty effort that would go on to embody how defeated Real Sociedad looked in this second leg.

Bruno Fernandes, who should have scored just before Real Sociedad’s penalty, nearly scored on an open net. It wasn’t quite so easy as that, as he had to try and dip it over scrambling defenders, and he nearly converted, just barely hitting the lower part of the crossbar. United hadn’t had the most comfortable of starts, but still looked in control. Bruno, who was captain for the day, looked to get his teammates involved as well. Anthony Martial in particular was drawn into the game in the first half, targeted by teammates as he attempted to shake off bad form.

The 0-0 halftime score just about told the story of the first half, but United really should have added a fifth goal to their aggregate lead over the Spanish visitors.

Marcus Rashford came on early in the second half, giving Martial the rest of the day off and marking 5 years to the day that he came in as a late starter against DC Midtjylland. He was joined by Axel Tuanzebe and Brandon Williams, replacing Fred and Aaron Wan-Bissaka respectively.

Amad Diallo came on as well aroimd the hour mark, but was forced to do so because of an injury to Daniel James. The changes gave United more energy, but the tie seemed settled before kickoff.

The breakthrough was thought to have come in the 63rd minute through Axel Tuanzebe, who scored what would have been his first goal for Manchester United by meeting a corner at the near post with a determined header. VAR took a close look because of a high jump by Lindelof, and the goal was disallowed with a yellow card for Lindelof.

Real Sociedad gained some late chances, including one on target from range, but Dean Henderson was never truly challenged. Anthony Martial too found some looks in the second half, but his desperation for a goal wasn’t quite enough to break through in a game that felt done and dusted since the early minutes. The game ended 0-0, and United were through to the next round.