Player ratings from Manchester United’s 0-0 2nd leg against Real Sociedad that allegedly happened.
Dean Henderson: 5/10
Only faced one shot. It was really easy. He saved it, but he didn’t save it cleanly. It didn’t hurt because no one was there but a shot that simple shouldn’t be spilled.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka: 6/10
Sociedad attacked his flank more than they did last week but he dealt with it fine and ran up and down the pitch for 45 minutes. Why was he even playing?
Eric Bailly: 6/10
From a defensive standpoint, you can see all his great qualities and why he should be playing more. On the ball you can see why he doesn’t play as much. He lacks that forward passing and drive that the other two center-backs have and the whole team suffers as a result.
Victor Lindelöf: 7/10
Made a great play at the back post early on. Looks really comfortable playing next to Bailly. Had to take on more ball progressing responsibilities with Harry Maguire out, and struggled with that. The captain’s absence was felt.
Alex Telles: 6/10
No Maguire, Paul Pogba, or Luke Shaw meant the ball progressing duties fell to him. That’s not his strong area but he did what he could. Solid defensively.
Ran around for 45 minutes and did what you expect Fred to do.
Nemanja Matić: 7/10
Continued to balance United and help them keep their shape. Got more adventurous in the second half when playing next to the anchoring Axel Tuanzebe, which answered the question of “what if your box to box midfielder was half decent, but really REALLY slow?”
Bruno Fernandes: 7/10
Never got out of first gear but still brought energy and a determination to try and win the game rather than just seeing it out. Was the only semblance of an attack United had.
Mason Greenwood: 5/10
Managed to get a chance early in the second half but fluffed it wide. Given United’s lack of passers on the pitch wasn’t a surprise he was relatively invisible.
Dan James: 7/10
Stood out with his energy getting up and down the pitch and helping out defensively. Made a great run into the box that was well saved, but keep doing that and the goals will come.
Anthony Martial: 5/10
Moved around well, made himself open to receive progressive passes, and forced a good save from Alex Remiro. Otherwise pretty invisible as United failed to get their forwards involved.
Axel Tuanzebe: 5/10
Played as a defensive midfielder. You can see why he’s not played there that often. Great header to score a goal that was called back thanks to Lindelöf’s flying knee to a Sociedad’s head.
Brandon Williams: 5/10
Ran around for 45 minutes. Didn’t give them much, though it’s questionable how much either team was even trying.
Marcus Rashford: 5/10
Got to wear the armband on the 5th anniversary of making his United debut. Played 45 minutes more than most would have liked to see, but at that point neither team was trying too hard so the risk was low. Given our recent injury record you’re probably more likely to get hurt in training than in an actual game.
Amad Diallo: 5/10
His best attributes were his defensive ones as he struggled to get involved on the ball. Not really surprising given United’s lack of direct passers on the pitch who could get it to him in open space.
Shola Shoretire: 5/10
Became United’s youngest ever player to appear in Europe. Does that mean anything? Well he tops a list that goes: Norman Whiteside, Mason Greenwood, Gary Neville, David Sadler, Regan Poole, George Best, Gerard Pique, Ryan Giggs, and Mads Timm. So... mixed bag.
CBS ALL ACCESS: 0/10
Second straight week they’ve muffed up the United stream. Their coverage of the Champions and Europa League is miles better than B/R Live and Fox Sports but then this happens twice? What the hell is going on over there?
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: 6/10
Saw out a professional win. Was able to (finally) rest Harry Maguire but injuries to Donny van de Beek, Edinson Cavani, and Juan Mata made resting both Bruno and Rashford impossible. Handled the situation well giving them each 45 minutes where they never kicked above first gear and letting Rashford wear the armband on his five year anniversary. The injuries were so bad United had to name three goalkeepers on the bench (poor Nathan Bishop couldn’t see any action).
Only questionable decision was starting Wan-Bissaka instead of Williams or Tuanzebe, and you can wonder why Fred was removed instead of Matić when we need to closely watch the latter’s minutes. Stayed true to his form of not hindering youngsters development by playing them out of position, or starting them before they’re ready, but gave them both valuable minutes to gain experience.