Manchester United suffered a shock defeat to Real Sociedad in their opening Europa League game on Thursday. United lost 1-0 to Real Sociedad at Old Trafford. The game’s only goal was scored in the 59th minute in controversial circumstances.
Lisandro Martinez, introduced as a half-time substitute, was deemed to have handled the ball in the box as he blocked a close-range David Silva shot, despite the former Manchester City midfielder’s effort deflecting off the Argentine’s thigh first.
Italian referee, Marco Di Bello, immediately awarded a penalty and after being checked by VAR, his decision stood. Brais Mendez stepped up to give Sociedad the lead as his powerful and precise spot-kick was too good for David de Gea.
Earlier, Cristiano Ronaldo, who was back in the United starting line-up for the first time since August 13, thought he had put his side ahead in the first half, but his powerful header from a Diogo Dalot cross was correctly ruled out for offside.
The 37-year-old saw two more efforts miss the target after the break before Sociedad went in front, while Casemiro – making his full United debut – saw his shot from distance well saved by Alex Remiro as United went in search of an equaliser.
However, it didn’t arrive and sees Erik ten Hag, who made six changes to his side following Sunday’s victory over Arsenal, lose his opening European fixture as United manager. United are bottom of Group E after the opening matchday, with Sheriff Tiraspol beating Omonia Nicosia 3-0 in Cyprus in the evening’s other fixture.