The Champions League Match this Wednesday was a crucial step in the right direction with Manchester United's confidence as well as giving the manager more trust in a few highly anticipated players who are also fan favorites. Real Sociedad came into Old Trafford with confidence though not having picked up any points yet in the group yet, but by the second minute Rooney had made a few world class touches just on top of the box between 3 Real Sociedad defenders only to have his shot hit off the far right post.
The Old Trafford Aura must have been around this evening, with Wayne Rooney's shot hitting the post it only fell right back into the center of the box and Martinez accidentally kicks the ball into the net for an own goal. This is just what the doctor ordered, Manchester United were in need to get things off to a fast start to keep their Champions League record unbeaten this season. The real question though was could they chalk up a clean sheet after having been on a string of games without doing so, the answer to that would be yes.
Though the game only had the one score the match provided United fans with much joy when Kagawa and Chicharito got the nod to start. Kagawa looked especially sharp, however he played out left for most of the match only until the second half getting his chance to venture into his preferred role as the number 10 with the substitutions. Both Chicharito and Rafael which he had a first half yellow card, were taken off and replaced with Ashley Young and Chris Smalling.
Mr ‘Old Man’ Ryan Giggs looked like he was 18 again in this match and not only was he making superb passes as he always does, but the pace he was showing against the opposition was almost shocking. Putting in the full 90 minutes it also seems this might not be the last season we see him put on the Red Devils jersey under the Old Trafford lights. Paired with Carrick they showed confidence, though Real Sociedad are not as physical as Stock City will be next match in the Premier League, it will be interesting who Moyes pairs up in the middle.
The man of the match for me was Kagawa, though Ryan Giggs and Wayne Rooney both need to be mentioned for their performances as well. Kagawa though had just a spark about him and was gushing confidence as the game went on. A few dazzling little flicks, passes and spins saw United having more that a few opportunities to seal off the match with multiple goals. It was good to see the players going in and attacking the defenders one on one instead of standing on the ball looking for openings. Switching up the gameplay was something that needed to happen. Hopefully now Kagawa can get into the first team more and with speculations of Rooney leaving at some point next year, it will be perfect time to slip him in behind the forwards and help create a more potent attacking threat.
Key Stats of the game.
Shots on Goal: 18(5) Manchester United - 12(1) Real Sociedad
Tackles: 19 Manchester United - 20 Real Sociedad
Fouls: 19 Manchester United - 14 Real Sociedad
Possession: 55% Manchester United - 45% Real Sociedad
Goals: Own Goal on Real Sociedad by Martinez