Wednesday

Young and Fellaini not the only villains in Manchester United's draw in Spain

The Premier League champions were held 0-0 in a disappointing draw against Real Sociedad on Tuesday night. Manchester United spurned an opportunity to put one foot in the knockout rounds of the Champions League on Tuesday night. The English side should have recorded victory over a lacklustre Real Sociedad side in Spain, but lacked the clinical edge to convert chances. Two main villains in the piece have been repeat offenders, with United fans given another opportunity to be frustrated with Ashley Young and Marouane Fellaini. Young was introduced as a second-half substitute, and looked lively from his berth on the wing. However, another questionable dive will have had the travelling support squirming in their seats. The England star’s conduct has been questioned both last season and already this term, with Young guilty of going down too easily under pressure. He has been booked for diving this season, and David Moyes has been vocal in his desire for his players to be honest. However, the slightest of touches allowed the ex-Aston Villa winger to hit the deck once more to win a penalty for his side. No-one wants a diver in their team, and another example of dishonesty opens Young up to further criticism. Fellaini was given an opportunity to boss the United midfielder in Michael Carrick’s absence, but was needlessly sent off in the clash. Prior to this he has shown some neat touches and predominantly kept possession, without threatening overly in the final third. However, his dismissal is another reason for Moyes and the United fans to be frustrated with the Belgian after an underwhelming start to life in Manchester. Although Young and Fellaini will be subject to abuse after the draw, a host of other United players are not exempt from the fans’ disappointment. Although it shouldn’t have been a penalty in the first place, Robin van Persie’s miss from the spot compounded a poor team performance. Javier Hernandez started the game and was guilty of missing a gilt-edged chance to win the game also. Finally, Wayne Rooney was uncharacteristically quiet, and United actually looked more of a threat when the England man was substituted. Both full-backs Patrice Evra and Chris Smalling will be disappointed with their delivery after finding space to cross, while Antonio Valencia was wasteful also. There are not many positives to be taken from the game, but one that stood out was Shinji Kagawa’s performance. The Japan international has spent the majority of the campaign looking on from the sidelines, but looked like a threat here. The ex-Borussia Dortmund man looked especially dangerous when moved into the number ten role following Rooney’s substitution, and his performance will encourage Moyes to use him more regularly than he has been so far this term. With in-form Arsenal to play at the weekend, United’s key players will need to improve if the side are to get a positive result at Old Trafford.

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