English heavyweights Manchester United succeeded in brushing off the criticism following the recent slump in the Premier League campaign with a splendid victory over Real Sociedad. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men struck four times against Real Sociedad in the first leg of the round of 32 of Europa League. Interestingly, the LaLiga outfit managed to maintain possession for a significant part of the game but could not convert their chances well.
Bruno Fernandes bagged the opener in the 27th minute courtesy of a defensive debacle from Real Sociedad. Marcus Rashford picked the ball before scooping it over to Fernandes. Alex Remiro went ahead to claim possession but he was put off by his own teammate Robin Le Normand, with both the players ending on the floor. Thus, the Portuguese international scored past the open net.
Fernandes went on to double the lead in the second half. Daniel James produced a brilliant display to assist the Portuguese international, but the linesman was quick to point offside. A thorough Video Assistant Referee (VAR) check suggested that Fernandes was well on side and the goal was allowed.
Rashford made it 3-0 in the 64th minute from a quick counter. Dean Henderson lobbed the ball towards Fred who then reached out to the England international for him to net past Remiro. Man United weren't done for the night despite the three-goal lead at Allianz Stadium.
Daniel James went on to strike the fourth goal of the night for the Red Devils in the 90th minute. The Wales international produced an incredible run on the right flank before successfully attempting a sensational shot past Remiro to seal the tie for the Old Trafford outfit.
Interestingly, Real Sociedad maintained possession for a significant part of the game, but their attacking prowess turned out to be the linkest link. The Spanish outfit could barely manage eight shots in the game, with only two being on target. The game could be turn out to be the gateway for Man United, courtesy of four away goals to their credit.
Bruno Fernandes, the standout performer of the night, has received massive praise again. The former Sporting Lisbon midfielder has now struck 21 times in 36 games across all competitions this season, while also racking up 12 assists to his credit. Despite playing in the midfield, he is the club's highest goalscorer this season, ahead of the likes of Rashford, suggesting his indispensable position under Solskjaer.