Turin, February 19: Bruno Fernandes scored twice as Manchester United beat Real Sociedad 4-0 in the first leg of their Europa League last-32 tie. Fernandes took his tally to 33 goals in all competitions for the Red Devils to put Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men in charge inside the first hour. The LaLiga side had posed a threat at the Allianz Stadium in Turin, where the match was being held due to coronavirus travel restrictions, but Marcus Rashford and Daniel James struck before Amad Diallo was granted his debut late on, meaning United go into next week’s return leg in a commanding position.
Former United man Adnan Januzaj curled a shot just wide of the right-hand post and Dean Henderson had to save smartly from Alexander Isak, those chances coming either side of a wasted Rashford opportunity in a thrilling opening three minutes. Scott McTominay, who had scored three goals in United’s previous four games, was denied another by the leg of Alex Remiro after driving into the box from Fernandes’ pass. Rashford then missed another glorious opportunity, firing straight at Remiro after Alex Telles’ throughball to Fernandes split the Sociedad defence. However, he turned provider in the 26th minute. This time, Remiro made a mess of things coming off his line to clear Rashford’s pass and clattered into his defenders, giving Fernandes a simple finish.
La Real applied some pressure early in the second half but United doubled their lead on the break. Fernandes let Rashford’s pass run to Daniel James and then swept a first-time finish past Remiro, with VAR overturning an initial offside call. Januzaj continued to threaten against his old club, beating Fernandes and playing in a dangerous cross that Nemanja Matic cleared, but Rashford made no mistake with the third of his chances to kill off the game, slotting past Remiro after Fred’s pass cut through the defence. James had a goal disallowed for a marginal offside and fired another effort straight at Remiro, but he made no mistake with his next chance, charging into the box and squeezing a shot through the keeper’s legs.
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