Man Utd ease into Europa League last 16

Manchester United’s English striker Mason Greenwood reacts

Image credit: Getty Images

Manchester United progressed to the last 16 of the Europa League – 4-0 on aggregate – after a 0-0 draw against Real Sociedad side at Old Trafford.

They also finished the match with six academy players on the pitch, one of whom, Shola Shoratire, became the youngest to play for the club in continental competition.

A goalless draw does not tell the story of an entertaining game to complete an entertaining tie, won easily in the end by Manchester United.

The standard of opponent is higher this season than when they won this competition in 2017, but this is a much better team than that was and no one will relish picking in tomorrow’s draw for the last 16.

Though they were 4-0 down from the first leg, La Real started well and earned a penalty on 13 minutes when Daniel James clumsily barged into Andoni Gorosabel, down the right of the United box.

But Mikel Oyarzabal, who had scored all 18 of his previous penalties, tried the hop technique sometimes deployed by Bruno Fernandes and when Dean Henderson stayed still, blazed his kick high and wide to widespread amusement.

And it was Fernandes who came closest to breaking the deadlock in an entertaining first half, sweeping a tremendous shot from the edge of the box onto the face of the bar after good work by Mason Greenwood and Fred, but the sides went in level at the interval on the night.

The second half was a more sedate affair but there were still moments of quality. Marcus Rashford, on as sub, completely deceiving Alex Remiro with a free-kick with whistled by the post and Axel Tuanzebe, also on as sub, thundering a colossal header home only to have his first-ever goal confiscated because Victor Lindelof found himself kneeing Jon Baptista, who didn’t jump.