Manchester United player ratings v Real Sociedad: Eriksen 8, Casemiro 6, Ronaldo 5

Erik ten Hag's team fall to 1-0 defeat against Spaniards in Europa League opener

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Cristiano Ronaldo returned to the starting line-up but Real Sociedad still upset Manchester United 1-0 at Old Trafford in their Europa League opener on Thursday.

After failing to secure a transfer to a Champions League club, the 37-year-old striker has had to settle for playing in Europe’s second-tier competition for the first time since 2002 with Sporting Lisbon.

Ronaldo had last started in the 4-0 humiliation against Brentford on August 13 before United chalked up four consecutive victories in the Premier League. United manager Erik ten Hag had used the Portugal star off the bench during the winning streak.

The veteran saw a first-half header from Diogo Dalot's cross disallowed for offside and headed Bruno Fernandes' cross wide at the start of the second-half.

Brais Mendez scored the only goal from the penalty spot after 59 minutes following a handball call against substitute Lisandro Martinez.

United play their second group game against Sheriff Tiraspol in Moldova on Thursday, 15 September.

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Updated: September 09, 2022, 6:10 AM