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Why Erik ten Hag brought Harry Maguire on up top for Manchester United 1-Real Sociedad 0

Manchester United beat the Spanish side but failed to top their group.

Manchester United headed into the game with Real Sociedad knowing they needed to win by two goals to top their group.

However, United failed to do so and now face a tough Round of 32 tie against one of the teams that finished third in their Champions League group.

Among the teams United can face are FC Barcelona, Ajax and Juventus.

An extra two games against a tough opponent is something United no doubt wanted to avoid.

But the Red Devils lacked the extra firepower needed to score a second, even bringing on Harry Maguire to play up top late on – a decision Erik ten Hag has since explained:

“To bring extra offensive players in. But I think in that moment we were too erratic, we weren’t as good on the ball any more and we brought less balls into the box. In the last 10 minutes, we got the ball in the box again and created a good chance. That was the idea. We had to take risks, that’s what we did. And we kept a clean sheet very well,” he said.

“Let’s look at the positives from tonight,” Ten Hag said. “We have an extra player with Garnacho. He did well and I hope he can keep going in this process. He was reliable defending, he worked hard, he was a threat and he scored a goal so I am happy. If he can keep this process going, I’m really happy.”

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Josh Barker

Middlesbrough fan from the North East of England. @JoshBarker979 on Twitter.

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