On one of those nights when football felt rather insignificant, Manchester United’s mini-revival under Erik ten Hag was brought to a halt by the Spaniards of Real Sociedad.
It took a controversial penalty to end United’s four-match winning run under the new manager and get their Europa League Group E campaign off to a losing start at Old Trafford.
The decision to penalise substitute Lisandro Martinez for handball, when David Silva’s shot early in the second half came off the Argentine’s thigh first, seemed harsh.
But United had enough talent on the pitch at any stage of this tie to get the job done and it should concern Ten Hag that the moment he changed a winning line-up, his team lost.
The game went ahead after United sought direction from both the FA and UEFA following the announcement of The Queen’s death less than two hours before kick-off.
The start was preceded by an impeccably observed minute’s silence – during which the Sociedad fans held up their blue and white scarves as a mark of respect – with both teams wearing black armbands and the flags around Old Trafford at half mast.
‘Manchester United shares the sorrow of the entire nation following the announcement from Buckingham Palace on the passing of Her Majesty, The Queen,’ read a club statement.