While both teams left the Anoeta convinced they are improving on their early-season form, it was the Real Sociedad de Fútbol players – despite remaining anchored to the foot of Group A – who reflected greater satisfaction. Manchester United FC's Nemanja Vidić not only excelled but marked this down as the gold standard for future defending by England's champions. La Real's Rubén Pardo, for his part, was left in awe of how Ryan Giggs, three weeks short of his 40th birthday, performed with such intelligence, class and energy.
Nemanja Vidić, Manchester United defender
Definitely this is a satisfying performance defensively. From the start of the season we conceded chances and let teams score goals we should not have allowed. Tonight we improved quite a lot. This is the game which we can look at and say 'let's start from here' defensively. We are not happy with the draw because we came here to win. But Real Sociedad played well and gave us a tough time. I am pleased when I see forwards create chances. Sometimes those chances are missed. Obviously you are disappointed when they do not go in and you do not win.
But I love seeing the forwards create as many chances as we did today. OK, we did not score or get the three points, but hopefully next time we will improve. We always have tough games against German teams, especially over the last few years. I am thinking of two games against Bayern, Schalke, and we also did well against Leverkusen at home. But that day they showed quality and scored two away goals. I think this next match [at Leverkusen] will be tough. They played different tactics which were tough to cope with at Old Trafford, but we know them better this time and we will prepare well.
David de Gea, Manchester United goalkeeper
We treated this as an important game and created lots of chances but missed them. You can see that La Real have suffered some bad luck in their games this season, but they are clearly improving domestically and they are still a young team. There is better to come from them.
Rubén Pardo, Real Sociedad midfielder
Frankly, the boys are pretty down because despite us getting a draw against a team that made things really difficult for us, it still leaves us on the verge of being eliminated. Little by little you can see that we are improving, although we know there is plenty left to achieve. Giggs showed he is still at the top, top level. What a fantastic player. For me he is an absolute star. Look at his age and how he can still perform at this level.
David Zurutuza, Real Sociedad midfielder
We gave everything we had, working and running all night against a super team. Okay, United had more chances but we could have grabbed a big win right at the end. United are always in quarters, semis and finals but I think we put them under pressure.
In physical terms they are superior to us. However, looking at the situation we are in, this result is not the problem – we needed to take points from Shakhtar and Leverkusen. But we are still alive in the group and it is more a case of enjoying what is left than fretting about qualification too much. It is not every year that Manchester United come to town and I am sure the Anoeta enjoyed our display.
Claudio Bravo, Real Sociedad goalkeeper
We gave our all and overall we leave with a positive feeling. It is special playing Manchester United, you have got to be super concentrated in every single moment. While there is still a mathematical possibility of qualifying for the next round we will keep fighting to do just that.
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