Manchester United Champions League report: Sociedad look easy pickings; Shakhtar continue fine form

We continue our weekly reports on the results and form of Manchester United's Champions League group stage opponents.

Every week we will take a look at how the club’s in United’s Champions League group have fared in their domestic competitions, giving fans a hint of what to expect in the build-up to the matches that will take place in the coming months.

Bayer Leverkusen:

The German side swiftly put the disappointment of their 4-2 loss at Old Trafford behind them, dispatching Mainz 05 4-1 away on Saturday.

The result means Sami Hyypia’s side have still dropped only three points all season, and are currently just one point below Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund.

Two first half goals from Robbie Kruse, and a Lars Bender effort sandwiched in between, saw Leverkusen go in at half-time 3-0 up. Stefan Kießling made it four just short of the hour mark, before Yunus Malli scored a late consolation for the home side, who slipped to seventh in the Bundesliga.

Shakhtar Donetsk:

After disposing of Real Sociedad 2-0 in their opening Champions League group game last week, the Ukrainian side returned to domestic matters in fine form, winning 3-0 at home to Vorskla.

It was a welcome three points after their 3-2 defeat the previous week away to Karpaty.

A goal 10 minutes before the interval from Facundo Ferreyra was followed by second-half strikes from defender Tomas Hubschman and midfielder Fernando.

The result saw Shakhtar climb to second in the table, four points behind leaders Metalist Kharkiv.

Real Sociedad:

In what is becoming something of a habit, the Spanish side played out another 0-0 draw in La Liga, this time at home to Malaga. The result means Sociedad have not won since the opening day of the season.

The home side made four changes from the team that lost 2-0 to Shakhtar, but it was Malaga who had the majority of the best chances.

Sociedad’s sluggish start to the new campaign is in stark contrast to the way they finished last season. And it is the lack of goals, as much as the lack of points, that will be worrying coach Jagoba Arrasate.

image: © Jan S0L0

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