United started the second half positively and although La Real’s youngsters continued to prove a threat, it was the Reds who again produced the penetrative play to breach the home side’s defence. Andreas Pereira’s pass set Rothwell scampering through on goal down the right channel and his finish was cool and classy to beat Ignacio Otano.
The home team kept pressing and had a handful of late opportunities to level, with Armendariz, Merquelnez and Odriozola all sending attempts on goal wide or over the target. With defender Tarantino limping off for the home side, against ten men United were able to see out the result.
Elsewhere in Group A, Shakhtar Donetsk’s 2-2 home draw with Bayer Leverkusen assists United’s qualifying hopes. Real Sociedad remain the group’s leaders on nine points, but with Shakhtar now on seven points and United up to six, it makes for an interesting final two group games away to Bayer Leverkusen and at home to Shakhtar.
Most of all, however, U19s coaches Butt and Scholes will be pleased with how United’s young players treated this away encounter, soaking up pressure and knowing when to hold and contain and when to strike the crucial blows.
Real Sociedad: Otano; Ibarbia (c) (Armendariz 60), Tarantino, Ugarte, Arrieta; Sangalli (Olabe 60), Guridi; Odriozola, Capilla, Merquelanz; Manso (Bautista 53)
Subs not used: Marcellan, Prieto, Sarriegui, Rodriguez
Manchester United: J Pereira; Janko, McNair, McConnell, Goss; Byrne (Evans 70), Rothwell, Weir, Harrop (Rowley 57); A Pereira (Barber 79); Wilson (c)
Subs not used: Henderson, Redmond, Willock, Fletcher
Booked: Rothwell, Pereira, Weir