Van Persie out of luck as United held in Spain

Tue Nov 5, 2013 5:23pm EST
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SAN SEBASTIAN, Spain (Reuters) - Robin van Persie twice hit the post as Manchester United missed a chance to all-but seal their place in the Champions League last 16 when they were held to a 0-0 draw at La Liga side Real Sociedad in Group A on Tuesday.

The Netherlands forward almost scored moments after replacing Wayne Rooney just after the hour at Sociedad's Anoeta stadium in San Sebastian when his far-post shot cannoned away off the right-hand upright.

United were awarded a penalty for what looked like a blatant Ashley Young dive in the 69th minute but Van Persie's powerful strike hit the same post and bounced away to safety.

Sociedad came closest to scoring when a Xabi Prieto effort was deflected just over the bar by Carlos Vela 15 minutes from time before United midfielder Marouane Fellaini was sent off in the 90th minute after picking up a second yellow card.

"We should have won, we had enough chances," United manager David Moyes said on

"We controlled the game and were the team on top for the majority," added the Scotsman.

"We had a good chance to go clear in the group tonight and take three points and we should have.

"You need to take your chances and opportunities when they come but we are still in a good position."

The English champions stayed top of the group on eight points from four of six matches, with Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen on seven and Shakhtar Donetsk on five after they drew 0-0 in Ukraine.   Continued...

Manchester United's Robin Van Persie (L) celebrates with team-mate Wayne Rooney (R) after scoring a goal against Fulham during their English Premier League soccer match at Craven Cottage in London November 2, 2013. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth