Manchester United forward Adnan Januzaj compared to Lionel Messi by David Moyes in terms of resilience to bad tackles

 

San Sebastian

Manchester United caused a minor stir on Monday night by arriving here and asking to leapfrog the home side’s press conference, which was scheduled to take place first. It was subsequently put to Real Sociedad’s manager that they were behaving like jefes de Europa “chiefs of Europe”. Even Attila the Hun was mentioned.

Jagoba Arrasate, a serious man and the Real coach, brushed off that idea, though he said that the Basque club – whose recent revival in La Liga mirrors United’s in the Premier League – could give David Moyes’ side a susto, a scare inflicted by an underdog in the local vernacular. United will not fret. Their new-found domestic resilience has given Moyes a fresh breeziness. He grinned a lot last night and was almost garrulous by recent standards on the subject of 18-year-old Adnan Januzaj needing protection from brutal challenges. Moyes also revealed that he is in no hurry to collect pearls of wisdom from Sir Alex Ferguson’s autobiography. Though pictured with it at Manchester Airport early in the day, he declared: “I’ve not read it yet. I’ve not opened a page yet.”

Follow the latest news from tonight's Champions League ties, including Manchester United and Manchester City

United will be virtually through to the knockout stage of the Champions League if they win tonight, reaching the golden 10-point target which Ferguson so often spoke of if they do. Though Basque territory has never been fruitful – two defeats to Athletic Bilbao is what they have had to show across the years – continental competition has been smoother so far than domestic contests for Moyes. The Scot’s only concern was Januzaj. He spoke as the Football Association announced it had charged Fulham’s Sascha Riether with violent misconduct following his ugly challenge on the teenager during United’s 3-1 win at Craven Cottage on Saturday. Riether is the first player to have been charged retrospectively under a new FA pilot project for potential “not seen” incidents in Premier League matches.

The United manager compared Januzaj to Lionel Messi in his ability to pick himself up from illegal challenges and continue to perform. And though he saw the headlines running away with him and qualified himself – “I’m not in any way comparing Adnan to Lionel Messi so don’t be saying that,” he hastily added – Moyes does see the Argentine’s temperament in the young winger. “I’m certainly saying [he mirrors] the way Lionel Messi gets up after being kicked. We hope that’s the way Adnan continues to behave too. But he does need a little bit of protection.” Riether’s challenge was “a bad stamp,” Moyes said. “And it does look deliberate. We [don’t want to] find he is getting kicked up and down. I do think he deserves a little bit more than he is getting at this time.”

Arrasate admitted his side are in a lower stratosphere to United – “It’s difficult to compare our teams. You have to look at our budget. The objectives of the teams are very different,” he said – and Real are already 17 points off the top of La Liga. But they have scored 10 goals in three games since they lost narrowly at Old Trafford two weeks ago. The atmosphere can be as intense at the Anoeta as the rain storm which greeted United and persisted throughout most of afternoon, while the Spaniards’ prime incentive is the fact that defeat will mean the end of their Champions League hopes. “Many of our fans who went to Old Trafford spent a lot of money doing it,” Arrasate said. “Some are going through financial difficulties but they still went. Hopefully, now we can win and dedicate the win to our fans.”

Suggested Topics
News
newsGlobal index has ranked the quality of life for OAPs - but the UK didn't even make it into the top 10
News
people
News
people
News
peopleStella McCartney apologises over controversial Instagram picture
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Gillian Anderson was paid less than her male co-star David Duchovny for three years while she was in the The X-Files until she protested and was given the same salary
people

Gillian Anderson lays into gender disparity in Hollywood

Life and Style
Laid bare: the Good2Go app ensures people have a chance to make their intentions clear about having sex
techCould Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Burr remains the baker to beat on the Great British Bake Off
tvRichard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
News
i100
Sport
footballArsenal 4 Galatasaray 1: Wenger celebrates 18th anniversary in style
Arts and Entertainment
Amazon has added a cautionary warning to Tom and Jerry cartoons on its streaming service
tv
News
people
News
The village was originally named Llansanffraid-ym-Mechain after the Celtic female Saint Brigit, but the name was changed 150 years ago to Llansantffraid – a decision which suggests the incorrect gender of the saint
newsA Welsh town has changed its name - and a prize if you can notice how
Arts and Entertainment
Kristen Scott Thomas in Electra at the Old Vic
theatreReview: Kristin Scott Thomas is magnificent in a five-star performance of ‘Electra’
Life and Style
Couples who boast about their relationship have been condemned as the most annoying Facebook users
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Hayley Williams performs with Paramore in New York
musicParamore singer says 'Steal Your Girl' is itself stolen from a New Found Glory hit
News
i100
Sport
Ronaldinho signs the t-shirt of a pitch invader
footballProof they are getting bolder
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Italian couples fake UK divorce scam on an ‘industrial scale’

Welcome to Maidenhead, the divorce capital of... Italy

A look at the the legal tourists who exploited our liberal dissolution rules
Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

The vintage series has often been criticised for racial stereotyping
An app for the amorous: Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?

An app for the amorous

Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid. Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?

Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid

Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

After a few early missteps with Chekhov, her acting career has taken her to Hollywood. Next up is a role in the BBC’s gangster drama ‘Peaky Blinders’
She's having a laugh: Britain's female comedians have never had it so good

She's having a laugh

Britain's female comedians have never had it so good, says stand-up Natalie Haynes
Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LED lights designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows

Let there be light

Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LEDs designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows
Great British Bake Off, semi-final, review: Richard remains the baker to beat

Tensions rise in Bake Off's pastry week

Richard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
Paris Fashion Week, spring/summer 2015: Time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris

A look to the future

It's time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris
The 10 best bedspreads

The 10 best bedspreads

Before you up the tog count on your duvet, add an extra layer and a room-changing piece to your bed this autumn
Arsenal vs Galatasaray: Five things we learnt from the Emirates

Arsenal vs Galatasaray

Five things we learnt from the Gunners' Champions League victory at the Emirates
Stuart Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

This deal gives England a head-start to prepare for 2019 World Cup, says Chris Hewett
Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?