Former United wonderkid Adnan Januzaj knocks Atletico Madrid out of cup

Former Manchester United wonderkid Adnan Januzaj helped knock his old side’s Champions League last-16 opponents out of the Copa del Rey.

Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid had already been given an early warning by the Belgian when his outside of the boot left-footed effort clipped the bottom of the post.

Januzaj’s compatriot Yannick Carrasco then hit the woodwork for the reigning La Liga champions.

But Sociedad’s number 11 gave his side the lead, in the 33rd minute, with a perfectly placed header which went in on off the post past an outstretched Jan Oblak.

Photo by Jose Breton/Pics Action/NurPhoto via Getty Images

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Former Crystal Palace striker Alexander Sorloth doubled Sociedad’s lead, in the 47th minute, after capitalising on some slack defending by Atletico centre-back Felipe.

Imanol Alguacil’s Sociedad held on to dump El Cholo’s side out of the Copa del Rey in the last-16 stage.

Januzaj was awarded man of the match by SofaScore with a rating of 8.1. The 26-year-old had 51 touches and made three key passes, two of which were deemed as big chances, he also completed two dribbles.

Playing against one of Spain’s powerhouses, Januzaj dug in defensively and won nine duels, as well as making two tackles, one interception and blocking one shot.

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The Belgian international shot to prominence at Old Trafford under the stewardship of David Moyes, but he failed to win over Louis van Gaal and had an ill-fated season-long spell at Borussia Dortmund which was brought to a premature end.

The talented winger, who was named on the Manchester United bench for the first time in Sir Alex Ferguson’s last game in charge of the club, hasn’t fulfilled his burgeoning reputation.

But he has rebuilt his career back in Spain and looks to be enjoying his football at Sociedad, alongside former Manchester City star David Silva.

Adnan Januzaj will no doubt be targeting a place in Belgium’s World Cup squad.

Adnan Januzaj shines as Atletico Madrid’s woes deepen

Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

After enduring an unprecedented four La Liga defeats in a row under Simeone before the winter break, Los Colchoneros looked like they had a turned corner after beating Rayo Vallecano in their first match of 2022.

But after drawing 2-2 at Villarreal, Atletico have now suffered back-to-back cup defeats.

Simeone has lost Kieran Trippier to Newcastle and his star striker Luis Suarez hasn’t scored since November.

After the Sociedad defeat, Simeone admitted via AS that the “dynamics” within the team are “not good” right now, but he reaffirmed his desire to fight on and guide the club out of this challenging spell.

Photo by Jose Breton/Pics Action/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Simeone said: “We are at a stage where, as many say, the dynamics are not good. You have to think positively. I’m optimistic and I believe in my players.

“Last season was magnificent and this one is being very difficult. The opportunities are there, we have the league and the Champions League.”

If Ralf Rangnick’s Manchester United can bring consistency to their own performances then on current evidence, the Spanish champions could well be their for the taking.

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Passionate Football fan that completed a NCTJ-accredited Diploma in Multimedia Sports Journalism in 2016.