SAN SEBASTIAN, Spain, Nov 5 (Reuters) - Manchester United missed a chance to move to the brink of qualification for the Champions League last 16 when Robin van Persie twice hit the post in a 0-0 draw at Real Sociedad in Group A on Tuesday.
The Netherlands forward almost scored moments after replacing Wayne Rooney just after the hour when his far-post shot cannoned away off the righthand 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.
United's Belgium midfielder Marouane Fellaini was sent off in the 90th minute after picking up a second yellow card.
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.
Sociedad are bottom on one point and are on the verge of elimination in their first foray into Europe's elite club competition in a decade.
(Reporting by Iain Rogers in Madrid, editing by Ed Osmond)