Man United must improve record in Spain if they wish to beat Real Sociedad in the Champions League

Beckham celebrates a rare win for Man United in Spain, at Deportivo in 2002. Photo: PA

Man United will need to improve on a patchy record in Spain if they are to claim the victory needed against Real Sociedad on Tuesday to take a significant stride towards the Champions League knockout phase.

On 21 trips to the country, United have emerged victorious only twice, most recently when Javier Hernandez bagged a late winner in Valencia three seasons ago.

Javier Hernandez scored the winner at Valencia in 2010. Credit: PA

Read: Key battles - Sociedad v Man United

The Red Devils have earned a share of the spoils on nine occasions, though, which would consolidate a top-two spot in Group A with just a couple of games left.

Here, we take at look at United's previous Spanish visits - and highlight a few of the more notable trips.

1956-57. European Cup. Athletic Bilbao 3-5, Real Madrid 1-3.

The Busby Babes' were on the losing side at the Bernabeu as a Real side featuring the likes of Alfredo di Stefano, Raymond Kopa and Francisco Gento cut loose, while they had already shipped five in Bilbao earlier that season.

Tragically, over half the United line-up were to lose their lives in Munich the following year.

1967-68. European Cup. Real Madrid 3-3.

1981-82. UEFA Cup. Valencia 1-2.

1983-84. Cup Winners' Cup. Barcelona 0-2.

1991-92. Cup Winners' Cup. Atletico Madrid 0-3.

1994-94. Champions League. Barcelona 0-4.

1998-99. Champions League. Barcelona 3-3.

Andy Cole and Dwight Yorke were on fire for United during a six-goal, group stage thriller on their way to winning the 1999 Champions League title.

Read: Tactics - Sociedad v Man United

1999-00. Champions League. Valencia 0-0, Real Madrid 0-0.

2000-01. Champions League. Valencia 0-0.

2001-02. Champions League. Deportivo 1-2, Deportivo 2-0.

On their second trip of the campaign to the coastal town, United made a big splash by recording their first win in Spain. David Beckham scored with a 30-yard free-kick before suffering the broken metatarsal that put his World Cup in doubt. Ruud van Nistelrooy also found the net before half-time.

2002-03. Champions League. Deportivo 0-2. Real Madrid 1-3.

2005-06. Champions League. Villarreal 0-0.

An otherwise forgettable game made memorable by a red card for Wayne Rooney. In front of watching England boss Sven-Goran Eriksson, Rooney was dismissed for sarcastically applauding referee Kim Milton Nielsen, who had just shown the striker a yellow card.

2007-08. Champions League. Barcelona 0-0.

A midfield masterclass from Paul Scholes allowed United to claim a precious first-leg draw in their Champions League semi-final in the Nou Camp. Showing all the nous and ball retention that made his premature international retirement so ridiculous, Scholes kept Barcelona at bay in what was to prove an epic last-four encounter.

Watch: Sociedad under John Toshack in the late 80s

2008-09. Champions League. Villarreal 0-0.

2010-11. Champions League. Valencia 1-0.

Javier Hernandez enhanced his super-sub status by scoring a late winner in the Mestalla. The Mexican had only been on the pitch nine minutes when he profited from the approach work of Nani and Federico Macheda to give United only their second win in Spain.

2011-12. Europa League. Athletic Bilbao 1-2.

United were put in their place with clinical efficiency by the Basque outfit, who were the better side in both legs. Fernando Llorente and Oscar de Marcos did the damage and United were heading out long before Rooney's consolation.

2012-13. Champions League. Real Madrid 1-1.

A brilliant header from United old boy Cristiano Ronaldo cancelled out Danny Welbeck's early goal for Man United, who left Madrid with a credible 1-1 draw in a Champions League knockout last 16, first leg tie last season.

Unfortunately, Ronaldo would come back to haunt his old team again in the second leg at Old Trafford.