Manchester United 2-2 Southampton

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Line-ups, match report and statistical analysis of the clash between the Champions League chasing Red Devils and the mid-tabled Saints.

Kosta Diamantopoulos of La Trobe University

It was a clash with plenty on the line for Manchester United and their fascinating top four race in contrast to their opponents who sat in 12th with essentially nothing to play for.

 

Manchester United began the game on the back-foot with Southampton taking the early lead after a Paul Pogba error on the edge of the box that lead to a classy back-post cross from Nathan Redmond for Stuart Armstrong to tap in.

As much as Pogba exemplified more grace in his distribution of the ball today with some lovely key passes, the Frenchmen still gave naysayers a reason to scold him. Losing the ball in key areas resulting in either a goal or a crucial missed chance for Southampton, Pogba ignited the conversation for those who question his mentality as his antics caught up with him today.

It didn't take too long for Manchester United to take the game by the throat as they tend to in recent times - as Marcus Rashford scored his 16th Premiere League goal of the season off of Anthony Martial's lay off. It was a wonderful long-ball into the box and an even better touch from Martial which made the build-up of this goal quite exquisite.

The first half was a strong defensive performance from the Red Devils as they conceded the only fearful chances from the Paul Pogba turnovers; with Nemanja Matic, Luke Shaw and Victor Lindelof all showing class throughout the entirety of the game.

That’s not to say that Southampton were defensively terrible. A lapse in concentration from Kyle Walker-Peters allowing Anthony Martial to take the lead with a fantastic strike wasn’t the staple of the first half for the Saints, as they held their structure well for the majority of the opening 45 minutes. 

Manchester United continued to force attacks - as much as fans love to see it, the rushed attacking style should’ve been relaxed much earlier.

For the opening third quarter, the tempo of the game had shifted with Manchester United showing they were able to soak up some pressure from a Southampton side looking to change their fortunes for the outcome of the match.

 

The Saints became hungrier but there was ultimately no end product as they couldn't break down the air-tight Manchester United defence with 

 

After playing 5 games straight and having a rather hot and cold 63 minutes, Paul Pogba made way for Fred as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer swapped the Frenchmen for the Brazilian.

The once-again impressive Luke Shaw made way for youngster Brandon Williams due to a slight injury, only for Williams to experience a much uglier wound. Shaw's injury appeared to be a rolled ankle, but it was Williams who's head was covered in his own blood after a rough collision with Kyle Walker-Peters; who also sought treatment.

Nathan Redmond showed danger all match, but it was his 85th minute strike that should’ve stolen the show; if it wasn’t for the outstanding save made by the courageous David De Gea.

After 5 minutes of extra time, Michael Obafemi managed to scored a 96th minute equaliser emphatically after tapping home a close-ranged strike from Jan Bednarek’s headed flick to the back-post.

The Southampton side that was considered lucky to beat Manchester City 1-0 recently, proved again that with a better beginning to the season, they can be a top-half Premiere League force.