The Red Devils came back from the Southampton Vs United fixture with a frustrating 1-1 draw at St. Mary’s stadium. After kick starting their PL campaign with a stunning 4-0 win against Chelsea, United dropped points in three consecutive matches including a 2-1 home loss to Crystal Palace and two other away draws. They now stand with 5 points from four Premier League games.
There is a certain trait that all winning teams in sports possess, they all share a hunger, a hunger to win, to become champions of their sports. Manchester United used to be one such team, that was before they became the blotted mid-tier team that they have now become.
We are only four games into the new Ole Gunnar Solskjaer era, but we can already see the complacency that defined much of Jose Mourinho’s United in this team. Whether it is the speed at which the forwards move into the attacking third or the speed at which the ball is cleared from the box in the defensive third, the rot has set in and Ole Gunnar now has a two-pronged battle on his hands.
After loosing for the first time in the Premier League against Crystal Palace, the onus was on the United side to show a performance worthy of Champions when they traveled to St.Mary’s Park for the Southampton Vs United game. After a stunning start from the youngster Daniel James, United fell into the same rut and allowed Southampton to equalize from a set-piece on the back of weak defending.
Now, how did each of the players do individually? Let’s rate how the players fared in the Southampton Vs United fixture.
Player Ratings Of The Southampton Vs United Game
First, the manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: 2
Not having Martial seemed to hurt Solskjaer as he introduced new blood into the lineup for the Southampton Vs United game, but still played Pogba in the defensive role that does not suit him at all. However, having Mata did inject some much-needed speed up the field. But, the team was still slugging and putting in Lingard in Mata’s place was a wrong move. Ole really needs to up his game if he wants to stay the manager of Manchester United.
De Gea: 2
The goal-keeper was troubled only twice. Although, he did manage to punch the initial ball away, only for Vestergaard to put the ball past him from Danso’s return cross.
One of the only few rare shinning players in a United team that seemed to have been caught sleeping every time Southampton tried to press. His tackles were on point and so was his 1 on 1’s, which he managed to win handily. He even managed to push the ball up the right side and create chances, which unfortunately were not converted.
Lindelof, along with Maguire, are the two pillars that make up the United defense. Unfortunately, Southampton had his number today and managed to beat him. Vestergaard scored the equalizer by sailing above him.
When Maguire moves the ball forward, there is a 50-50 chance that the ball will go into the hands of Southampton. It does not matter that the man can stop a truck dead in its tracks, his push forward was either not very imaginative or at worst, resulted in quick turns.
Sluggish and inconsequential. After being dropped from the squad for the first few games, the Southampton Vs United fixture was his chance to prove to Ole Gunnar that he could support the team, but did not stand out. The only worthwhile thing that happened after his addition was allowing Pogba to move forward and that in itself is reason enough to keep Matic around.
The Captain was playing in spades today, denying Southampton their first corner kick in the dying minutes of the first half and pushing the ball up along the left side, creating chances for his forwards to convert. He did try to go for goal when Southampton was 1 man down, but it would have been better if he had passed the ball to either Pogba or James.
The biggest contribution the United defensive mid-fielder played is he managed to score a red against Southampton and effectively reduced their numbers, which should have been utilized by the team to pressure the Southampton defense for more goals.
After languishing in a role that he is not suited for, Pogba came alive when he was relieved by Matic allowing him to play further up the field. He created chances for the team by setting up Rashford, James, and Lingard and being at the center of any United attack afterwards.
The young lad had the perfect opportunity to dazzle the faithful and become a permanent starter for United, but struggled to find a rhythm in the Southampton Vs United game and finally saw him being replaced by Lingard.
Mata was one of the few players who came to play at St.Mary’s and had imagination when he tried to push the ball up the field. The Spaniard was instrumental in creating the first United chance that eventually led to Daniel James scoring for United.
The young lad had a near-perfect game, scoring once and always being hungry for more and not ready to rest on his laurels. The rate at which James is growing offers a shining beacon of hope for every hopeful United faithful that the future of the club, should it continue like this, will at least be good.
Not a day for the young United forward. He did all the right things, but did not have the finishing touch that makes or breaks a game and one which differentiates between a forward and another player on the field. Hopefully, he regains his form, and soon.
Tactical and Technical Post-Match Dissection of United’s Frustrating Performance Against Southampton
Three Clear alternatives To Jesse Lingard For The No.10 role At Manchester United Who Could Completely Change The Team Dynamic
Continues to flounder, even after being dropped from starting XI. He took it upon himself to score goals instead of creating chances for United while a resurgent Southampton was amplifying the pressure on the United goal.
Greenwood only had few minutes on the ball and during those few fleeting moments, he displayed certain magic that only the chosen ones can. This young lad along with Gomes, James and Chong, are the future of United.