A short review
Coming into the game, United had a chance to break their club record of consecutive away wins. Also, after a win against West Brom, this was a good chance to win two on the bounce. However, with Southampton’s terrific start to this season, it was going to be a strong challenge.
Manchester United started the game well and were getting behind the Saints backline well. Southampton were sticking to their high-intensity principles and soon changed the flow of the game. Southampton’s high press was constantly forcing united to pass the ball backward. Soon Southampton were rewarded with their first goal after a sublime delivery from James-Ward-Prowse was flicked goalwards by Jan Bednarek. Ten minutes later, another Ward-Prowse set-piece ended up in the net, but this time James himself finished it from a tight angle.
The first half was fairly even, and Ward-Prowse was the difference between the two sides in truth. The possession was slightly in favor of the home side. Southampton had 4 shots with 3 on target while United had 6 with 2 on target. The stats prove that it was an even game, but Southampton took their chances and led at half time.
Manchester United made two half-time substitutions. Dean Henderson replaced the injured David De Gea, and Greenwood was called off for Edinson Cavani. Southampton kept the pressure and started the second half the way they finished the first. However, United were growing in the game, and Cavani’s link-up play became crucial in the process.
It was the 59’ minute when United finally scored their first through Bruno Fernandes. United kept pushing but were struggling to finish chances but finally, in the 74’ minute, the red devils equalized through Cavani.
Still, with 15 minutes remaining, Southampton were looking nervy as United looked dangerous in every attack. It was all Manchester United towards the end, and they got their reward as Cavani scored again and United snatched a late win. Substitutions from Ole Gunnar Solskjær worked well, and Cavani could now be a consistent starter going forward.
Fixture Details: [fixture 16924692]
Which players stood out?
James Ward-Prowse (Southampton)
The Southampton skipper was awesome today in the middle of the park. Apart from that lovely assist and that glorious goal, his work rate and anchoring were excellent.
The 26-year-old completed 54 passes and recorded an accuracy of 91.5% in the process. James Ward-Prowse also completed 2 key passes along with 3 long balls. Without the ball, Ward-Prowse was spectacular as he recorded 2 clearances, 2 interceptions, and completed 3 tackles.
Fred (Manchester United)
The Brazilian was placed on the right side of a midfield diamond by his manager. There were many questions regarding his constantly changing positions, but against Southampton, Fred was excellent. The 27-year-old completed 70 passes and had a 94.6% accuracy. He completed 2 key passes as well as an impressive 8 long balls. Fred also won 4 tackles and completed 2 interceptions.
Finally, after a lot of shuffling, maybe now his manager has gained some confidence regarding his best position.
Edinson Cavani (Manchester United)
How many times do you see a player changing the game after playing just half of it? Edinson Cavani was marvellously efficient after coming on at half-time as he provided 1 assist and scored 2 goals. He was quite robust as well with winning 2 tackles and winning half of his total duals.
Maybe an age factor, but Cavani has shown that he is still a threat as he once was despite all the questions.