Manchester United once again started the match on the front foot, out played the Saints and go up a goal up by half time. United are unable to manage the rest of the match and once again, just like Burnley and Middlesbrough, concede the equalizer and can only hang on till the final whistle. Unlike last season where United were able to come from behind, away from home, and go on to win the match, this season they have lost all confidence. Rangnick’s men are unable to put in a full 90 minutes and players are being picked despite not playing well. United started the match with a lot of energy and players looked really up for this one.
United made just one change from the side that drew with Burnley mid week with Cristiano Ronaldo getting the start instead of Edinson Cavani, who didn’t even make the bench. Over the past three matches United have managed 70 shots on goal but have only managed to score three times. Paul Pogba and Jadon Sancho started the match brightly and were linking up well down Southampton’s left. In the 7th minute Luke Shaw passes to Pogba who flicks a ball first time to Sancho running down the left. The English forward squares the ball at the top of the box for Ronaldo who gets past the two central defenders and dribbles around an on rushing Fraser Forster. His weak, slow moving scuffed shot was cleared off the line by Romain Perraud.
Sancho Gets his First Home Goal
United dominated for most of the first half, with Pogba bossing midfield. They were able to get their goal in the 21st minute. From a counter attack Bruno Fernandes dribbles around a defender and passes a beautifully weighted pass to Marcus Rashford. Rashford finds himself all alone down the right, he takes a look up and squares it for the onrushing Sancho on the left who gets an easy tap in. This was Sancho’s first home goal for Manchester United and Old Trafford celebrated the goal with him. United looked excellent in the first half, with Scott McTominay staying in front of the back line it allowed Pogba and Fernandes to really control midfield for most of the first half. Southampton wasn’t able to trouble David De Gea in goal at all. Right at the end of the half Pogba would have a goal disallowed due to an offside Ronaldo. The half would end with United looking the most likely to score again.
As soon as the second half started the team looked absolutely exhausted. No one in a red shirt seemed capable of holding onto the ball. Due to the Red Devils unable to convert any of their first half shots goal, they were made to pay in the 48th minute. Southampton showed some good build up play down United’s left, Elyounoussi would pass a lovely timed ball for Che Adams to run onto and slot it off the De Gea’s far post and in to make 1-1. As soon as the ball went in the back of the net every single head in a United shirt went down. The players appeared to lose all drive and allowed Southampton to get back into the game.
Rangnick’s Team Selection
United would have a couple more opportunities to get the winner in the 55th minute from a Fernandes free kick, the ball would fall to Harry Maguire who sees his point blank shot saved by Forster. Forster would make another good stop at the very end of the match. This time Maguire would see his close range header saved off the line by the Southampton keeper. Other than that there are a lot of United players that are getting starts or playing the full 90 minutes even though they are obviously out of form. Even though Rashford got the assist for the goal, he had a terrible game. He couldn’t take anyone on and would give the ball away in dangerous areas over and over again. Fernandes and Maguire did not have great games either and since we have loaned out Anthony Martial and Donny Van de Beek our bench is looking pretty thin for the rest of the season. Given United’s form 4th place does not look like it’s going to be a gimme. Oh, how our standards have fallen at United where we are praying that we can make it into 4th.