Manchester United are desperate to wake up from their mini-slump in the Premier League with a win over Southampton at Old Trafford. They did so in rather sensational fashion, recording an insane 9-0 win to get back into the PL title race. The visitors had a horrible start, with their debutant midfielder Alexandre Jankewitz getting sent off in the 2nd minute for a reckless challenge on Scott McTominay.
United smelled blood & kept piling on the attacks, eventually broke the visitors’ resolve in the 18th minute when Aaron Wan-Bissaka crept up in the far-post to score his second league goal of the season! They doubled the lead 6 minutes later, with Marcus Rashford scoring cleverly from close range to break his goal drought in the league.
Rashford then set up his side’s next goal with his thunderous cross converted into an own goal from Jan Bednarek to make it 3-0! Edinson Cavani made it 4-0 in the 39th-minute with an emphatic header into the back of the net. The Red Devils did not slow down in the second half and substitute Anthony Martial made it 5-0 in the 69th minute with a brilliant finish from close.
McTominay then made it 6-0 three minutes later, piledriving a powerful shot into the goal. Bruno Fernandes then got his goal via a penalty in the 87th after Bednarek was sent off. Martial then made it 8-0 in the 90th minute to complete Southampton’s burial!
But they weren’t done there. Dan James then scored one in stoppage time, making it 9-0 – meaning the Saints have lost 0-9 in successive PL seasons! Southampton were miserable. United at their ruthless best to equal an all-time PL record for the biggest margin of win recorded. The Red Devils with a statement of intent, making it clear that they are still alive in the title race.
Manchester United Player Ratings vs Southampton
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (9.0) –
Solskjaer actually took a risk by benching the in-form Pogba, but ended up being perfect with his decision with McTominay and Bruno running things on the pitch. Today’s performance was almost him warning opponents not to go 10-men (or 9-men) down against this United side. United were absolutely ruthless today & everything went towards OGS favour today.
But loved how he kept United going on for more even after scoring so many goals. His subs also proved to be fantastic and his ability to bring out that ruthlessness inside his players to improve the goal difference is extremely admirable.
David de Gea (7.0) –
De Gea was tested by specialist free-kick taker James Ward-Prowse with a thunderous free-kick in the 28th, but pulls out a solid save to deny him. That was basically all he had to do in the game.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka (8.5) –
After failing to impress with his attacking work in recent weeks, Wan-Bissaka produces a striker’s finish for the opener – creeping up at the back post for a clever tap-in. Gets a late assist too, with his perfect cross converted by Martial for his second!
His best-attacking performance today and even with a slight knock, AWB was extremely eager to get forward & created a lot of good chances. Defensively faultless as well and pulled off some of his trademark tackles too!
Harry Maguire (7.0) –
Maguire spent more of his time in Southampton’s half than his own today! Didn’t have much to do, but he distributed the ball into the wings quickly to spark attacks. Bit lucky to have his errors covered up by VAR for the Adams’ ruled out goal.
Victor Lindelof (7.0) –
Lindelof was also a spectator for much of the game, but looked really swift dealing with the counter-attacks. Stopped a lot of Southampton’s attacks at their tracks and ensured his side would seal the clean sheet.
Luke Shaw (8.5) –
Shaw’s playing with a real spring in his step and showcasing brilliant persistence with making forward runs early on. Brilliant delivery to assist the opener. Then almost gets a goal, but his whipped shot in the 33rd gets saved.
Picks up another assist after his perfect header is converted by Cavani! After weeks of watching his crosses wasted, he finally gets rewarded today with 2 assists! Taken off at half-time to give him some rest.
Scott McTominay (9.0) –
Starts the game by taking a ridiculous, nasty challenge from Jankewitz which resulted in his sending off. After working hard to advance the ball forward all game long, he gets a deserved goal – driving a thumping low shot into the back of the net.
McTominay was all over the field, working hard defensively to regain possession and being keen on getting the ball. Distributed possession really well, trifled Southampton’s midfielders and put in an incredible shift all around.
Fred (8.0) –
Fred’s getting more involved in attacking moves to terrorize the 10-man Southampton side. Seemed to really enjoy his advanced role and created a few decent opportunities with his passing. Moved into a left-back role in the second half. Turned upside down by Che Adams for his goal in the 55th, but VAR bails Fred out.
Kinda redeems that with a stellar through ball to create Martial’s chance later on. Maintained a stellar work-rate all game long and kept his side’s energy levels high with his positive attitude.
Bruno Fernandes (9.0) –
Being goalless in the Premier League in nearly a month, Bruno will be desperate to get back to his best today. Attempts a smart curler from outside the box in the 32nd, forcing a good save from the goalkeeper. Then hits another powerful low shot in the 56th to force another save. Might not be getting goals, but at least gets an assist when his clever cross was converted by Martial.
But he also gets his goal thanks to a rather soft penalty, converting it smartly. Gets another assist for James’ late goal, making a clever flick-on inside the box. Showcased incredible energy and hunger to push United forward to get more & more. A statement of intent from Bruno with a spectacular performance to prove he isn’t suffering any new year blues.
Mason Greenwood (7.5) –
Greenwood is looking really good with his movement and found Rashford with a smart pass for his strike. To his credit, it was his wicked shot that was deflected outside the box resulting in McTominay’s goal. His movement was excellent & he did test the keeper with many attempts, but will feel unlucky not to get in the scoresheet today.
Edinson Cavani (7.0) –
Cavani starts against the side he scored a brilliant brace against in November. His link-up play and movement are causing Southampton big problems. Gets a deserved goal for all that hard work, scoring another powerful header past the Southampton goalie. Turned up as Southampton’s nightmare again today. Subbed at half-time with the weekend game in mind.
Marcus Rashford (7.5) –
Rashford returns to his natural left-wing role and nearly creates a scoring chance early on with a blazing forward run, only for his final pass to get intercepted. Created pace for himself really well for his goal and his powered effort was good enough to blaze past the goalkeeper.
Then sets up a goal, with his whipped cross forcing the own-goal. Even if it wasn’t an OG, it probably would’ve been scored by a teammate. His movement & pace off the left-wing left Southampton defenders dizzy. Subbed at the hour-mark after a superb performance which should shut up the racists targeting him.
Anthony Martial (9.0) –
Desperately needs a goal to get his confidence up and brought on in the second half to do just that. Almost got it in the 50th after some clever link-up play, but his scoring attempt was blocked. Looked hungry for a goal and got it, bulldozing Bednarek and blasting the ball into the net. Glanced past the defenders and then attempted a delightful chipped finish in the 74th, only to see his attempt go barely wide of the target.
Earns the penalty for Bruno to score as well. Then scores another one, a rather fortunate but smart finish from close. A fantastic substitute performance from Martial, who shuts up his own doubters and gives his manager a selection headache now.
Donny van de Beek (6.5) –
Van de Beek actually looked a bit lost under the pace of the game and still seems a bit off in terms of chemistry with his teammates. Nothing noteworthy in his substitute performance.
Dan James (7.5) –
James enjoyed himself moving through the left-wing in the last 30 minutes, making some good runs and linking up well with Martial. Capped off a fine substitute performance with a sweet goal late on.
MAN OF THE MATCH
There were so many standout performers for United today. Bruno, McTominay, Martial, Shaw & Wan-Bissaka were all amazing. But I think I’ll give the MOTM to Bruno – not only for his goal + 2 assists – but he maintained that appetite among the players to get more goals!