Manchester United have a golden opportunity to move into the Premier League top-3 with a win today against Southampton, after Leicester City and Chelsea both lost their games at the weekend. They were unable to pounce on the opportunity, playing out a thrilling 2-2 draw with the Saints. It was the visiting team that took the lead in the 12th minute after Paul Pogba cheaply gave away the ball outside the area, allowing Scott Armstrong to capitalize on the error.
But United bit back quickly, equalizing in the 20th minute through Marcus Rashford’s smart finish from close. United then completed the comeback in the 23rd minute thanks to a sublime strike from Anthony Martial. Southampton, however, refused to back down and pulled out an equalizer from substitute Michael Obafemi in the 96th minute to deny Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side a chance to move into the top-4. The Red Devils are now tied on points with 4th-place Leicester City and still with a big shot to finish ahead of them, but they’ll be gutted at dropping the points tonight.
Manchester United Player Ratings
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (5.5) –
Solskjaer played his same team for the fifth consecutive game and probably the exhausting schedule got to his players. A few players didn’t look fit or fresh enough, not being able to cope with the intensity or pace of the game. Ole can’t be blamed for playing his best cards at this point of the game, but perhaps his subs were not good enough either.
He should’ve ordered United to retain possession or attack towards the end instead of parking the bus, which cost them. The equation is still simple for OGS & co, win the remaining games and qualify for CL next season!
David de Gea (6.0) –
De Gea couldn’t do anything to save the first goal, but he stopped Southampton from scoring two with a world-class save in the 86th minute to tip over Redmond’s surging shot over the post. Bit unlucky to concede late on after that to cap off his 400th appearance for the club in dismal fashion.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka (6.0)-
Wan-Bissaka played a cheeky flick to open things up leading up to the equalizer. He wasn’t too bad defensively but not at his best either. Dealt with Redmond’s threat decently, but should’ve imposed his authority better in the game. Was booked towards the end for misjudging his tackles and Spider-Wan needs to reclaim his ‘you shall not pass’ nature to regain his reputation again.
Harry Maguire (6.0) –
Maguire’s been a bit sloppy with his passes early on. He got better as the game moved on and kept a hold on the dangerous Danny Ings, not allowing him any space around the area. But he failed to calm his side’s nerves towards the end, as the succumbed to the visitors’ late equalizer to steal a point.
Victor Lindelof (6.5) –
Lindelof’s been covering up Wan-Bissaka brilliantly on the right side, coming up with clutch clearances to keep things under control. He looked United’s best defender by positioning himself brilliantly to deal with all the danger with ease. Lindelof pulled off some magnificent challenges but undid much of his great work when Obefemi got past him to tap in the equalizer from a corner.
Luke Shaw (7.0)–
Shaw looks better going forward and sent a great through-ball to Rashford for him to score in the 16th, but it was ruled offside. Pressing Southampton players in intense fashion, helping United turn up the tempo. He again did his duties defensively superbly with timely challenges and supported Rashford with his fiery forward runs. Bit unlucky to pick off a slight injury, for which he was subbed as a precaution.
Nemanja Matic (6.0) –
Matic looks at his bullish best today, winning back possession with a sense of defiance. He was hassled on occasions by the pace of the game, getting outpaced by Southampton’s much younger midfielders. But he did make a few great tackles to help his defence, even though his work was null and voided in the end.
Paul Pogba (5.0) –
Coming into the game with all the confidence, Pogba got overconfident inside his own area, losing the ball and conceding a cheap goal for United. Then again gives away possession in the 18th! But he made amends playing a great cross into the area leading up to Rashford’s equalizer. Forces a strong save off the keeper’ with a booming shot in the 28th.
While he got better as the game progressed, that was Pogba’s worst performance since his return from injury. Was dispossessed, couldn’t string proper passes together and looked sloppy. Subbed after the hour mark.
Bruno Fernandes (5.5) –
Fernandes had a slow start but still played a part leading up to the goal with clever movement. Got his assist by playing the ball leading up to Martial’s strike. But after that he just couldn’t up the ante like he usually does. Was troubled by Southampton’s man-to-man marking and was sloppy with his overhit, wayward passes on occasions.
Mason Greenwood (5.0) –
The teenage sensation just hasn’t been able to flaunt his authority as he’s getting overwhelmed by the physicality of the game. Couldn’t link-up with teammates as well as usual, nor get any shot at goal.
Anthony Martial (8.0) –
Had a big chance to score the opener in the 9th when he stole the ball off a player before going one-v-one with the goalkeeper, but was denied by a very good stop. But he did what a good #9 does for the equalizer, controlling a strong cross before finding Rashford superbly for his goal. He also got his goal three minutes after his strike, superbly drifting in from the left before blasting the ball into the net.
Tormented both Southampton centre-backs by winning the ball and running at them with pace, but his shot skirted over the goal. The Frenchman was all over their defence with his clever movement and is extremely unlucky to be on the losing side.
Marcus Rashford (7.5) –
Rashford thought he had scored initially in the 16th with a tap-in, but saw it ruled out due to offside. But he wasn’t to be denied a few minutes later, coolly slotting in with his left-foot to usher the comeback. Struck a venomous shot that almost squeezed into goal around the 56th minute. Blazed past his defender and played a beautiful one-two with Martial in the 68th, but his goal-bound shot was blocked yards off the line.
Rashford embarrassed Walker-Peters with his superb movement and trickery, moving forward in a flash. Arguably his best performance since the return from injury.
Fred (6.0) –
Fred added more energy into United’s midfield, being more proactive than Pogba was. But he just couldn’t help United control the game and was again inefficient with his attacking work.
Brandon Williams (5.5) –
The teenager spurred with confidence after coming on, crunching the players with his hard-hitting tackles. But Williams then clashed heads with Walker-Peters, causing a nasty injury that forced him to go off and for United to play with 10-men, eventually resulting in the equalizer.
Scott McTominay (N/R) –
McTominay couldn’t boast his authority today after coming on today, failing to bully the midfielders as he does normally.
Daniel James (N/R) –
James was again a frustrating figure in his cameo, providing little attacking energy.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Anthony Martial was on fire today, terrorizing defenders with his movement and capping off his brilliance with a goal+assist. Definitely deserves today’s Man of the Match.