Manchester United travelled to St. Mary’s to lock horns with Southampton and it was a chance for the Red Devils to maintain their unbeaten record in all competitions. They successfully did that, thanks to a solitary goal from the new signing, Romelu Lukaku.
Southampton lineup : Fraser Forster, Cedric Soares (James Ward-prowse, 83′), Maya Yoshida, Wesley Hoedt, Ryan Bertrand, Mario Lemina, Oriol Romeu, Dusan Tadic, Steven Davis (Manolo Gabbiadini, 73′), Nathan Redmond, Shane Long (Charlie Austin, 83′).
Manchester United lineup : David De Gea, Antonio Valencia, Eric Bailly, Phil Jones, Ashley Young, Nemanja Matic, Marouane Fellaini, Juan Mata (Ander Herrera, 63′), Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Chris Smalling, 75′), Marcus Rashford (Daley Blind, 90’+3′), Romelu Lukaku.
Goals: Lukaku (20′).
Yellow cards: Long (38′), Young (44′), Valencia (69′), Lukaku (82′), Herrera (88′).
For the first fifteen minutes or so, the home side tried to make some impact with proper passing and control. They even made some decent chances, but they were not enough to break the United resilience. Manchester United gradually started to find the ground afterwards and the result was imminent. From a well-worked cross of Young, Lukaku got his first opportunity of the evening and the big Belgian made no mistake from a close range. Although his first header was blocked by Forster, the striker slotted the ball home from the rebound and the Saints conceded their first.
After the goal, the visitors were in total control and soon found more chances. Efforts from Rashford and Mkhitaryan went astray at this time. Towards the other end, Southampton kept pushing but the combination of Bailly and Jones was good enough to keep the home attackers at bay. The first half ended with United narrowly leading against Claude Puel’s boys.
The hosts started the second half in a spirited fashion, with an eye to equalize. Only five minutes into the second half, Oriol Romeu got a golden opportunity to do that, thanks to a nice corner from Tadic. However, the midfielder failed to find the target from a close distance and United could breathe again. The Saints found some more chances over the next quarter, but all efforts went in vain.
On the other hand, Lukaku tried his luck from the right hand side after the hour mark, and his effort was on target. But, Forster got the better with a brilliant save. Soon after, Fellaini and Jones had to do some amazing defending to keep the lead intact. It was all Southampton at the moment, and they got yet another exquisite opening after a few minutes again. This time, it was Oriol Romeu’s second waste of the day. His feeble shot beat De Gea, but went inches wide of the United goal.
The most exciting moment of the rest of the game came when Jose Mourinho was sent off during the stoppage time. Other than that, the last quarter was a story of Southampton’s repeated attempts all of which stopped in front of a determined United defense.
Southampton vs Manchester United Highlights:
Southampton vs Manchester United Match Statistics:
|Shots (on target)||14 (4)||9 (4)|
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Photo by Cosmic Egg Productions