Southampton 1-1 Manchester United: Three Things We Learned

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Manchester United have not managed to continue their winning start to their season, nor did they manage to complete another comeback, as they did so successfully many times last season, ending their visit to Southampton with a 1-1 draw. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side managed to only salvage a point at the St Mary’s, as it was Southampton who opened the scoring in the first half, through Che Adams’ shot which deflected off Fred’s boot and went into the net past David de Gea. United, though, did strike back with a goal in the second half, with Paul Pogba getting his fifth assist of the campaign already, slipping the ball for Mason Greenwood – the youngster scoring his second goal of the season.

Here is everything we learned from this game.

Bruno Nonchalant Before The Conceded Goal

Man United were unlucky for Che Adams’ shot to deflect off Fred’s attempted block, but ultimately, that goal came from the nonchalancy on display. Bruno Fernandes held the ball some 35-40 yards from United’s goal all the way on the left flank, with his back turned towards Southampton’s half of the pitch. He was meek in his posture and Southampton managed to fend him off the ball. While he was protesting that he was fouled – which he was not – Pogba failed to apply any pressure before the ball went to Che Adams, who managed to make a dribble and position himself without any proper pressure in front of him either. When he made the shot, Fred was just slightly late, enough for the shot not to be blocked, but rather deflected into De Gea’s goal. So many little details in this short sequence had shown plenty of errors which led to goal being conceded.

Martial Does Not Take His Chances

Anthony Martial was surprisingly starting as the main striker ahead of Mason Greenwood, who after a great performance against Leeds, had to move back to the right wing. While Greenwood still managed to make something happen from that position, Martial failed on taking his opportunity in Southampton. The Frenchman had a disappointing performance, during which he managed to get into only one big chance and squander it. He did not offer much to his teammates the way Greenwood managed last Sunday, nor did he get himself consistently into good opportunities.

Fred Does Not Offer Anything

Let’s get one thing clear here – Fred’s own goal after deflecting the shot is not something that should be held against him. It simply happened in an unlucky manner and that is football. But we are here to rather talk about just how little Fred ultimately offers to a team. He is not a player that will make a proper shield in front of the back four, the way Nemanja Matic used to at the peak of his powers. He does not offer absolutely anything in possession – against Saints he had a 75 per cent completed passes, far from ideal for a central midfielder. He might have created a decent header for Greenwood on one occasion, but he lost possession 16 times today, losing seven duels in the process as well. He did not make a single foul as he was dribbled past three times and it was not a surprise Solskjaer substituted him.

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