5 Ups and 5 Downs of Southampton 2-3 Man UnitedGriffochaz
There really is no better feeling than a last-minute goal to secure a miraculous comeback, is there?
Southampton are no stranger to 3-2’s against United and also seem to fall victim to United’s great number 9’s down the years.
2nd September 2012 saw Robin Van Persie score a hat-trick against ‘The Saints’ in a 3-2 win. The next 3-2 win came in September of 2015 where a young Anthony Martial scored twice to win the game for the then Louis Van Gaal’s army. The most famous 3-2 win against the South Coasters came in 2017 at the League Cup final where Zlatan Ibrahimović single handedly won the game and cup for United. The most recent one came in March of 2019 where an exhibition of great goals match between the two was won by one Romelu Lukaku after a late winner secured his brace for the day.
So, it was almost written in the stars that Edinson Cavani was to get in on the act and add to that history and that is exactly what the Uruguayan did and we have him to thank for a far lighter ups and downs article this week.
DOWN – AA-RUN WAN BISSAKA
Aaron does love a good run but the unfortunate thing about it is he isn’t very good at them. Especially in the first half, Wan-Bissaka was a key weakness for Ole with his position being all over the place to say the least.
His second half was better, but I still weren’t convinced by his overall performance and I am a big fan of Wan-Bissaka, so it pains me to admit he was done over down on the south coast.
DOWN – FRED’S FIRST HALF
Let’s get controversial. Fred was one of our worst players in the first half. He was losing the ball a lot and seem to get beaten far too easily. Our first half was a midfield battle and one we lost, and Fred is a main culprit of that.
Notice this entry is about Fred’s first half. The Brazilian will return later in this article.
DOWN – THE HOME BOYS AWAY FROM THEIR BEST
Don’t get me wrong, Marcus and Mason are two very good footballers and I am grateful for them to be United academy graduates but neither of them played well at all against Southampton on Sunday. Yes, I know if it wasn’t for “Rashy” then Cavani wouldn’t have had the chance to score the winner but overall, he was not with it. I need an abacus to count how many times that Marcus could have passed it to someone instead of shooting which is again worrying that Rashford is lacking that end product.
As for Mason, his sharpness was better than it has been but missing a glorious chance was the only notable moment from Greenwood’s game and that is unacceptable. He is still coming back from a troubling time mentally and we stand with our boy but let’s call a spade a spade here and criticise his performance.
We know both our English talents have better in them and our standards are set high because we know they can do it. Come on boys.
DOWN – ANOTHER SLOW START
One of the main issues with Ole’s United side at the moment is slow starts to games. This slow start just happened to last a whole half of football but never mind.
Yes, if we don’t go two-nil down then we don’t get the incredible buzz of the comeback, but we shouldn’t be conceding two to Southampton no matter the purple patch they seem to find themselves in.
Please someone tell United that games start from minute one. I beg.
DOWN – ZONAL MARKING DISASTER
I’m not saying zonal marking is a nightmare waiting to happen, but to say I was closer to marking Jan Bednarek than Harry Maguire was wouldn’t be that much of an overstatement, would it?
Our £80m centre back, who is meant to be our Virgil Van Dijk, and be commanding in the air, was left marking Casper The Ghost when a gigantic Polish international rose up and headed Southampton into the lead. That says it all. Please no more zonal marking, it hasn’t worked yet, and it won’t in the future.
UP – FRED’S SECOND HALF
Jon Moss must have blown that half time whistle pretty loudly because it woke Fred up for the second 45. He was involved with all three goals and turned from our weakness in midfield to our strength. Props to Ole for keeping him on the pitch and the more he plays the more he proves to be the future of that crucial defensive midfield position.
A first half nightmare made up for by a dream second half.
UP – STAT PADDING AT ITS BEST
Bruno was far from stellar in this game but yet again when we call upon him in critical moments, he delivers.
His goal and assist came out of nowhere and helped us win the game. People saying Bruno stat pads do have a point, but it is a testament to his ability that he can drop a stinker and still walk away with a goal or assist at least. A truly marvel player that we are happy to call ours.
UP – OLE GOT THE PLAYERS RIGHT
Firstly, isn’t it nice to see Donny Van de Beek start a league game? That put a smile on my face. With all the injuries and illnesses taken into account, Ole got the selection right. If you were being picky then you could say Lindelof could have been replaced by Tuanzebe, but we don’t like nit picking in wins like this, do we?
The Norwegian also got the subs spot on. There was no point risking De Gea, who was clearly hurt, when you have a keeper of Henderson’s quality on the bench. The Cavani change was the right player off and the right player on at the right time. Making two subs at half time, one forced, was difficult for the rest of the half but bringing Telles off for Williams was a good move no matter the reason why. Ole read the game and knew what he was doing during that second half. We love you Ole.
UP – FIGHT TIL THE DEATH
Quick note of the fight the whole team showed during the second half.
We regularly see teams, especially United in recent years, comeback and are content with the draw but the players and the manager knew a point wasn’t good enough so continued the fight til the last and we were rewarded on this occasion.
Shades of Sir Alex there with strong characters that never give in. More of that please.
UP – THE ARCHER HITS HIS BULLSEYE
Sorry Edinson. I will admit that when Cavani signed for the club I was outraged that we panicked bought an ageing striker that hadn’t player in months on a high wage contract tied with the number 7 shirt, but he has proven me wrong.
After a slow start, the Uruguayan proved exactly why he is a top striker and is an out and out goal scorer. The likes of Greenwood, Rashford and Martial can learn off of Edinson’s remarkable movement in the box which is a positive for the future. Every cross was met by him and turned into a good chance resulting in a goal or close miss and it was refreshing to finally have a number nine to use as a focal point for a comeback.
No matter what Edinson does now, he has already written himself a legacy in a red shirt.
Are you buzzing after the comeback or did it just paper over deeper cracks? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
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