|Manchester United defending a Southampton corner during the 2-2 draw. Source: Getty Images.|
The race for the Champions League’s places hit a bump in the road as Manchester United conceded a stoppage time goal to draw 2-2 with Southampton. The opposition proved a test for United as they pressed us from the start and had taken an early lead through Stuart Armstrong’s goal. We then hit back with two excellent goals of our own through Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial. Though still vulnerable at the back, we defended better in the second half and could have made it 3-1 when Marcus Rashford’s close range shot in the six yard box was blocked by the Southampton defender.
The injury to Brandon Williams at the end of the game resulted in only having 10 players on the pitch as we had made four substitutions over three periods. Having one less player on the pitch did cost us when trying to defend the corner which led to the goal.
With the Court of Arbitration for Sport’s decision to lift Manchester City’s two-season European ban meaning that fifth place can no longer secure a route into the Champions League and with us only being able to gain a point which meant we stayed fifth in the league, I still believe that we will make the top four from the remaining games we have to play. Reflecting on the match, here I give my player ratings.
David De Gea – 6.5/10
De Gea was not able to do anything about the first goal scored by Southampton’s Stuart Armstrong as he was let down by the United defence and a poor giveaway from Pogba. He had to be alert at all times due to a dogged performance from the Saints and was called into action to produce a great save from Nathan Redmond. Was not able to do anything about the opposition’s equaliser as bad marking from the defence led to the goal.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka – 6/10
He had an okay performance overall though he had a nervous start to the game, he did grew into it. He was involved in the equaliser to bring United level. He was not able to unlock the right hand side more to get Mason Greenwood more on the attack.
Victor Lindelof – 7/10
Lindelof produced a good performance despite being unable to prevent the late equaliser from Southampton. He made some key tackles, clearances and was able to shut out a couple of attacks from the opposition.
Harry Maguire – 6/10
It was not Harry’s best performance for us in the defence and may have done better in stopping the first Southampton goal though he was put in a tricky position due to Paul Pogba’s sloppy giveaway. His poor positioning from which we conceded the equaliser meant Lindelof had it all to do to track the back post.
Luke Shaw – 6/10
He put in a hard-working performance as he looked to get down the left hand side to link up with Marcus Rashford. Put a brilliant pass into the box from which Rashford scored only to be ruled out for outside. He had to come off on the seventy-fourth minute due to an injury to his ankle – hopefully it is not too serious.
Nemanja Matic – 6/10
Was playing in a deep lying role for United and was initially overan by the Southampton press but soon found his feet as he made lots of tackles and interceptions. He has been playing a lot recently and so maybe he will be given a rest for the game against Crystal Palace.
Paul Pogba – 5/10
It was not Paul Pogba’s night as he did not get into the game and was punished for his mistake when he had given away the ball which led to the first Southampton goal. Though he did put a beautiful pass into Anthony Martial who laid it off for Rashford to score the equaliser. Ole might decide to give Pogba a rest and start him from the bench against Palace.
Bruno Fernandes – 7/10
Bruno was his usual lively self, though it took him some time to get into the game at the start as the opposition had pressed us back really well. I was really impressed when he did not have the ball as he was constantly pressing and urging his teammates on as well.
Mason Greenwood – 6/10
It was a quiet night for Mason as he was not much involved in the game. Could have suffered a nasty injury when Oriol Romeu’s bad tackle went unchecked.
Marcus Rashford – 8/10
Played with lots of attacking intent down the left hand side. Had the ball inside the goal after fifteen minutes but was ruled out for offside. He did get the equaliser for us when Martial laid the ball off to him in the box to score. Had a couple of chances in the second half to give United a 3-1 lead but was unable to convert the opportunities given.
Anthony Martial – 9/10
He was man of the match. Should have given United the lead early on when he nicked the ball off James Ward-Prowse only for his shot to be saved by Southampton’s Alex McCarthy. He held up the ball well to bring other players into the game. Provided the assist for the equaliser and then produced a great goal of his own. Second half, he went on an excellent run at the opposition’s defence and should have a goal from it.
Fred – 6.5/10
Replaced Pogba after 63 minutes and brought some needed energy onto the pitch to stop Southampton getting through the midfield.
Brandon Williams – 6/10
Replaced Luke Shaw on 73 minutes after he came off injured and was defending well until a clash of heads with Southampton’s Kyle Walker-Peters resulted in him coming off leaving United with ten men on the pitch.
Daniel James – 5/10
Replaced Mason Greenwood but did not have much time on the pitch to make an impact on the attack as he spent the majority of it defending the Southampton attack.
Scott McTominay – 5/10
Like Daniel James he did not have much time on the pitch to influence the game.