Manchester United got back to winning ways at Old Trafford in style, as they thrashed Ralph Hasenhuttl’s injury hit Southampton side 9-0. Southampton were down to ten men for the majority, following Alexandre Jankewitz’s early dismissal. Bednarek saw red late on as the Red Devils went marching on.
The Red Devils came into this game on the back of the drab draw to Arsenal and the shocking defeat to Sheffield United. Although, United’s recent woes would have given encouragement to the visitors, the Saints had their own issues. Southampton had many injuries to key first teamers such as Theo Walcott and this made the task at hand even more difficult. Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would have been fully aware of the injury crisis at Southampton. He saw this as the perfect opportunity for his side to regain some form. Solskjaer opted with a very strong side, with the only change consisting of Mason Greenwood coming in for Paul Pogba.
First Half: Southampton see red
In the reverse fixture, United began slow and came back from behind to win in dramatic fashion. However, United’s job to get back to winning ways was made easier by teenager Jankewitz who was sent off inside two minutes for a horror challenge on Scott McTominay. The teenager could have no complaints as Mike Dean reached to his back pocket. From that point on United pushed further up the field and took the game to Southampton. Scott McTominay , Fred, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Luke Shaw found themselves in very advanced positions along with Harry Maguire and Lindelöf who played mainly as deep midfielders.
United’s two fullbacks combined to give United the lead in the 18th minute. Luke Shaw floated in an inviting cross and Wan-Bissaka finished expertly. Seven minutes later and it was 2-0 and this time it was a more natural goal scorer in Marcus Rashford. Mason Greenwood cut it back for Marcus Rashford, who calmly put it in the back of the net.
Rashford was in action again as he drove a dangerous ball across the face of the Southampton goal. Bednarek, who has a miserable night, put the ball in his own net. United found themselves three up with ten minutes of the first half left. Lethal striker Edison Cavani was fouled in and around the area and after minutes of VAR intervention United were given a free-kick instead of a penalty. Cavani got his goal with a bullet header, which came from yet another superb Shaw cross.
Second Half: Southampton retreat and United hungry for more
Solskjaer made two changes at the break, which saw van de Beek and Martial replace Shaw and Cavani. Both these substitutions reflected United’s relentless attacking intent. From Southampton’s perspective it was a matter of damage limitation.
It took United a lot longer to get going in the second half. But once the first goal of the second half went in, United went for the kill scoring five times in the final 21 minutes. This equaled the Premier League record for margin of victory, in which they matched Leicester’s demolition of Southampton last year and their own personal record.
Substitute Anthony Martial got his goal, which put an end to his bad spell in front of goal. The Frenchman controlled the ball with his chest before finding the back of net. Furthermore, praise should be given to Fernandes for his delightful pass, which set up Martial. Two minutes later Scottish midfielder McTominay got on the score sheet with a stunning long-range effort.
It’s not a proper Manchester United victory without a goal from maestro Bruno Fernandes. Fernandes converted the highly controversial spot kick, which saw Bednarek see red. Things went from bad to worse to humiliating for the nine men of Southampton. Martial got another goal from a fabulous Wan Bissaka cross and Daniel James got in on the action in injury time.
United back to business?
Manchester United put in a professional performance, which was reflected by the emphatic score-line. However, it could have been even more emphatic as Greenwood, Martial and Rashford all missed good opportunities. This performance was the perfect response to two below-average performances from United last week. Now, they can now turn their attentions to their league encounter against Everton at Old Trafford.