Southampton vs United: 5 Things we learnt

On Saturday, United beat Southampton at St. Mary’s to hand themselves their first away win since February in all club competitions. Bruno Fernandes volleyed in a fantastic cross by Diogo Dalot in the second half to give United the 3 points they so desperately craved. United have climbed up to the 8th spot in the league. Although the result could have gone either side, Erik ten Hag would be pleased to see a fighting performance from the Reds.

In this article, we’ll look at 5 things we learnt from the game.

1) Lisandro Martinez isn’t afraid

What can we say about Martinez. He’s a fighter. The Argentinian faced tough test against a physical striker like Che Adams. However, Martinez managed to win 5/5 aerial duels and keep the Scot at bay. ‘The Butcher’, as his fans call him, was always confident with the ball in his feet and made confident decisions in the game from the defensive front. His immense recovery from the first 2 matches of the Premier League is being loved by the fans, and he is quickly becoming the fan favorite.

Martinez is filled with passion, and it could be seen through his defending that he’s not afraid to put in a nasty tackle. A personality like him was needed at Old Trafford since Nemanja Vidić. Fans hope his run of form continues throughout the season.

2) Southampton easily switched gears

Pep Guardiola once described Southampton as ‘one of the best coached teams in the Premier League.’ It is not hard to understand why.

Although Southampton started the game on the back foot, they defended well and United could only cause a panic to their defense on one occasion. However, they quickly changed gears, and were causing a lot of panic to United’s defensive structure.

Since joining, ten Hag has certainly improved our play out of possession. But the Dutch manager still has a lot to improve, and he looks ready for this great challenge.

3) New boys sticking in the lineup

Eriksen, Malacia and Martinez have appeared in all of United’s 4 Premier League matches. Ten Hag has, without hesitance, benched regular first teamers in Luke Shaw, Harry Maguire, Fred/Mctominay. A step like this was necessary for the Reds. This serves as a reminder that no one has a guaranteed place at the biggest club in England.

4) The Final-Third Creativity Dilemma

It was evident against Southampton that United’s offence needs more creativity. They lack inspiration. The likes of Elanga, Rashford, Sancho and Bruno have definitely improved from last season. But the missing creativity and hold up play of Anthony Martial is the missing factor. Ten Hag obviously knows this.

With United reportedly agreeing a €100 million deal with Ajax, a spot for a left-footed right winger is being finally occupied at Old Trafford. Antony will be under a great deal of pressure to deliver for the Reds. Let’s hope he induces some creativity in the final third for United.

5) Maguire and Ronaldo will get their chance

With United playing 2 matches per week till the International Break in September, ten Hag will look towards his bench strength for fit players. Casemiro, Ronaldo, Maguire, Wan-Bissaka, Shaw, and van de Beek could all be heavily involved over the next 20 days.

Southampton vs United: Conclusion

3 points taken at Southampton is a big feat for this team, however may they have had come. The team looked together with Bruno as the captain. There are still things to improve of course, but now at least in the top half of the table, Erik ten Hag can breathe a sigh of relief. United now face two tough tests this week, at the King Power Stadium on Thursday night and on Sunday, when they welcome league leaders Arsenal to Old Trafford.

Author: Devansh

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