Manchester United

Having failed to win their last two matches, Manchester United returned to winning ways in style against The Saints at Old Trafford on Tuesday night.

The hosts easily trounced Southampton 9-0 after the away team played 88 minutes with 10 men. The first two minutes served the defining moments of the game – a late and ferocious tackle on Scott McTominay from Alexandre Jankewitz which resulted in the dismissal of the debuting midfielder.

After the incident, it took United just 18 minutes to take the lead against the 10 men, Luke Shaw sent in a cross for Aaron Wan-Bissaka to poke home which heralded the whitewash of Ralph Hassenhüttl’s men.

Shortly before the half-hour mark, a low cross from the youngster, Mason Greenwood, resulted in Rashford scoring his first of the game and later fizzed in a cross which Jan Bednarek toe-poked into his own net for the third, before another Shaw cross was buried by an Edinson Cavani header for the fourth before half-time.

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After the break, Che Adams seemed to have gotten The Saints a consolation goal, only to be ruled out for offside. Anthony Martial struck an excellent shot to make up for the fifth goal and Scott McTominay drilled in a long-range sixth.

The frustrated Bednarek was harshly sent off for an apparent foul on Martial with Bruno Fernandes scoring the penalty afterwards, before Martial blasted in his second and Daniel James tapped in United’s ninth.

Here are the things we learned from the game at Old Trafford.

United Are Back on City’s Tail

Ole Gunnar Solksjaer’s side are again level on points with table toppers, Manchester City – albeit Pep’s boys are with a game in hand.

Prior to this fixture, United had only won one out of four fixtures, the rails had come off somewhat and they looked like a gun without its bullet – the easy win couldn’t have come at a better time.

The coming days will be interesting for United. The next two fixtures against Everton and West Ham will be very important for United because their next two opponents are chasing European spots, while United will have to be commanding than ever if they’re ready for the title challenge.

Meanwhile, as City face Liverpool, points will certainly be dropped to give United a further chance to stake their claim.

The Importance of Full Backs Cannot Be Ruled Out In Ole’s Team

Luke Shaw
Luke Shaw was fantastic against his former team despite playing only the first half. (Getty Images)

Rashford was obviously the stand-out performer in United’s attack, this was due to the unmeasurable backing given by United’s full-backs.

Luke Shaw was absolutely brilliant, he was allowed to raid forward constantly and a huge number of attacks came down that side of the pitch.

He delivered two assists and was instrumental in all ramifications from the left side of the defense. He sure would’ve been the man of the match had he not been replaced at half time.

Wan-Bissaka on the other hand was reliable with his tackles at the back, he also had his forays into Southampton’s defense rewarded with the opening goal assisted by his fellow full-back.

Rashford’s Insurmountable Influence Is Obvious

Long before now, there had been a lot of tussle between Rashford and Fernandes as to who is more influential in the squad but it’s obvious that the Portuguese midfielder has just been fantastic.

However, Fernandes’ influence would be tantamount to nothing if players like Rashford, Martial and Cavani had not been converting his chances.

Alex McCarthy, Man United vs Southampton

After a run of six league games without a goal coincided with a slight positional change. Rashford would definitely be relieved to get on the scoresheet here – but his influence stretched far beyond a smart finish which took him past Eric Cantona in Man United’s all-time scorers’ list.

Against Southampton, he helped force space and crossing chances, though he did also create a goal from the right, crossing for Bednarek’s own goal – he is arguably United’s best player.


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