Southampton – Manchester United: Live analysis, reaction, quotes

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Southampton – Manchester United was an incredible clash on Sunday (full replay via NBCSports.com) as Southampton squandered a 2-0 lead to lose 3-2.

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Edinson Cavani scored two and got an assist after coming on as a half time sub to change the game and win it for United. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was a very happy man.

REPLAY: SOUTHAMPTON – MANCHESTER UNITED

Saints were close to causing another shock, but the Red Devils proved they are well and truly back on track as Bruno Fernandes and Cavani led their incredible comeback.

VIDEO: Premier League highlights

Here’s everything you need to know on Saints v. Man United, as I was on site at St Mary’s.


Minute-by-minute analysis, live from St Mary’s for Southampton – Manchester United


My final thoughts: It was a thrilling comeback win, as Manchester United made it eight-straight away wins in the Premier League (a club record). Cavani was brilliant after coming on at half time, scoring twice and setting up the other as Southampton saw their 2-0 lead evaporate. Solskjaer’s side had played well in the first half but Saints scored from two set pieces and punished their slack marking. Even though they were 2-0 up, Southampton were off it. Man United eventually clawed back to win it in stoppage time as El Matador stole the show.

Ralph Hasenhuttl on where it went wrong for Saints: “He [Cavani] made the difference in the second half. He is good in the box and we know this. We had not enough relief from playing out and keeping the ball. We did it for a very long time very good. For 2-2, that is okay for us, but then we conceded a third goal. We played as good as we can today. We put everything in that is possible against such teams but we saw a fantastic side.”

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on Edinson Cavani: “Great impact of course. He is a number nine who wants to be in between the posts, he is always on the move, he wants to get in front of you and I am very pleased with him. On the training pitch, in the dressing room and during meal times, how meticulous he is… He knows what he wants to eat, how much he wants to recover – everything! It was top movement and his timing is fantastic. His hunger to get on the end of things is the key for a centre-forward. Sometimes it hurts and sometimes it doesn’t but to score you have to be in there.”

Southampton center back Jan Bednarek looks dejected here at St Mary’s: “I think the first half was perfect for us. We did what we wanted but the second half was a little bit too sloppy. We let them feel like they could get something and in the end we didn’t defend good enough. The opposition was very strong in front,” Bednarek said. “As you can see, you have to be alive all the time as he just needs a few metres of space to score a goal. We need to analyse that. We are in the right place, right moment but we have to be humble to work hard and not lose a game like this. It wasn’t good enough today.”


Analysis:


Post-game chat: Wild celebrations from the Man United players and staff at the final whistle here at St Mary’s.


FULL TIME! They did it! Trailing 2-0 at half time, Man United fought back superbly to win 3-2. Edinson Cavani the hero, as the half time sub scored twice and set up another. Saints ran out of steam and United were much better throughout, but left it late to get a much-needed win. Solskjaer punches the air in delight.

95th minute: GOALLLL! Edinson Cavani has done it. He flicks home in the 94th minute to win it for Manchester United. They deserved that. What a second half comeback.

90th minute: Man United doing all the pressing, but Solskjaer reminds them to stay organized at the back. 5 minutes of stoppage time.

84th minute: It is tense here at St Mary’s….

75th minute: GOALLL! That was coming. Cavani heads home a deflected shot and makes it 2-2. El Matador has been great since coming on.

70th minute: CLOSEEE! Cavani almost flicks a header home. Man United have all the momentum. Solskjaer urging them forward and lining up counters.

60th minute: GOALLL! It was coming. Saints overplay and Edinson Cavani finds Bruno Fernandes who controls before slotting home. Game onnnnn!

56th minute: CLOSEEE! Edinson Cavani has a shot deflected just over as Bednarek is clattered by his teammate Djenepo. There is a brief lull in the game as Bednarek gets treatment, and a bus revs its engine on a nearby road and a seagull screeches.

55th minute: SAVEEE! What a stop from McCarthy. Rashford is clean through after Donny van de Beek won the ball back, but Saints’ goalkeeper stands tall and saves superb.

52nd minute: Walcott twice denied by Henderson, and they are both tame efforts. Southampton doing more pressing here.

46th minute: Second half is underway here: David de Gea has come off injured for Man United. Dean Henderson replaces him. Edinson Cavani replaces the ineffective Mason Greenwood. El Matador is delayed in coming on as he changes his boots and has to take off a bracelet which Solskjaer takes off him.

HALF TIME THOUGHTS: Well, that was a really strange half. Southampton worked hard but Manchester United had plenty of chances, as Greenwood and Bruno Fernandes twice went close. Saints work so hard and United are struggling to cope with the intensity of Saints’ high-press.


43rd minute: Marcus Rashford goes down right on the edge of the box under a challenge from Moussa Djenepo, who dangled a leg out. Little risky from Djenepo.

40th minute: Southampton are giving United so many problems. They are pressing high and United can’t cope with the intensity. Romeu has just got the ball off Bruno Fernandes. Saints are hunting in packs.

32nd minute: GOALLL! Southampton lead 2-0. Ward-Prowse whips a free kick over the wall and De Gea gets a hand to it but can’t keep it out. Saints in dreamland, as De Gea is hurt, but gets up. Moments later he stops Djenepo from making it 3-0.

27th minute: This is allllll Southampton now. Kyle Walker-Peters sees a deflected shot hit the post, then Moussa Djenepo crosses and United clear.

24th minute: GOALLLL! From that free kick, Southampton win a corner as Lindelof clears the danger. Ward-Prowse whips in a superb corner that Jan Bednarek flicks home at the near post. Marcus Rashford caught napping, and just before that United’s staff shouted for him to ‘organize’ and focus. Southampton lead.

21st minute: Hasenhuttl punches the air in delight and yells ‘yesss guyssss!’ as Saints press and win a free kick. He is delighted with the high energy from Southampton.

17th minute: It is getting spicy on the South Coast. Ward-Prowse booked for a late challenge on Donny van de Beek. The clouds have now moved in quickly, so I can longer say ‘The sunny South Coast.’

12th minute: A handball is spotted, then Oriol Romeu clatters Bruno Fernandes as he won the ball but took the man. Those of you who watched Saints’ draw at Man United in July will remember Romeu getting away with a nasty challenge on Greenwood. This could get spicy.

10th minute: Man United look dangerous on the break. Southampton are working hard and Hasenhuttl is barking out orders from the sidelines. He is basically on the pitch with them.

6th minute: CHANCE! Manchester United should be 1-0 up. Greenwood gets behind Vestergaard, Alex McCarthy is caught in two minds as he comes out. With an empty goal, but from a tight angle, Greenwood puts it into the side-netting. United’s staff are on their players here. They are screaming at them to push Southampton’s full backs high.

2nd minute: Saints have started brightly here. ‘Good Prowsey, good!’ screams Hasenhuttl as the Southampton skipper closes down well.

Kick off! A warm round of applause for Diego Maradona before the game here, as both sets of players and staff show their appreciation for the legendary Argentine player who passed away at the age of 60 earlier this week.

Pre-game shenanigans: Welcome to a sunny St Mary’s on the South Coast of England! Southampton’s players are out nice and early, while Man United follow them. Mr. Brightside by The Killers is played over the PA system as United come out. A nod to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, the ultimate Mr. Brightside!?

Just over 30 minutes until kick off, as Saints aim to momentarily go second in the table with a win. Brandon Williams has just been caught out in rondo, as United’s subs let out a large cheer. They seem in good spirits as a slight fog descends on St Mary’s. It is right on the River Itchen.


Team news

Southampton have one big injury absentee and that is Danny Ings. Their star striker underwent minor knee surgery in recent weeks and is schedule to be back by mid-December. Nathan Redmond is also out for the Saints, while Mohammed Salisu is continuing to work his way back to full fitness.

Manchester United had concerns over Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Victor Lindelof who were both subbed off during their win over Istanbul Basaksehir on Tuesday but both start. Luke Shaw and Paul Pogba remain out.

 


Odds and ends (full odds provided by our partner, PointsBet)

Southampton (+280) are worth a punt but are the underdogs, while Manchester United (-106) have been a little too inconsistent to bet big money on. The draw at +245 looks very enticing.

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Prediction

These two teams drew on both occasions they met each other last season and Saints’ high-press works well against United’s counter-attacking style. Given the form both teams are in, you could argue Southampton are the favorites. I’m going for another draw. Southampton 1-1 Manchester United.


How to watch Southampton – Manchester United stream and start time

Kickoff: 9am ET Sunday
TV Channel: NBCSN
Online: Stream via NBCSports.com