Manchester United were pinned back by Southampton at Old Trafford, as Ralf Rangnick’s men dropped more ground in the top four battle.
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Jadon Sancho gave United an early lead but they couldn’t stay in control of the game and Che Adams finished across goal to equalize early in the second half.
Both teams had chances to win it but United didn’t really do enough to secure the three points. They have 40 points from 24 games, while Southampton have 29 points from 24 games.
Manchester United vs Southampton final score, stats
Manchester United 1-1 Southampton
Goals scored: Sancho 21′, Adams 48′
Shots: Manchester United 12, Southampton 13
Shots on target: Manchester United 8, Southampton 4
Possession: Manchester United 53, Southampton 47
Three things we learned from Manchester United vs Southampton
1. United once again unable to keep the press going: They started well, just like they did against Middlesbrough in the FA Cup and Burnley in midweek, but then the press faded. Badly. This United side have improved defensively but they do not have the fitness levels to maintain Rangnick’s Gegenpressing style. They will get there, but right now they are losing ground in the top four battle each and every week. United’s defense looks shattered after 60 minutes of a game and they failed to score two or three and put the game to bed early on.
2. Saints surging: What a job Ralph Hasenhuttl is doing at Southampton. In their last three PL games they’ve drawn against Manchester City, won away at Tottenham and drawn away at Manchester United. To have the energy levels to start the exact same team who won at Spurs less than 72 hours before (and had a day less to recover than United) is incredible. But this Saints side are more than just a physical side. They have become smarter on the ball, smarter defensively and they can control games too. Yes, they leave themselves exposed, but they attack and take risks. If they had been more clinical at United they would have scored three or four. With a low net spend over the last three years and now new ownership in place to help with funds to build on the third-youngest squad in the PL, look out for Southampton over the next few years. They also have five very winnable games coming up next. Can they cause problems to teams who will sit back deep against them?
3. Top four remains wide open: It’s a cliche, but does anybody want to finish fourth in the Premier League this season? Manchester United, Tottenham, West Ham and Wolves are all showing cracks and Arsenal seem to be the favorites to finish fourth. United have played more games than their rivals and must hope they now slip up. United have the individual players to win games and they just have to hope that Rangnick’s tactics continued to work and they can stay solid defensively and give themselves a chance to win games. The battle for fourth is going to be intense in the final few months of the season.
Man of the Match: Armando Broja – Bullied Maguire and along with Che Adams, ran United ragged. What a talent he is.
Armando Broja took on Raphael Varane with ease early on and sent a dangerous cross into the box but his Saints teammates couldn’t get on the end of it.
At the other end Marcus Rashford whipped in a dangerous ball as Ronaldo lurked. After good play from Jadon Sancho, Ronaldo then rounded Fraser Forster but Romain Perraud cleared with the ball rolling in.
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Southampton almost took the lead as a ball to the back post found Kyle Walker-Peters, and his effort found Che Adams who slipped. United then broke rapidly and Sancho ran in on goal but Forster saved well.
Lively Sancho gets first PL goal at Old Trafford
United took the lead in the first half through Sancho, as a lovely ball from Fernandes played in Rashford down the right and he crossed for Sancho to slot home the opener.
Saints responded well after going behind as Stuart Armstrong flashed a shot wide, Walker-Peters whipped in a dangerous cross and Armstrong’s acrobatic effort saved well by David de Gea and DDG also denied Perraud.
Surging Saints equalize
At the start of the second half Saints did get the equalizer they deserved as Mohamed Elyounoussi played a perfect ball in to Che Adams and he finished across goal to make it 1-1.
Armstrong then had a great chance after a run from Walker-Peters, as United struggled to regain control of the game.
Harry Maguire almost bundled home a free kick but Forster saved with his feet, then Forster denied Ronaldo and Dalot.
At the other end Armstrong lashed a good chance over, then Broja caused problems but couldn’t get the final ball right. Late on Fraser Forster denied Maguire’s header, as he clawed it away in stoppage time.