It’s four-straight points for Saints, who were still buzzing after a 1-0 win over old nemesis Leicester City and now hold 22 points. That’s still in the Premier League cellar but also three points back of 15th with two matches ahead in the next 8 days.
Manchester United’s flickering and improbable hopes of a Premier League title run look extinguished with the surprise draw at Old Trafford. The Red Devils’ 50 points are 16 back of leaders Arsenal, and Tottenham’s 48 points are right behind them.
Casemiro red card changes game; David De Gea reaction
The Brazilian’s reckless challenge saw him skid his foot off the top of the ball and directly into the leg of Carlos Alcaraz.
It’s a move that’s been used to inflict damage on a player without drawing judgment from the referee in the past, but there’s VAR now and once it went to a review it was hard to imagine Casemiro wouldn’t see his second red card of the season.
The immediate aftermath saw Manchester United in control and it seems fair to infer Saints didn’t do much work this week on what they’d do if they had the ball.
But halftime saw Saints regroup and the second half was a mad house of chances for the hosts and visitors. How this ended 0-0, we don’t know, but the keepers were both good and the goal posts did their job as well.
Speaking of goalkeepers, De Gea did not much like the red card for his teammate.
“I think Casemiro was unlucky,” De Gea said, via the BBC. “He tried to touch the ball and his foot came up high. I think the referees need to show more consistency. Sometimnes they show a red card and sometimes they don’t. … It’s going to be tough [to miss Casemiro]. He’s a big player. We will miss him for four games but we have a big suqad. We have players coming from the bench who do well. We will keep working hard.”
Manchester United vs Southampton player ratings: Stars of the Show
Gavin Bazunu and David De Gea: The keepers made four saves each and were both blessed by their goal posts, too; De Gea’s stunning close-range stop of Theo Walcott early was huge.
Jadon Sancho: Fired forward to provide plenty of danger, oozing class in open field when he could find it, but his nine recoveries showed a buy-in that some have doubted at times.
Kyle Walker-Peters: Struck the woodwork and also owned the right side of the pitch as Marcus Rashford struggled to make waves.
Armel Bella-Kotchap: Would’ve been a crime if VAR had awarded a penalty against the prone back for handball in general, but even moreso considering his immense day in front of Bazunu. Five clearances, nine recoveries, and a pair of created chances.
Man United’s off to Betis on Thursday with a 4-1 first leg advantage in the Europa League Round of 16, then will host Fulham on Sunday in the FA Cup quarterfinals.
Saints are right back at it Wednesday with a visit from Brentford before Tottenham comes to town on Sunday.
Erik ten Hag reaction: Inconsistent officiating a problem for Man United
Erik ten Hag did not like Casemiro’s red card, nor did he enjoy Armel Bella-Kotchup let off the hook for a prone handball in the Southampton box.
He held special scorn for the red card.
“Inconsistent,” Ten Hag said, via the Manchester Evening News. “The referee is coming in the start of the season with a policy, we are Premier League, it’s coming strong here, we want intensity. Casemiro is across European games, over 500 games he never had a red card. Now he has two. Think about that. He plays tough but he plays fair. And also in this, he’s playing fair, same as against Crystal Palace, so it’s very debatable.
“Everyone who knows something about football, you know, and of course, when you freeze it, it looks bad. But everyone who knows something about football, who was acting on top football, they know what is bad, what isn’t bad and what is fair. And I tell you: Casemiro is a really fair player. Tough, but fair.”
Casemiro red card video: Reckless foot sends Man Utd to 10 men
How to watch Manchester United vs Southampton live, stream link and start time
Manchester United got a brilliant bounce back from Bruno Fernandes, who had a goal and an assist against Betis. Fernandes does not fancy coming out of the lineup and will like his chances of cutting open Southampton’s back line.
Saints’ Carlos Alcaraz showed the club exactly what it wants from its attackers with his goal against Leicester, but the minor injury he suffered celebrating was not ideal. Saints will hope he’s ready to go versus Man United, who will perhaps be struggling for energy after a snowy, cold beatdown of Betis.
Manchester United team news, injuries, lineup options
OUT: Christian Eriksen (ankle), Donny van de Beek (knee), Mason Greenwood (suspension – MORE), Anthony Martial (hip), Marcel Sabitzer (knock)
Southampton team news, injuries, lineup options
OUT: Valentino Livramento (knee), Juan Larios (adductor)