SOUTHAMPTON, England — Bruno Fernandes proved to be Manchester United‘s matchwinner, scoring the one aim of the sport within the victory in opposition to Southampton on Saturday. A clear sheet and an away win was one other landmark second as new coach Erik ten Hag makes an attempt to United enjoying in his personal model.
Right here is our response to Saturday’s Premier League conflict on the south coast.
1. United construct on Liverpool win
After beating Liverpool 2-1 at Outdated Trafford on Monday evening, the query right here was all the time this: might Manchester United again it up?
United didn’t attain the identical degree of depth and high quality as 5 days earlier however Fernandes’ Fifty fifth-minute aim was sufficient to beat Southampton 1-0 and provides them back-to-back victories for the primary time since February (188 days.)
Though goalkeeper David de Gea was compelled into one excellent second-half save to disclaim Joe Aribo, United have been comparatively snug — if largely unimpressive — as the house aspect tried in useless to push for an equaliser. Southampton had misplaced six of their final eight residence video games in all competitions and so they regarded wanting efficiency in assault, however this was as a lot a take a look at of utility and angle for United as something and on that rating, they met the problem. These stay formative days within the Ten Hag period however one other victory will give him extra momentum to construct on with Leicester Metropolis up subsequent on Thursday.
2. Away-day distress lastly ends
United had misplaced their final seven matches away from residence within the Premier League, the newest rating as arguably the nadir of a depressing spell – a 4-0 thrashing at Brentford. Saturday’s win was not emphatic however United regarded extra organised and compact than they’ve executed in lots of matches throughout that run, retaining a clear sheet on the highway for the primary time in any competitors since December 2021 (in opposition to Norwich).
This was a distinct activity to going through Liverpool given United had extra of the ball (51% in opposition to Southampton in comparison with 30% vs. Liverpool) and whereas they weren’t as fluent as Ten Hag would have favored, his staff didn’t look wherever close to as weak when strikes broke down. The arrival of Casemiro ought to assist that additional in future — the Brazilian appeared for the ultimate 10 minutes to make his debut, serving to United defend one threatening second as they edged in direction of the ending line.
3. Ronaldo and Maguire omissions gasoline hypothesis
“You’ve got solely come to see Ronaldo,” sang the away followers shortly after he made his 68th-minute introduction as an alternative. Doubts stays over whether or not this is perhaps the final probability anybody will get to see Cristiano Ronaldo in a United shirt after the 37-year-old was as soon as once more disregarded of Ten Hag’s beginning lineup.
Hypothesis continued this week that Ronaldo’s agent, Jorge Mendes, is searching for to discover a appropriate membership who can provide the ahead Champions League soccer with Napoli the newest membership to carry talks. Ten Hag has, nevertheless, made constructive noises about planning for the season with Ronaldo within the ranks and so an unsure finish to the window awaits.
At the least Ronaldo bought on the pitch. Harry Maguire watched everything of this recreation from the bench as Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez confirmed extra encouraging indicators of forging an efficient centre-back partnership collectively. With Chelsea closing in on the big-money signing of Wesley Fofana, might Leicester provide Maguire an escape route again to his former membership? Would he even need to leap ship?
Southampton: Bazunu 7, Walker-Peters 7, Salisu 6, Bella-Kotchap 7, Djenepo 6, Lavia 7, Ward-Prowse 7, A Armstrong 7, Elyounoussi 6, Aribo 7, Adams 6.
Subs: S Armstrong 6, Mara 6, Perraud 6, Lyanco 6.
Manchester United: De Gea 7, Dalot 7, Martinez 7, Varane 7, Malacia 7, McTominay 6, Eriksen 8, Sancho 6, Fernandes 7, Elanga 6, Rashford 5.
Subs: Ronaldo 6, Casemiro 6, Fred 6.
Greatest and worst performers
BEST: Eriksen, Manchester United.
WORST: Rashford, Manchester United.
Marcus Rashford struggled to construct on the promise of his efficiency in opposition to Liverpool. Ended with simply 28 touches — the fewest of any participant to final 90 minutes — and one shot.
Highlights and notable moments
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) August 27, 2022
After the match: What the managers, gamers mentioned
“It needs to be the usual for Manchester United,” boss Erik tan Hag mentioned after the sport. “It needs to be regular but in addition you rejoice each win as a result of you need to battle for it. We learnt from our lesson in Brentford.
“There’s room for enchancment however there was additionally some actually good soccer. The final half an hour was a survival and there I believe we will do higher. There was not all the time strain on the ball however [the defenders] stayed compact and have been straight within the duals. I used to be snug they’d take care of it.
“The end [from Bruno Fernandes] was magnificent however the half earlier than, it was a staff aim. We constructed it up from the again and there have been some extra moments straight after half time the place it was effectively performed from the staff. We have now to enhance in possession.”
Key stats (offered by ESPN Stats & Data)
Man United win consecutive video games for the primary time since February (vs. Brighton and Leeds). They haven’t received three or extra consecutive video games throughout all competitions since April 2021 (5.)
Manchester United: The Purple Devils head to Leicester Metropolis on Thursday, Sept. 1, after which they host Arsenal on Sunday, Sept. 4.
Southampton: The Saints face Chelsea on Tuesday, Aug. 30 earlier than making the journey to Wolves on Saturday, Sept. 3.