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Ratings: Southampton 2-0 Manchester United – Premier League 2 2016/17

Manchester United’s U23’s had a trip down south to face Southampton and played at the home team’s main stadium – St Mary’s. The first half replicated the senior team fixture just gone as Southampton dominated the possession, unchallenged much by United until they got closer to goal, and they had some good chances to take the lead which wasn’t taken although they eventually got the goals they searched for. Unlike the first team, United didn’t get a goal before half-time and in fact didn’t get a goal at all as Southampton ultimately ran out 2-0 winners in a reverse of the scoreline   that the senior Reds had. United players were obviously receiving the ball, not many appeared to actually want it, and still without a natural centre-forward, they struggled to break through an organised Saints defence. Embarrassing and deluded were two words used to describe the United side by unhappy coach Warren Joyce in his post-match interview and on the showing it’s hard to disagree.

Manchester United

Dean Henderson

Two goals conceded was a harsh end to a decent display from the keeper. He made a fantastic save from a shot that was bound for the top corner but he was unable to do anything about the goals that went past him, especially the first which was deflected past him off of Joe Riley.

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Sadiq El-Fitouri

A much better showing from El-Fitouri defensively at least, winning most if not all of his one-on-one duels. In possession, though, he always looked hurried and was unable to do anything of note going forwards.

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Regan Poole

Poole was much more comfortable defensively than he has been in previous games and he was good in making a number of important clearances both in the air and on the floor. He can be pleased with his own display today despite being part of a defence that conceded two goals.

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38 Axel Tuanzebe

For the most part Tuanzebe had another good game, both on and off the ball, however, he'll be disappointed with his part in both of Southampton's goals where both of his only mistakes of the night were punished. An awkward header went straight to Southampton's Josh Sims who scored and he lost his man for the second goal from a corner after being blocked by another opposing player. He made a very important interception in the first half and a vital tackle to deny a certain goal in the second, although he lost his focus a bit towards the end of the game with several unneeded fouls as the game ran away from his side.

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Joe Riley

It was a difficult night for Riley as he was often under a lot of pressure when receiving the ball. He didn't get forward as much as usual and his general play suggested tiredness which is a rarity for him but he was decent on the ball when he did get it. He was an unfortunate victim of wrong place, wrong time when Southampton's first goal deflected in off of him from a shot that looked initially like a comfortable save for Dean Henderson.

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39 Scott McTominay

Playing in a more familiar position, sitting in front of the back four, McTominay was the pick of the United players on the night as he was impressive in his passing and in regaining possession. He made a great run from deep which ended with him setting up James Weir for a golden chance that, if taken, would've changed the game. As usual, he got stuck in and looked like one of the only players with any desire on the night.

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46 Josh Harrop

As always Josh Harrop was getting on the ball and looking to create, although there was not much in front of him, which led to him taking on some shots from distance himself, one of which stretched Southampton's keeper to tip wide. He was constantly dragging the team forward and taking responsibility in the match, always showing for the ball and displaying a hunger that most of his teammates didn't share on the night. Like Tuanzebe, he got quite petulant towards the end and got himself booked and that's something that he needs to stamp out of his game but he can take heart from his evening's work.

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42 Matty Willock

He was tidy in possession and made a few good runs forward with the ball although he drifted in and out of the game. He looked one of the more likely to create something and although not everything he attempted came off, he was persistent up until the last-minute. He looked leggy getting back at times as Southampton consistently got in behind the midfield and he'll be looking to improve upon this display on Sunday against Chelsea.

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Devonte Redmond

It is often said that Redmond needs to impose himself on matches more and this game was no different as he never really got going. With McTominay behind him, Redmond didn't appear to have much of an actual role in the side and would likely have been one of the player's manager Warren Joyce was referring to when he said after the match that they looked like a group of individuals thrown together with no plan on and off the ball. He was far too passive in possession and ineffective going both backwards and forwards.

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Tosin Kehinde

Again out wide, Kehinde was positive on the ball and clearly forward thinking. He was one of the players that struggled with not having a recognised striker ahead of him with him not playing many line-breaking passes. He and Harrop rotated effectively and often linked up to try to force openings which never manifested. He will be hoping for an opportunity in his favoured central spot and on the showing of those currently in his place, he may well get it soon.

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Ratings: Southampton 2-0 Manchester United – Premier League 2 2016/17

A bad day at the office for the captain. Nothing really came off for Weir as he spurned two great chances in both halves. One of which he got just inside the box unchallenged and skied way over and the second he dragged way wide from around six yards out. Although Tuanzebe lost his man for the corner that led to the second half, Weir tried, failed and should have done better in picking up the runner as he was pushed away with ease before seeing the header fly in.

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Substitutes

35 Demetri Mitchell

Replaced El-Fitouri. After his late winner last week, Mitchell came on with expectations of a big impact but he was limited in what he could do as he came on at left back. Still, he got forward a lot in the time that he had and constantly came for the ball, looking to make things happen when he did. He was booked for a late challenge at the very end as he was visibly frustrated and eager to make the difference. He continues, however, to look good whenever he comes on and a start can't be too far away for him.

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