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Ratings: Cavani is a cracking player; Fernandes dug in and Henderson positive after league debut as United beat the Saints 3-2

Manchester United beat Southampton 3-2 at St Mary’s in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be relieved after seeing his side go 2-0 down in the first half and lose David De Gea to a knock, which saw Dean Henderson make his Premier League debut for the club. Bruno Fernandes got United back into the game with his goal in the 60th minute of the match and a brace from Edinson Cavani (74′ and 90+2′) got United another three points on the road this season, which is where they have played their best football, only winning at home to West Bromwich Albion for the first time in the league this season last weekend.

United started well against the Saints and were seeking to pressure the home side from the very start of the match. Mason Greenwood had the chance to open the scoring in the seventh minute of the match but his left-footed shot was wide of the target. Bruno Fernandes then had a chance nine minutes later, shooting wide of the target. The Saints took the lead in the 23rd minute of the match from a corner taken by James Ward-Prowse which found Jan Bednarek inside the box for the Polish defender to head past David De Gea. The Saints seemed to have risen to United’s challenge and were pushing to ensure they cause maximum damage.

United did not recover from the opening goal with the Saints turning the tide and pressuring United and their shaky defence, which seemed inept at times in the first half. The quick passing and the attacking threat made United look poor and ten minutes after the opening goal, Ward-Prowse scored himself from a free-kick with De Gea reaching the ball and getting half a hand on it but was unable to stop the strike from being scored. United were 2-0 down with a lot of soul searching to be done to get back into the match. United never really got themselves back into the match before the end of the first half. There will be a lot to play for now.

At the start of the second half, United made a double substitution with Dean Henderson replacing De Gea and Edinson Cavani replacing Greenwood. Seven minutes into the second half, Marcus Rashford has a chance on goal which was saved by Alex McCarthy. Cavani had a chance, winning a corner for United, which came to nothing. United eventually scored in the 60th minute of the match through Fernandes, assisted by Cavani whose cross picked out the Portuguese midfielder who showed his clinical edge to get United back into the match. Cavani scored the equaliser for United in the 74th minute of the match with a superb header.

Despite looking settled for the draw and a point, United continued to break forward and create. Cavani scored the winning in the second minute of stoppage time, despite other chances to do the same. Like his first goal in the match, the winner came off his head. United seemed dead and buried as they conceded the second goal of the match to go 2-0 down by Fernandes’ goal in the second half, followed by the equaliser gave United the impetus to continue breaking forward and find that winning goal. They have shot up to seventh in the league with this win and will now be getting ready to face Paris Saint-Germain at Old Trafford in the Champions League on Wednesday evening.

Manchester United

1 David De Gea

Conceded twice in ten minutes during the first half. Ward-Prowse swung a corner in for Bednarek to head home and Ward-Prowse scoring from a free-kick ten minutes later. The Spaniard seemed to suffer a knock in the second goal, which is worrying. He was replaced by Henderson at the start of the second half.

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29 Aaron Wan-Bissaka

Defensively, Wan-Bissaka did well against Southampton and played better in the second half. He ability to tackle, at last-ditch is second to none and it shows how he is as a player. I say this often but he needs to start offering more going forward.

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2 Victor Lindelof

Did not concede in open play. Seemed determined to get United back in the game from 2-0 and as we saw, they got back into the game, levelled the game and won the game.

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5 Harry Maguire

Led the team from behind to victory. United need to get better defensively. January should see United looking to sign a player to improve the defence. This will be the area that lets United down this season, especially with many injury prone players in the team.

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27 Alex Telles

Played well against Southampton at left-back. It is good to see a player that can offer more than Shaw has at the club. Despite going 2-0 down in the first half and levelling (2-2) by the 74th minute, Telles did well, getting forward a lot of the time. He was replaced by Williams in the 84th minute of the match.

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17 Fred

Played some good football against Southampton but many will not recognise that as they only want to see Pogba play dire football as he's 'the man' apparently. Fred offers United something, his work rate is good and he's been in good form recently. Just because he does not score regularly does not mean he's rubbish.

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31 Nemanja Matic

Slow at times but defensively, he can pull it out of the bag and help United, not that it happened for both Southampton goals, which came from set-pieces.

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34 Donny van de Beek

Did well in midfield in a match which perhaps saw the worst of United in the first half and the best of United in the second half. It was good to see him start again. Hopefully he starts against PSG on Wednesday too.

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18 Bruno Fernandes

Seemed off against the Saints. Had a good chance on goal in the 16th minute but was off target. On the hour mark of the match, the Portuguese midfielder got United back in the game after Cavani assisted for him. Assisted for Cavani 14 minutes later to level the game for United.

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11 Mason Greenwood

His finishing was poor. He could have put United ahead in the seventh minute of the match. He was replaced by Cavani in the 46th minute of the match.

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10 Marcus Rashford

His pace is great for United but at this moment in time, Rashford is either in form or he's not. At the moment, he seems to be in the latter. Had the chance to score for United in the second half, running through on goal but could not beat the goalkeeper. Got an assist for Cavani's winner in added time.

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Substitutes

26 Dean Henderson

Replaced De Gea 46'. Was not really tested by Southampton, who did all their scoring in the first half of the match. Good to see him make his United debut in the Premier League though. If De Gea is out for any length of time, I am sure he can fill the void, if needed.

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7 Edinson Cavani

Replaced Greenwood 46'. Assisted for Fernandes to put United back in the game and scored, assisted by Fernandes 14 minutes later to level the game. He's a cracking striker to have at the club. Another 30+ player with skill and class. Age is but a number. He scored the winner in the second minute of added time showing his class with another sublime header.

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33 Brandon Williams

Replaced Telles 84'. Came on late in the game with United drawing 2-2 at the time. Did his job and United went on to get the win.

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Goals: Jan Bednarek 23′, James Ward-Prowse 33′; Bruno Fernandes 60′, Edinson Cavani 74′, 90+2′

Assists: James Ward-Prowse 23′; Edinson Cavani 60′, Bruno Fernandes 74′, Marcus Rashford 90+2′

Manchester United: De Gea (Henderson 46′); Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Telles (Williams 84′); Fred, Matic, Van de Beek; Fernandes; Greenwood (Cavani 46′), Rashford

Substitutes Not Used: Fosu-Mensah, Tuanzebe; Mata, James

Bookings: James Ward-Prowse 16′

Written by John Walker

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