Manchester United came from behind to draw 1-1 with Southampton at St Mary’s. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side were tested on the road once again and needed to push to get back into the match after Fred was the last player to touch the ball, scoring an own goal in the 30th minute of the match. United battled back and earned an equaliser through Mason Greenwood, assisted by Paul Pogba which leaves Greenwood with two goals and Pogba with five assists after two matches this season. United could not find a winner, despite having the luxury of Jadon Sancho and Jesse Lingard, who came off the bench, as did Scott McTominay. United have matches Arsenal’s 27-match away unbeaten run and will be tested against Wolves next week.
United started well against the Saints and lost had the ball in the net in the early stages of the match, which was somehow cleared from the line. United were dominant in possession and by the 20-minute mark, had five shots on goal with one on target. Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes were the playing driving United forward and the Saints were heavily reliant on numbers in the box to stop United from taking an early lead. It would seem to be only a matter of time before United took the lead in the match. However, after a lot of pressing and posturing, it was the Saints that took the lead in the 30th minute of the match with Che Adams sending a feint ball towards the goal and David de Gea not able to stop it hitting the back of the net. United would need to come from behind once again to beat Southampton.
United were seeking to get the equaliser but the Saints were stopping them every chance they had. The home side them then tried to double their lead after Valentino Livramento burst forward with Fred chasing him, the Brazilian unable to chase him down and ending up falling near United’s box. The ball was crossed in across the face of the goal but United did enough to stop the Saints from scoring again. The warning signs have been shown for United and now they needed to find the form they had last week to get back on level ground. 26 matches away from home undefeated and it would be a shame if that ended in this match. I am sure that Solskjaer has something up his sleeve to change the outcome of this match but nothing happened to get the game level before the half time break.
The Saints made a single substitution during the half time break with Jan Bednarek replacing Theo Walcott. Solskjaer did not see a reason to make any changes right away but there would need to be some soon if the stagnation continued into the second half. United did have a chance to equalise with Pogba the last United player to touch the ball before calling for a handball against Mohammed Salisu, which was not given but United won a corner. Despite some positive play from the corner and the ball nearly finding its way to Anthony Martial, United were still behind in the fixture. In the 55th minute of the match Mason Greenwood scored his second goal of the season, his second in two matches with Paul Pogba providing the assist, his fifth of the season so far. United were level and now needed to find the victory in this match.
Solskjaer made his first substitution in the 59th minute of the match with Jadon Sancho replacing Anthony Martial, who did not have the best of performances against the Saints. Having just levelled the score before he came on, United would need to push the Saints to get the victory they need to keep their season on track. In the 64th minute, after some good play by Luke Shaw, Sancho and Fred, Greenwood had a header in the box which was just over the crossbar. United seemed to be building something in this stage of the match with Sancho starting to turn on the style. Another chance came to nothing though with the Saints goalkeeper gathering the ball and parrying a save. United are knocking on the door and the knocks will end up coming harder and faster as the game goes on.
The Saints made their second substitution in the 70th minute with Moussa Djenepo being replaced by Ibrahima Diallo after Djenepo was booked in the 51st minute for a foul and did not seem to heed that warning. The Saints then had a lot of the ball with United sitting back ready to grab the ball and start an attack, allowing the Saints to tire themselves ready for United to pounce, maybe? Scott McTominay was warming up as David de Gea made an important one-on-one save to deny the Saints from their second goal of the match – which was a great save and will build on the players confidence. The resulting corner came nothing from the Saints, but they did end up winning another, which once again resulted in a credible attempt on goal, which seemed to not create a problem for United. More warning signs for United – who need to get ahead in this match.
Solskjaer made his second substitution in the 76th minute of the match with Fred making way for McTominay. Harry Maguire was booked for a challenge in the 77th minute of the match, adding to the booking of Bruno Fernandes from the first half of the match. James Ward-Prowse took a free-kick, aiming straight for the goal with De Gea punching the ball into the box and United getting possession from it. It was another confidence boost for the Spaniard. The Saints then made their third substitution with Kyle Walker-Peters replacing Romain Perraud in the 80th minute of the match. The Saints were still pushing for another goal, to take all three points in this match but it was not happening for them. Solskjaer was readying Jesse Lingard to come on with five minutes left of the second half.
Lingard replaced Nemanja Matic in the 86th minute of the match with the Saints pushing for another goal late in the game. De Gea managed to clear the line though, which saw the Saints recover the ball and push yet again. United needed to find a spark of magic to win this match, although their unbeaten run would be stretched to 27 matches away from home, matching Arsenal’s record if the score stayed the same. Paul Pogba and Jack Stephens were booked in added time with both teams seeking to find a winner that never came. United matched Arsenal’s record, and could break it against Wolverhampton Wanderers next weekend, which will be another tough match on the road for Solskjaer’s side. Southampton will be happy with the point they earned and United will be seeking to right their wrongs from this match.
Goals: Fred og 30’; Mason Greenwood 55’
Assists: Paul Pogba 55′
Manchester United: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw; Fred (McTominay 76′), Matic (Lingard 86′); Greenwood, Fernandes, Pogba; Martial (Sancho 59′)
Substitutes Not Used: Heaton; Varane, Dalot; Mata, James, Van de Beek
Bookings: Moussa Djenepo 51′, Jack Stephens 90+3′; Bruno Fernandes 31′, Harry Maguire 77′, Paul Pogba 90+1′
Written by John Walker