Manchester United drew 1-1 with Southampton at Old Trafford in the Premier League. Jadon Sancho was the best player on the pitch, opening the scoring. Che Adams equalised for the Saints three minutes into the second half. United were toothless and spineless.
United started well against the Saints, who are in in form team and a problem for United based on that. It was Rangnick’s side who started on the front foot at the Theatre of Dreams, seeking to find an early goal to chance the game and United’s fortunes.
Marcus Rashford got himself booked in the 16th minute of the match, which was not a great start for him but five minutes later, he found himself on the right flank, cutting into the box and providing an assist for Jadon Sancho, who scored his first Premier League goal at Old Trafford.
Scott McTominay saw himself booked in the 31st minute of the match after a series of fouls and he needed to keep his head for the remainder of the match. United would be pleased with their earlier goal but needed to find a second to give them a chance of winning.
Paul Pogba found a second goal for United at the end of the first half but the linesman raised his flag very late, running the goal out for United. Rangnick was not happy and is shows that United needed to be more clinical in the second half to get this victory.
United ended the half with 46.8% possession, having five shots on goal, four of those on target. Rangnick’s side will need to find a second goal in order to win this match, which is a must win match at the end of the day or United’s chances of finishing in the top four will be much tougher.
Jack Stephens replaced Jan Bednarek at the start of the second half for Southampton. Just three minutes into the second half, the equaliser came with Che Adams, assisted by Mohamed Elyounoussi. It was a big blow for United and one they must fight back from.
The Saints had two chances after equalising, missing one with the other saved. In the 57th minute, Harry Maguire had a chance for United with Frazer Forster making the save. Diogo Dalot had a chance too, seeing his effort saved. United needed to get a second goal.
In the 71st minute of the match Valentino Livramento replaced Elyounoussi for the Saints. United also scored another goal minutes later through Cristiano Ronaldo, but it was disallowed for offside. Anthony Elanga replaced McTominay in the 76th minute of the match.
Jesse Lingard replaced Rashford in the 82nd minute of the match with United seeking an elusive second goal. Two minutes later, Paul Pogba received his fifth booking of the season after two Southampton players clattered into each other with his minimal involvement, or so it seemed.
Southampton made their final substitution in the fifth minute of added time with Ibrahima Diallo replacing Oriol Romeu. United still had one substitution left, which was obviously not getting used. Before the substitution, Maguire had a header on goal with Forster making the save.
United will face Brighton and Hove Albion on Tuesday evening, which is the second of the two postponed matches from December. They are fifth for now but four of the teams immediately below them have two matches in hand, one has three. Top four is going to be tough.
David De Gea: Did well to thwart Armstrong. Did not make the dive to try and deflect Adams’ effort, which could have resulted in a save. Perhaps Henderson should be given a shot at this position in the next match? ★★★★★★
Diogo Dalot: Was out of his position when Adams scored. Attacked well but was indecisive with the ball in the attacking areas. Needs to be better at that as an attacking fullback. Wan-Bissaka may well get a start in the next match. ★★★★★
Raphael Varane: Had some issues in this match. He was drawn out of his position for Adams’ goal, which was not great for the Frenchman. He’s the better central defender in this team but will become much better with a partner in form. ★★★★★★
Harry Maguire: Put in a poor performance against Burnley and was not much better in this match. Booked for a foul and seemed to push his luck at times. Had two chances on goal – both were saved. That was the only two positives for him. ★★★★★
Luke Shaw: Blocked a shot on goal by Ward-Prowse, which made the difference in this match. Did well in the first half but faded in the second. Telles might well start against Brighton. Walker-Peters pushing him in the second half making the Saints the better team. ★★★★★
Bruno Fernandes: Released Rashford which created the opening goal for Sancho. Was frustrated three minutes into the second half as United lost their lead. It got worse there for him and United. He worked hard at times but lost it all as his frustration rang through. ★★★★★
Scott McTominay: The Scotland international was lively in this match, doing well against Ward-Prowse but got booked in the 31st minute. He was aware at times but also seemed like a liability with the fouls. He was replaced in the 76th minute by Elanga. ★★★★★
Paul Pogba: Once again it was a good first half performance in the first half but he tired off in the second half. He wanted to change the game but some of his teammates were not willing to work hard – which is all that can be said. ★★★★★★
Marcus Rashford: Got his second assist of the season despite starting poorly. Guilty of not working hard enough for United, which can be said for most players. He’s a talented player but priorities need to be right for it to work well. ★★★★★
Cristiano Ronaldo: Another poor performance for the 37-year-old. Missed an easy chance at 0-0. Was caught offside, which cost United. Seemed to be a player stuck in the past. It is a shame Cavani was not fit to play. ★★★
Jadon Sancho: Man of the Match for me. It was the third game in a row that he produced some great play. He should be proud of what he has done. He was a handful at times for the Saints. His decision-making was not the best at times. Slowed after the break. ★★★★★★★
Anthony Elanga: Replaced McTominay 76′. He was lively when he came on but a player this inexperienced cannot fight for the goals himself. His teammates need to get involved too. It is a shame to think he might not learn anything positive from this squad. ★★★★★★
Jesse Lingard: Replaced Rashford 82′. Booked minutes after he came on. Largely ineffective. Not sure why he was brought on to be honest. Should have been allowed to leave last month. He was effective at West Ham last season, but doesn’t seem to want to perform. ★★★★
Goals: Jadon Sancho 21′; Che Adams 48′
Assists: Marcus Rashford 21′; Mohamed Elyounoussi 48′
Manchester United: De Gea; Dalot, Varane, Maguire, Shaw; Fernandes, McTominay (Elanga 76′), Pogba; Rashford (Lingard 82′), Ronaldo, Sancho
Substitutes Not Used: Henderson; Lindelof, Jones, Telles, Wan-Bissaka; Mata, Hannibal
Bookings: Marcus Rashford 16′, Scott McTominay 31′, Paul Pogba 85′, Jesse Lingard 90′
Written by John Walker