Ratings: Varane, Dalot and Martinez all did well against the Saints; Fernandes scored only goal

United need attacking depth this summer as there is stagnation and no real glimpses of brilliance

Manchester United beat Southampton 1-0 in the Premier League at St Mary’s getting back to back Premier League victories for the first time since February. Bruno Fernandes was the scorer of the solitary goal with David De Gea keeping his first clean sheet this season.

United started brightly against Southampton with Bruno Fernandes drawing a save from Gavin Bazunu in the seventh minute of the match. Three minutes later Mohamed Elyounoussi saw his shot on goal blocked. Adam Armstrong then had his shot saved by David de Gea in the 13th minute.

Fernandes had his second shot of the match in the 19th minute, this time it was blocked but the ball was still in play in the box. Anthony Elanga then saw his shot saved before Fernandes had another blocked. Christian Eriksen was the final player to try and get the ball in the net, which was blocked.

United seemed to have the lion’s share of the chances in the early stages of the half. Scott McTominay unleashed a shot on goal in the 20th minute of the match, missing the target. It was a 50/50 game from there before Che Adams missed the target in the 29th minute.

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In the 31st minute, Armel Bella-Kotchap missed the target with his first attempt of the game. It seemed that both teams were being sloppy in front of goal in this match, which had to improve if either of the team was going to get the win today.

Adams then drew a save from De Gea in the 32nd minute of the match. His influence in the match was starting to grow and he will be full of confidence with four goals so far this season, scoring twice in the Carabao Cup earlier in the week. United will need to string something together soon.

Adams saw an attempt saved and blocked in consecutive minutes (38′ and 39′) as the Saints looked to take a lead before the break. Marcus Rashford saw his shot blocked in the 44th minute of the match with Fernandes having a shot blocked a minute later.

At the break it was 0-0. It was also the first time since February that United had not conceded a goal in the first half of an away match. There was no real intent from either side but it clearly shows that United still need reinforcement this summer with five days to go before the transfer window closes.

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There were no changes for either team at the start of the second half. McTominay saw his attempt on goal saved in the 49th minute and Diogo Dalot was booked for a foul in the 50th minute, the same minute that Raphael Varane missed the target.

In the 55th minute of the match, United took the lead through Fernandes, who was assisted by Dalot, shooting from inside the box and beating the goalkeeper. The United supporters in the stadium started to sing Glazers out after the goal, which was great to hear.

Adams missed the target three minutes after United’s goal with Bella-Kotchap missing the target five minutes later. Stuart Armstrong replaced Mohamed Elyounoussi in the 63rd minute, the first substitution for the Saints. Joe Aribo saw De Gea save his effort on goal in the 66th minute.

Kyle Walker-Peters then missed the target in the same minute. Cristiano Ronaldo replaced Jadon Sancho in the 67th minute with United seeking to push for another goal in this match with Southampton seeking an equaliser of their own, despite not getting it yet.

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Roméo Lavia missed the target with his shot in the 73rd minute of the match after a good period of play for the home side. Sékou Mara replaced Adam Armstrong in the 77th minute of the match before Casemiro replaced Anthony Elanga in the 80th minute.

McTominay was booked in the 83rd minute of the match. Dalot tried to find Ronaldo with a through ball a minute later but the Portuguese and attacker was caught offside. Bella-Kotchap missed the target and saw another blocked in consecutive minutes.

Romain Perraud and Lyanco replaced Moussa Djenepo and Joe Aribo in the 89th minute. Fred then replaced Eriksen in the second minute of added time. The Saints were seeking that elusive equaliser, which is quite worrying for United, who have largely been poor in this match.

Sékou Mara saw a show blocked four minutes into added time the in the fifth minute, missed the target completely. Time ran out for the Saints with United taking the win. Back to back wins in the Premier League for the first time since February.

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Player Ratings

David De Gea: At times is seemed like he was slowing down the play, potentially killing attacks at times. Made some good saves and got his first clean sheet of the season. Back to back victories for the first time since February. ★★★★★★

Diogo Dalot: Should have had an assist in the first half but got one in the second for Fernandes’ solitary goal to win this match. He played quite well in both defence and attack but I feel he needs some competition this season to really kick on. ★★★★★★★

Raphael Varane: He was described as ‘immense’ ahead of this match by Ten Hag and he showed why he gets praise like that. He’s really helped to keep the defence solid – doing what he needs to do with little attention on him. ★★★★★★★★

Lisandro Martinez: The Butcher of Manchester is a great addition to this squad. He was guilty of the odd lapse of concentration but made up for it with his aerial clearances and his stoic defending throughout the match. For a short guy he’s certainly doing well. ★★★★★★★

Tyrell Malacia: Made a careless pass against Southampton which could have cost United. But it didn’t. He was largely steady on his first away start in the Premier League. He did well against Southampton’s athletic right side of their attack. ★★★★★★

Scott McTominay: Casemiro could have started but I understand why he didn’t. McTominay irked the supporters with a backward pass and did not play as well as he did on Monday. Casemiro will take his place away from him without even trying. ★★★★★

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Christian Eriksen: Did well on the ball and gave United lots of authority in the first half. He tired a little in the second half and did not give United what he had been doing in recent matches. He was replaced by Fred late in the match. ★★★★★★

Jadon Sancho: He was switched to the left side and seemed to dawdle a lot of the time. He needed to be more direct. Last season, the left side saw his best performances but not now. He ended up being replaced by Ronaldo. ★★★★★

Bruno Fenandes: Did not seem to have a great game. Seemed sloppy at times, reckless to a point and just did not seem to be helping United. He needs to sort this out as United need the player they signed, not the player he’s become. Scored a great goal though to win the match. ★★★★★★

Anthony Elanga: I struggled to see why he was on the pitch after the poor performance in the first half. However, in the second half he played a key role in the goal that Fernandes scored. I think he needs a loan to develop as it won’t happen at United. Replaced by Casemiro. ★★★★★

Marcus Rashford: Started as the main striker but all he did was show that he’s much better on the left flank. He did eventually play there when Ronaldo came on. He did not manage to play as well as he did against Liverpool. United need to strengthen the attack significantly. ★★★★★

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Substitutes

Cristiano Ronaldo: Replaced Sancho 68′. He does not seem to want to be at United. He’s not making any significant impact or putting the best into his performances. He’s already elsewhere in his mind and needs to be kicked out of the club now. ★★★★★

Casemiro: Replaced Elanga 80′. Made his Premier League debut with a short cameo. Came on to help protect United’s lead, which is what happened. He will be starting matches not too far in the future, possibly on Thursday. ★★★★★★

Fred: Replaced Eriksen 90+2′. Came on very late in this match to help overcome Southampton’s late attacking. Did what was expected of him, although he had no real time on the pitch. Could well start alongside Casemiro in the future, or still be benched. We shall see. ★★★★★

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Match Information

Goals: Bruno Fernandes 55′

Assists: Diogo Dalot 55′

Manchester United: De Gea; Dalot, Varane, Martinez, Malacia; McTominay, Eriksen (Fred 90+2′); Sancho (Ronaldo 68′), Fernandes, Elanga (Casemiro 80′); Rashford

Substitutes Not Used: Heaton; Maguire, Shaw, Wan-Bissaka; Donny van de Beek, Garnacho

Bookings: Diogo Dalot 50′, Scott McTominay 83′, Fred 90+6′

Written by John Walker

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About John Walker 1766 Articles
I support Manchester United, the greatest English football team to have ever existed. Bruno Fernandes is the latest in a long line of players with great ability to play for the club. I idolised Bryan Robson, David Beckham, Paul Scholes, and Eric Cantona growing up.