Manchester United drew 0-0 with Southampton at Old Trafford in the Premier League. Casemiro received his second red card of the season, originally given a yellow for a foul which was upgraded after VAR intervened. The Brazilian will miss the next four domestic matches. Neither side could score a goal despite 27 chances between the two sides. I think we saw why Southampton are the bottom team in the Premier League.
United and Southampton started positively but it was the Saints that got the first chance of the match with Che Adams in the ninth minute of the match. Theo Walcott played the ball into Adams who fired his shot from outside the box only for it to be blocked. Lisandro Martinez was booked in the 10th minute of the match for a foul on Carlos Alcaraz. Kyle Walker-Peters forced a save from David De Gea in the 11th minute of the match – it was a great save.
Marcus Rashford had a chance on goal in the 16th minute after Bruno Fernandes payed the ball into him. Gavin Bazunu made a great save to deny Rashford from scoring. In the 24th minute, Carlos Alcaraz saw an attempt on goal blocked and Theo Walcott saw one saved as Southampton looked to try and take the lead. Fernandes had a chance on the 27th minute but he missed the target. Kamaldeen Sulemana saw his shot blocked a minute later.
Wout Weghorst saw his effort saved in the 31st minute of the match with United having plenty of chances and not able to get a single goal. Alcaraz was then fouled by Casemiro in the 32nd minute with it looking like the Brazilian won the ball but his foot bounced off it and studded the Southampton player. A yellow card was given but VAR had a look with Anthony Taylor told to take a look. A red card was then given with Casemiro now missing four matches.
James Ward-Prowse had an attempt on goal blocked in the 36th minute of the match. Three minutes later, Raphaël Varane had a chance on goal but Bazunu made a good save to deny him from close-range. Martinez had a headed chance on goal in the same minute following a corner but he missed the target. Ten Hag made a substitution in the 44th minute with Scott McTominay replacing Weghorst with United seeking to overcome being down to ten.
This has been a terrible match for United. A penalty should have been given late in the first half for a handball but VAR never even looked at it. The standards of refereeing in the Premier League has been terrible this season and Taylor’s job today has stitched United up massively. He was not the first and he won’t be the last. After a few minutes were added on at the end of the first half, the referee blew his whistle with all to do in the second half for both teams.
There were no substitutions at the start of the second half for either team. Walcott was caught offside in the 51st minute after Armel Bella-Kotchap tried to find him with a through ball. Ward-Prowse hit the crossbar with a shot on goal from a free-kick in the 54th minute. Southampton made their first substitution with Stuart Armstrong replacing Alcaraz in the 55th minute. Luke Shaw then had a shot on goal in the 63rd minute but it was blocked.
Walcott drew a save from De Gea in the 64th minute with the Saints seeking to capitalise from United being down to ten men but they just don’t seem to have an advantage at all – which is why they are the bottom club in the Premier League this season. Roméo Lavia had a shot blocked in the 65th minute, Walcott was blocked again in the 66th minute, as was Romain Perraud and Jan Bednarek. It was a terrible match to watch with United unable to break.
Fernandes should have scored in the 68th minute but it seemed the Bazunu got something to it, giving United a corner. Martinez headed an effort from the corner but he was off target again. Walker-Peters hit the post in the 69th minute. Stuart Armstrong had a shot blocked in the 72nd minute with Walcott having one saved a minute later. Antony also has a shot in the 73rd minute but that too was blocked. It seemed that this match was going to be a long one.
Alejandro Garnacho and Facundo Pellistri replaced Jadon Sancho and Antony in the 73rd and 74th minutes of the match with United seeking to use their pace in the wide positions to get the ball further up the pitch. Lavia then had a shot on goal in the 76th minute, which missed the target. The Saints then made a double change with Adam Armstrong and Sékou Mara replacing Sulemana and Adams. Could this work for United?
Garnacho was down clutching his ankle after what seemed like a foul on the attack. The Southampton player won the ball but caught the Argentinian’s ankle between his legs and Garnacho seemed unable to continue. He did come back onto the pitch but seemed to be struggling. Wan-Bissaka had a shot from outside of the box in the 83rd minute, which was blocked. Paul Onuachu replaced Walcott in the 85th minute for the Saints.
United made a double substitution in the 90th minute with Harry Maguire and Fred replacing Martinez and Garnacho. Bednarek had a shot on goal in the fourth minute of added time but he missed the target. What a poor game this was for Southampton who just did not have the capability to break down the ten men of United and get a goal. What a stitch up for United though losing Casemiro and possibly Garnacho at this stage of the season.
David De Gea: Made a great save to deny Theo Walcott, palming his header over the crossbar, also denying the veteran forward again later in the match. Not the best match for United as a whole but it was another clean sheet for De Gea and a point for United. It needs to be better than this though. This draw feels like a defeat. ★★★★★★★
Aaron Wan-Bissaka: The right-back seemed limited in attack, especially after Casemiro’s red card and was caught out by Kamaldeen Sulemana just the once. He did clear the ball off the line, which stopped United from conceding – so that will warrant his selection against Southampton. ★★★★★★
Raphael Varane: The Frenchman made a huge block in the first half, ending that half with a good chance on goal but Gavin Bazunu made an important save himself to deny the goal. He does what he does quietly without wanting much praise. An important player for United this season and beyond. ★★★★★★★
Lisandro Martinez: Booked for a cynical foul on Carlos Alcaraz in the opening ten minute of the match. He improved massively from there, especially when United were reduced to ten men after Casemiro saw red. The Argentinian is an important player in this United team this season – what a signing he was in the summer. ★★★★★★★★
Luke Shaw: The left-back was United’s best attacking player in the first half of the match. He whipped in a few good crosses which could have produced more against his former club. He set one up for Bruno Fernandes, which hit the post. He defended well for United and was never really challenged in his position. ★★★★★★★★
Casemiro: Covered a lot of the pitch, when he was on it but the foul against Alcaraz perhaps unneeded. He’s become a watched man in the Premier League for United and VAR upgraded the yellow card he was given to a red. He will miss the next four domestic matches for United now, unless the club appeals? ★★★★★
Bruno Fernandes: Started the match in central midfield and got the better of the Southampton defence to send the ball through for Marcus Rashford but the shot was tipped over the bar by Bazunu. Played in a few different positions of late, Fernandes needs to find his feet again and start scoring and assisting for United – maybe a rest too? ★★★★★★
Antony: He was not the same player against Southampton as he was against Real Betis on Thursday evening. Southampton seem to have studied his last performances and read him well when he was on the attack. He was replaced in the second half with United looking for a more direct route from the wide areas. ★★★★★
Wout Weghorst: Had a good headed effort at the start of the match but failed to get a goal. After Casemiro was sent off, the Dutchman was replaced by Scott McTominay as United looked to find balance in the midfield. On a better day for United, he would have stayed on the pitch. ★★★★★
Jadon Sancho: He played a good pass into Rashford, who miscontrolled the ball. He drifted to the right too often, when supposedly playing through the middle. I’m not sure his return to action has done much for him. He’s back to his uninspiring worst once again and everyone hoped it would be different. ★★★★★
Marcus Rashford: Failed to find the back of the net again. Seemed to squander two credible chances on goal and later in the second half, seemed to pretend to be caught by the goalkeeper to get a penalty. I did not like seeing that. He should know better. He will be frustrated but will need to live with that. ★★★★★
Scott McTominay: Replaced Weghorst 44′. He brought some discipline onto the pitch and did well in his position. Helped clear the danger from corners and set pieces. ★★★★★★
Alejandro Garnacho: Replaced Sancho 73′. Came on to offer more direct attacking from the wing. Had a lot of the ball and looked to gain something from it. However, a poor tackle caught him and he was injured. ★★★★★
Facundo Pellistri: Replaced Antony 74′. He was a positive impact but could have perhaps started the match. Showed his skill against Betis and will be good for United this season and beyond. ★★★★★★
Harry Maguire: Replaced Martinez 90′. Came on to add a defensive head onto the pitch to see out this match. Did what he needed to do – nothing more, nothing less. ★★★★★
Fred: Replaced Garnacho 90′. Added some energy but was not on the pitch for long to get much involvement. ★★★★★
Manchester United: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Martinez (Maguire 90′), Shaw; Casemiro, Fernandes; Antony (Pellistri 74′), Weghorst (McTominay 44′), Sancho (Garnacho 73′ (Fred 90′); Rashford
Substitutes Not Used: Heaton; Malacia, Dalot; Mainoo
Bookings: Lisandro Martinez 10′, Casemiro 34′ s/o, Luke Shaw 90+4′
Written by John Walker