Manchester United vs Southampton Match Analysis

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Source: Evening Standard
Manchester United have beaten Southampton at Old Trafford to go fourth in the table, a point above Arsenal and 3 points behind Spurs. To put that into perspective, we were 13 points off Spurs before Solskjaer took over and now under him, we are 12 games unbeaten in the Premier League bagging 10 wins and 2 draws. 

United made two changes to the side that beat Palace with Andreas Pereira coming in for Fred, who was poor and Marcus Rashford in for Diogo Dalot who swapped places on the bench. Southampton kept an unchanged lineup and set up with a back five to keep out the sharp United attacks. 

MANCHESTER UNITED: De Gea, Young (c), Smalling, Lindelof, Shaw, McTominay, Pereira, Pogba, Alexis, Rashford, Lukaku

SOUTHAMPTON: Gunn, Valery, Vestergaard, Yoshida, Bednarek, Bertrand (c), Romeu, Hojbjerg, Ward-Prowse, Redmond, Austin

Manchester United won the game 3-2 but we made hard work out of it. Sitting in 17th place, we probably took Southampton lightly and a wonderful strike from Valery saw us end the half a goal down. Alexis Sanchez, who was having a poor game, got injured and Diogo Dalot replaced him. Dalot played right wing while Rashford moved onto the left wing. He looks very comfortable on the right wing and I hope he gets more chances to play there. We then scored two goals with Andreas Pereira slotting in a beautiful long range effort and then assisting the second goal. Lukaku scored the second goal five minutes later with a composed right-footed shot. With 15 minutes to go, James Ward-Prowse scored a stunning free kick to level the score at 2-2. The urgency was similar to when we went two goals down to Burnley. Our efforts were rewarded when Lukaku scored his second goal of the match with 2 minutes to play. With that Solskjaer continues to make his case and at this point it will look foolish to give the job to anyone else. Solskjaer is a man who gets the club and knows exactly what the fans want. However, that decision that will be made later and for now we need to focus on getting into the top 4.

In defence, we're all gutted De Gea did not get his clean sheet but he couldn't be blamed for either goal. Lindelof and Smalling seem to be forming a formidable partnership at the back and I'm excited to see what they do against Paris Saint-Germain. Luke Shaw also had a good game but I feel he should have done better for the first goal that we conceded. Valery had acres and acres of space on our left flank and Shaw should have closed that space down.
McTominay and Pereira started alongside Pogba in a midfield three. Pereira was amazing as he kept looking for the attacking options and was exciting to watch in general. I personally, have not been his biggest fan but today he proved me wrong and made a case as to why he should be a regular starter. Pogba has been called upon to do more defensive duties and start play from the back in the absence of Herrera and Matic. This may be why he has just one assist in three games and no goals in the same time period. We won a penalty in the last minute but Pogba missed it. I personally feel  he should have let Lukaku complete his hattrick and handed the ball over to him.
Upfront, Romelu Lukaku has amazing again. Having missed a couple of sitters in the opening few minutes, he put us in the lead twice (at 1-1 and 2-2) scoring crucial goals. He scored a brace against Palace as well which takes his tally to 12, that means he is on par with Sterling, Lacazette, and Hazard, and overtaken Son (11) and Firmino (9). 

So with that, we move on to PSG. We have a mountain to climb in Paris and our injury list isn't doing us any favors. Injuries aside, Pogba got himself sent off in the first leg. Now we might see a midfield three of McTominay, Pereira and Fred. I really hope Herrera is fit because that will be a major boost for us. I wouldn't mind seeing Dalot on the right wing again as Sanchez may be injured and can't seem to get out of this slump he's in. Anyway, more on that game later. Until then, GGMU!

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