Manchester United dropped points after taking the lead for the fourth time in six games as Southampton visited Old Trafford. In the space of just over a week Ralf Rangnick‘s side have been knocked out of the FA Cup and dropped four points in the league as their chase for top four continues to falter.
Story of the Game
Manchester United started the game well dominating possession for long spells and created a clear opening for Cristiano Ronaldo only 7 minutes into the game after a lovely slipped ball into the Portuguese forward by Jadon Sancho allowed him to round the onrushing keeper before having his shot cleared off the line.
Southampton reacted with a half chance of their own after a ball into the box found Kyle Walker-Peters who squared the ball to Che Adams who’s slip prevented the Scotland international from getting any attempt on goal.
United’s first half control continued as they kept possession well and looked to get forward at every given opportunity eventually leading to a neatly crafted Jadon Sancho goal. Bruno Fernandes played a delicate ball down the line which Mohammed Salisu failed to intercept which allowed Marcus Rashford to get into the box and slip the ball to his fellow England team-mate to tap home.
But with 10 minutes to go in the half, the Saints managed to get a foothold in the game with Stuart Armstrong failing to convert several chances, something that would prove to be a running theme in the game. Romain Perraud also found space on the edge of the box to fire a shot which forced a save from David de Gea.
As has been the case in recent weeks, United’s second half was significantly worse than their first with Southampton equalising within minutes of the game restarting. Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side linked up well on the edge of the box passing round a painfully static-looking Scott McTominay and Raphael Varane allowing Adams to finish.
Southampton came flying out the blocks and continued to look the far superior side in the second half swarming United’s forwards every time they received the ball. Armstrong and Armando Broja had numerous chances throughout the half.
Meanwhile, United’s best chance to score came from set-pieces where Harry Maguire rose highest on two occasions with both chances smothered by Fraser Forster. The Red Devils had yet another goal chalked off as their dismal set piece record continued.
The final 15 minutes saw the game become increasingly tight with several fouls and yellow cards from both sides as the game continued to slip out of the Reds grasp.
More Points Dropped
As another game week passes Manchester United by, they once again have no one but themselves to blame as they drop more points as a result of their consistent negligence in front of goal. This week’s failures could look even worse should West Ham beat Leicester and Tottenham secure three points against Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Ralf Rangnick will no doubt be aware of the task at hand after a disastrous week of results giving them a mountain to climb in order to secure a Champions League spot. But as a certain former United manager once said mountains are there to be climbed, aren’t they?