Manchester United continued their unbeaten start to the Premier League as they came home with a well-fought 1-0 victory over Southampton. Romelu Lukaku’s only goal in the first half was enough to hand Mourinho’s men a win over Pellegrino’s side.
Both sides began the match with equal fervour, and Mkhitaryan’s long-range effort was the only shot on target in the first quarter of an hour. Shortly after that, Lukaku scored the only goal of the game. His initial header from Young’s inch-perfect cross was saved by Forster, but the ball fell kindly to his feet and he was left with an easy tap-in. Mourinho’s men dominated the rest of the half as Southampton took a lot of time to regain their composure after the goal, but neither side managed a clear chance on goal.
Manuel Pellegrino’s side came back in the second half with a completely different mentality, and they improved so drastically that Mourinho was forced to introduce defensive players instead of attacking players as he looked to save the lead instead of choosing to put the game to bed. Southampton resorted to long balls and weighted passes for Shane Long, but the effective duo of Jones and Bailly was solid and they defended well to keep the game out of reach for the hosts. Ander Herrera then missed a great chance, as he shot the ball over after receiving a cutback pass from Lukaku in the box. And even though De Gea didn’t have to make any major save, it was a tense finish to the match as Mourinho was sent to the stands with just a minute of action left on the clock.
With this win, United stay on top of the league, trailing only neighbours Manchester City on goal difference.
Here are the major Talking Points from the match-
United miss Martial
Anthony Martial has time and again put in emphatic performances this season, and having won the support of the fans, it looks like the only person he still has to win the trust of is Jose Mourinho. The boss has praised him in recent weeks, but it is evident that he still trusts Rashford to the Frenchman. While both can be frustratingly inconsistent, Martial is certainly in a better form at the moment and he his presence could’ve led to a goal today surely. With Rashford looking desperate but out of form, Mourinho must surely start Martial ahead of Rashford against CSKA Moscow in the UCL on Wednesday night.
Typical Mourinho Win
United have been winning in prime fashion and have scored goals for fun this season. However, not every game will be a piece of cake for them and today’s performance certainly showed that. Watching your side park the bus can sometimes be frustrating, but at the end of the day, all you need are three points. Southampton is definitely not an easy place to win, but Mourinho came back with a hard-fought win, keeping his side’s unbeaten league start alive.
Manuel Pellegrino’s side looked desperate to get the equaliser today, but were outdone by their dismal attacks, particularly the desperate effort of Romeu. They resorted to long balls for Shane Long, and having overrun the midfield at times in the second half, they were expected to take their chances better. They’ll certainly take back some positives from this match, and the brilliant performance of Lemina will certainly be one of those.
Left Back Problem solved?
Ashley Young has been in sensational form since his return from injury, and his crossing and defending skills have improved drastically. It was his cross tonight that led to the only goal, and even though he was outdone by pace twice, he certainly covered that up with a couple of timely tackles and blocks. At 32, he’s not a long-term solution anymore, but could he solve the problem at left back at least until Shaw regains his form? He surely can, and it’ll be interesting to see who Mourinho picks at left-back regularly in the next couple of weeks.
Should Mourinho have been sent off?
With barely a minute of action left on the clock, Jose Mourinho was sent to the stands by Craig Pawson. It was unclear as to why he took that decision, but Mike Jones reminded Mourinho of his perimeter when the United boss raged at his players to retreat as Southampton looked for a counter. However, fans were quick to claim that referees had been partial to Klopp and Conte on numerous occasions in the past, and their antics were usually played down as ‘passion for the team’. Mourinho certainly didn’t do anything worthy of being sent off, as he was just directing his players, even though he went a little overboard with that. And as per United legend Bryan Robson, it’d be silly if Mourinho gets a ban or even a fine for that. We all agree with him, don’t we?