Another team performance meant Manchester United are back in the top 4 and still unbeaten in the Premier League under Solskjaer. Manchester United vs Southampton turned out to be a night of some spectacular goals with the home side coming out on top at the end.
Like Manchester United, Southampton has also improved under their new manager but still sits just one spot above the relegation zone. United, on the other hand, had the opportunity to move up ahead of Arsenal in the points table with the next game against them as well.
Manchester United Starting XI
Solskjaer made two changes from the side that won against Crystal Palace with Rashford and Pereira coming in for Dalot and Fred. Injured players were still out hence Chong and Gomes made the bench along with returning Rojo. Meanwhile, Grant also made the bench instead of the regular Romero
Manchester United started off brilliantly with two goal-scoring opportunities in the first 5 minutes. Had it not for the goalkeeper, Lukaku would have had two already. Soon after MacTominay got down after a collision with Lindelof the tempo somehow cooled down. The match slowed down a bit but every now and then somehow Lukaku was missing critical balls in the opponents half.
Fast forward to 26 minutes and Valery scored a beauty from far out with DeGea having no chance at all thanks to the speed at which it was hit. The ref then came out as a savior for United denying the Saints of a clear penalty after Smalling took one down. The score stayed the same till half time with United continuing their recent troubling form at home.
Both Manchester United and Southampton came out with the same team but injury woes continued for United. Alexis had to be replaced by Dalot following a challenge on him which injured his knee. But the introduction of the young Portuguese changed the dynamics of the game.
Dalot had an immediate impact and within minutes United scored thanks to a stunning curler from Andreas Pereira. The stadium was alive again and it did not take time to get another one. Pereira was the creator this time who found Lukaku, who finished it crafty in the bottom right corner.
Manchester United had the full control on the game and it seemed another one was just on the corner. Young then made an unnecessary foul just outside the box, with Ward-Prowse scoring spectacularly from the resulting free kick.
That goal brought another twist in the tale and the game opened up suddenly with either of sides looking threatening with their play. Manchester United, however, came up on top when Lukaku scored his second of the night giving United a lead again. Rashford was then brought down in the box but Pogba missed to convert the awarded penalty.
David DeGea: Not at fault for both the goals. Decent otherwise =>6
Ashley Young: Looked troubled again on the right back position. Was at the fault for the equalizer as well.=>5
Smalling: Lucky to have got away with the foul inside the box. Promising on other occasions. =>6
Also Read: Crystal Palace vs Manchester United
Lindelof: Another composed performance. Had 100 percent pass accuracy and was good at the back. Solid. =>7
Luke Shaw: Could not replicate his recent performances but still was effective and useful.=>6
MacTominay: Has been a good replacement. Determined to win the ball back. =>6
Periera: Man of the Match. Was simply brilliant. Got a goal and assist as well. =>8
Pogba: Again looked restricted. Had a deeper role today. Missed a penalty. =>5
Alexis: Was ok in the first half but failed again to produce the end product.=>4
Lukaku: Could have been more clinical in the first half when he had two great opportunities. Much more improved performance in the second half with another 2 goals. =>7
Rashford: Seemed a bit off and could have been due to the injury in the game against Liverpool. Responsible to get the penalty which Pogba missed. =>6
Dalot: Changed the game. Produced some pinpoint crosses and made some great runs. =>7
Fred: Allowed Pogba to move further ahead but could not produce anything of his own. =>5
Chong: Had just one touch.
This could prove as a real confidence booster for Manchester United who now travels to France to take on PSG in the Champions League. With two goals already down, United will have to make a comeback like today but yes it will require much more to replicate it against a team like PSG.
The biggest positives from the game today were the performances of Pereira and Dalot who could just solve the missing puzzle in the United squad this season.
Solskjaer continues to impress and for sure it is his job now with an official announcement imminent. Result against PSG will likely have no impact on it as it is clear that Manchester United is still far from challenging the elites in Europe.