United 1 - 1 Southampton
Rafael Jones Evans Evra
Nani(Giggs) Carrick Fellaini(Welbeck) Januzaj
Frustrating. That's the word that perfectly describes our performance today. We created a handful of chances, finished one, saw two bounce off the crossbar and had another brilliantly saved by the Saints' goalie. We were a tad unlucky, but still, the performance wasn't Manchester United standard.
For the first time in this blog I'll have to criticize David Moyes. Now, I know I've been all out against people calling for Moyes' head and, no, I haven't changed my mind. I will back the manager and will only judge him after a full season, at the very least. But what he did today was defend a 1-0 score which is always a risky bet. I understand such tactics against European giants or local Goliaths. I understand these tactics if we played against above-average teams away from home. But we were playing at OT against Southampton, ffs. Ok, the Saints are in the form of their lives but the United of old would have feasted upon the occasional mistake their players made. Southampton controlled the midfield area and made Fellaini look like a headless chicken donning the United shirt. It's still early days but it looks like Manchester United is too big a club for Fellaini. He's just not contributing neither on the attacking front nor defensively.
Januzaj and Nani did well on the wings but when you lose the central midfield battle, more often than not, you'll get punished. True, Southampton failed to convert their midfield dominance into chances worth taking note of. DDG made a couple of decent saves but nothing was really troubling for our goalie. But that's basically the result of defending the one goal lead. We were good in defence but should have created much more at the front. With too many defensive minded players on the pitch, it was difficult to create more chances at the end of the game and when Southampton scored, I thought another Southampton goal was more probable than a goal from our side.
Why Giggs got on for Nani is a mystery. Why Smalling replaced Wayne is quite bemusing. We gave up on scoring another goal and got punished late on by a spirited Southampton side. It would have been acceptable had we been playing them away from home, but such results at OT are definitely a no-no. Moyes needs to make braver decisions, he needs to go in for the kill. This team is well capable of scoring two, three, four goals, if needs be. This is the same team that won the league convincingly last year. Our players need to up their performance and Moyes needs to get to know who are his best XI players. Let's hope things get settled as soon as possible because it's October and we've already made it really difficult for ourselves to get back into the title race.
Finally, well done Januzaj on that brilliant through ball for RVP's goal. I can't wait to see this guy play week in week out for our side. Also, excellent performance Evans....definitely my man of the match.