Southampton 2 - 3 United
Darmian(Valencia) Smalling Blind Rojo(McNair)
Mata Rooney Memphis
Phew. That was a close one; we truly never do it the easy way. Southampton were all over us during the first half hour. Our players looked slow while the Saints were full of energy. Southampton, deservedly, go themselves in front but we managed to get back on level terms as Martial showed great composure and technique to fool Southampton's central defender and place in the net. Mata, who was part of the move that created the goal, was in an offside position but I don't care.
The second half was a different story. We were totally in control but for the final 5 minutes. We got lucky, again, as Maya Yoshida underhit a pass to his goalie and Martial got to the ball and placed in goal with relative ease. The guy's exactly what we needed up front. If he keeps getting goals, he'll most certainly be the buy of the season and United's scouts should get a pat on their backs. Most fans and journalists had no idea who this guy was a month ago. Yes, the transfer fee's huge but if he gets 15 goals this season that will be money well spent. He'll only get better.
|The 45 passes that led to the third|
Mata got the third goal after some fine work by Memphis Depay. The Dutchman's turn before hitting the post was world class. Fortunately for us, the ball rebounded off the post to the feet of Mata who finished home. Memphis cannot get his break in the Premier League but he'll get his goal, eventually, and then watch him go. There were 45 passes in the move that lead to our third. LVG will love that stat.
When we scored our third I thought we were home and dry and our players were controlling the game brilliantly. However, Pelle scored a very good header to get Southampton back into the game a few minutes before the game's end. It was quite tense and the five added minutes did not help. Thankfully, we managed to see the game out and get three important points. That was our second away win this season. We only won 6 last season!
Rooney started very poorly but grew in confidence during the second half. His passing was much better. Schneiderlin barely put a foot wrong and Carrick didn't influence the game as much as he would've liked. Schweinsteiger added some renewed energy in that two-man screen in front of our defenders when he replaced Carrick. Mata had an on-off game.
|Louis van Gaal and Frans Hoek raced over to David De Gea at full time to congratulate him on three incredible saves.|
Man of the match? The defence was a tad shaky today. Smalling was the best of our four defenders as he was calm and composed at times of pressure. However, we are only looking back at a win because of David De Gea and Anthony Martial. De Gea produced three brilliant saves today. One of them was at point blank to deny Mane but the ball fell to Pelle's feet who finished home from close distance. People will easily forget that save but it was bloody world class. Then our David produced one of the best saves I've seen in a while when he managed to use his left hand to save a very powerful Fonte header. During stoppage time our Spaniard kept a good effort from Wanyama away from the top corner. He won us the three points. As for Martial, well he scored two goals. Even Gary Neville admitted that he didn't expect Martial to be this good. Heck, I don't even think LVG thought he'll have such an impact. Our manager said he was one for the future. So who's my man of the match between the two? I've got to say it's David De Gea. Thank fuck for that last minute misunderstanding between Madrid and United.
So we're second, only two points behind City. Still early days, obviously, but I can see a vast improvement on last year. Well, if not in the style of play, the improvement is definitely evident in our points. We've scored 5 more points that we did last season after 6 games. Ipswich next. Hopefully, we won't see a repeat of last year's MK Dons League Cup horror show. I expect a few players to be rested and the likes of Wilson and Perreira to get some minutes under their belt. Come on United!