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Manchester United 3-2 Southampton: 5 men who were instrumental in the comeback win

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Modified 20 Dec 2019, 21:50 IST

Manchester United v Southampton FC - Premier League
Manchester United v Southampton FC - Premier League

12 games played in the Premier League, 10 wins and 2 draws. 32 points taken from a possible 36, but on Saturday night, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's Manchester United were extremely close to a breakdown, yet managed to turn things around spectacularly.

Injuries had deprived United of at least 5 of their regular first team players, however, Solskjaer was relieved to have Marcus Rashford back for the game. And the nature of the league meant that Solskjaer could not afford to rest anyone before the midweek game against PSG.

If the Norwegian had concerns before the game, he would have been extremely frustrated at the nature of the first half, when United could have been 3-0 up, but found themselves 0-1 down at the break. Yet the manager was able to inspire his team to turn things around in the second half. One substitution and a few tactical changes meant that United went from 0-1 down to leading 2-1 at the start of the second half. Southampton got level through an excellent free-kick, but United would not be denied on the night as Lukaku secured 3 points for his team.

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While the Norwegian was excellent with his tactics, he had these 5 men to thank for securing an exceptional comeback win for Manchester United

#5 Chris Smalling

Manchester United v Southampton FC - Premier League
Manchester United v Southampton FC - Premier League

Even though Southampton scored 2 goals in the game, there wasn't much that the United defense could do about them. The duo of Chris Smalling and Victor Lindelof has been fabulous of late and it is the contrasting qualities of the two of them that makes the pair so good together.

While the Englishman can be a liability at times - Southampton had a strong penalty claim turned down in the first half, Smalling does bring a degree of brawn to the back four. Against Southampton too, he was strong on the ball and neutralized Charlie Austin's bullying with ease.

Smalling's physical presence was an important ingredient in the United defense on the night. When United fullbacks were bombing forward throughout the second half, Smalling was a rock at the back, enabling United to attack with renewed freedom. In the end, it helped United win the game.

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Published 03 Mar 2019, 10:30 IST
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