Manchester United 3-2 Southampton Review: 3 things we learned from the game
Old Trafford witnessed some spectacular goals yesterday when they welcomed Southampton. Manchester United were on the front foot from the starting and created two goalscoring chances in the first 5 minutes.
Southampton grew into the game and started to keep hold of the ball. Their penalty shouts were denied by Stuart Attwell for a pull on Ryan Bertrand by Chris Smalling. Yann Valery scored a peach of a goal at the 26-minute mark. Even a goalkeeper with David De Gea's credentials couldn't save his strike from 25-yards.
Manchester United did create a couple of opportunities before the half-time whistle. Romelu Lukaku failed to connect a header from Andreas Periera's cross and Chris Smalling's header was just a few centimetres to the wrong side of the post.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made some tweaks for the second half. Andreas Periera was shifted to the number 10 position and Pogba was made to play a bit deeper role.
Manchester United started the second half like they did the first. They equalized from a belter from Andreas Pereira at the 53-minute mark, who scored his first Premier League goal for Manchester United.
He assisted Romelu Lukaku 6 minutes later, who put the ball in the bottom corner with a cool finish. United pushed on for the third to kill the game. Ashley Young conceded a free kick near the Manchester United box.
James Ward-Prowse, who has been in inspiring form for Southampton recently, scored a wonderful free-kick to bring Southampton level. The Saints pushed for the winner until Romelu Lukaku scored got one for Manchester United with a strike from outside the box.
Manchester United were also awarded a penalty in injury-time when Marcus Rashford was brought down in the box. Paul Pogba's penalty was saved by Angus Gunn. United deserved to win the game and now find themselves a point inside the top four and just three points behind third-place Tottenham.
Here are 3 things we learned from the game:
#1 Andreas Periera should be played in the no.10 position
Andreas Periera started the game as a no.8. But he was moved forward to the no.10 position in the second half, a tweak which turned the game on its head. Andreas Periera scored a screamer from 25-yards and assisted one for Lukaku.
He looked more confident playing in this position, knowing that Scott Mctominay and Paul Pogba will cover for him if he loses the ball. He drove the ball from midfield and linked the defense to attack brilliantly.
He had the best 45-minutes of his United career in the no.10 position. And if he's going to play regularly, he should be playing in this position.
#2 Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's substitutions were spot-on
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made two game-changing substitutions in the second half. He brought on Diogo Dalot for injured Alexis Sanchez, who turned the game on its head. He delivered a peach of a cross within a minute of coming on.
The Chilean was the catalyst for United's first goal and grabbed an assist for Andreas Periera's goal. He was too hot to handle for Southampton on that right-hand side. Another substitute Fred, who came on for Andreas Periera, changed the game with an assist for Romelu Lukaku's second of the game and the winner for Manchester United. The Norwegian's substitutions won the game for Manchester United and he deserves a lot of credit for it.
#3 Romelu Lukaku is not giving up on his Manchester United career just yet
How things change in a matter of a week. Romelu Lukaku looked destined to leave Manchester United after losing his spot to Marcus Rashford in the starting 11 after a string of dismal performances.
And now it looks like he is fighting hard to get back into the side. He scored 4 goals in his last 2 games and is gaining back confidence. His overall link-up has been very good and he is dominating the opposition defenders aerially. If he continues his goalscoring form then it will be a selection headache for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer when all his players become available.