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Premier League 2018-19: 3 takeaways from Manchester United's 2-2 draw against Southampton

Suman Dey
ANALYST
Feature
997   //    02 Dec 2018, 02:12 IST

Southampton hosted Manchester United at the St. Mary's stadium.
Southampton hosted Manchester United at the St. Mary's stadium.

Manchester United came into the game seven points adrift of the top four, while Southampton languished in the relegation zone. Both teams needed points for two different reasons, which promised a thrilling encounter at the St Mary's Stadium.

The first chance of the match fell to Romelu Lukaku after a mistake by the Saints' goalkeeper, but he did his best to block the Belgian's shot. It was the home side that opened the scoring after Armstrong's powerful shot flew past David De Gea on goal.

Mark Hughes's side then doubled their lead after Cedric produced an absolute gem of a free kick from just outside the box. 

United got back into the game with Lukaku smashing home from Rashford's pass to reduce the deficit to half. The Red Devils were level before halftime as Herrera skillfully guided the ball into the net, again from a Rashford assist.

The onus was on Manchester United in the second half to grab the game by the scruff of the neck and get all three points, the way they did against Newcastle United earlier in the season. However, the Saints were the better side in the second 45 minutes, creating a few decent half-chances of their own.

The Red Devils never really looked in the game and were reduced to mere set pieces. 

It was a frustrating evening for both the managers as they dropped points for different seasons. Here are the three takeaways from the game.



#3 A half of two halves

Lukaku scored after a long time.
Lukaku scored after a long time.

The first half was something to remember for the neutrals. Manchester United started the game in their usual slow and sluggish way, with Pogba giving away some easy passes in the midfield. It didn't take long for the home side to take the lead, and that was immediately followed by a sumptuous free-kick from Cedric Soares.

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However, the big lead didn't last long as Rashford led the United comeback. He first set up Lukaku with a neat pass to reduce the deficit, and then set up Herrera for the equalizer.

It was a half which saw the momentum shift from one side to another as it progressed.

Unfortunately though, the second half was weak compared to the first, and both teams settled for a draw in the end.

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Suman Dey
ANALYST
A sports enthusiast and an avid follower of football. Since childhood I was encouraged to play cricket and in no time it became a hobby. Gradually I found interest in other sports also. Football is in my blood and I love the electrifying ambiance that surrounds it. I often watch the pre and post match analysis of a match and try to learn how to analyze a football game. The thing that intrigues me the most is that there are so many things happening behind the scenes that are oblivious to our naked eyes. The technological advancements that has been made are phenomenal. I like analyzing a game from a statistical point of view. Being a data guy myself , I am firm believer of providing insights through facts and data. Though a game is always unpredictable , analyzing it from different dimensions can provide some very interesting conclusions.
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