Southampton had hosted Manchester United in the English Premier League at the St Mary Stadium. The match ended in a 1-1 draw between the two squads. Before the match started Manchester United were the favourites to win due to their sheer squad strength. It was quite the shocker when Southampton opened the scoring with a Fred Own Goal. The own goal was scored at the 30th minute. Manchester United scored one of their own from Mason Greenwood inside the penalty box. He was assisted by Paul Pogba making this his 5th assist in the league.
During the entire match, Manchester United had 64% possession while Southampton had simply 36%. Manchester United had multiple chances to make the scoring lead in their side by the squad missed 3 big chances. They were the more attacking team of the two have 11 shots in the box compared to the latter’s 3 shots. It felt as Manchester United lacked the creativity they needed to break the defensive structure of Southampton. It must be said Southampton had nearly 200 fewer touches of the ball compared to Manchester United.
How did Southampton Perform In This Fixture?
Southampton started in a 4-4-2 formation with the striking partnership of Che Adam and Adam Armstrong who has scored in the previous match. In the midfield, it consisted of James Ward-Prowse and Oriol as the two central midfielders while Walcott and Moussa Djenepo were on the wings. The centre back partnership consisted of Mohammed Salisu and Jack Stephens. While the fullbacks were Romain Perraud and Valentino Livarmento. Alex McCarthy started in goal.
By looking at the average position of the Defensive line of the squad which was behind the halfway line. It can be stated that the Team didn’t want to have a high backline. Nor emphasize their full-backs to push forward with them having a total of 5 attempted crosses. The central midfielders were the main ball carrier in the team. Ward-Prowse had the most number passes for the team at 51. It must be said that the own goal did help the squad massively as they didn’t need to push higher. Due to which they could have been open to spaces at the back. It must be said if the squad wish to play in this structure and style their attackers need to have more shots on target. During the game, the pair just had one shot on target.
How did Manchester United Perform During the match?
Manchester United Started in their preferred 4-2-3-1 formation with Martial as the sole striker. The three attacking midfielders consisted of Paul Pogba, Bruno Fernandes and Mason Greenwood on the right. While the Central Defensive pivot consisted of Matic and Fred. The Centre back pairing being Lindelöf and Harry Maguire. The fullbacks being Luke shaw and Aaron Wan-Bissaka with De Gea as the Goalkeeper. Manchester United played with quite the high line with the entire backline positioning mostly just behind the half-line. It must be said the Manchester United Defenders has 299 touches of the ball. While is greater than the Southampton Defence by 100.
Martial this game just had 13 touches of the ball which was the lowest by any Manchester United player. He did have one big chance in the 6th minute which was saved by the goalkeeper. It must be said Manchester United were rotating the ball from one side to another quite a bit. This could be seen by all the defensive players having more touches than that of the attacking players in the 11. If Manchester United want to break the defensive blocks made by most teams. They will insist on taking risks and attempting more progressive passes. The attack could be seen lobbed sided to the right-hand side. This could be due to Mason greenwood making runs in the back. While Paul Pogba was playing as a false winger and moving more central with Bruno going wide to create an overload.
This match will be looked back by many during December has Manchester United had the opportunity to stake their claim of being at the top of the league. But due to this Loss, the club is now in 5th place with Chelsea being the leader. After their immense 2-0 win over Arsenal.