Manchester United Player Ratings vs Southampton (August 22, 2021)
Manchester United Player Ratings vs Southampton (August 22, 2021)

Manchester United aims to equal the record for most consecutive away Premier League games without a loss against a Southampton side they had famously beaten 9-0 last season. The Red Devils did make it 27-away PL matches without loss, but still ended up dropping 2 points and playing out a frustrating 1-1 draw at the St. Marys Stadium – in which they looked a shadow of the side that rocked up Old Trafford last week.

Despite a strong start from the Red Devils, it was Southampton who took the lead in the 30th minute when a shot from Che Adams took a huge deflection from Fred before going into the back of the net – resulting in a poor own goal.

The Red Devils found their stride in the second half and got the equalizer in the 55th minute when a clever passing moved was finished by a deft finish from Mason Greenwood.

Instead of going for the winner, United horribly slacked off after that point and were kind of fortunate to get a point – which is exactly what they deserved in the end.

Here are Manchester United player ratings vs Southampton.

Last week, Solskjaer took a few risks that paid off. Today, they didn’t. His controversial decision to play the sloppy Martial up-front and moving the in-form Greenwood to the right was just poor. Playing a slow midfield line of Matic & Fred caused trouble as they didn’t create anything & couldn’t get the ball forward sharply enough.

Should have made changes much earlier and motivated his players to show more desire to win towards the final third of the game. Not starting Sancho or Varane also felt like a mistake. Has a lot to do to undo today’s frustrating result next week.

Goalkeeper
David de Gea (7.0) –

Tested very early by the set-piece specialist James Ward-Prowse’s free-kick, but punches it away sharply. Couldn’t really do much to save the Southampton opener because of the deflection it took. Makes a brilliant save to deny a guaranteed goal for Armstrong in the 74th.

Made a few nice saves and dealt with Southampton’s set-pieces well. If it wasn’t for De Gea’s magnificent late save, United were losing this one. So he basically won them a point here.

Defenders
Aaron Wan-Bissaka (4.5) –

Wan-Bissaka is struggling to provide much support to Greenwood on the right wing has wasn’t able to create anything in the first half. Not at his dominant best defensively on the right and his attacking work was very underwhelming through the game. Only created one decent chance for Bruno in the second half, but apart from that, he just wasn’t efficient enough.

Victor Lindelof (5.0) –

Lindelof manages to keep his place in the team over Varane because of last week’s performance. Didn’t really good much (bad or good) in the first half. Had problems with moving the ball forward and dealing against aerial threat later on, as well as making some sloppy errors. Will be interesting to see if he starts next week ahead of Varane.

Harry Maguire (4.0) –

The United captain has had a bit of a nervy start against the high-pressing opponents. Perhaps should’ve done better to stop Adams’ shot before it resulted in Fred’s own goal. Horribly gave away the ball outside his penalty box in the 74th leading to Armstrong’s chance, but thankfully De Gea saved his blushes. Booked for tugging down Adams in the 76th.

Maguire was sloppy with his distribution and made too many errors at the back. Had a really sluggish game.

Luke Shaw (5.0) –

The in-form left-back swung in a brilliant free-kick to create a big chance for Pogba in the 13th. Shaw’s forward runs were really good, as he often found space to move into and trouble the Southampton defence, but his final delivery wasn’t refined enough. Bit sloppy at the back like most of his teammates and couldn’t help create something special for his side today.

Midfielders
Fred (4.0) –

Playing in a more advanced midfield role, Fred is again getting some forward passes awfully wrong. Things went from bad to worse when the ball took a wicked deflection off him to result in Southampton’s opener. Fred had a poor game, failing to make create passes, losing out possession on so many occasions and struggling against Southampton’s physicality all game long.

Nemanja Matic (5.0) –

The experienced defensive midfielder comes in for the injured McTominay today. Stuck a strong header on goal in the 44th only to see it strongly held onto by the keeper. Not the most dominant person in midfield, as he gave away the ball too many times and lost out on many key duels. Didn’t provide much going forward either and subbed some time before full-time.

Paul Pogba (7.5) –

Following his 4-assist heroics last week, can Pogba get among the goals again today? Had a big scoring chance in the 12th, but saw his shot cleared some way off the line. Then powers a header over two minutes later. After slacking off in the first half, Pogba started the second positively and smartly assists Greenwood’s strike.

Then almost gets a goal himself in the 59th after brilliantly dancing past multiple players and taking a shot that whisked wide of the target. Seemingly lost his spark after moving into a deeper role and couldn’t help his side get the win on the day.

Bruno Fernandes (4.5)–

United’s hat-trick hero from last week aims to cook up something special again today. Bit of a soft start and he had the ball stolen off him leading to the opener. Booked for dissent after claiming that was a foul. Linked up really well with Pogba to allow him to assist Greenwood’s equalizer. Stuck a strong header on target in the 65th, forcing a sharp save from the keeper.

Couldn’t really make those dangerous off-the-ball runs to get among the goals today and some of his creative passes were way off their target. Southampton finally gets the better of Bruno after he terrorized them twice last season.

Forwards
Anthony Martial (4.0) –

The Frenchman gets his first start of the campaign and really should’ve done better to score his open header from yards out in the 7th, even though bit unlucky to see it cleared out off the line.

Unable to get in the game after that, consistently losing possession and being unable to link-up properly with his teammates. Wasted too many attacks and looked nowhere near hungry enough to score. Subbed before the hour-mark.

Mason Greenwood (8.0) –

After his heroics last week, Greenwood has been shifted to the right again today. Looking to move inwards through on goal and struck a powered attempt wide it the 8th. After being isolated through the first half, Greenwood finally found the ball inside the box in the 54th and sliced it into the back of the net to get the equalizer.

Got another big chance to score in the 64th but put a header just over the bar. Didn’t get much delivery at all after that point, but Greenwood was again clinical enough to prove he needs to consistently play down the middle – not on the right!

Substitutions
Jadon Sancho (6.0) –

Sancho got only about 30mins to weave his magic in United’s attack and to his credit, the winger’s movement was really dangerous. Couldn’t do much as his teammates slacked off and didn’t prove enough support in attack. His clever link-up play and trickery proves he NEEDS TO START from the next game onwards.

Scott McTominay (N/R) –

McTominay didn’t really do anything to help United get the winner and couldn’t really stop Southampton from attacking either. Didn’t look the fittest, which is perhaps why he didn’t start.

Jesse Lingard (N/R) –

Lingard made his first PL appearance for United since the 2019/20 season but wasn’t able to do anything to influence the result.

MAN OF THE MATCH
Greenwood looked the sharpest United player out there today and got his second goal in as many games. He deserves the MOTM for today.

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