Monday, 12 January 2015

MATCH REPORT: UNITED 0 SOUTHAMPTON 1


MANCHESTER UNITED were beaten for the first time in 11 games as Southampton's smash and grab raid saw them leapfrog the Reds into third place in the Premier League.

In a game of few chances, United dominated the match but substitute Dusan Tadic scored the only goal when he tapped home from close range in the 70th minute.

The Reds welcomed Phil Jones and Daley Blind back into the starting XI and Angel Di Maria was restored to the line-up in an unfamiliar centre forward position but it was Southampton who could have taken a first minute lead.

Nathaniel Clyne fired narrowly wide from the edge of the area after only 48 seconds before Di Maria went close for United and Jose Fonte blocked a Robin Van Persie effort.

The visitors had come to frustrate United, defend in numbers and play for a draw and to their credit they executed this game plan superbly.

What turned out to be the decisive moment came in the 70th minute when Southampton took the lead against the run of play out of nothing.
At the end of a rare breakaway, Grazziano Pelle's shot struck the post and rebounded to Tadic who slotted in.

United took off former Saints full-back Luke Shaw and switched Daley Blind to the left, and the Dutchman's teasing deliveries presented the Reds with two good chances to level.
First, he whipped in a dangerous cross which Fraser Forster failed to deal with and the ball dropped to Juan Mata who lashed his shot inches wide from a tight angle.

The two combined again minutes later when Blind squared for Mata who could only lift the ball over the bar from six yards out as the home side's frustration grew.

Despite five minutes of added time and late pressure from the Reds, the Saints held on to go above United and record their first win at Old Trafford for 27 years.

United Faithful Man of the Match: Luke Shaw
Overall team performance: 6.5/10










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