Match Report: Southampton 1-1 Manchester United

On the south coast of England, the Premiership’s greatest over-achievers of 2013-14 took on the league’s most significant under-achievers, while further north a club whose fans used to claim United’s successes didn’t count because they were founded on money secured the league title with a squad assembled on so many oil dollars they incurred the first financial fair play penalty in English football history. But as their achievement was at the expense of another team who used to tell United fans that solitary trophies didn’t count, we didn’t mind too much and just got on with the job in hand.

As the city fans dusted off the Posnan for one further outing, United’s were in full voice as they witnessed an archetypal meaningless end of season game. In the first forty-five minutes, most of its participants played as if they were already had their minds on the World Cup, including the ones who won’t be going. The first half saw passions raised only around two incidents involving Vidic. First, Southampton had animated claims for a penalty following an alleged handball against the United captain waved away before the same player was clearly elbowed by Lambert and lay with blood streaming from his face while the Southampton forward exploited the gap he left in the Reds’ defence to give his side the lead.

Whether it was a foul or not, it was certainly a curious decision for the ref to allow play to continue with a player on the floor following a head wound and the United players duly surrounded him and, in a rare show of first-half passion, let them know what they thought. They roused themselves more in the second half. With Carrick on as a half-time substitute, United began to take control of the midfield with Mata using the platform to weave some creative magic. It was the Spaniard who broke the deadlock for United, finding the net with a trademark left-footed free kick that left the keeper flat-footed.

From there, both sides had the better chances to win the game. Fletcher placed a free header wide of the left post and both Mata and Januzaj repeatedly threatened to break through the Southampton rearguard. The best chance fell to Welbeck with four minutes remaining, the forward being closed down as he attempted to latch onto an excellent through ball from Carrick.

The title was being decided elsewhere but, with United’s away support in full song throughout the game and even managing a conga towards the end, a visitor from out of space might well have assumed they were celebrating rather more than the end of a dismal campaign. That says everything about United’s hardcore support. Perhaps next season the team will reward them with a quick return to the success their loyalty deserves.

6 Comments

  1. For me only one player impress its the adverse team player and united target luke shaw. Wat a player he is. United should definatly buy him. He is strong,quick and perfect for evra replacement

  2. Hardly think Saints are over -achievers, we actually have a very good 1st team, plus every team outside the top four is very average and beatable.

  3. It was difficult to beat shaw and i must say that januzaj was having tough time to face luke shaw. United should snatch him quick before other.

  4. How sad do United look?
    A million miles from the top, not good enough even for Europa Cup.
    And next season when the BIG teams line up in the Champions League, Rooney & co will be home having a cup of tea and watching Holby City!
    Back to being insignificant like pre-Fergie!
    Laughing ALL summer long!!!!!!!

  5. Shaw is a very good replacement for Evra. ManU should get Shaw.
    Based on his performance on this game, he is worth the money.

    Again, lack of quality in the final third. We should have scored
    more goals. The coaching staff should retrain the forwards
    on how to head a ball to the back of the net during crosses.
    Welbeck for example, if he wants to head the ball from a cross,
    he has to be in front of the defender and not at the back.
    If you are at the front, you more chance of heading the ball
    than the player at the back.

    RVP had a quick counter attack chance. Sad to say, he lacks
    pace and doesn’t use his right foot much to shoot the ball.

    Mata should have stayed on. Valencia in for Welbeck.
    Adnan was well marked by Shaw. He should have been moved
    to the left wing. Valencia in the right wing.

    Carrick substitution at half time was a good move.
    RVP off was also a good move.

    Looking forward to next season.

  6. United should buy shaw at any cost. What a player he is at this young age. He is the perfect replacement to evra

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