After bouncing back on Thursday night against Betis following the thumping at Liverpool last Sunday, the Red Devils went into sleep mode again today in the league against Southampton, albeit partly due to the red card for Casemiro, as they managed a 0-0 draw, endangering their 3rd spot as the other teams close the gap behind. Rashford was almost a ghost on the field, while Fernandes was lucky to escape unscathed as twice he gave away the ball in dangerous situations, forcing his teammates to clear up his mess. May be high time ten Hag starts looking for a real captain among the other players 🤔 as the former is not up to expectations.
The Red Devils didn’t look much concerned from the first half itself despite creating a couple of opportunities, with the Saints looking more enterprising as they nearly found the net via Walcott only for De Gea to tip the header over. The KO blow came on the 34th minute when VAR overrode the referee’s yellow card following a challenge on Alcaraz by Casemiro, and turned it into a red. The challenge was not intention although Casemiro had his boot a little high. The big midfielder left the pitch in tears although the opposition player was able to resume. From thereon the Red Devils went into defensive mode, and nearly conceded when a free-kick from Ward-Prowse went close after a deflection. Varane had an opportunity at the other end as United won a corner, but the keeper was quickly put to deny him. Weghorst was eventually sacrificed as McTominay was brought on in the final minutes of the half as there was no CDM.
The second half saw the scenario as the first, with the Red Devils nearly concerning an own-goal in a defensive mixup, with Wan-Bissaka fortunately at hand to clear off the line with De Gea beaten. The Saints were out for blood and nearly found a way in again as Ward-Prowse hit a free-kick which clipped the top of the bar. Walcott was again presented with a chance as United failed to capitalise on a corner at the other end, and the quick break saw Walcott with a one on one with De Gea as Martinez tried to close him, and De Gea made another classy save to deny him. It then became a tale of two posts, as Fernandes hit one for United, and Walker-Peters hit the other at the other end. The Red Devils were eventually lucky to earn the draw, while substitute Garnacho was forced off with an injury late on, and making him a doubt for the return leg against Betis.
May be a lesson to learn for the Red Devils and their management staff, you need to kill off the home games early on as any unexpected scenario can happen and compromise your plans. That CL spot is not safe yet as they can slump back into the Europa League if they continue to drop points.
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