What an evening. 2 red cards, 1 disallowed goal, 9 goals, and a well needed home win, last night was a fun one for Manchester United and the fans watching from home.
It’s safe to say my pre-match score prediction of 3-1 was way off, but I can’t complain! With 8 different names on the score sheet (including Bednarek with an OG) had there been more extra time at the end of the game, I have no doubt the list would’ve been longer.
Granted, Southampton going down to 10 men in under 2 minutes of the whistle blowing in the first half was an early advantage for us, but Man Utd put on a performance that we were expecting in our previous games against Sheffield United and Arsenal last week.
Though we were spoilt for choice for positives to take away from the game, full credit should be given to Solskjaer for getting everything spot on. From the starting line-up, tactical decisions, substitutions and screaming at the players to “get more goals” even at 7-0 up, he, alongside the rest of the team cannot be faulted on their performance. I was expecting United to park the bus at 4-0 and take the second half lightly, but the resilience, hunger and determination from every single player to see just how many they could get in the back of the net, was something I hope to see more of in the upcoming games against West Brom and Newcastle.
This game would’ve no doubt reinstated confidence within the team, with players like Bruno, Martial and Rashford, who’ve been lacking momentum in the previous weeks, getting goals and assists left, right and centre.
From the other perspective, there certainly will be a few fingers pointing some blame to VAR for some questionable decisions. Southampton’s disallowed goal to make it 4-1 was the definition of ‘fine margins’, with one of Fred’s fingers playing Adams offside, a decision that infuriated Southampton fans and left a few Man Utd fans feeling sorry for the Saints. But it was Bednarek’s red card in the 86th minute that caused an uproar amongst all football fans. An extremely soft penalty and undeserved red card given against Southampton will certainly question VAR’s future, alongside a similar incident with David Luiz just a few hours earlier. In my opinion, it should never have been a red card against Bednarek and I’m hoping this will be a turning point in the way VAR is looked at within the games, as it truly is killing football.
The standout players last night were: Shaw, Wan-Bissaka and McTominay, and I would give MOTM to Shaw for the unbelievable impact he had in the first half getting forward and creating chances that have been lacking in the last couple of games.
For me, the GOTM (goal of the match) was McTominay’s belter from outside the box, which will undoubtedly be a strong contender for goal of the month.
We entered the game with a 14 goal difference behind Man City… 90 minutes later and we’d closed the gap to 5. On to the next…