Manchester United’s season is well and truly launched. This Saturday, at the opening of the 4th day of the Premier League, the Red Devils went for their second success on the lawn of Southampton (1-0). Erik ten Hag, who had decided to trust the same XI who started in the victorious England derby against Liverpool (2-1) on Monday, and therefore to leave Cristiano Ronaldo as well as the new recruit Casemiro on the bench, confirms having maybe (finally) found the right formula to raise your head. He can in any case be proud of the behavior of his men.
The first period proved to be relatively balanced between the two teams arranged in a 4-2-3-1. The Saints first settled in the Mancunian camp after a first quarter of an hour that looked like an observation round. Then the visitors gradually regained control of the leather. Soton like MU have in any case had the opportunity to take the lead. The Red Devils, first, through an incredible quadruple opportunity in front of Bazunu’s goal, well supplied by his starved defenders on each ball (20th). Then Ralph Hasenhüttl’s men had their chances, but Bella-Kotchap lacked precision a few meters from goal, following a corner kicked by Ward-Prowse (31st), while Adams stumbled on De Gea (32nd, 38th).
Fernandes and De Gea decisive, Ronaldo worrying
After the break, McTominay lit the first wick of the second period (49th). But the light came from the feet of Fernandes. The Portuguese, at the conclusion of a nice collective movement in a triangle on the right side, opened the scoring with a surgical flat foot (0-1, 55th). Southampton never let go, but De Gea shone, with a sumptuous reflex parade on a header from Aribo (66th), while the Varane-Martinez hinge held the shock. The return of the former Bordelais Mara, author of an ingenious return repelled by Dalot (90th + 4), 15 minutes from the end will not have changed anything.
That of Cristiano Ronaldo (68th) either. The fivefold Ballon d’Or still had a complicated afternoon under the sun of the port city. The former Real Madrid goleador, lacking in confidence, was jostled in the duels (70th, 82nd). CR7 even worried when trainers intervened to relieve him of visibly significant pain in his right knee (74th). It should also be noted that Casemiro, the new No. 18 of the Red Devils, made his debut in England. Everything was not perfect, but the Mancunians, who had not won away from Old Trafford since February 20, had the merit of triggering a positive dynamic. Manchester United temporarily climbs to 6th place, while Southampton, defeated for the second time this season, is 13th.