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Dublin: 7 °C Thursday 19 July, 2018


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Hello, and welcome to today’s liveblog.

As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts on the game. E-mail, tweet @the42_ie, post a message to our Facebook wall, or leave a comment below.

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Kick off is at 3.00pm.

Here are the teams:

Southampton: Forrester, Bertrand, Yoshida, Hoedt, Cedric, Romeu, Lemina, Redmond, Davis, Tadic, Long

Subs: McCarthy, Van Dijk, Pied, Ward-Prouwse, Hojbjerg, Gabbiadini, Austin

Man United: De Gea, Valencia, Bailly, Jones, Young, Matic, Fellaini, Mata, Mkhitaryan, Rashford, Lukaku

Subs: Romero, Smalling, Blind, Carrick, Herrera, Lingard, Martial

Well, here we are then. Another week, another game for Manchester United to prove their worth as possible title contenders.

Despite United facing into a hectic schedule which includes six away games and a trip to CSKA Moscow in the month of October, manager Jose Mourinho has picked another strong XI once again.

Anthony Martial might have been expected to start in view of that mid-week Champions League group stage visit to Russia, however the trusted pairing of Marcus Rashford and Romelu Lukaku get the nod up front.

Ahead of kick-off please enjoy some pre-game reading, where we ask are Man United the real deal and back to their utmost best?

Kick-off is just under 20 minutes away.


Ashley Young takes a very early knock but hobbles on and is okay to continue.


Southampton have been very lively in these opening exchanges. Tadic races through a gaping hole between the Manchester United midfield and defence.

He appears to have taken a knock in the process and was stumbling and bumbling along as he tried to feed a killer ball which would have played Shane Long through on goal.

United go on the break at the other end but Marcus Rashford loses possession on the edge of the area.

Promising game this, but Tadic is still hobbling.


CHANCE. United being pinned back here. Another promising cross into the box is forced wide for a corner which is headed clear by Fellaini.

The ball falls on the edge of the area to Nathan Redmond who, always leaning back, skies a half-volley flying over David De Gea’s crossbar.


Lemina takes possession a good distance from goal and his effort from range is well over hit. United with just two half-chances thus far, as Southampton make a real impression here in these first 15 minutes.



And after a hum-drum start from Mourinho’s men United take a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes.

It’s that man again Romelu Lukaku and you really do just have to marvel at the Belgian’s start to life in Manchester.

Forrester does brilliantly to save the forward’s initial header, but he can’t do anything about the follow-up as Lukaku taps home from no more than two yards out from goal — it’s his 8th goal in as many appearances in all competitions.



When you buy a player of Lukaku’s quality he is always going to make that killer difference.

United looked pinned back in the early exchanges but in one momentary flash of brilliance now take the lead and look assured and confident once again.

Southampton had enjoyed a good share of possession as they pushed forward and forward, but now look dejected as they watch their opponents stroke the ball about with swagger.


Another chance! Marcus Rashford almost doubles United’s lead just six minutes after Lukaku’s opener.

It’s a fine free-kick from the young forward outside the box. It’s well struck, avoids the wall and almost, just almost swerves into the bottom corner.


Now there’s a stat!


Lukaku looks to break again after dropping deep to receive possession but he is intercepted well by Yoshida.


Shane Long takes up possession in a promising position outside the box but, much like his struggles up top for his country, is completely isolated with little support — needing to do it all on his own.

United swarm bodies back and take the ball off the forward with ease as Southampton struggle to carve open a vigorous defensive unit.


Marouane Fellaini is down on the ground in agony following a foul from Long.

The forward attempts to console the Belgian, but is yellow carded nonetheless by referee Craig Pawson for stamping on the back of the midfielder’s leg.


Fellaini initially went off to receive treatment but is now back on the field of play.

He is still slightly limping and is greeted by a loud chorus of boos by the Southampton supporters any time he touches the ball.


Juan Mata is kept onside and almost delivers an inviting ball across the goalmouth which is deflected wide for a corner.

The ball comes again to Mata and his second cross is well caught by Forrester.


Ashley Young is given a yellow card for kneeing an opponent in the back of the leg to the scorn of the home supporters. They didn’t like that, and neither did referee Pawson.


Romelu Lukaku pictured slotting the ball past Fraser Forster to make it 1-0.

Southampton v Manchester United - Premier League - St Mary's Stadium Source: John Walton


There will be two minutes of additional time to play at the end of the first half.


A late half-chance for Southampton as Shane Long leaps like a salmon to beautifully knock down a cross into the box.

Unsurprisingly though, there is no-one there to pick up the pieces.


We’re back underway for the second half…


Some good passages of slow, patient build-up play from Southampton. Redmond, to Romeu before a heavy cross aimed towards the box which Long just cannot get his head to.

Mauricio Pellegrino will know that if his side can hold on long enough that they could potentially get some sort of a result here.

That said, United have been known to blow teams out of the water with a multitude of late goals after the 80 minute. Time will tell.


Southampton have come to play in this second half. They are toying with United with flashes of invention in the final third, particularly hurting their opponents along the right wing where Ashley Young is struggling slightly.


Romeu had a killer chance that just past him by. A quick ball across goal which he really should have put away.


Another chance for Southampton as Nathan Redmond beats his man on the edge of the area before snatching an effort low towards goal which ends up just wide.


Brilliant play from Southampton and equally excellent defending from Marcus Rashford. Tadic is instrumental at the moment and he played an exquisite ball down the wing towards Cédric Soares.

The right back attempted a cross, but Rashford worked well to get back and block it away for a corner.


Chance! Shane Long has worked like a Trojan today and he rises high once again inside the box.

It’s a decent header from the striker, but he just can’t get enough muscle on the effort to direct it on target.


It’s the Shane Long show at the moment. One moment he goes down claiming a penalty inside the area, the next he almost directs a diving header on target.

It’s all Southampton at the moment as Man United sit back, absorb pressure and are bombarded with chances from all distances and angles.

Can they hold onto their lead or will Jose Mourinho be forced into a change?


Substitution for Man United: Ander Herrera replaces Juan Mata.


Hey mister, can we have our ball back? – Jose Mourinho puts the ball back in play at St. Mary’s.

Southampton v Manchester United - Premier League - St Mary's Stadium Source: Andrew Matthews


CHANCE! Ohhh Romelu Lukaku almost got his second. United hit on the break, the ball is spread wide inside the box and, taking it on his right boot, Lukaku hammers an effort low towards the bottom corner.

Forrester does brilliantly to stay composed and save low with his feet. Southampton have enjoyed the better performance in this second half, but one moment of lapse could put this game beyond them.


Annnnnnd a chance for Southampton at the other end. Marouane Fellaini is forced to clear a header off the line dramatically — it’s end to end at the minute!


Another shot bears down on goal. This time it’s Nathan Redmond — he composes himself on the edge of the area but his low strike is right at David De Gea and is comfortably saved.


Antonio Valencia receives a yellow card for a clumsy, if not entirely intentional challenge on Steven Davies. United’s second booking of this game.


Substitution for Southampton: Manolo Gabbiadini replaces Steven Davies.


Substitution for Manchester United: Chris Smalling replaces Henrikh Mkhitaryan.


Southampton introduce a forward while United bring on a defender. Mourinho appears to be directing towards a back five as he wants to see this game out by any means possible.

Southampton’s pressure has been utterly relentless in this second half. Perhaps Smalling will stem that tide of pressure as United’s lead begins to look increasingly slim with 15 minutes to go.


So close! Oooh deary me how on earth have Southampton not scored.

A one-two between Romeu and Gabbiadini sees the former played through on goal. Flagged by bodies either side of him but with the goal in his sights Romeu aims for David De Gea’s bottom corner but just narrowly misses the target.

A beautifully piece of play from the hosts as United begin to look more and more vulnerable.


Another one! Oh, but this time it’s United at the other end.

Some industrious work from Romeulu Lukaku sees the ball squared to a completely unmarked Ander Herrera.

With the goal at his beg and mercy the Spanish midfielder hits an absolute howler — skying his effort miles over the crossbar.

He really should have scored, never mind even hit the target!


United earn a third booking of the evening and this time it’s a yellow card for Lukaku for a foul on Mario Lemina.


Substitution for Southampton: Charlie Austin replaces Shane Long.


Substitution for Southampton: James Ward-Prowse replaces Cedric Soares.


Southampton are really going for this, while United are happy to hang on.

With Ward-Prowse, Gabbiadini and Tadic all stroking the ball around the edge of the box Mauricio Pellegrino’s side are waiting, waiting, waiting for any sort of lapse in their opponents’ shape.

For now, and with five minutes to go, United are holding on.


A fourth booking of the day for United as Nemanja Matic receives a yellow card.


There will be four minutes of additional time to come…


The game is beginning to break down in intensity as Ander Herrera goes down following an innocuous challenge, which will eat up a bit of time for his side.


Substitution for Man United: Daley Blind replaces Marcus Rashford.


A final chance for Southampton as some brilliant counter-attacking play earns them a corner. Last chance saloon now…


And just to add to the drama, Jose Mourinho has been sent off…


The corner is cleared and that should be that.

A dramatic end to a 1-0 win for Manchester United, with manager Jose Mourinho reportedly sent off late off by referee Craig Pawson for walking onto the pitch during the game.

About the author:

Aaron Gallagher


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