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Dublin: 8°C Sunday 29 November 2020


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Man United 2-2 Southampton

Hello and welcome to this evening’s liveblog.

Today’s news that Man City will not be banned from the Champions League next season has ramifications for their rivals.

Man United currently sit fifth, but have a game in hand on the teams above them, while a win tonight would see them jump to third.

Southampton currently sit 12th on 44 points — safe from relegation and with no chance of getting into Europe — meaning they have little other than pride to play for.

The Red Devils will be confident of picking up the three points, having gone unbeaten in their last 17 matches in all competitions.

Confirmation of tonight’s teams, with Irish players Shane Long, Michael Obafemi, Will Ferry and Will Smallbone all on the bench for the Saints.

We’re under way…

It’s been a pretty scrappy and uneventful opening five minutes.

Neither side has had a chance yet.

Southampton have made a pretty decent start to this match.

They are enjoying good possession and territory.

As I type though, Ward-Prowse dwells on the ball and Martial nicks it off him.

The French attacker sprints through on goal, but McCarthy does well, getting out quickly to block his shot.

Southampton are ahead. Pogba gets robbed of possession by Ings.

Redmond then crosses for Armstrong, who takes one touch before blasting home an unstoppable shot from close range.

That’s in keeping with the impressive start the visitors have made to this game.

Shaw curls in an impeccable cross for Rashford, who finishes clinically.

However, the England striker is marginally offside, and so the goal is correctly ruled out.

Pogba loses the ball again in a dangerous area.

However, this time, the French star is not punished, as Adams overhits a through pass meant for Ings.

Martial does really well to control a Pogba cross while holding off the defender.

He then lays it to Rashford, who makes no mistake, finding the corner of the net with his finish.

United have turned this game around in the space of three minutes.

Martial goes past Walker-Peters comfortably before blasting home from the edge of the area.

United’s attack are on fire at the moment.

It’s been a great match to watch in general.

manchester-united-v-southampton-premier-league-old-trafford Manchester United's Marcus Rashford scores his side's first goal. Source: Dave Thompson/NMC Pool/PA Wire

Despite going behind, Southampton are still pushing bodies forward and look a threat in attack.

It’s been a really entertaining first half.

This game has hit a bit of a lull after a frantic opening half an hour.

Southampton aren’t quite playing with as much confidence and conviction on the ball as they had been in the early stages.

Romeu is very lucky not to be punished for a nasty late tackle on Greenwood that appeared intentional.

Fortunately, the Man United youngster appears not to have been seriously hurt as a result, and that is perhaps one of the reasons why the officials let it go unpunished.

So half-time and it’s been an interesting game.

Southampton started positively and were rewarded with an goal.

However, three minutes of attacking brilliance from United turned the game on its ahead.

The Red Devils’ attackers are showing a confidence befitting of their excellent form.

It’s been a pretty open game though, and the Saints certainly don’t look dead and buried yet.

A number of people, including Gary Neville, believe Romeu should have been sent off for that challenge.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, ex-Southampton star and Sky Sports analyst Matt Le Tissier disagrees.

The second half has begun…

It opens up for Redmond on the edge of the area.

However, the attacker drives his shot just wide.

That’s another reminder to United that this game is far from over.

Le Tissier has changed his tune slightly, it seems.

Maguire knocks over Armstrong on the edge of the area amid claims for a penalty.

The referee ignores protests and it certainly would have been harsh judging by replays.

Rashford’s audacious shot from distance finds the side-netting.

He looks really confident at the moment.

Walker-Peters drills a dangerous low ball across the box, but no one anticipates him doing so and it evades everyone.

Meanwhile, both sides make changes.

Shane Long replaces Che Adams for Southampton, and for United, Fred is on for the below-par Paul Pogba.

Martial and Rashford link up brilliantly.

The Frenchman crosses for his English team-mate, after a flowing move, but Bertrand is in the right place to make a timely intervention.

Southampton make another change.

Irish youngster Will Smallbone comes on for Armstrong.

Luke Shaw goes down with what looks like a bad ankle injury.

He’s then replaced by Brandon Williams.

Meanwhile, a Saints break sees Smallbone produce a dangerous cross, but Lindelof is well positioned in the area to avert the danger.

Stephens loses it cheaply.

Martial then goes on a mazy individual run, before curling the ball just wide.

Down the other end, Redmond’s cross is headed straight at De Gea by Shane Long in what was a difficult chance on the edge of the area.

Redmond goes close, forcing a save from De Gea.

Meanwhile, there has been a couple of substitutions.

Obafemi replaces Romeu for Southampton, and for United, McTominay and James are on for Fernandes and Greenwood.

It’s been a good spell for Southampton of late.

It looks set to be a tense final few minutes for United fans.

Both Williams and Walker-Peters are receiving treatment after a nasty collision between the two.

Blood is visible from Williams’ head.

We’re in stoppage time — five minutes — and you suspect it might be longer owing to the length of that stoppage.

It looks like Williams will be unable to continue, though Walker-Peters is okay to play on.

A dangerous corner by Ward-Prowse is flicked on by Bednarek, and Obafemi is on hand to finish from close range.

The 20-year-old Dubliner is only just on the pitch and that might even be his first touch.

So that’s that.

It’s hard to begrudge Southampton a point in the end.

They came away from Old Trafford with 52% possession and were positive throughout, producing a performance that suggests they are better than the 12th-place position they currently find themselves in.

United, aside from a blistering three-minute attacking spell, gave a subdued display.

A top-four spot is still in their hands given that they have to play Leicester, but it increases the pressure on them over the next few days.

Still, having gone 18 games unbeaten now, you wouldn’t necessarily bet against Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side.

Right, that’s all from me.

Thanks for reading and commenting.

You can read our report here, and we’ll have more reaction to follow.

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About the author:

Paul Fennessy


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