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Dublin: 6°C Saturday 16 January 2021


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Hello, and welcome to today’s liveblog.

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Kick off is at 5.30pm.

Today’s late kick-off sees Man United welcome Southampton a staggering 15 points behind rivals Manchester City at the top of the Premier League.

United boss Jose Mourinho hit the headlines again this week after he bemoaned the financial clout the league leaders enjoy in comparison to his side, following their last-gasp 2-2 draw with Burnley.

Attention may very well now be turning towards Champions League and FA Cup priorities, as well as maintaining second spot.

With Chelsea flying high against Stoke this afternoon, United will need all three points against the Saints if they are to maintain their one point lead over Antonio Conte’s side — lest the Red Devils drop into third.

Just under an hour to go before kick-off at Old Trafford!

Now, let’s get the team news…

So, today’s teams are:

Man United: De Gea; Young, Lindelof, Jones, Shaw; Pogba, Matic; Mata, Mkhitaryan, Lingard; Lukaku.

Subs: Romero, Blind, Tuanzebe, Rojo, Herrera, Martial, Rashford.

Southampton: McCarthy; Stephens, Yoshida, Hoedt, McQueen; Romeu; Tadic, Hojbjerg, Ward-Prowse, Boufal; Long.

Subs: Forster, Bednarek, Pied, Lemina, Redmond, Davis, Gabbiadini.

Just five minutes to go before kick-off. Will this man score his first goal for club & country since February this evening?

Manchester City v Southampton - Premier League - Etihad Stadium Source: PA Archive/PA Images


Shane Long with an early shove on Nemanja Matic which earns Man United a free-kick inside their own box.

Not a lot in that, but it gives this game a prickly start as both sides prepare to sink their teeth into each other — both needing three points, with the Saints sit just one point above the drop zone.


A chance for Jose Mourinho’s side as Juan Mata’s cross towards the box meets the head of Romelu Lukaku. The Belgian makes a decent connection but it flies over the top of goalkeeper Alex McCarthy’s crossbar.


Close! That was snappy from Southampton and it almost flew in.

The ball is cut back inside the box to the feet of James Ward-Prowse and although the midfielder makes a sweet connection, David de Gea leaps to his left and palms it away right out of the bottom corner.

A great save indeed.


Now then, Romelu Lukaku is down on the ground worryingly.

The striker leapt for a header high in the air and looks to have taken a heavy knock in the process.

The Manchester United medical staff are treating him on the field, but there is a stretcher waiting for him as Marcus Rashford starts to warm up to replace the forward following a potential concussion suffered by the Belgian.


Substitution for Man United: Marcus Rashford replaces Romelu Lukaku.

– Lukaku has been taken off on a stretcher to the applause of the Old Trafford faithful. He was on the ground for the better part of five minutes there and will require further treatment following that collision. He is replaced by Rashford.


A chance for United as we resume play. Luke Shaw manages to get forward along the left before whipping in a cross, but it is cleared at the first hurdle by Southampton.


Some brilliant pressing from Shane Long to regain possession and as a result earn a fee-kick right on the edge of the box.

His finishing has not been at its best the last few months, but you simply cannot fault the Tipperary man’s drive and determination to put opposition defences under pressure.

God, Jack Charlton would’ve loved him in his Ireland teams many a decade ago.


David de Gea saves Ward-Prowse’s free-kick from the edge of the box and puts the ball out for a corner. United counter swiftly on the break but have no end product as the move fizzles out.


Shane Long again getting behind United’s defence. Tadic plays Long through and it takes a loose leg from Phil Jones to deny the Ireland striker and put it out for another Southampton corner.


Pictured: Romelu Lukaku stretchered off following a clash of heads with Wesley Hoedt.

Manchester United v Southampton - Premier League - Old Trafford Source: Dave Thompson


Pierre-Emile Hoejbjerg is shown the game’s first yellow card for a loose and silly challenge on Luke Shaw.


Chance! Ooooh that was close from Juan Mata. A lot of drive in that move to get into the box, but Marcus Rashford takes a few seconds to get possession out of his feet — the ball falls on a crowded plate to Mata who’s low strike just outside the box is gathered by Alex McCarthy.


Alex McCarthy with another important save. Ashley Young delivers a brilliant cross right into the middle of the box, but the 28-year-old English goalkeeper gets there first and punches clear just as Marcus Rashford was lining up a header from close range.


Old Trafford appeals for a penalty but referee Craig Pawson waves play on. Those appeals turn quickly into boos after Maya Yoshida appeared to run into the ball with his arm outstretched. Nothing is given though and I suspect we will be seeing replays of that again and again at the break.


United really putting the pressure on now as Matic sends a thundering effort flying over the crossbar. Southampton beginning to be pinned back into their own half as we near the break.


Almost the breakthrough for United there. Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s cross is met by Jesse Lingard but his effort flies narrowly wide of McCarthy’s post. That was the closest either side has come to breaking the deadlock but we appear to be heading into the break level pegging.


There will be six minutes of additional time to come at the end of the first half.


Neither side has made any changes at the break as we kick back into gear. United really were upping the ante towards the end of the second half and will be hoping to carry that momentum into the second interval.

Mourinho’s side have scored during every home game in the Premier League this season and won’t want to allow that record to stop this evening.


Almost a break on the counter for Rashford following a swift through ball. A moment’s hesitation from the striker allowed Sam McQueen to make an interception and clear the danger.


Chance! Oh goodness me how close that was for Shane Long to break his barren spell.

The ball was cut back to the striker and he managed to curl a dangerous effort on goal, but David de Gea got down well good and early and somehow, somehow nicked it over the crossbar brilliantly.


A low effort from the edge of the area from Henrikh Mkhitaryan but yet again Alex McCarthy is equal to it and gathers with ease. Three good saves from the goalkeeper with just under an hour played.


Sofiane Boufal is shown a yellow card for blatantly dragging out of Ashley Young’s jersey by referee Craig Pawson.


Jesse Lingard is shown a yellow card for a loose sliding challenge which could have been a lot worse if it had made contact. That’s the game’s fourth booking so far this evening; but alas we have yet to see a goal.


David de Gea is down on the ground after clashing with team-mate Phil Jones inside the box. It was a perfect delivery from James Ward-Prowse aimed at Maya Yoshida but, trying to punch the ball clear, the goalkeeper met his own defender.

He is back on his feet now, however, following some discomfort.


Substitution for Man United: Anthony Martial replaces Henrikh Mkhitaryan.


Ashley Young sweeps a free-kick inches wide of the post thanks to a deflection.


A decent move forward from Southampton following some pressure. The ball in from Tadic shows good awareness, but Boufal’s header is way too high and it floats over the bar.


Southampton break again and following some fine, intricate passing right on the edge of the box with Tadic side-footing an effort just narrowly wide of the post. Mauricio Pellegrino’s side are growing in confidence more and more as the second half wears on.


Substitution for Southampton: Manolo Gabbiadini replaces Shane Long.


Goal! But it won’t count…

Paul Pogba is in the perfect position to poke a loose ball beyond McCarthy at the far post, but he is flagged offside by the linesman and the goal won’t stand. We remain deadlocked at 0-0 with just under 10 minutes to go.



A good, swift move along the left wing via Anthony Martial who exchanges passes with Nemanja Matic.

However like so much of United’s play today they cannot penetrate Southampton’s backline and carve out a meaningful chance. Frustration is growing in the stands at Old Trafford as the minutes slip away approaching injury time.


There will be three minutes of additional time to come.

About the author:

Aaron Gallagher


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