Dublin: 20°C Wednesday 4 August 2021


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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 paul@the42.ie, tweet @the42_ie, post a message to our Facebook wall, or leave a comment below.

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Kick off for the game is at 5.30pm.


We’re under way…


There’s a moment of panic in the Southampton defence.

Goalkeeper Alex McCarthy controls a back-pass, then takes a swing and completely misses the ball.

It falls to Lukaku, but McCarthy partially atones for his initial error, by getting down well to block the Belgian international’s shot.


Obafemi gets his first half-chance.

Nathan Redmond bursts forward on the counter, before playing it to the youngster. However, Phil Jones is well positioned to block the subsequent attempt on goal.


Southampton v Manchester United - Premier League - St Mary's Stadium A general view of a rainbow Southampton flag on display prior to the match. Source: Mark Kerton


Redmond wriggles through a couple of tackles before playing it to Obafemi.

The Ireland striker lays it off to Stuart Armstrong, who powers an unstoppable shot past David de Gea to hand the Saints an early advantage.


Cédric Soares curls home an absolutely brilliant free kick from the edge of the box on his 100th Premier League appearance.

The right-back can’t have scored too many goals as good as that one.


Southampton do not look like a side who are struggling at the bottom of the table at the moment.

There has been a real sense of confidence and conviction to their play — as if they sense this game is there for the taking against a struggling United outfit.


Here’s a look at that brilliant free kick from Cedric…


Southampton v Manchester United - Premier League - St Mary's Stadium Southampton's Stuart Armstrong celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game. Source: Andrew Matthews


United are back in this game, as Romelu Lukaku ends his goal drought.

Rashford does really well in the build-up, showing good strength to shrug off his marker, before producing a perfectly judged through ball, as the onrushing Belgian international makes no mistake with a powerful finish.



Rashford does really well again, dribbling down the right-hand side before crossing to Herrera.

The Spanish midfielder produces a lovely back-flicked finish from close range to draw United level.


It’s been a very open first 45 minutes.

Both sides look very vulnerable when the other attacks.


So half-time, and it’s been an entertaining and error-ridden opening 45 minutes.

Southampton were the far brighter of the two sides to begin with, taking advantage of a sluggish United with two superbly taken goals.

However, the visitors have recovered well since, with Marcus Rashford integral to their fightback, assisting both goals.

It will be an interesting second half, but you get the sense that the momentum has shifted in the Red Devils’ favour, with Southampton low on confidence and defending poorly.


The second half has begun…


McCarthy is unconvincing in punching away a corner, though replays show McTominay was fouling him as he did so.

The ref ignores that incident, but the same thing happens again as another corner is flighted in and the official belatedly blows up for a free in the goalkeeper’s favour.


Pogba gets booked for a mistimed challenge on Lemina.

The United midfielder has not looked at his best in this game so far, and is showing signs of frustration now.

Moments later, there are signs of retribution, as Lemina gets booked for a similarly poor challenge on Pogba.


Pogba needs to be very careful.

He’s penalised for cynically tripping Obafemi, as the Irish youngster speeds away from him.

He was lucky to avoid a second booking there.


Southampton v Manchester United - Premier League - St Mary's Stadium Manchester United's Romelu Lukaku (right) scores his side's first goal of the game. Source: Andrew Matthews


Obafemi goes down under a challenge from McTominay in the box, but the ref waves play on.

Looking at replays, it was a risky challenge from the Scottish international, but it would have been a soft penalty nonetheless.

The 18-year-old Irish striker is subsequently replaced by Gabbiadini, as the youngster appears to have picked up an injury.


It’s been a quiet last few minutes.

Following an intense tempo in the opening 45, both teams are clearly starting to tire.


Man United make their first change.

Luke Shaw becomes the latest Red Devils defender to pick up an injury, and he is replaced by 19-year-old Portuguese full-back Diogo Dalot.


Højbjerg takes a pot shot from distance that tests De Gea.

Meanwhile, an ominous stat for Southampton fans — they have conceded seven times in the last 15 minutes of matches this season. Only Fulham have a worse record in the Premier League.


Man United make another change and it’s a surprising one.

Rashford, who was comfortably his side’s best player in the first half, is replaced by Anthony Martial.

As the young England international goes off, the camera pans to the away supporters, who look distinctly unimpressed with the decision.

As I type, Pogba concedes possession cheaply, before Redmond’s powerful strike from distance forces De Gea to tip the ball over the bar for a corner.


There is audible frustration from the home support, as the referee stops play after Lukaku trods on the ball awkwardly and injures himself in the process.

Southampton are finishing the stronger of the two teams, as they have the upperhand in terms of possession and territory.


United make a final change.

Lukaku, who took his goal well but hasn’t done too much otherwise, is replaced by Jesse Lingard.


There will be four minutes of stoppage time…


Southampton make a change, as Steven Davis replaces Lemina.

Meanwhile, Nathan Redmond, who has frequently threatened on the counter-attack, has deservedly been named as BT Sport’s man of the match.

So that’s that. According to BT Sport, United had just one shot on target in that second half, after they were lucky to go in level at half-time.

Marcus Rashford was comfortably the Red Devils’ standout player, assisting both goals, before surprisingly being replaced by Anthony Martial in the second half.

Romelu Lukaku and Ander Herrera both took their goals well, but it was a poor performance overall from an out-of-sorts United against a side who remain in the relegation zone after today’s result.

For Southampton, there were positives, despite throwing away a two-goal lead with some poor defensive mistakes.

Mark Hughes made a couple of brave calls prior to kick-off, handing starts to teenagers Yan Valery and Michael Obafemi, with the latter looking especially sharp in attack before going off injured in the second half.

It was an encouraging display from the struggling side, who will feel slightly disappointed not to have emerged from the match with all three points.

Right, that’s all from me.

Thanks for reading and commenting.

You can read our match report here.

We’ll have more reaction to follow.

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About the author:

Paul Fennessy


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