Romelu Lukaku’s sixth goal of the season was enough to sink the saints. Manchester United made it five wins in their opening six games to maintain their fine form in this Premier League campaign. It wasn’t the prettiest of performances from the Red Devils, who seemed slightly more subdued after their recent high octane attacking displays. Nevertheless, it is an important win on the road for United who take all three points back to Manchester.
David De Gea: 6.5
The Spaniard was largely untested in much of this affair, but had to keep his concentration to maintain his clean sheet. Made a smart save off Redmond in the second half when Southampton stepped up their pressure. De Gea now has five clean sheets in his six premier league games this season; although the attack is getting rave reviews, we have to look closely at the rock solid defence.
Antonio Valencia: 6
After producing a stunning goal last week, Valencia showed the defensive qualities he brings to this United team. Never flustered and seemed in control of his backline. Solid performance from the captain.
Eric Bailly: 7.5
For all of Southampton’s possession today, they didn’t really have too many clear cut chances at goal. This is partly down to the rock performance from Bailly. He is proving week in why he is one of the best center-backs in the Premier League. Another clean sheet too.
Phil Jones: 8 (Man of the Match)
Almost identical with Bailly in this game. Made two superb interceptions to prevent Southampton in the second-half. The center-back pairing coped with all of Southampton’s attacking, sweeping up knock-downs and clearing up competently throughout the 90 minutes. Never really looked in danger of conceding.
Ashley Young: 7
Another quality performance from Young and another assist. His crossing ability is becoming a secret weapon for this United side. Having an aerial threat with the cleverness of Lukaku is perfect for Young who is flourishing from it. Smart defensively, he may just keep his spot in the starting line-up with Luke Shaw returning to fitness.
Marouane Fellaini: 6
Fellaini sat deeper in this game than he has before. Provided decent cover for the backline but didn’t provide much going forward. In a game were United didn’t enjoy that much possession, Fellaini performed more of a holding role. Headed off the line well to prevent an equalizer.
Nemanja Matić: 7
The Serb never puts a foot wrong and is United’s most consistence performer week in and week out. Covered every inch of St. Mary’s this afternoon and was a constant presence in the heart of the midfield.
Juan Mata: 5.5
Mata had a quieter display than what we are used to. Southampton pressed him well and the Spaniard didn’t have the time and freedom he so often has to make an effective impact on the game. Subbed on the hour mark.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan: 6
In the moments when United had some flow to their play, Mkhitaryan was usually the catalyst. Constantly looking for the ball and creative in possession. Always a threat going forward.
Marcus Rashford: 6
Rashford was unable to impose himself on this game. Southampton did well to limit his marauding runs forward. The young forward became quieter in the second-half when asked to defend the lead. Subbed in the dying minutes.
Romelu Lukaku: 8
Lukaku’s reaction at the final-whistle showed just what this game meant to him. He’s proving to be a leader in this team and showed his goal-scoring qualities yet again. It is eight in eight for the Belgian who scored after the rebound of his initial header was well saved by Forster.
Ander Herrera (Sub, ‘62): 6
Gave United energy coming off the bench, but wasted a great chance to kill off the game, lifting his shot over the bar after a Lukaku cutbacks.
Chris Smalling (Sub, 75’): 6
Came on for Mkhitaryan to sure up United’s defense.
Daley Blind (Sub, 90’): N/A
Came on too late in the game.
José Mourinho: 7
A sensible line-up from the gaffer against a decent Southampton side. Could’ve been more adventurous in attack with the likes of Martial and Lingard on the bench, but wise to sure up the win. Sent-off in injury time.