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Manchester United 2-2 Southampton: Red Devils drop points again

Manchester United made things difficult for themselves as they drew against an opponent from the bottom half of the table for a second week running.

Southampton FC v Manchester United - Premier League Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images

Manchester United were unable to build on their comeback bid against Southampton, and the two sides shared the points in a 2-2 draw. An eventful first half featured all of the goals in the match, including Romelu Lukaku’s first goal in over two months. United managed to draw level through Lukaku and Ander Herrera after falling 2-0 inside 20 minutes to Stuart Armstrong and Cedric Soares, but couldn’t capitalize on their second half chances to take all three points.

José Mourinho’s squad selection was already drawing criticism before the match had even begun. A back three of Nemanja Matić, Phil Jones, and Scott McTominay, and the benching of Anthony Martial.

The first half of the first half was an abysmal experience for Manchester United fans. Stuart Armstrong took advantage of Matić's lack of awareness and fired the Saints in front in the 13th minute. Seven minutes later McTominay gave away a free kick on the edge of the area, and the Saints again took advantage of the opportunity as Cedric’s perfectly placed shot doubled their lead.

The Jones, McTominay, and Matić back three was unpopular on United twitter, and the fears were confirmed after the dreadful start. Even as United began to create more chances for themselves there was still a clear lack of confidence from the strikers.

In the 33rd minute Marcus Rashford broke forward alongside Romelu Lukaku, and managed to square it to the Belgian before losing possession. United’s no. 9 fired home the chance, giving both United and himself a much needed goal after his lengthy dry spell. United won back possession almost immediately, and the siege of the Southampton goal was underway. A few minutes later Rashford again played a dangerous ball towards goal, and Ander Herrera skillfully equalized.

United fans expected the side to build on their attacking play when they came out for the second half, but the performance was more reminiscent of the Crystal Palace match. A potentially exciting end to the match turned dull, and for the second week in a row United were well matched by an opponent in a relegation battle.

The red half of Manchester doesn’t have much time to recover as they face a dangerous Arsenal side at Old Trafford in just 4 days. After managing only 2 points from their last 3 matches United will be desperate for a win, but low on confidence.