Manchester United’s rocky start to the 2019/20 season continues with two more dropped points at St. Mary’s. Daniel James opened the scoring with another belter from the left, but Southampton battled back after halftime to force a 1-1 draw. The Reds huffed and puffed after Kevin Danso’s 73rd-minute dismissal, though it did them little good.
The Saints were there for the taking and United will rue their many missed chances for the next fortnight. This won’t be a happy international break for either Ole Gunnar Solskjaer or his players.
Third time this season United have been tasked with breaking a team down, and the third time they've failed to do so.— Rich Fay (@RichFay) August 31, 2019
Plenty of issues with the team, but bewildering that they didn't sign a new midfielder in the summer #mufc
David De Gea: 6
Desperate to put his game-changing error against Crystal Palace behind him — and did just that with a strong reflex save on a Danny Ings header. Unfortunately, Southampton scored moments later to draw level. DDG didn’t have much to do for most of this match, but he managed to keep his nerves while United struggled to build from the back and turned the ball over in their own third.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka: 7
Another fine performance from the 21-year-old right back. Wan-Bissaka racked up ten more tackles today and even looked more dangerous pushing forward. Defensively, at least, no one does it better.
Victor Lindelof: 4
Completely out of sorts. Lindelof got out-jumped again this week and nearly gifted Che Adams a goal with a particularly poor pass. Moments like those undo all of the steady work that came before. It might be time for Axel Tuanzebe after the break.
Harry Maguire: 6
Strong in defense and composed on the ball. None of the United defenders coped particularly well with Southampton’s press, though Maguire did the best of the lot. Supporters might not see the best of their new £80 million man until either Lindelof shakes off his early-season struggles or a better replacement is found.
Ashley Young: 6
No complaints with the captain’s performance today. Young supported Daniel James well on the left and threw his body around to block Southampton crosses and passes. He even tried his luck with a late bender that nearly tucked inside the far post. A late yellow card for some (justifiable) complaints about Southampton’s time-wasting.
Scott McTominay: 7
A strong midfield effort from the Scottish international. McTominay took on defenders, won the ball back all over the field, and delivered simple passes to teammates. One of those set up James in space on the left for his goal. His second-half run down the right forced Kevin Danso into a foolish second yellow card and handed United a one-man advantage for the rest of the match.
Paul Pogba: 6
On pace for a 3 or 4 until flipping the switch around the hour mark. A week after his late dispossession led to Crystal Palace’s winning goal, Pogba spent much of the first half dwelling on the ball and misplacing passes. After pushing forward as a #10, though, he came alive and set Rashford free in the box several times.
Andreas Pereira: 4
Handed another chance after an up-and-down performance on opening day against Chelsea, Pereira struggled mightily on the right at St. Mary’s. This isn’t his natural position and did the young Brazilian no favors. If Ole had hooked him at halftime, no one would’ve complained.
Juan Mata: 7
While Jesse Lingard chips in with a lot of defensive work that mostly goes unnoticed, Mata does the same on the offensive end. He might not put up big goal and assist numbers, but he makes intelligent runs to free up opportunities for teammates and always keeps the ball moving. Solskjaer’s side ticks better with Mata in it.
Daniel James: 7
The 21-year-old looks so much more comfortable on the left. James scored his third goal in four matches, cutting inside and blasting a shot across Angus Gunn’s goal into the top corner. Later, he forced another save and looked a true threat every time he touched the ball. James continues to grow in confidence each week and even pitched in with a few tackles, too.
Daniel James has now scored as many Premier League goals for Manchester United as Alexis Sanchez.— Richard Jolly (@RichJolly) August 31, 2019
Marcus Rashford: 5
Moved up top in Anthony Martial’s absence, but this was a day to forget for Rashford. His runs were out-of-sync, his shots mostly tame, and he never really tested the Southampton backline. Much more will be needed on the other side of this international break.
Nemanja Matic (Sub, 68’): 5
His speculative effort flew well over the bar. If nothing else, Matic’s arrival allowed Pogba to move forward.
Jesse Lingard (Sub, 68’): 5
Made a strong upfield with the ball, but chose a long-range shot (that was blocked) instead of a simpler pass out to Greenwood in space. Later, Lingard curled one just wide of the post.
Mason Greenwood (Sub, 82’): 6
Greenwood’s penalty shout was waved away by Mike Dean. He also rifled in a shot that Gunn did well to keep out. Greenwood made a strong impression and gave Ole plenty to think about regarding his next starting eleven selection.