Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Man Utd vs Southampton

Charlie Austin made a dream Southampton debut by
heading an 87th-minute winner to sink Manchester
United 1-0 at Old Trafford.
Austin returned to the Barclays Premier League this
week when Saints signed the striker from Queens
Park Rangers, and he stepped off the bench late in
the day to ensure a repeat of the same scoreline
this fixture produced last season.
Southampton had carried a set-piece threat before
Austin entered the fray in place of Sadio Mane in
the 79th minute and his decisive goal owed
something to an over-eager challenge from returning
Man Utd substitute Adnan Januzaj.
Making his comeback after a loan stint at Borussia
Dortmund, Januzaj brought down Austin and the
former Burnley striker planted a fine header beyond
David De Gea from James Ward-Prowse's unerring
right-wing delivery.
United slip five points behind fourth-placed
Tottenham Hotspur, while Southampton move up to
eighth, having claimed three consecutive league
wins for the first time this season.
Cameron Borthwick-Jackson made his first BPL start
at left wing-back following Ashley Young’s groin
injury, with Van Gaal switching to 3-5-2 to match his
opponents' shape.
Two goals in the 3-0 win over West Bromwich Albion
were not enough to keep Ward-Prowse in the
Southampton XI, the midfielder joining Austin on the
bench as Jordy Clasie and Dusan Tadic earned
Mane had a disappointing first half's best sight of
goal in the 37th minute, but his touch and footing
deserted him in the United area after playing a neat
one-two with Tadic.
And as the home supporters launched into yet
another rendition of "attack, attack, attack" Jesse
Lingard's deflected stoppage-time effort span wide.
Van Gaal responded by sending on Juan Mata in
place of Marouane Fellaini in an attempt to spark
some creativity.
Mata and Wayne Rooney combined in the desired
fashion after 54 minutes, although Anthony Martial
could not get a shot off and Southampton
goalkeeper Fraser Forster gratefully grasped the ball.
Van Gaal’s defensive injury woes worsened when
Matteo Darmian came off worse in a 58th-minute
collision with Shane Long – the Republic of Ireland
striker heading a subsequent corner wide under
pressure from the Italian's replacement, Paddy
A goalless draw seemed inevitable before Austin's
accurate finish thrillingly grabbed the bragging rights
for Koeman over his old rival Van Gaal after just
eight minutes on the field.
Another Southampton substitute, Oriol Romeu, drew
a sharp save from De Gea as the visitors threatened
further misery before Januzaj sent a fizzing shot
wide in injury time.
Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal: "I had a
feeling they could score only from a set-play. Our
defence in set-plays was weaker because I changed
Fellaini and had to change Darmian. Every change
was a weakness in defence. I wanted to win this
game and that’s why I changed Cameron Borthwick-
Jackson for Adnan Januzaj. That is a risk you take, it
was a poor game and we didn’t create so much and
neither did our opponent."
Southampton manager Ronald Koeman: "After their
goal went in, there were 20 minutes where we hung
on, but we stopped them scoring, which we haven't
done recently. We've gained a result from going a
goal behind, and that shows a bit of character from
the players. They overcame their fears and came
back strongly. It's a precious point. We've showed a
lot of nerve to come through our bad spell and if we
continue like that we're going to be fine."


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