Tables Turned At Old Trafford: Man U vs Southampton
Adam Lallana’s 89th minute equaliser keeps Southampton in the European places, while the League champions continue their recent poor run of form at home. Like many times in the past, […]
Adam Lallana’s 89th minute equaliser keeps Southampton in the European places, while the League champions continue their recent poor run of form at home.
Like many times in the past, the red side of Manchester was once again the place to go for last minute drama on Saturday afternoon. After a bright, but fruitless display, the away side found themselves with a corner on 89 minutes. Manchester United of yesteryear would have dealt with the routine set piece, countered with blistering speed and scored at the other end to seal three, arguably undeserved, points. Oh how the times have changed.
In an opening 25 minutes which saw Southampton enjoy most of the possession, United still offered a substantial threat with the shooting abilities of Robin Van Persie causing Artur Boruc plenty of problems. His effort on 10 minutes in particular, was a sight to behold. Michael Carrick picked the Dutchman out from inside the area with a lovely lobbed ball, a pass which Van Persie elected to hit first time on the volley from a narrow angle. His rasping shot flew past Boruc, but also the post.
It didn’t take long for the 30 year-old marksman to make amends though as, after a brilliant 40-yard pass from Adnan Januzaj opened up the Southampton defence, Wayne Rooney was through on goal only to see his shot blocked brilliantly by Boruc. Van Persie was on hand though to convert the loose ball and give the home side the lead.
The second half saw more brilliant build up play between the trio of Januzaj, Rooney and Van Persie, with the latter unlucky to find himself on the end of a marginal offside call in the 60th minute after putting the ball in the net. Januzaj as well got in on the act, forcing another superb save from Boruc with a thunderous 30-yard effort. However, as the match drew to a close it was the visitors who began to make their ample possession figures count, with first Lallana and then Nathinel Clyne denied by a sharp looking David De Gea.
With Southampton pressing for an equaliser, the home side regrouped for an 89th minute corner, ready to pounce on the plucky visitors. However, James Ward-Prowse’s in swinging corner was knocked down by Lovren into the path of Lallana, who somehow managed to steer the ball past De Gea and into the net. Moyes look dumbfounded, the home support fell silent, the Manchester United of old are turning into a mere ghost at Old Trafford now.
Writer’s Comment: Although this result isn’t quite the coup it would have been last season, Southampton can still be proud of themselves. They came to Manchester and had a right good go at the League champions, doing most of the pressing and were thoroughly deserving of their equaliser. Manchester United are by no means dead and buried, but they need to get their act together fast. A season of transition is turning into an upcoming season with no Champions League football, something unheard of in the red quarter of Manchester.
Man Of The Match: Adam Lallana – Second time in a row I’ve given it to Lallana. Once again he looked a real threat to the opposition, moving all over the pitch and harassing each and every one of the United back line.