Manchester United v Southampton
Old Trafford, Saturday 23rd January 2016
> Saints win at Old Trafford for the 2nd year in a row
> Forster never troubled in Saints goal
> Saints up to 8th in the League
I didn't go to this game but I have a mate who's a Man U fan (hi Sam), he had a ticket, and I was hoping for a home fan point of view on this game to help with this report (and hopefully some quotes from doppos sat around him), but in the end he didn't go. He did, however, give me a link to a stream. I've never ben able to get a stream to work properly before nd have given up trying, but although I had Radio Solent on, I gave this a go. Surprisingly it worked. I had planned to keep the radio on, so I could compare what I was watching to how they described it, but the stream was a little behind the radio, so I abandoned my plan and got on with watching.
Steven Davis wasn't in the team, or on the bench, which was a surprise, and as he is Mr Reliable, I assumed it was an injury. We had Clasie and Wanyama in the middle with Ward-Prowse back on the bench. There was no place for Pellè in the squad, but Charlie Austin was a sub. Morgan Schneiderlin started for them, which was a bit of a worry.
The early exchanges were pretty even with the game a bit scrappy, but Man U had the first shot, a 40 yard effort from Daley Blind; the ball did move in the air, but Forster comfortably gathered it.
On 15 minutes Fellaini should have been sent off for an elbow on Wanyama. It wasn't just an accidental collision, he swung his arm into Victor's face as they challenged for a high ball. Unfortunately the ref didn't give anything and didn't even stop play.
The stream stopped, so I had to put the radio back on while I sorted it out. Adam Blackmore and Dave Merrington were moaning about us passing the ball backwards. Thankfully I got the stream working again, just in time to see Fellaini get Clasie with what looked like a stamp (pictures later showed nasty cuts left by Felaini's studs on the back of Clasie's leg).
Although the quality of the game wasn't the best, we were doing OK and Man U were not really troubling us at all. Cédric found himself just outside the area and shot, he should probably have tried to keep the move going as his effort went high over the bar.
Schneiderlin helped us out by fouling Mané to the right of the penalty area as we attacked. Unfortunately, Bertrand's free kick was hit too hard and too high and went out of play for a goal kick.
The commentator on the stream called Fonte "Josie" at one point, before going on to mention how quiet the home fans were, and you could only hear the Saints fans at that point.
There was a slight worry as Van Dyke put Forster under a bit of pressure, but he dealt with it well, clearing easily.
Clasie was playing really well, and it wasn't just me that he was impressing, the commentary team were full of praise too. He took a free kick from the other side of the area from Bertrand's effort, it was better, but still didn't produce a chance for us.
On 35 minutes we should have had a penalty, a corner was floated over and Harrera took out Long off the ball. He made no attempt to get the ball he just flattened him. Once again the ref ignore it.
Clasie, Mané and Tadić had a neat exchange of passes, ending when Tadić played a lovely ball through as Mané continued his run into the area, his first touch was good, but his second was off his thigh and it took the ball away from him and the chance was lost.
There was definite sounds of discontent from the home crowd, they were turning against their team as they failed to create any clear chances and were not getting the better of Saints anywhere on the pitch.
Mané again received the ball in the area after a good pass from Clasie, but instead of going for goal he tried to play the ball back to Clasie who'd continued his run, but the ball was just too long and went out of play.
As the half time whistle went, Man United were booed off. I was quite happy with how were were playing generally, it was just the final pass which hadn't been quite good enough and we didn't create as much as we could have done.
At the start of the second half the home fans had found their voice, but their team weren't doing anything different, despite Mata replacing Fellaini at the break.
The stream continued to periodically cut out, so I had to keep turning the radio back on while I played around with the laptop.
57 mins: Mané picked up the ball from the edge of our area, and kept running, and running and then sent over a great cross: in the box Darmian went to clear as Long went to get on the end of the cross, they collided at full speed. Both players needed treatment; Long was fairly quickly back to his feet, but Darman had to go off injured, replaced by McNair.
Long was soon back in the action as he got a head to a Clasie corner, it took a deflection and went for another corner, one that Wanyama headed just wide.
Smalling was grabbing shirts at every corner, I know all defenders do it, and I'm pretty sure ours players are no angels, but Smalling does it all the time and more blatantly than anyone else it seems, yet gets away with it. This was later picked up on Match Of The Day, not for the first time either. Smalling's nickname really must be Grabby!
Just after the hour mark, Clasie and Tadic were taken off and replaced by Romeu and Ward-Prowse.
The stream conked out again and when I got it back they were focusing on a mouse on the pitch and not the game!
Saints were still not making the most of the opportunities they were creating, the final ball was still not quite coming off.
On 78 mins, Charlie Austin came on to make his debut, replacing Mané. Not long after that the stream cut out again. By the time I got to the radio, Saints had been awarded a free kick right by the corner flag. I listened as JWP fired it over and Charlie Austin scored.
I composed myself and got the stream back in time to see the replay of the goal, As the free kick came over Austin had made a little movement forward, then stopped, the United defenders all kept going forward, leaving Austin on his own in the middle of the area where he headed home. it was a clever bit of movement from Austin to make space for himself, and he finished well.
The fourth official signalled that there would be 5 mins of extra time, which was a surprise, but then I guess some things haven't changed at Old Trafford?
As the clock ticketed past the 90 minute mark I'd given up on the stream and gone back to the radio, and listened as Romeu had a shot saved and Januzai shot just wide. From the radio commentary Januzai's effort sounded very close, but it wasn't shown on Match Of The Day, so maybe it wasn't as close as I had imagined.
At the final whistle the home fans booed their team off while our players celebrated with our much happier fans in he corner.
It wasn't the best game of football, but we did what we got through it without too much trouble and deserved our win.
01 de Gea
36 Darmian (McNair - 60' )
27 Fellaini (Mata - 45' )
43 Borthwick-Jackson (Januzaj - 86' )
17 van Dijk
04 Clasie (Romeu - 67' )
11 Tadic (Ward-Prowse - 67' )
10 Mané (Austin - 79' )
Man Utd 0
- Austin 87′
FT 90 +6
Referee : Mike Jones
Attendance : 75,408
- Manchester United 56%
- Southampton 44%
- Manchester United 8
- Southampton 7
- Manchester United 1
- Southampton 2
- Manchester United 4
- Southampton 4
- Manchester United 11
- Southampton 8