Southampton put a total performance together and earned a hard fought point at St. Mary’s versus visitors Manchester United.
Ralph Hasenhuttl left his side unchanged, which is of little surprise in matchweek 2, but had the majority of fans wondering why? Alex McCarthy getting the nod over Fraser Forster caused the biggest headache, yet changing a goalkeeper this early on has little precedence. Stuart Armstrong may have been the sole alteration, but he was out of the squad with a calf injury. Tino Livramento held his place ahead of Kyle Walker-Peters setting the tone for a season-long position battle. Finally, we have to wonder if Jack Stephens is ahead of Jan Bednarek, or the latter is still getting back to fitness following his time at the Euros.
Che Adams’ shot deflected off of Fred for a 1-0 Southampton lead. The combination play of Moussa Djenepo and Adam Armstrong was slick, but more importantly was Jack Stephens stepping up to bowl over Bruno Fernandes in the midfield. The toughness of Stephens throughout the match did well to unseat United. A passion that is often missing from the Saints’ side was instilled and helped the team until the very end.
Southampton, unsurprisingly, were unable to hold their lead. Alex McCarthy is going to take a lot of heat for not saving the Greenwood strike, but in his fairness his view was obstructed. At this moment, many demons arose across St. Mary’s, but it was a different story in the end with the Saints nearly taking all three points. Credit must be given to the supporters as they sung for the team until the final whistle.
James Ward-Prowse’s perfect press created the opportunity of a life time for Adam Armstrong. Che Adams slipped him in 1 on 1 with David De Gea, but the Southampton striker was unable to finish despite an open goal. St. Mary’s might have been demolished by the cheers, but in the end a positive point is enough to point the team in the right direction.
Here are the player ratings for the Saints’ 1-1 draw with United.