Mourinho’s defence stands out again as Manchester United defeat Southampton
It’s been a decent enough start to life in England for Mauricio Pellegrino, who had managed to guide his side to two wins and two draws from their opening five Premier League fixtures. Only Watford had managed to get the better of Southampton so far, but they’ve struggled to find as much joy as they’d like in front of goal and faced their toughest test against a strong United side.
Romelu Lukaku had scored more goals this season than the entire Southampton team, and it’s an area that’s starting to concern those at the club and he turned out to be the difference between both the sides.
Both managers had decided to name unchanged sides to the ones that started their last league games, with Shane Long and Romelu Lukaku leading their respective lines. The Southampton striker was still left searching for his first Premier League goal since February.
And just in the 20th minute United took the lead, Ashley Young held up the ball deep down the left flank before curling a lovely cross into the heart of the box, where it found Lukaku. The Belgian rised high and forced Forster into making a smart save, and was then able to fire in a rebound to put his team 1-0 up.
It was sufficiently good for United, who hadn’t created too many chances in front of goal but nonetheless deserved to head into the half-time break with a slender lead. Southampton had largely defended well thus far but have struggled to cause many problems for the visitors, with De Gea rarely being called into action between the sticks and needed some sharpness in that area ij the second half.
Mourinho however realised the value of not conceeding and differing from his previous league matches made defensive substitutions bringing in smalling and ander herrera to which Southampton tried opposing by bringing in all of their striking cards including austin and ward-prowse and this left to a nail-bitting last 20 minutes.
But later in the 4th minute of added time Mourinho had been sent to the stands, The United boss clearly had too much to say to the fourth official, and was given his marching orders by the referee, despite their only being 20 seconds left on the clock.
In the end it was a vintage Mourinho performance , and it’s one that kept United equal on points with Manchester City at the top of the table. They let Southampton dominate possession for most of the afternoon and sat back, where they defended excellently to continually frustrate the home side, who piled bodies forward throughout but just couldn’t carve out many decent chances on goal.