By Imran Kardar
Manchester United came from behind to beat Southampton 3-2 in what turned out to be a thrilling contest after a relatively slow first half. The game started off at pedestrian pace with United keeping possession and doing absolutely nothing with it. The ball was being moved sideways and there was no creativity in the final third. Then United went behind through a goal from the Southampton goal machine Pelle. Though DDG managed a blinder save the ball rebounded to Pelle who made no mistake on the follow up. Till now, United had been woeful! Tadic was playing around with Darmian from the left and Mane’s pace and movement was a constant problem for United. Rojo at left back was having a howler, misplacing passes and hardly having any confidence getting forward. United needed a spark, something to set them in motion. Enter Anthony Martial! United picked up the tempo and a ball was played to Mata from midfield, luckily for United the linesman missed a clear offside and Mata found Martial in the centre. He dummied the defender and shifted the ball to his right and blasted it past the keeper! The moment United was looking for and needed. The scores were level and United had woken up from their slumber.
United started the second half like they ended the first. They moved the ball around quicker and looked to attack. United were given the chance to move ahead when Yoshida at right back misplaced a back pass to the keeper that Martial snapped up and put past the keeper. The youngster was having an outstanding game and start to life as a United player by notching up three goals already! Southampton came back hard at United and if it weren’t for some world class saves from DDG United wouldn’t have ended up the winners. One in particular was absolutely outstanding with the Spanish keeper flying backwards with his left hand out as wide as he could stretch it and stopping the ball from heading in to the net. Brilliant!
United scored a third and looked to kill the game when Mata got on to the end of a 45 passes move and put the ball in the back of the net. Schweinsteiger played a delightful pass to Depay who beat his defender and shifted inwards and took the shot, unluckily for him it hit the post and rolled out to Mata who put it back in the net. 3-1 and United seemed to be cruising till the 85th minute when Pelle scored from a good header to make it 3-2. United managed to hold on to their lead and come away from St Mary’s with 3 points.
The win was a crucial one as both Arsenal and City had lost on the weekend and it meant United closed the gap at the top to 2 points. Anthony Martial had another impressive performance. He was confident on the ball, he had pace, he made good decisions. A great start to his United career. United have started to rely on him already to score the goals. That might be too much for the 19 year to handle in his first season but right now he doesn’t seem fazed by the proposition. United move on to a midweek clash with Ipswich Town in the Capital One Cup. Till then, Glory, Glory, Man United!