10-man Manchester United held to a draw by Southampton

Manchester United drew 0-0 with relegation-threatened Southampton at Old Trafford in the Premier League on Sunday. The home side played almost an hour with 10 men after Casemiro was sent off in the first half.
With that draw, United remains in third place with 50 points from 26 matches. Meanwhile, Southampton stays bottom with 22 points from the same number of matches.
Although the match ended goalless, there were quite a few chances for either team, with Southampton having as many as 18 attempts in the match. It was a welcome point for the visitors, while it was yet another disappointing domestic result for United after the hammering at the hands of Liverpool last Sunday.
We will now take a look at how the match progressed.

Casemiro saw red in an eventful, fast-paced first half:

Manchester United started the match with a lot of attacking intent. Their 4-2-3-1 had Bruno Fernandes playing as a holding midfielder alongside Casemiro, with Jadon Sancho as the number 10. Still, it effectively became a 4-1-4-1, with Fernandes moving up frequently. Casemiro kept shepherding the defense and played probing long balls forward whenever he had the opportunity.

However, Southampton’s intense high-press caused United some trouble, as they played off a low block for the initial 10 minutes or so. Gradually, the hosts began playing with a high line and the results were there for everyone to see. Casemiro played a wonderful long pass to Marcus Rashford, but the latter’s first touch was a bit too strong. Then, Rashford played a one-two with Fernandes before entering the box. However, he could not beat Southampton’s goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu.
There were attacks at the other end, too. David de Gea made a reflex save to keep Theo Walcott’s header out. Then came the moment that changed the complexion of the match. Casemiro launched into a tackle inside his own half in the 32nd minut, The Brazilian’s studs caught Carlos Alcaraz’s shin. VAR intervened to decide that the 31-year-old Brazilian should be shown his second red card of the season.
United coach Erik ten Hag responded by sending in Scott McTominay to replace Wout Weghorst. United could still have scored their opening goal minutes later, but Raphaël Varane, who was superb in the half, had his touch from Fernandes’ delivery from a free-kick saved by Bazunu. However, most of United’s attacks came through the left and Antony struggled to make much impact on the right flank in the first half.

Woodwork came to the rescue of both Manchester United and Southampton in the second half

Southampton started the second half in a resounding manner, having more than 75% possession during the initial 10 minutes. They were more direct in their approach to take advantage of the 10 men of United. Kamaldeen Sulemana harassed the United defenders, who stayed deep, with his sudden bursts. James Ward-Prowse’s free-kick then hit the crossbar, while Fernandes and Kyle Walker-Peters had their shots crashing against the woodwork in quick succession.
Walcott could also have put his side ahead as he received the ball from a Southampton counterattack following a United corner, but De Gea foiled his attempt. Ten Hag then introduced Alejandro Garnacho and Facundo Pellistri in places of Sancho and Antony, respectively.
The United midfielders kept looking for Garnacho with their long balls on the counter, but the Argentinian could not do much with his runs.
McTominay came up with a solid defensive performance with timely interceptions. United then threw in Fred and Harry Maguire during the latter stages of the match. The home side eventually managed to hold on for a draw after being on the back foot for the majority of the second half.

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