Saturday afternoon saw Manchester United win 0-1 against Southampton at the St. Mary's Stadium in what had to be the Red Devils' tightest match so far this season. With impressive performances by players on both sides, here's five things we took from the close encounter... The final third of the match saw Mourinho take off Henrikh Mkhitaryan for Chris Smalling and change United's formation to a solid 3-5-2. Many fans were frustrated by the fact that Mourinho decided to go so defensive, as the...
The final third of the match saw Mourinho take off Henrikh Mkhitaryan for Chris Smalling and change United's formation to a solid 3-5-2.
Many fans were frustrated by the fact that Mourinho decided to go so defensive, as the past few games have shown that United really perform at their best by pressing in the final third of the match.
With the amount of pace in the attack supporting Lukaku, in the form of Marcus Rashford and Mkhitaryan, many expect the Red Devils to secure a more comfortable finish. The possibility of scoring more goals could've come in the form of Anthony Martial as a second half attacking substitute, who has so far impressed for Manchester United this season.
With the purchase of Victor Lindelof in the summer, many thought that Jose Mourinho would partner up the Swede with the solid Eric Bailly.
However, these past eight matches have shown that Mourinho prefers Bailly and Phil Jones as the starting defensive pairing.
So far this season has showcased impressive performances for Jones who in the past has failed to fulfil his potential due to injuries.
Now getting regular games alongside Bailly and the fact that the Red Devils have only conceded two goals so far in the campaign, Jones could have his first full season in the starting XI for United.
Southampton surprised many with how tight they played throughout the match but more importantly stood out with consistent attacking play in the first half.
The likes of Nathan Redmond and Dusan Tadic were getting balls in and trying to convert chances but were prevented by United's defence. Shane Long played most of the match up front until he was substituted later on in the second half for Charlie Austin.
The Saints should have at least drawn the match with their impressive performance. Perhaps they should start Austin in their upcoming matches to see whether they'd be able to convert all the solid chances they create.
Romelu Lukaku has yet again put in a solid performance for the Red Devils and has now recorded eight goals in eight games.
With his strength and pace on the ball as well as receiving quality balls from fellow in-form players, the big Belgian is on-track for another 20-goal tally this season.
As a result of his solid form, United are benefitting massively from a consistent goal scorer keeping them at the top of the table with rivals Manchester City.
A central figure of controversy in the past year regarding interest from Liverpool, Southampton captain Virgil van Dijk is without a doubt
the key player for the Saints with his leadership at the back.
Saturday's match saw him on the bench, giving a chance for Wesley Hoedt and Maya Yoshida to solidify a partnership.
It was indeed a good decision by Mauricio Pellegrino as both players managed to keep a tightened line against United's counter attack throughout the match.
Up front Mario Lemina helped complete the Saints' compressed play with the amount of ball retention he had.