Bruno Fernandes handed Erik ten Hag his second win as Manchester United manager, with a lovely volley early in the second half.
In a rare away clean sheet for United, they saw off a spirited Southampton side. Winning two games in a row in the Premier League for the first time since February, the Red Devils will be hoping to carry this momentum on as they look to build on what has been a horrendous start to the season.
The Red Devils came into the game on the back of a fantastic win against Liverpool on Monday night. Fans of United were given a taste of what Ten Hag football is against their Merseyside rivals, with new signing Lisandro Martinez showcasing his talent.
United’s Dutch manager named an unchanged XI for the clash with Southampton, whilst Ralph Hassenhutl swapped Sekou Mara for Che Adams.
As to be expected, both sides flew out of the gate at St Mary’s, with the Saints having the better of the earlier knockings. The first real chance, or rather chances, for United came in the 20th minute. Christian Eriksen’s switch found winger Anthony Elanga, who shot straight at Bazunu in between the sticks. A combination of Bazunu and Bella-Kotchap was needed to deny Bruno and Eriksen on the follow up.
Before the break, Bella-Kotchap missed a golden chance for the Saints. The young centre-back poked a close range shot just over David de Gea’s bar. The Red Devils weren’t done for the first half, with Scottish midfielder Scott McTominay directing a volley straight at Bazunu in goal.
Ten Hag would’ve hoped for more from his side heading into the interval, and that was exactly what he got following the break. A lovely interchange between Diogo Dalot and Jadon Sancho freed the full-back, who whipped a lovely low cross towards Fernandes. The Portuguese midfielder placed a lovely low volley passed Bazunu in between the sticks.
Southampton’s onslaught continued heading towards the final moments, with United’s defence held out strong. Lisandro Martinez was, once again, fantastic. His blossoming partnership with Champions League winner Raphael Varane was pivotal in both of the Red Devils’ wins this season. The Saints best chance of the game came in the dying embers of the match. Substitute Sekou Mara attempted an audacious bicycle kick that needed saving on the line from Dalot.
United host Leicester City on August 1, with Erik ten Hag’s reds hoping to secure three straight victories.