Another Premier League game. Manchester United had found renewed confidence after their recent wins and Old Trafford seemed like treacherous grounds to play in for Southampton. But the reverse was the case. Here’s some of the action that went down:
A Game of Plenty Tackles, Not Mané Chances
I could, on both hands, count the number of tackles – good tackles – that happened in the 1st half of the game alone and I’d still need both your hands to keep up. If it wasn’t Claise vs every Man. Utd player in sight, it was Wanyama vs Fellaini (a battle the Kenyan won EVERYTIME swords were drawn) or Mané vs Schneiderlin or Smalling vs Long. As the tackles flew in by the bucket, the goal scoring chances became rare by the minute; so rare so that both goalkeepers had literally nothing to do. Now you know how the Saints won the game by scoring the only goal of the game from their only shot on target of the game. #StatsAttack
It was Man. Utd vs their own fans, not Southampton
Quite alright the Red Devils played against the Saints on the pitch but off it, they battled against the cries, middle fingers, swear words and boos hurled at them by their own fans! They were VISIBLY not satisfied with what Rooney and co. were doing on the pitch and some had already left the stadium after only 35 minutes of play. If that happened, you can imagine what the halftime whistle brought along with it: More jeerings and booings (aimed, I think, ultimately at Uncle Louis).
And when Southampton’s Austin nodded the ball past De Gea, you should have seen their faces. Some of them looked like they wanted to just throw themselves at van Gaal and… rip his head off his body! Can’t blame them after they ‘endured’ their team being thoroughly played by Wanyama and co. Talking about Charlie…
Charlie Austin: The man that comes with a assurance of scoring goals
Those were the words of the commentator seconds after Charlie rattled the back of the Man. Utd goal post with his header in the 87th minute. That one goal landed Southampton three points, broke United hearts and Austin, who had only come on in the 2nd half, was the culprit. His move (which seemed like a gamble to me) from QPR had only happened days ago and for him to score on his debut for the Saints, Charlie is a big deal!
Add to that the fact that his goal has heaped more pressure on Louis van Gaal, and you’ll understand just how important Charlie has become for Southampton. Obviously not as important as to slot into the starting XI straight away but obvious, at least, to be looked upon as a goal, on the Southampton bench, waiting to be scored.
I’m sure it didn’t have to pay its way into the Theatre of Dreams. Maybe a season-ticket owner…
So what do you think? Should van Gaal be sacked? Was he the reason for Man. Utd’s poor performance? Should Man. Utd stick with Uncle Louis? Leave a comment and let’s discuss.
Image Credits: The Telegraph
Author: Rotimi “Papi the Great” Daramola
Rotimi Daramola aka Papi the Great is the owner of ForTheGoal.
A freelance sports writer who focuses on football, Rotimi is also a freelance writer, a copywriter and a football analyst who regularly appears on radio and television to talk football. You can follow him on twitter @papi_thegreat to keep up with his writings, engage him and also find out about how you can secure his writing services.