Four home matches against not so strong teams- a phase which the Manchester United fans were eagerly waiting for. When the team was about to pass the first task successfully, Southampton managed to score in the 88th minute of the game and take away a precious point from Old Trafford. This hasn’t come as a surprise for many observers who are now seeing a championship winning side struggling in the mid table since the start of the season.
David Moyes named his best possible attacking line up with Robin Van Persie and Wayne Rooney upfront supported by Adnan Januzaj and Nani on the wings. It was Robin Van Persie who scored the opener at the 20 minute mark, after Wayne Rooney’s shot was saved by Boruc. The Red Devils had more opportunities to extend their lead but the Southampton goal keeper and the crossbar stood in the way. On the other hand, the saints continued to press and finally managed to score in the 88th minute- very late in the game thus giving Manchester United a taste of their own medicine.
The main talking points after the match were the substitutions made by David Moyes in the second half that literally changed the balance of the game. Ryan Giggs was brought on in the 69th minute replacing Nani who was having a good game on the right flank. Ryan Giggs lost the ball needlessly on few occasions that led to the Southampton counter attacks. Further Marouane Fellaini was substituted by Danny Welbeck, who had a glorious chance of giving United a 2-0 cushion but again managed to squander the chance as he delayed his shot. Neither Danny Welbeck nor Ryan Giggs were able to assert their influence on the game , especially Danny Welbeck had a poor 20 minutes on the pitch. He managed to waste a glorious chance to score and had a poor pass accuracy of 25% with only 9 touches on the ball.
While Moyes’ first two substitutions didn’t make a desired impact, his third and final substitution was something that showed he prepared to go on the defensive rather than going for a win. Chris Smalling replaced Wayne Rooney in the 87th minute and the defender was brought on to provide extra defensive cover for Johny Evans and Phil Jones. With one more player on the defensive side of the pitch, Southampton players poured forward and managed to score from a corner in the final minutes of the game and United players weren’t able to score a second in the remaining minutes.
With due respect, Southampton did play well and finally managed to score in the final minutes of the game to take a well deserved point. On the other hand though it was the substitutions who played badly, Daivd Moyes also has to take the blame for making such substitutions that has indeed changed the outcome of the game.