Aug 20 2016
Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s 36th minute header and 52nd minute penalty saw Manchester United through, as they retained the top spot in the Premier League table. Southampton saw more of the ball though, as they dominated ball possession with 57% .
United made four on target goal attempts, while the Saints had one. Also the Red Devils got four corners, whereas Southampton got none.
Let’s take a look at how the United players fared:
David de Gea 7: The Spanish player barely had to touch the ball as United’s defense was impressively organised. De Gea has hardly had to do anything , looks like he finally isn’t carrying the Red Devils on his shoulders week in week out. His distribution was really good as usual.
Antonio Valencia 8: Valencia looks to be back into his old form , as the fullback seemed rejuvenated with Mourinho’s arrival. The workhorse through the right flank made 32 accurate passes, three completed Take-ons, one Tackle , five Ball recoveries , two Interceptions and one Block.
Eric Bailly 8: Another commanding display, infused pace in the United back line. 93.3% pass accuracy, 9 clearances and 4 interceptions speak volumes. Old school clearance and proper forwarding centre back.
Daley Blind 7: Decent partnership is blossoming between Bailly and Blind. Game reading and vision was immense.
Luke Shaw 8: In the off day of Anthony Martial, Shaw looked more threatening through the left channel and earned the penalty. Brilliant performance, furnished directness in the left.
Marouane Fellaini 7: As Mourinho said his phone call to Fellaini has instilled confidence in the player, another decent performance as holding midfielder proved likewise. Made 40 accurate passes among attempted 46. Kept things simple, astute display. Composed, no rash challenges.
Paul Pogba 8.5: Took time to settle in, but soon showed why United paid a fortune for him. Audacious passes, dynamism was at full display, as the provided the extra edge in the attack. Made most touches (103), most key passes(2), most shots (4), most dribbles (8) and most interceptions (5) in the game. Impressive second debut.
Juan Mata 7: Offered pace but disrupted United’s attacking advances at times. He beat players and laid off a nice pass at times. Was decent at defensive contributions though: 100% aerial duels won,100% tackles won, made 4 clearances,2 blocks and 1 interception.
Wayne Rooney 6: Made superb cross to assist Zlatan in his first goal, perfect out-swinger to latch onto. A blooming Rooney-Ibrahimovic partnership is on the cards. Matured and composed display.
Anthony Martial 5: Looked poor, went into the Euros in excellent form but his confidence probably got knocked after being subbed off in their 2nd match. Squandered a good chance in second half. Raced into the areas but failed to take them and lacked sharpness in the box.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic 9: His header and United’s opener reminded Shearer in his prime. Scored another as he converted from the spot. Man of the Match. Made 48 touches, covered 9.33km, took 3 shots and scored 2 goals. Class.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan 6.5: Showed class and nice touches in last 20 minutes. Needs to start.
Ander Herrera 5: Average.