Early horror tackle pivotal as Man Utd score NINE in Southampton mauling

Date published: Tuesday 2nd February 2021 10:08 - Steve Pearson

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Man Utd enjoyed one of their most comfortable evenings in recent memory after cruising to a commanding 9-0 victory over nine-man Southampton.

Southampton got off to the worst possible start when youngster Alexandre Jankewitz saw red on his full league debut for a horror tackle on Scott McTominay.

The Saint went in knee high on the Scotland midfielder, leaving referee Mike Dean with no choice but to end his night early.

The tone of the contest was now set as Southampton camped on the edge of their box hoping to soak up vast swathes of Man Utd pressure.

The strategy did not work for long when both full-backs combined to put the hosts one up.

Luke Shaw’s accurate cross picked out Aaron Wan-Bissaka at the far post. The right-back stole a march on marker Danny Ings and side-footed the ball past Alex McCarthy.

One soon became two when Mason Greenwood teed Marcus Rashford up to slot home from near the penalty spot.

A rare foray into the Man Utd half brought a chance to pull one back from a James Ward-Prowse free-kick. The England international’s effort was fiercely struck, but David de Gea was equal to the task, punching the ball over the bar with a strong fist.

The writing was on the wall, however, and Man Utd upped their advantage to three when Rashford’s cross was turned into his own net by Jan Bednarek.

The procession continued as Edinson Cavani soon got in on the act, the Uruguayan nodding home another Shaw cross to make it 4-0.

Man Utd thought they’d received a penalty as half-time loomed, but a brief VAR check found the foul to have taken place marginally outside of the box. Bruno Fernandes fired his strike directly into the ball – his quiet day the only downside of a dominant first-half for the Red Devils.

Southampton thought they’d pulled one back soon after the interval. A clever free-kick routine caught Man Utd napping, with Che Adams slotting home from a tight angle after his initial shot was blocked.

Before the striker could begin his celebrations, VAR reared its ugly head, with a lengthy check deeming him to have been just offside from the initial-free-kick

It was then Anthony Martial’s turn to get his name on the scoresheet. Brought on at half-time, the Frenchman showed superb technique to control a Fernandes pass before firing a powerful strike high into the roof of the net.

The trend of a different scorer for every goal kept up minutes later as McTominay added a sixth with a long-ranger that arrowed along the turf into the bottom corner.

Fernandes was finally given a chance to add his name to the scorers list after Bednarek completed his dismal evening by receiving a red card after conceding a penalty.

The Portuguese playmaker made no mistake from the spot, notching his 17th goal of the season in all competitions.

There was just time for Martial to notch his second and Daniel James to score as Man Utd emerged with a thoroughly dominant 9-0 victory.

 

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