Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hailed his players’ ruthlessness and insisted they “played the game properly” as Manchester United sent nine-man Southampton home licking their wounds after another 9-0 defeat.
A night that began with Alexandre Jankewitz being sent off within 90 seconds of his first Saints start ended with the Red Devils equalling their Premier League record win against Ipswich in 1995.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Marcus Rashford got the ball rolling, with Jan Bednarek scoring an own goal. Edinson Cavani then grabbed a fourth in a one-sided first half.
Southampton kept the hosts at bay until quickfire Anthony Martial and Scott McTominay goals. Things then really began to unravel after Mike Dean sent off Bednarek after a VAR check.
Bruno Fernandes scored the resulting spot-kick, before Martial and fellow substitute Daniel James wrapped up a 9-0 thrashing. Saints also lost by the same scoreline to Leicester in October 2019.
“I thought they played the game properly because we had to,” Solskjaer said of his side after earlier praising their ‘magic’.
“Sometimes when you play against 10 men they sit behind the ball, make it hard for you, break on you.
“We played the game properly, we switched it from side to side, threatening in behind, some good individual movement and crosses. We played it the way we had to.
“It came from them. They drove it on, the players out there. Harry (Maguire), Victor (Lindelof), David (De Gea), the ones at the back played the ball quickly.
“Scott played the ball quickly so we got into their half and last third and they wanted more and more.
“So, when you play football you have to make the most of it, it might be the last game you play, you never know. So, we played like it could’ve been the last game.”
Memories of Man Utd 9 Ipswich 0
Solskjaer reckons this could even top United’s 9-0 win over Ipswich back in 1995.
“Yes, Andy [Cole] scored five! We shared the goals more between the players,” he said.
“Of course when the game starts like it does, it was always going to be about getting the first goal, because you see so many examples of ten men and they just close up shop and they get a draw.
“It was about keeping tempo high and getting the first goal and then just keep on from there.
“We’ve been waiting for them to show their magic and tonight was the night that they could go and enjoy . We haven’t had too many when you can sit down and enjoy the football in the second half.”
On hooking Cavani after 45 minutes, Solskjaer said: “He was good, but he got a bad tackle on his ankle and so there was no point taking any risk, so hopefully it won’t swell up too much.”
Cavani ‘undroppable’ say pundits
Despite being the oldest player on the pitch, Cavani once again proved himself the scourge of Southampton.
During half-time, BT Sport pundits Rio Ferdinand and Glenn Hoddle both agreed that the Uruguayan has made himself undroppable after that display.
That honour is normally bestowed upon Fernandes, but in the former PSG man, United may now have someone equally as important.
“He has to play,” they both agreed.