WATCH: Controversial Tackle on Bruno Fernandes Costs Manchester United Game Against Southampton

Published 08/22/2021, 10:59 PM EDT


Manchester United were held to a draw at Southampton as Mason Greenwood’s goal wasn’t enough for the reds. While the youngster has been in fine form, United’s midfield barring Bruno Fernandes was woeful, and Fred’s own goal capped off a bad performance from the two pivots.

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Solskjaer tried out Fred and Nemanja Matic in the two holding positions in the 4-2-3-1. However, Matic is not the force that he was during his prime years, while on the other hand, Fred struggled playing on the right side of the pivot.

It was United’s third and most influential midfielder, Bruno Fernandes, who was robbed of the ball for the own goal. Jack Stephens tackled the Portuguese midfielder, and Che Adams’ shot was deflected into the goal by Fred.

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There was a lot of controversy around the goal as United fans made an argument for Stephens fouling Fernandes. However, neither the VAR nor the match referee could see anything wrong with the challenge, and the goal was given to give Southampton the lead.

Fernandes scored a hattrick in United’s first match but couldn’t do the same here. Ralph Hussenhutl’s side was excellently organized, and Greenwood’s goal was necessary to provide parity. With this result, Manchester United extended their unbeaten away run to 27 Premier League games, equalling Arsenal’s top-flight record.

Solskjaer will need to switch things up in the next few games, as they need to challenge for trophies this season. Maybe, Donny van de Beek will get a few games. United should get better with the additions of Raphael Varane, Jadon Sancho, and the return of Edinson Cavani.

How will Manchester United’s midfield line up around Bruno Fernandes?

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Solskjaer has tried several different players in the pivot behind Fernandes, but Fred and Scott McTominay are the ones who have played the most. French world cup winner Paul Pogba has been in sublime form, but he is playing on the left wing.

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This leaves the Norwegian manager to select two of Fred, McTominay, Matic and Van de Beek (who isn’t really a pivot midfielder). However, Ole might change his formation, but it’s still a question about the personnel for now. It’ll be interesting to see who plays for United in the end.

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Aniket Awasthi

416 articles

Aniket Awasthi is a UFC author at EssentiallySports. This STEM undergraduate combines an insatiable urge to write with his admiration for MMA and the UFC in general to enhance his journalism. He calls charismatic names like Chael Sonnen and 'The Count' Michael Bisping as his favorite fighters, but he is a great admirer of the rise of Israel Adesanya ever since he fought Rob Wilkinson at UFC 221.

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