Manchester United ended a dismal run of seven consecutive Premier League defeats when they took a narrow win at Southampton.
United manager Erik ten Hag wanted his side to build on Monday night’s thrilling win over Liverpool at Old Trafford and they were able to do so in the face of a tough Southampton challenge.
Bruno Fernandes broke the deadlock 10 minutes after the break with a precise side volley to give United the three points they so desperately needed.
The Saints, who will take heart from their performance, survived an almighty scramble in the first half as goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu saved from Anthony Elanga and Armel Bella-Katchap blocked Christian Eriksen’s succession.
United broke through when Fernandes met Diogo Dalot’s cross and as they capped off their second consecutive win and first league win on the road since February, Ten Hag was able to introduce Real Madrid’s new £60million signing Casemiro as a late replacement.
United couldn’t afford to go wrong at Southampton after the way they beat Liverpool or they would be accused of simply improving their game against their biggest rivals.
And while it was hardly a vintage achievement, this was still a crucial win – and Ten Hag will take great satisfaction from a clean sheet and three points.
Fernandes’s moment of quality ended a tight and competitive game in which United had to survive late pressure from the hosts with prominent new defender Lisandro Martinez and goalkeeper David de Gea making a fine save on a header from Joe Aribo.
The visiting fans showed their delight at the final whistle – as they again noisily chanted their desire to remove the owners of the Glazers – and also got a glimpse of the new tent Casemiro signed as he appeared as a late replacement to kick things off. to jack up.
Not a classic, but United and Ten Hag are happy to take it upon themselves as they begin the slow rebuilding of the crisis that threatened to envelop the club after the defeat at home to Brighton and that 4-0 debacle at Brentford.
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