6 talking points as Man Utd run riot against nine-man Southampton

Man Utd got back to winning ways at Old Trafford on Tuesday as they put nine-man Southampton to the sword in a thumping victory.

The night immediately turned sour for the injury-hit visitors when Alexandre Jankewitz was sent off for a horrendous lunge on Scott McTominay after just two minutes.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka then broke the deadlock as he netted from Luke Shaw's cross, before Marcus Rashford followed suit via Mason Greenwood's cut back.

Rashford then turned provider as his whipped delivery was turned in inadvertently by Saints' defender Jan Bednarek.

United were ruthless as the game soon turned into a rout when Edinson Cavani nodded home a fourth, before VAR overturned a close penalty decision after the striker was fouled on the edge of the box.

Southampton then fell foul of VAR themselves shortly after half-time as Che Adams' goal was ruled out for a marginal offside, but it would have proved little more than a consolation.

Sub Anthony Martial made it five as he smashed a shot into the roof of the net, before McTominay crashed in a long-range strike moments later, as concerns another 9-0 could be in the offing.

Referee Mike Dean then reduced Southampton to nine men as Bednarek saw red for bringing down Martial in the box, allowing Bruno Fernandes to score from the penalty spot.

Martial then compounded Southampton's night of misery further, before Dan James landed the ninth and final blow.

Here are the talking points.

1. Early bath

The game had barely kicked off when Alexandre Jankewitz was shown a straight red card after a horrible foul on Scott McTominay.

Little over a minute had passed when the pair came together in the centre of the field.

And Jankewitz could have no complaints at becoming only the fourth play in Premier League history to be sent off within the opening two minutes.

It was high, it was dangerous, and quite frankly McTominay was fortunate to get away without suffering serious injury.

His only war wound was some tasty stud marks down the inside of his thigh.

Jankewitz was making only his second ever top-flight appearance, and his first start for the club, before his wild lunge made his team's night even harder from the word go.

Reckless.

2. Left to right

One criticism often levied at United is that their full-backs do not contribute enough in the final third.

So it was somewhat ironic to see their opening goal come from a cross into the box by Luke Shaw and finished off by Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

Albeit the benefit of having an extra man may have played a part, but United made their advantage count.

It was an inch-perfect ball in from Shaw, who was instrumental all evening.

The sending off meant it was up to Danny Ings to track Wan-Bissaka's run, but the Saints' No.9 reacted slightly too late, allowing the United man space to get in front of him to volley it home.

It put United on immediate course for victory, and will no doubt have pleased their manager.

3. King Marcus

On the face of it, Rashford's goal looked to be just your average strike.

But it was a landmark moment for the United forward, who surpassed Red Devils legend Eric Cantona in the club's scoring charts by grabbing his 82nd goal.

Cantona was never exactly the prolific type, and there is still plenty for Rashford to do to match his overall contribution – on the pitch at least.

But it's a fantastic start, and shows how far the 23-year-old has come in a short time.

David Beckham – you're next.

4. Shaw looks good to me

A common theme of recent United performances has been the excellence of Luke Shaw, and the left-back was at it again on Tuesday.

Shaw finished the game with two assists, as well as one pre-assist, after devastating Southampton down their right side all evening.

He has been one of the real success stories under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, and seems to have stepped up a gear following the arrival of Alex Telles as competition.

So much so he's arguably United's best defender now, and one of the first names on the teamsheet.

Are you watching, Gareth Southgate?

5. Cavani a class apart

The goals may have been shared, but it's hard to take your eyes off the veteran striker when he's in this kind of mood.

Cavani showed his worth once again, superbly linking United's play and providing an all-round striker's performance.

He was a real nuisance for Southampton's defence, and made his wily experience count with simple yet cunning movement.

At half-time, Cavani's night was over as he was substituted, with United already four goals to the good.

But BT Sport pundits Rio Ferdinand and Glenn Hoddle were in agreement at the break: "He has to play."

On this evidence, Solskjaer would be mad to leave him out.

6. Lightning strikes twice

 

It seems Southampton cannot be mentioned without harking back to that 9-0 defeat they suffered to Leicester in October 2019.

Hasenhuttl was somewhat lucky to keep his job after that hammering, but since then his team have travelled on an upward trajectory.

There will be no discussions about him getting the axe this time round, but it's a remarkably unfortunate coincidence.

One he'll have thought his team had left firmly in the past.

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