Manchester United missed the opportunity to go third in the Premier League tonight with a disappointing 2-2 draw against Southampton at Old Trafford.
The Red Devils looked to have done enough to earn three points but a late injury time goal gave Southampton an equaliser against a 10-man United side who lost two left backs to injury.
Neither Paul Pogba nor Bruno Fernandes were at their best in this game and yet they managed to control the game to a large extent, which was borne out by statistics tweeted by @utdarena.
United enjoyed 55.3% of possession while Pogba was on the pitch, but this dropped to 36.8% when he was substituted. That figure dropped again, to a mere 16.2%, when Fernandes was subbed.
Our possession until Pogba came off:
Our possession after Pogba came off:
Our possession after Bruno came off:
We lost so much control with Pogba coming off and then Fernandes coming off made it worse.
— UtdArena (@utdarena) July 13, 2020
To be fair, those figures perhaps also reflect tiredness as much as the specific influence of those two players, but it is nonetheless significant.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer now has some huge decisions to make as United head to Selhurst Park to face Crystal Palace on Thursday. The fact of the matter is that this starting eleven is clearly tired and yet control, confidence and possession does seem to be lost when they are rested.
There is also an FA Cup semi-final against Chelsea on Sunday for the manager to consider before the Premier League resumes three days later.
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