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Three things we learnt from Manchester United’s 1-1 draw with Southampton

by Harry Henshaw

Manchester United came away with a disappointing point at Saint Mary’s as they were held to a 1-1 draw with Southampton.

After a positive start from The Red Devils, it was actually the home side who took the lead with a strike from Che Adams that was later ruled a Fred own goal.

United went into the break a goal down only for teenage sensation Mason Greenwood to level the game after another Paul Pogba assist not long into the second half.

From there United threatened to take control but the Saints fought back and were good value for their first point of the season.

Here’s three things we learnt from today’s game:

Eric Ramsey’s impact already apparent

Only Leeds conceded more goals from set pieces in the Premier League than United last season, with 14 of the 44 goals conceded coming from dead ball situations.

With this number rising to 22 in all competitions, it was blatantly obvious this was an area United needed to strengthen.

The signing of former Chelsea under 23’s coach Eric Ramsey as the club’s first set piece specialist and individual development coach certainly looked interesting on paper and it already seems to be paying off.

Obviously with only a small sample size to evaluate, United look much more organised defending set pieces and look to have gained an edge from attacking situations as well.

With the aerial threat of Harry Maguire, Raphael Varane and Paul Pogba, Ramsey’s impact may be huge if set piece progress continues to be made.

Defensive midfielder a must

United have been embroiled in speculation all summer linking a number of midfielders to Old Trafford.

With the signings of both Raphael Varane and Jadon Sancho costing the club a sizeable sum, it has been rumoured the club have to sell before they can buy for the remainder of this window.

But after the first half at Saint Mary’s, it looked like most United fans’ calls for the club to sign a defensive midfielder were proved right, as Fred and Nemanja Matic struggled with Southampton’s high press.

United may be a defensive midfielder away from mounting a serious title challenge, as today’s showing highlighted the current crop alone are nowhere near good enough.

Mason Greenwood must start at no. 9

After scoring in the 5-1 win over Leeds last weekend, Mason Greenwood can count himself unlucky to be shepherded out to the right-hand side again to accommodate Anthony Martial.

The 19-year-old bagged his second goal of the season and now has 10 goals in his last 16 games since the back end of last season.

Despite performing admirably there in the past, it seems clear he is destined to be a striker and has been described as the best finisher at the club by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Solskjaer confirmed in his post-match interview that the idea was to play with two forwards, Martial up front and Greenwood drifting in from the right.

But with Sancho now likely to take over first team duties on the right, Greenwood and veteran fan favourite Edinson Cavani should rotate up front.

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