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.
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.
If I'm not mistaken, all of Man United's chances – all of their remotely promising attacking moments really – came through a set piece. That is an unexpected twist in the tale.
— The Tactical Times (@Tactical_Times) August 22, 2021
Defensive midfielder a must
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.
Fred & Matic starting at the base of midfield illustrates quite starkly United’s need for a top class midfielder in that role. ????????
Some more crazy overreaction to the game though, it’s the 2nd match of the season. ????????♂️
— Joe Thomlinson (@joethomlinson) August 22, 2021
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
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.