Manchester United travelled to the south coast to face Southampton as they looked to secure back-to-back wins for the first time this season.
Erik ten Hag was also looking to end the side’s disastrous away form following the 4-0 defeat to Brentford.
Here are four things we learned from the 1-0 win.
The Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez partnership continues well
Last time out against Liverpool, Ten Hag made the bold decision to drop Harry Maguire to the bench and play Varane after his return to full fitness.
The pair played spectacularly with both centre backs flourishing, their partnership looking solid whenever the Southampton team attacked.
Tyrell Malacia had a great match at left-back with Diogo Dalot putting out a good shift at right-back.
All four players looked cool in defence as they kept the ball and didn’t panic whenever Southampton started to press.
It’s clear to see the changes Ralph Hasenhüttl made included players who could run at the United defence, but this didn’t prove to be a problem for the Red Devils.
The need for a creative midfielder and a forward is crucial
Ten Hag wants to complete his squad this summer by adding another central midfielder and a forward, presumably a striker with the reliability of Anthony Martial in doubt and future of Cristiano Ronaldo uncertain.
The first half showed why United need to be active in the remaining days of the transfer window.
Fernandes, Eriksen and Elanga had good opportunities in the first half to score but the output wasn’t great today.
The Danish international presented his crossing ability but the attacking threat was seldom to be seen, highlighting the club’s need to sign a striker.
Christian Eriksen’s first half by numbers vs. Southampton:
100% aerial duels won
79% pass accuracy
13 final third passes
4 long balls
1 shot on target
1 key pass
Pulling the strings. 🧵 pic.twitter.com/ZDLM74tvrm
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) August 27, 2022
Ronaldo continues to be a squad player under Ten Hag
Similar to his role vs. Liverpool, Marcus Rashford played in the striker position as the future of the legendary Portuguese star remains unknown.
It is understood that he continues to request to leave in order to play in the Champions League.
The manager seems to be getting the most out of his current starting eleven after an outstanding performance last week with an improved defensive performance vs. Southampton.
Anthony Martial, who assisted Rashford’s goal last week, seems like he will flourish under this system and a reignited partnership with the attack seems to be on the cards this season.
Ronaldo was subbed onto the pitch just before the 70th-minute mark.
Casemiro could be massively influential
During the closing stages of the game, United’s new defensive midfielder appeared for the first time.
The Dutch manager didn’t want to rush the five-time Champions League winner after only training a couple of times since Thursday.
However, fans got to see United’s new Brazilian star for the first time as he replaced Anthony Elanga in the second half.
The Red Devils next face Leicester in the Premier League as they look to continue their winning streak.