• Portuguese coach has won 22 trophies since 2003
José Mourinho will take over as manager of Manchester United from the 2016/17 season, signing a three-year contract with an option to stay at the club until at least 2020.
José, 53, has managed at the top level of European football for over a decade and in that time has won league titles and cups in four countries (Portugal, England, Italy and Spain), as well as winning the UEFA Champions League twice – in 2004 with FC Porto and in 2010 with Inter Milan.
Announcing the appointment, Ed Woodward said: "José is quite simply the best manager in the game today. He has won trophies and inspired players in countries across Europe and, of course, he knows the Premier League very well, having won three titles here.
"I’d like to take this opportunity to welcome him to Manchester United. His track record of success is ideal to take the club forward."
José Mourinho said: "To become Manchester United manager is a special honour in the game. It is a club known and admired throughout the world. There is a mystique and a romance about it which no other club can match.
"I have always felt an affinity with Old Trafford; it has hosted some important memories for me in my career and I have always enjoyed a rapport with the United fans. I’m looking forward to being their manager and enjoying their magnificent support in the coming years."
*Taken from Manutd.com
Manchester United came from a goal down in Russia to earn a vital point against CSKA Moscow after dominating proceedings at Arena Khimki.
It was an eventful night for Reds striker Anthony Martial who conceded a penalty at one end and netted a superb header at the other. Seydou Doumbia had put the Russian side ahead on 15 minutes, blasting home from close-range after Roman Eremenko’s spot-kick had been well saved by David De Gea. But Martial atoned for his handball not long after the hour-mark with a brilliantly directed header, in off the post, to help United claim an important point in Group B.
Louis van Gaal, perhaps with one eye on Sunday’s Manchester derby, made two changes to the team that eased past Everton at the weekend. Antonio Valencia, United’s match-winner against CSKA Moscow six years ago, came in at right-back to replace Matteo Darmian, while Jesse Lingard, who performed admirably in the second half on Merseyside, made his Champions League debut in place of Juan Mata. There was a familiar face in the opposition line-up with former Reds winger Zoran Tosic on the right flank for CSKA who came into the game unbeaten at home for six months.
With every team in Group B on three points you expected a tight opening to the match, played in near-freezing conditions, and that it was, although United had plenty of possession. It was therefore something of a surprise to see CSKA take the lead on 15 minutes, despite De Gea’s best efforts. Having initially saved Mario Fernandes’ shot, it turned out the referee had already blown up for a penalty after Fernandes’ flick was handled by Martial. Eremenko stepped up to take the spot-kick and despite De Gea pushing the ball onto the post, Doumbia was the fastest player to follow up as he swept home the rebound.
Things almost got worse for the Reds on half-hour mark when the pacey Ahmed Musa turned and took aim from 30 yards, but De Gea leapt high to tip the dipping shot over the bar.
More possession followed for the Reds before the break, but a 25-yard shot from Wayne Rooney, which dropped wide, was the only real effort of any note.
Possession: CSKA 32% United 68%
Shots: CSKA 5 United 3
Shot on target: CSKA 3 United 1
Corners: CSKA 2 United 0
Marouane Fellaini entered the fray at the restart with Bastian Schweinsteiger making way. The pattern of the second half mirrored that of the first with plenty of possession for the Reds, but very little to show for it.
Rooney got a glimpse of goal on the hour when he met Ander Herrera's cross from the right with his head, but CSKA goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev was on hand to claim.
The best opening of the match thus far arrived three minutes later when Herrera put Lingard through, but the youngster didn’t connect properly and could only steer the ball into the goalkeeper’s arms.
A United goal looked imminent and it duly arrived on 65 minutes. Valencia powered down the right and sent in a cross which was met by a fine header from Martial which rolled in off the post.
The Reds had a chance to win the match with four minutes left when substitute Memphis Depay’s curling cross was met by Martial, who pulled it back for Fellaini, but Akinfeev just managed to push the ball clear before the Belgian pounced.
That proved to be the last opportunity for United, who will now look forward to meeting CSKA again at Old Trafford on 3 November.
Possession: CSKA 28% United 72%
Shots: CSKA 7 United 7
Shots on target: CSKA 4 United 3
Corners: CSKA 3 United 1
CSKA Moscow: Akinfeev, Fernandes, Ignashevich, Vasili Berezutski (Aleksei Berezutski 41), Schennikov, Wernbloom, Zoran Tosic, Dzagoev (Cauņa 87), Eremenko (Panchenko 83), Musa, Doumbia.
Subs not used: Chepchugov, Nababkin, Milanov, Golovin.
United: De Gea, Valencia, Smalling, Jones, Rojo (Blind 64), Schneiderlin, Schweinsteiger (Fellaini 46), Lingard (Memphis 79), Herrera, Martial, Rooney.
Subs not used: Romero, Darmian, Carrick, Mata.
Booked: Martial, Herrera, Fellaini
MANAGER AND PLAYER REACTION
"I don’t think we played too fast in ball possession, it was too slow in the first half. We improved that in the second half and scored a fantastic goal. We could have won but 'could have' doesn't count in football." - Louis van Gaal
"Martial didn’t let his head go down because that [conceding a penalty] can happen to anyone. Anthony scored a great goal and after that we pushed on but we could not score the second goal which was a shame.” - Morgan Schneiderlin
*Taken from manutd.com
Scorers: Schneiderlin 18', Herrera 22' , Rooney 62' | 17 October 2015 | Goodison Park | Att: TBC
Manchester United got back to winning ways and earned a first victory at Goodison Park since 2011 thanks to goals from Morgan Schneiderlin, Ander Herrera and Wayne Rooney.
It was the perfect way for the Reds to return to Barclays Premier League action following the international break and a chastening 3-0 defeat at Arsenal last time out. The result also maintained pressure on the leaders, Manchester City, who secured a comfortable 5-1 win over Bournemouth at the Etihad Stadium.
Saturday's match was tinged with emotion with the news that Howard Kendall, the former Everton player and manager, had died at the age of 69 and the players wore black armbands as a mark of respect. A minute’s applause also preceded kick-off at Goodison Park, where Louis van Gaal made four changes to his starting XI by recalling Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo, Schneiderlin and Herrera.
A slow start in the previous game at Arsenal allowed the Gunners to score three times in the first 20 minutes and the manager demanded a much-improved opening on Merseyside. He got his wish, too, when Chris Smalling chested Rojo’s shot towards Schneiderlin for the Frenchman to bag his first competitive United goal with a cool finish on 18 minutes. Herrera doubled the lead four minutes later when the Spaniard stormed into the area to head Rojo’s fine cross past former Reds goalkeeper Tim Howard.
Jones briefly left the action on 30 minutes to stem the flow of blood pouring from his nose, which was the result of an increasingly physical first half that also saw David De Gea and Anthony Martial temporarily go down with knocks. Although Everton pressed for a goal before the break, the closest they came was a powerful effort from Ross Barkley that was clawed away by De Gea on 45 minutes.
Possession: Everton 44% United 56%
Shots: Everton 5 United 6
Shots on target: Everton 0 United 4
Corners: Everton 3 United 1
The second half began with Jesse Lingard replacing Juan Mata to make his first appearance since his first-team debut on the opening day of 2014/15, when he suffered a serious knee injury, and the 22-year-old Academy graduate was quickly needed in defence as Everton piled on the pressure, going close to scoring when Romelu Lukaku’s shot was brilliantly saved by the left boot of De Gea.
United stood firm and scored again after the hour-mark when Phil Jagielka’s wayward pass fell to Schneiderlin on the halfway line, from where he fed Herrera on the right. The Spaniard slipped a neat ball forward to Rooney and the ex-Everton striker executed a fine finish past Howard. Wayne is now second in the Premier League goal charts and level with Andy Cole with 187 to his name, although he still has some way to go before catching Alan Shearer's record of 260.
Barkley, the promising England international who was arguably Everton’s best player, hit a rasping free-kick onto the roof of De Gea’s goal on 80 minutes before Marouane Fellaini replaced Herrera to receive a respectful ovation from the home fans who used to cheer his name. The Belgian's presence in midfield allowed United to consolidate an excellent win, another clean sheet and three more Premier League points.
Possession: Everton 47% United 53%
Shots: Everton 11 United 10
Shots on target: Everton 3 United 7
Corners: Everton 5 United 4
Everton: Howard, Coleman, Stones, Jagielka, Galloway, Barry, McCarthy, Lennon (Deulofeu 73'), Barkley, Naismith (Kone 46'), Lukaku.
Subs not used: Joel, Mirallas, Osman, Mori, Browning.
Booked: Coleman, Lukaku
United: De Gea, Darmian, Smalling, Jones, Rojo, Schweinsteiger (Carrick 74'), Schneiderlin, Mata (Lingard 46'), Herrera (Fellaini 81'), Rooney, Martial.
Subs not used: Johnstone, Blind, Pereira, Memphis.
Booked: Schweinsteiger, Rojo
Scorers: Sanchez 6, 20, Ozil 7 | 4 October 2015 | Emirates Stadium | Att: 64,084
It was a day to forget for Manchester United in North London on Sunday as three goals in the opening 20 minutes sealed a 3-0 win for Arsenal.
The hosts raced in a two-goal lead through Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil in the first 10 minutes, before Sanchez netted another soon after.
Having been outplayed for most of the first period, United improved after the break and forced Petr Cech into a couple of good stops, but the damage had already been done.
Louis van Gaal made two changes to the side that came from behind to beat Wolfsburg, with Michael Carrick and Ashley Young coming in for Morgan Schneiderlin and Antonio Valencia. Young came on at right full-back in midweek, but having impressed so much down the left last term, as a winger and wing-back, he returned to a more familiar role, with Matteo Darmian, a starter at left-back for the last two games, back in the right-back slot.
The teams came into the game on the back of contrasting Champions League results – United a 2-1 victory over Wolfsburg and Arsenal a surprise 3-2 defeat at home to Olympiacos. Many pundits wondered how Arsene Wenger’s side, who had been heavily criticised along with their manager, would respond. The answer in the opening 10 minutes was emphatically.
The Gunners came flying out of the blocks and within seven minutes were two goals to the good, without some Reds even having touched the ball. The first came on six minutes, when Ozil worked space down the right and slid a cross in for Sanchez to cleverly flick past David De Gea. Sixty seconds later, Ozil got himself on the scoresheet with a cool side-footed finish after being found by Theo Walcott in a sweeping Arsenal move.
Just as the Reds attempted to get some sort of foothold in the game with a bit of possession and pressure on Arsenal’s defence, the Gunners made it three. Walcott was involved again, finding Sanchez on the edge of the box and, after tricking his way past a clutch of defenders, he blasted the ball into the top corner to leave the Reds stunned.
It could have been four just after the half-hour mark when Sanchez turned provider for Aaron Ramsey, coming in at the back post on the right, but he volleyed wide with the goal at his mercy.
As half-time approached, the Reds were given a glimmer of hope with a first opening of the game. Darmian’s ball into the area eventually came to Anthony Martial, who controlled it and shot on the turn brilliantly, but Cech stuck out a leg to block it.
Possession: Arsenal 47% United 53%
Shots: Arsenal 7 United 2
Shots on target: Arsenal 3 United 2
Corners: Arsenal 2 United 2
Van Gaal opted to make a double substitution at the start of the second period with Antonio Valencia and Marouane Fellaini replacing Darmian and Memphis; the changes saw Wayne Rooney switch to the left as Fellaini slotted in behind Martial.
The Reds knew a response was needed... and fast. Young almost provided it four minutes in when he cut in from the left and fired goalwards, but Cech leapt to his right to claim the ball. He was called on again just after the hour mark when Rooney guided a shot towards the target from the edge of the box, but the Arsenal stopper tipped it clear.
A neat move from the Reds on 68 minutes, involving Carrick, Juan Mata and Rooney, led to Bastian Schweinsteiger getting through, but Cech was there again to block bravely from close-range.
Arsenal had not been the attacking force they were in the first period and seemed content to sit on their lead, but they still had the ability to up the tempo when it was needed and Ozil almost made it four after another attack of pace and precision, only for De Gea to save.
Substitute Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain clipped the bar in injury-time as the Arsenal fans celebrated what they already had. The Reds, meanwhile, will be keen to move on from this match as quickly as possible.
Possession: Arsenal 38% United 62%
Shots: Arsenal 11 United 9
Shots on target: Arsenal 5 United 5
Corners: Arsenal 3 United 6
Arsenal: Cech, Bellerin, Mertesacker, Gabriel, Monreal; Coquelin, Cazorla; Ramsey, Ozil (Oxlade-Chamberlain 74), Sanchez (Gibbs 81); Walcott (Giroud 74).
Subs not used: Ospina, Debuchy, Chambers, Campbell.
United: De Gea, Young, Smalling, Blind, Darmian (Valencia 46), Carrick, Schweinsteiger, Mata (Wilson 82), Rooney, Memphis (Fellaini 46), Martial.
Subs not used: Romero, Jones, McNair, Schneiderlin.
Booked: Young, Darmian, Rooney.
VIEWS FROM THE DRESSING ROOM
Louis van Gaal: "It was a shock for me. It wasn't a normal performance. They were much more aggressive than us and, when you give a team like Arsenal so much space to play football, you know you shall lose."
Michael Carrick: "We are bitterly disappointed and will probably beat ourselves up about it over the next few weeks, but we’ll come back looking at the bigger picture. It’s a setback, but we’re still up there."
*Taken from Manutd.com
Scorers: Memphis ‘45+4, Rooney ’46, Mata ‘90 | 26 September 2015 | Old Trafford
Manchester United went top of the Barclays Premier League after dispatching a stubborn Sunderland outfit by three goals to nil with strikes from Memphis, Wayne Rooney and Juan Mata.
Memphis put United in front deep into first-half injury time following a tricky opening period, before captain Rooney doubled the Reds’ advantage shortly after the break. The hosts then enjoyed a comfortable second half, with Juan Mata wrapping up the result in the 90th minute, as United leapfrogged rivals City to take pole position for the first time under Louis van Gaal.
The boss made five changes to the team that started against Ipswich Town in midweek, with Matteo Darmian, Michael Carrick, Morgan Schneiderlin, Memphis and Anthony Martial all given the nod to start. It was a strong, attacking XI, and the Reds began the game very much on the front foot.
Two of the players reinstated to the line-up - Memphis and Martial - were heavily involved early on, linking up well with Rooney and Mata, the other half of United’s attacking quartet. The fine opening from the home side yielded its first opportunity on six minutes when a Matteo Darmian cross into the box skimmed the head of Anthony Martial, who was on the hunt for his fifth goal in five matches. A further half-chance followed only minutes later, but Memphis could not bring Carrick’s arrowed reverse ball under control.
Sunderland responded well to United’s bright start, as the Black Cats – wearing their bright green away strip – began to assert themselves on the match. Still, a John O’Shea header aside, chances remained at a minimum for the visitors as van Gaal’s men continued to probe for a break through.
The Reds were almost given an enormous helping hand midway through the opening period when a breakdown in communication between Black Cats stopper Costel Pantilimon and defender Younes Kaboul resulted in the giant keeper handling the ball outside of his area having hoofed the ball aloft and away from the prying Martial. A free-kick was awarded just outside the 18-yard box, but Juan Mata could only fire into the wall.
Frustration had begun to seep in around Old Trafford, just as Jermaine Lens caused a fright at the Stretford End as the forward forced David De Gea into a stop with his feet at the near post. A tepid free-kick from Memphis did little to ease the growing sense of tension in the stands, but the no. 7 went on to redeem himself with only seconds remaining of the first half.
United responded to a colossal roar from the Stretford End to launch one last assault on the Sunderland rearguard, as Blind picked out Mata with a pin-point ball into the box who - in turn - cushioned the ball to the Dutchman to tap home. The noise that greeted his first domestic strike highlighted the importance of the strike, with the Reds now sat in the box seat as they headed to the changing rooms for the interval.
Possession: United 61% Sunderland 39%
Shots at goal: United 6 Sunderland 3
Shots on target: United 3 Sunderland 2
Corners: United 3 Sunderland 0
Sunderland boss Dick Advocaat brought Steven Fletcher on for Adam Johnson at the start of the second half, seemingly with the hope of giving the visitors an improved goal threat. It was United, however, who were again much quicker out of the traps and were rewarded for such tenacity with a second goal only a minute after the restart.
The ever-threatening Martial received the ball from Mata on the right flank, before proceeding to outfox Younes Kaboul, allowing him to fire a pass across goal. The direct cross hit the on-rushing Wayne Rooney, directing the ball – via a slight deflection off Pantilimon – into the back of the net.
Unsurprisingly, the goal prompted a response from Sunderland who began to press United for the first time in the game. The Black Cats won a succession of corners which briefly caused the Reds some hassle, but thankfully were able to clear their lines after a Jeremain Lens free-kick landed dangerously at the far post. Another chance soon followed, but Patrick van Aanholt found De Gea in the way once again after fashioning an opportunity on the left side of United’s area.
Thereafter, it was the home side who were undisputedly in control and should have wrapped up the three points on 67 minutes. The excellent Martial evaded his marker to rush through on goal with only O’Shea and Pantilimon to beat as Memphis sprinted to join him in support. The Frenchman played in his team-mate, but the Dutchman could only aim his shot straight at the keeper.
As the game neared its conclusion, van Gaal replaced Carrick, Blind and Memphis with Schweinsteiger, Jones and Young over a ten-minute period, freshening up his side whilst also guarding against any late Sunderland threat.
That said, it was United that continued to push and Mata's effort was expertly tipped round the post by Pantilimon. Undeterred, van Gaal’s men continued to throw men forward and Juan eventually got his name on the scoresheet in the 90th minute, firing into the roof of the net from an Ashley Young cross to set the seal on a fine day at the office for the new leaders of the Barclays Premier League.
Possession: United 66% Sunderland 34%
Shots at goal: United 12 Sunderland 8
Shots on target: United 7 Sunderland 4
Corners: United 5 Sunderland 2
United: De Gea, Valencia, Smalling, Blind (Jones 73’), Darmian, Schneiderlin, Carrick (Schweinsteiger 68’), Mata, Rooney, Memphis (Young 77’), Martial.
Subs not used: Romero, Herrera, Fellaini, Pereira.
Sunderland: Pantilimon, Jones, van Aanholt, O’Shea, Kaboul, Cattermole, M’Vila, Johnson (Fletcher 45’), Toivonen (Larsson 70’), Lens, Borini.
Subs not used: Mannone, Gomez, Defoe, M’Vila, Coates, Yedlin.
Booked: Johnson, Jones, Cattermole.
*Taken from Manutd.com
Goals: Rooney 23, Pereira 60, Martial 92
23 September 2015 | Old Trafford | Capital One Cup Third Round
Manchester United cruised into the fourth round of the Capital One Cup after seeing off the challenge of Ipswich Town at Old Trafford with a 3-0 victory.
After falling at the second-round hurdle to MK Dons last season, the Reds, entering a stage later this term thanks to Champions League qualification, progressed with ease against the Championship outfit thanks to goals from Wayne Rooney, Andreas Pereira, who netted his first senior goal for the Reds, and substitute Anthony Martial.
Following last season’s shock exit in Buckinghamshire, van Gaal opted for a strong first XI, which included a first start for Pereira, who lined up on the left in front of stand-in left-back Ashley Young. Ipswich boss Mick McCarthy, meanwhile, rang the changes as he named a completely different side to the one that drew 1-1 at home to Birmingham last weekend.
The Reds and Pereira almost made the perfect start two minutes in when the ball dropped to the wide man from a Mata free-kick. He smashed an effort against a post but the flag had already gone up for offside against Ander Herrera. Soon after, Pereira took aim from 25 yards but Bartosz Bialkowski did well to hold on to the well-struck drive.
Backed by large travelling support, believed to be around 5,500, Ipswich seemed content to let United have the ball. Possession has not been a problem for the Reds this term, but turning that domination into goals has at times. Thankfully, 23 minutes in, United made it count as Rooney put the hosts ahead. A long ball forward from Daley Blind was brilliantly controlled by the skipper who saw off the challenge of a defender before finishing with aplomb with his left foot.
A neat link-up between Marouane Fellaini and Juan Mata on the edge of the box forced Bialkowski to make a decent save from Mata’s outside-of-the-boot strike six minutes later, while the only effort of any note from the visitors came on the stroke of half-time when Tommy Oar flashed a shot just wide of David De Gea’s right-hand post.
Possession: United 75% Ipswich 25%
Shots: United 6 Ipswich 2
Shots on target: United 3 Ipswich 0
Corners: United 0 Ipswich 2
Ipswich seemed like a different team at the start of the second period, the first five minutes of which they dominated. They pressured the ball and threw a couple of dangerous crosses into the box from the off, but United’s defence were up to the job.
Indeed, it didn’t take long for the Reds to get a grip back on the game and Antonio Valencia, in at right-back in place of Matteo Darmian, blasted a low drive at Bialkowski who punched it into the air and was relieved to see one of his defenders hook it clear.
There was nothing the Ipswich stopper could do about Pereira’s superb free-kick on the hour-mark though as the youngster netted his first senior goal in sublime fashion, curling home from 25 yards in front of the Stretford End.
Mata was next to have a go from distance, letting fly with a left-foot shot from 25 yards, but Bialkowski was there to tip it over. That was to be one of Mata’s last pieces of action with the Spaniard replaced by Martial and Phil Jones also coming on, for his first appearance of the season, in place of Chris Smalling.
Martial got into the action straight away and, two minutes after coming on, fired just wide after being set up by Rooney.
Pereira went close to netting his second of the night four minutes from time when his close-range shot was well saved, but the Ipswich keeper couldn't keep out United's man of the moment as Martial took a chested pass from fellow substitute Memphis in his stride and coolly slotted home in injury-time as the Reds deservedly booked a place in the fourth round of the Capital One Cup.
Possession: United 70% Ipswich 30%
Shots: United 12 Ipswich 4
Shots on target: United 8 Ipswich 0
Corners: United 3 Ipswich 3
United: De Gea; Valencia, Smalling (Jones 69), Blind, Young; Schweinsteiger, Herrera; Mata (Martial 69), Fellaini, Pereira; Rooney (Memphis 81).
Subs not used: Romero, Darmian, Carrick, Schneiderlin.
Ipswich Town: Bialkowski, Yorwerth, Oar, Malarczyk, Parr, Emmanuel, Coke, Tabb (Toure 75), Bru, McGoldrick (Sears 61), Murphy (Pitman 61).
Subs not used: Crowe, Chambers, Maitland-Niles, Kenlock.
MAN OF THE MATCH
VAN GAAL REACTION
"The result was great. We don’t have injuries. I brought in players, I rotated players. Phil Jones has played a lot of minutes. So I’m a happy coach."
"It’s very special for me to score my first goal, a free-kick at the Stretford End as well. It’s just like a dream come true."
*Taken from Manutd.com
Scorers: Pelle 13', 86', Martial 34' , 50', Mata 68' | 20 September 2015 | St Mary's Stadium | Att: 31,588
Anthony Martial enhanced his burgeoning reputation by scoring twice in a 3-2 win over Southampton that moves Manchester United up to second in the Barclays Premier League.
The French summer signing executed two impressively composed finishes either side of the half-time break to overturn Graziano Pelle’s opener at St Mary’s. Juan Mata enhanced the lead and Italian striker Pelle bagged his second to set up a tense finale, though the Reds held on to claim an excellent result that closes the gap on leaders Manchester City to just two points following their home defeat to West Ham.
Luke Shaw was unavailable to play against his former club after breaking his leg at PSV Eindhoven and Louis van Gaal selected Marcos Rojo to fill in at left-back, allowing Daley Blind and Chris Smalling to maintain their promising partnership in the middle. Wayne Rooney and Morgan Schneiderlin were recalled to the starting XI, with Martial also making his first Premier League start.
The match began at an even pace with both teams enjoying separate spells of possession in midfield, although it was the hosts who broke the deadlock in the 13th minute when Pelle pounced on David De Gea’s parried save from a Sadio Mane effort to shoot underneath the Spanish goalkeeper. The towering Italian, who scored in this fixture last season, then hit the outside of the post with a low shot just moments later that prompted a visibly angry De Gea to berate his defenders.
Memphis saw a looping header arc over Maarten Stekelenburg’s crossbar on 24 minutes as United – wearing the black adidas third kit – attempted to restore parity on the south coast. But it was far from easy against a home side that was defending with all 11 men behind the ball, while pressing high up the pitch with an intensity that has earned plenty of praise during Ronald Koeman’s reign as boss.
Thankfully, van Gaal’s men broke through the mass ranks to equalise in the 34th minute and it was our new no.9, Martial, who did the honours, receiving the ball on the edge of the six-yard area before showing impressive composure to execute a low finish past Stekelenburg.
United almost took an unexpected lead prior to the half-time break when Memphis intelligently played in Mata from a corner kick, with the Spaniard then slipping another pass inside for Blind to shoot wide from close-range, wrapping up an intriguing and entertaining opening 45 minutes at St Mary’s.
FIRST HALF STATISTICS
Possession: Southampton 37% United 63%
Shots at goal: Southampton 8 United 4
Shots on target: Southampton 3 United 1
Corners: Southampton 2 United 3
The second half began with both managers making tactical changes as Matt Targett replaced Cuco Martina and Antonio Valencia usurped Matteo Darmian, although Martial picked up exactly where he left off by scoring his second goal of the game on 50 minutes. This time, the 19-year-old livewire latched onto a sloppy backpass from Saints defender Maya Yoshida to execute another cool finish to inspire repeated chants of “Oh Anthony Martial” from United’s ecstatic travelling fans.
The away end was quickly singing the name of De Gea as well after the Player of the Year produced an astounding one-handed save to claw Jose Fonte’s off the line ahead of the hour mark, when van Gaal made his second substitution by introducing Bastian Schweinsteiger for Michael Carrick.
Southampton appeared to tire as the clock ticked on and United took full advantage as Memphis struck the post with a powerful effort that bounced back into the direction of Mata, who guided a neat finish into the bottom corner to bag his second goal of the season following his first at Swansea City.
Although United appeared in complete control in the final stages of Sunday’s match, as several Southampton players went down to ground with cramp, the hosts did manage to hit back and set up a tense finale as Pelle rose admirably to head Mane’s cross past a helpless De Gea.
The Spanish no.1 was then required to produce another acrobatic save to repel Victor Wanyama's long-range effort, as van Gaal’s Reds kept their calm to secure an important victory that provides a welcomed confidence boost ahead of Tuesday’s Capital One Cup clash with Ipswich Town.
Possession: Southampton 41% United 59%
Shots at goal: Southampton 15 United 10
Shots on target: Southampton 8 United 3
Corner: Southampton 5 United 5
Southampton: Stekelenburg, Yoshida, Fonte, van Dijk, Targett (Martina 45'), Wanyama, Romeu (Davis 56'), Ward-Prowse (Long 76'), Tadic, Mane, Pelle.
Subs not used: Davis, Cedric, Rodriguez, Juanmi.
Booked: Van Dijk, Fonte
United: De Gea, Darmian (Valencia 45'), Smalling, Rojo (McNair 69'), Blind, Carrick (Schweinsteiger 60'), Schneiderlin, Mata, Memphis, Rooney, Martial.
Subs not used: Romero, Herrera, Young, Fellaini.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Martial was voted Man of the Match by United fans on Twitter, with 50% of the votes in @ManUtd's poll going to the Frenchman. He beat the equally impressive David De Gea (45%), who made a string of fine saves to preserve the Reds' lead. While Schneiderlin completed the voting with 5%.
VIEWS FROM THE DRESSING ROOM
Louis van Gaal: "It's a fantastic result away at Southampton and I think we have made a statement that we shall compete for the title."
Morgan Schneiderlin: "Anthony is a very intelligent guy, very calm. Today he showed great composure and great skill and power. He will be a great player for the future of Manchester United."
Juan Mata: "We are very sorry for Luke [Shaw]. Obviously what happened to him was very unlucky but he knows we are all with him and this victory is for him."
*Taken from Manutd.com
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