Man Utd 1-1 Southampton: Player ratings as stuttering United surrender lead again

Manchester United were unable to reclaim a place in the top four after a spirited Southampton earned a deserved 1-1 draw in Saturday's early kick-off.

Jadon Sancho's first goal at Old Trafford had given United the lead in what was a fast-paced, thoroughly entertaining game, but they were again unable to hold onto their lead as Che Adams bagged a well-worked equaliser early in the second half.

Both sets of supporters were treated to an electrifying start as United and Southampton both flew out of the traps, keen to show an intent to attack.

Cristiano Ronaldo had the first clear-cut chance after six minutes, rounding Fraser Forster after an incisive breakaway led from Paul Pogba and Sancho. But after seemingly doing the hard work, his tame side-footed effort was diverted away by the retreating Romain Perraud.

Minutes later, both teams could - and conceivably should - have taken the lead. First, Southampton striker Adams failed to flick Kyle Walker-Peters' controlled cut-back into a gaping net, before a brilliant counter attack led by Sancho saw the England winger denied by the feet of Forster.

United continued to show an intensity and desire to push forward that is sometimes lacking, and they were rewarded for their endeavour with the opening goal on 21 minutes.

An incisive through ball from Bruno Fernandes evaded Mohammed Salisu, and that allowed a marauding Marcus Rashford to square the ball across the six-yard line for Sancho to bag a simple tap-in at the far post - his first goal at Old Trafford.

It was rich reward for a fine first half showing from Sancho, although Southampton finished the opening 45 minutes the better of the two sides despite Pogba having a goal rightly ruled out for offside on the stroke of half time.

Walker-Peters fizzed a couple of terrific crosses across United's penalty area before Stuart Armstrong came close twice, firing wide once and testing David de Gea on the other occasion, in addition to Perraud testing the Spaniard.

Southampton's energy carried over into the second half and they were soon back on level terms through Adams. Perraud and Mohammed Elyounoussi did well in the build-up, showing neat feet and control, with the Scotsman's precise effort cannoning in off the post past a sprawling De Gea.

The visitors then had a number of chances to take the lead, but Armstrong was wasteful from an angle and Broja unlucky after dancing past a flat-footed Harry Maguire.

Ronaldo had a goal correctly chalked off for offside but it was another case of what might have been for Ralf Rangnick's frustrated side, who saw Forster claw away a Maguire header at the death.

Man Utd player ratings

1. Goalkeeper & defenders

Varane looked a little off the pace | Nathan Stirk/GettyImages

David de Gea (GK) - 6/10 - A couple of smart stops preserved United's lead before the break but powerless to stop Adams' smart finish early in the second half.

Diogo Dalot (RB) - 6/10 - Played a few good balls over the top for Rashford to sprint on to and offers far more going forward than Aaron Wan-Bissaka. Defensively troubled by the movement of Elyounoussi and Perraud, which was evident in Southampton's equaliser.

Raphael Varane (CB) - 5/10 - Rugged and off the pace truth be told. Burned early on by the speed of Broja and was again guilty of not getting out to Adams quickly enough for the goal. Being influenced by how poor Maguire is? Quite possibly.

Harry Maguire (CB) - 4/10 - Didn't look as cumbersome and awkward as he's done in the past but he was still run ragged by Broja. United's mentality issue reared its ugly head again, too, something that really must be fixed by the club captain.

Luke Shaw (LB) - 6/10 - Made a couple of good blocks early on but was clearly identified as a weakness by Southampton. Allowed Walker-Peters too much space at times.

2. Midfielders

Pogba impressed early on but faded | Nathan Stirk/GettyImages

Scott McTominay (DM) - 4/10 - Hustled into mistakes early on by Southampton's keen press. Booked after making a couple of tackles and isn't really good enough to hold down the midfield on his own.

Paul Pogba (CM) - 7/10 - Dictated play from the heart of midfield early on, showing for the ball at every opportunity while having the quality to set United away on countless occasions. Quietened as United lost control.

Bruno Fernandes (CM) - 5/10 - A terrific spin in his own half freed up the opportunity to release Rashford with the chance to assist Sancho's goal. Faded badly as the game went on, the polar opposite of what he should do for United.

3. Forwards

Marcus Rashford (RW) - 5/10 - Booked for a wild lunge on Perraud during the first quarter of an hour but soon was in the headlines for the right reasons following a terrific run in behind and assist. Did little else, unfortunately.

Cristiano Ronaldo (ST) - 6/10 - Will feel he should have opened the scoring early on. A little selfish at times when passing was perhaps the better option but did test Forster on a couple of occasions.

Jadon Sancho (LW) - 8/10 - Rewarded with a fine first half showing with his first United goal at Old Trafford. Showed great pace, intent and flair on the counter attack.

4. Substitutes

Anthony Elanga (75') - 6/10 - Lively but not really able to influence much as Southampton comfortably saw out the game.

Jesse Lingard (82') - N/A

Southampton player ratings

5. Goalkeeper & defenders

Fraser Forster was impressive for Southampton | OLI SCARFF/GettyImages

Fraser Forster (GK) - 8/10 - Made a really smart stop from Sancho early on, nothing he could do with his goal just over ten minutes later. Stood tall in the second half, making a number of good stops.

Kyle Walker-Peters (RB) - 8/10 - Whipped in a couple of dangerous crosses into United's penalty area and looked a threat throughout.

Jan Bednarek (CB) - 5/10 - Sancho's willingness to cut inside as a left forward helped open up space for Ronaldo, pulling Bednarek all over the place. Didn't look comfortable and was perhaps preoccupied by an injury that curtailed his game.

Mohammed Salisu (CB) - 7/10 - A wonderfully comedic handball was an obvious standout moment, but will be frustrated at not cutting out Fernandes' through ball which led to United's opener. Looked good otherwise.

Romain Perraud (LB) - 7/10 - Alert to clear Ronaldo's goalbound effort early on, scrambling back with Forster beaten. A good operator at both ends of the pitch, playing his part in Southampton's equaliser.

6. Midfielders

Ward-Prowse is challenged by Fernandes | Nathan Stirk/GettyImages

Stuart Armstrong (RM) - 6/10 - Had a few sightings of United's goal but lacked the quality to finish despite getting into good positions.

James Ward-Prowse (CM) - 7/10 - The engine room of Southampton's midfield ticked things over and got them back into the game. Always offered an outlet and rarely gave the ball away.

Oriol Romeu (CM) - 8/10 - Rarely moves out of his defensive midfield comfort zone, but his terrific work in regaining the ball and transitioning into attack goes under the radar.

Mohammed Elyounoussi (LM) - 8/10 - Billed as playing on the left, the Norwegian regularly drifted inside and occupied pockets of space to allow Adams to stretch the game. Wonderfully weighted pass for his assist.

7. Forwards

Southampton deserved their equalising goal | Laurence Griffiths/GettyImages

Armando Broja (ST) - 8/10 - Strong, powerful, Broja gave Maguire a really difficult afternoon. End product wasn't always there from the 20-year-old but another hugely promising performance that showed he has a bright future at the top level.

Che Adams (ST) - 8/10 - Worked tirelessly hard up front, as you'd expect, both centrally and in the channels. Took his goal superbly and was man of the match.

8. Substitutes

Jack Stephens (46') - 7/10 - Helped Southampton gain control of the game in the second half and marshalled Elanga away from danger when United looked well set.

Tino Livramento (71') - 6/10 - Up to speed quickly after a lengthy period on the sidelines.

Ibrahima Diallo (90+4') - N/A

Source : 90min