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Player Ratings: Southampton 2-3 Manchester United

:Headline: Player Ratings: Southampton 2-3 Manchester United:
Sports Mole sorts the heroes from the villains in Manchester United's 3-2 win at Southampton following more heroics from £36m man Anthony Martial.
By , Reporter | 3y

Anthony Martial scored twice as Manchester United beat Southampton 3-2 at St Mary's this afternoon.

The Frenchman ensured parity at the break by cancelling out Graziano Pelle's opener, before capitalising on a Maya Yoshida error early in the second half to put the visitors 2-1 ahead.

Juan Mata then finished a 45-pass move to put United in a commanding position, with Pelle adding a second for the hosts to ensure a nervy finish, but the Red Devils held on.

Here, Sports Mole analyses how the players fared on the South Coast.




SOUTHAMPTON

Goal

Maarten Stekelenburg: Relatively blameless for the goals and did not have a whole lot to do by way of saving shots. (5/10)

Defence

Maya Yoshida: His terrible error directly led to United moving 2-1 up early in the second half and the visitors never looked back. (3/10)

Jose Fonte: Endured one or two hairy moments, and was far too easily conned by Memphis in the build-up to United's third. (4/10)

Virgil van Dijk: Bailed Fonte out on a number of occasions on what was the Dutchman's home debut. Did little wrong and picked up an intelligent booking in the second half. (6/10)

Matt Targett: Only lasted 45 minutes before being replaced by Martina. It was injury rather than tactical reasons behind his exit. (5/10)

Midfield

Victor Wanyama: Looked overrun in midfield at times, but would have snatched a last-gasp equaliser if not for the heroics of De Gea. (5/10)

Oriol Romeu: Successfully harried Rooney and co for much of the first 20 minutes, but the United skipper found a way to thwart him. (5/10)

James Ward-Prowse: Fizzed in a number of superb crosses in the first 25 minutes, but was moved into midfield for some reason and never looked as threatening from there. (6/10)

Sadio Mane: Would have wanted to impress against the team that tried to sign him during the summer, but the game passed him by after he replaced Ward-Prowse on the right wing. (5/10)

Dusan Tadic: Like so many of his attack-minded teammates, the Serbian, who struck the winner in this fixture in January, started brightly but slowly and surely faded from there. (5/10)

Attack

Graziano Pelle: Opened the scoring but should have doubled the lead minutes later. Did atone with a late header to ensure a nervy finish, though. (7/10)

Substitutes

Cuco Martina: Struggled at left-back after replacing Targett as Mata grew more influential. (4/10)

Steven Davis: Replaced the lacklustre Romeu and proved more adept at keeping United's danger men on a shorter leash. (6/10)



MANCHESTER UNITED

Goal

David de Gea: Reminded United why he is so important to them after pulling off a number of truly world-class stops in both halves; the best of which has to be keeping out Fonte. (8/10)

Defence

Matteo Darmian: Momentarily looked unsteady against Tadic early on, but from there looked okay, yet he was still subbed at half time by Van Gaal, for tactical reasons it is believed. (5/10)

Chris Smalling: He was lucky when his aimless clearance led to Pelle hitting the post. Did not do much wrong after that to his credit. (6/10)

Marcos Rojo: Endured a torrid first 20 minutes or so against Ward-Prowse, but fared far better up against Mane, who spent the remainder on the right wing. (6/10)

Daley Blind: Showed why Koeman publicly identified him as United's weak link. Struggled big time to contain Pelle in the first half, and should have been tighter to Mane for the cross that led to the Italian's second. (5/10)

Midfield

Morgan Schneiderlin: Slightly fortunate not to be booked on his return to St Mary's, but a solid midfield display overall from the Frenchman. (6/10)

Michael Carrick: Lost the run of Mane en route to Southampton's opener but grew into the game from there. (6/10)

Juan Mata: Economic in possession as usual. Provided an assist for their equaliser - despite being offside - and then rolled home the third and killer goal after Memphis hit the post. (7/10)

Memphis Depay: Only showed what he can do in spurts rather than sustained involvement. Missed a good chance in the first half, and slammed against the post prior to the third goal, but was anonymous for large spells. (5/10)

Wayne Rooney: His first game back following a two-match absence through injury and, despite seeing plenty of the ball, did not look comfortable or productive in a number 10 role. (5/10)

Attack

Anthony Martial: Looks to be repaying the hefty £36m transfer fee on a weekly basis. Not a superb all-round performance, but he was the difference. Strikers are judged on goals and he already has three. (8/10)

Substitutes

Antonio Valencia: Got forward better than Darmian had done after coming on at the break. (6/10)

Paddy McNair: Could have perhaps been closer to Pelle as he headed home his and Southampton's second. (4/10)

Bastian Schweinsteiger: Replaced Carrick and did not put a foot wrong. (6/10)


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