How about that for a horrendous performance from United. I mean you would be hard pressed to think that it was Southampton in the relegation zone and United leading the league during that second half.
At a point when we were conceding an average of 2 goals per game at the start of the season and mid-season, I pointed it out on this blog that our failure to press opponents when we are not in possession was the reason as to why teams found it easy to get goals against us. What made Pep Guardiola such a hit at Barca is that he made them the best team in the world when they don't have the ball----and that was by hassling the opponents into submission.
It's fair to say that last night, Southampton were a poor man's Barca in terms of hassling us whenever we had possession to the extent that we virtually gave up our rights to the ball and allowed them the freedom of the park.
I can't think of the last time a team of that calibre bullied United at Old Trafford. Credit to them, if they can play like that every game, then they will definitely stay up.
As far as United were concerned, this performance will go unnoticed if they display something better this Saturday at Craven Cottage. The biggest positive was that we got the three points and extended our lead but it must be appreciated by the players that in this unforgiving league, you do not play often as poor as that and still get away with it.
The manager said in championship races, you need that one game when you were lucky to win. I hope it will be the only one where we ride on as much luck to fall over the line.
We now have the opportunity to ask City the question when we play before them this weekend. They host Liverpool and its down to us to give them that extra psychological pressure ahead of that game--something they've failed to do to us after their draw with QPR ahead of our game last night. A double-digit lead will deflate them further but the reverse scenario will also have the reverse effect on their psyche.
Hopefully the former will be the case.
ONWARDS AND UPWARDS!