Up until the 89th minute, I thought we were on course for an important three points that would have lifted the mood at United. As it turned out, David Moyes was left rueing what he termed a 'sickener' as Southampton successfully did a smash and grab job right at the end to take what was in the end a deserved point for them.
Being the better side at Old Trafford has never guaranteed anyone even a point. So despite the good performance by Pochettinho's side, we should have been able to see out the game. Many reds have criticised the boss' changes while at 1-0 but I can't remember a manager making too many attacking changes whilst they're trying to see out a game. Moreover, in Saturday's case, Moyes brought on Welbeck---an attacking change that should have merited a goal if he had found Rooney late on.
The one thing many will overlook on the day was the sheer ill-luck before that 'sickener'. We hit the bar twice at 1-0 up through efforts by RVP and Wayne. You then start to think that its one of those games where a second will not go in. The question then turns to whether you can keep a clean sheet and to be fair, De Gea was hardly troubled for all of the Saint's good inter-play and attempts at goal. That they finally scrambled one in at the death was in many ways down to ill-luck rather than any fault from the players. On the whole, I thought we gave a better account of ourselves than we did against West Brom. The only flaw in the side is a sore lack of a killer instinct---the one we showed when Swansea got a goal back or the one we showed against Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League.
Ultimately though, we've now lost further ground on the early pace-setters Arsenal. It's difficult to say now what the league campaign holds for United as the number of sides vying for the Champions League places are at the moment more consistent than us. We need to--in the least---string a couple of wins together and try to make home advantage count because a win once a fortnight will only leave us in the Europa League places at best.
It's 8 games in now and its becoming a recurring theme from the club that after a bad result, we move on to the next game. I'd like the post-match comments have a little more reflection of how good we performed more often. As a fan, I cannot say that this slow start was somewhat very unexpected and all, but I surely can't have been expected it to be this slow. My interpretation of slow is losing the difficult games that we did at the start of the season then beating the likes of West Brom and Southampton at home.
In my points table that I usually draft before the start of the season, United are currently 5 points off the pace and its easy to see where those 5 points have been lost. It's perfectly understandable to lose points against Chelsea, City and Liverpool but not quite at home to Southampton and WBA.
The next good result cannot come sooner enough.