MANCHESTER, England — It was not simply the margin of victory that was a shock as Manchester United thrashed Southampton 9-0 at Previous Trafford on Tuesday. In addition to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s workforce emphatically ending their issues in entrance of aim with their largest win since beating Ipswich the identical scoreline in March 1995, a chaotic 90 minutes additionally featured a pink card for 19-year-old Southampton midfielder Alexandre Jankewitz after simply 77 seconds of his first Premier League begin and Aaron Wan-Bissaka popping up with a uncommon aim to present United the lead and spark the rout.
Two from substitute Anthony Martial, a Bruno Fernandes penalty and targets from Marcus Rashford, Edinson Cavani, Scott McTominay and Daniel James additionally contributed to a nightmare evening for the Saints, who ended the sport with 9 males following Jan Bednarek’s late dismissal. Bednarek summed up his workforce’s misfortune having already scored an personal aim and conceded a penalty. Southampton supervisor Ralph Hasenhuttl at the very least is aware of his gamers are able to recovering from such a extreme consequence after shedding 9-Zero to Leicester simply 15 months in the past.
Solskjaer’s males took benefit of the guests’ diminished numbers to document their largest win in almost 26 years, and amongst a bunch of positives as United moved degree on factors on the high of the Premier League desk with Manchester Metropolis, Wan-Bissaka’s contribution offered a glimpse of the workforce the Norwegian hopes they’re changing into.
“Positively the proper facet has historically been a problem for us going ahead,” Solskjaer mentioned afterward. “We’ve not discovered a right-back to fill the [Antonio] Valencia void, however Aaron is getting higher. I can not bear in mind one full-back crossing for an additional to attain.”
That is precisely what Luke Shaw did for Wan-Bissaka, who had raced nearly the size of the pitch to get into the field.
There isn’t any doubting Wan-Bissaka’s defensive capability, particularly in one-on-one conditions, however he has work to do to earn a spot among the many finest full-backs on the earth, primarily as a result of he’s nonetheless studying tips on how to make targets in addition to cease them. The easiest gamers in his place can do each, and at £50 million — making him one of many 10 most costly defenders on the earth — he shall be anticipated to get there ultimately.
It says every thing about the kind of right-back Wan-Bissaka is that earlier than the sport kicked off, he had recorded extra tackles than another participant within the Premier League this season however had the identical variety of assists as Victor Lindelof. He has one other now after choosing out Martial with an ideal cross, and will have had another if Cavani had made extra of a very good likelihood earlier than the Uruguayan was changed at half-time.
It was Wan-Bissaka’s defensive attributes that first attracted Solskjaer — notably two excellent performances towards Manchester Metropolis’s Leroy Sane whereas taking part in for Crystal Palace — however there may be an acceptance that his attacking output can enhance. It is one thing Solskjaer and his workers are engaged on. They’re ready to be affected person given he’s nonetheless solely 23 and due to an understanding that racing ahead out of defence just isn’t as vital at Selhurst Park as it’s at Previous Trafford.
“If you play at Man United as a full-back, you do have to supply assists,” mentioned Solskjaer final season. “We all the time knew that he was going to be exhausting to beat. He is probably the greatest one-versus-one defenders I’ve ever seen, however he was a winger when he was youthful, so he is received it in him.
“We depend on the full-backs to go ahead in the best way we need to play. He is getting higher on the ball; he does not give the ball away lots. He isn’t been requested to enterprise ahead a lot earlier in his profession.”
Wan-Bissaka — one in every of various excellent performers towards Southampton — solely wants to have a look at United’s different flank for inspiration. Shaw has benefitted from the added competitors created the arrival of Alex Telles in the summertime and is having fun with his finest run of kind since transferring from Southampton as a youngster. In opposition to his former membership, he created 5 probabilities and made targets for Wan-Bissaka and Cavani, regardless of taking part in for less than 45 minutes.
Sources have informed ESPN that United are exploring the opportunity of signing one other right-back within the hope it’d do for Wan-Bissaka what the signing of Telles has accomplished for Shaw. England Underneath-21 worldwide Max Aarons, presently at Norwich Metropolis, is without doubt one of the names within the body forward of the summer time.
Earlier than then, United are nonetheless effectively positioned to mount a primary real title problem since 2013.
“You already know what I preferred in regards to the efficiency was the starvation and perspective to do the proper issues,” Solskjaer mentioned. “That is the one option to get higher. You possibly can see a great deal of issues we’re engaged on. We need to be a bit unpredictable and the gamers did that excellently, with freedom and creativeness.
“I believed they performed the sport correctly. They had been ruthless and so they wished it increasingly more. If you play soccer it’s important to make [the] most of it, and so they performed prefer it might have been their final sport, so very happy with everybody.”