Manchester United endured their second straight frustrating Premier League result, failing to score past 20th-place Southampton.
Erik ten Hag fielded an attacking lineup, with Bruno Fernandes and Jadon Sancho as two number 8s ahead of Casemiro. As expected, the Red Devils created chances from the get-go and called Gavin Bazunu into action on more than one occasion within the first 30 minutes.
Minutes after the half-hour mark, Casemiro received a yellow card for a challenge on Carlos Alcaraz. Following a VAR check, referee Anthony Taylor upgraded it to a red and the Brazilian headed down the tunnel disappointed for the second time in his last three league appearances.
Casemiro’s sending off also changed the momentum of the fixture and gave the visitors the confidence to attack with numbers. From thereon, it was end to end stuff, like a game of basketball.
With 10 men on the pitch, United defenders’ task of keeping a clean sheet got a lot harder. But as has been the case so often this season, Lisandro Martinez put in an immense shift.
The 25-year-old Argentine defended aggressively, seldom allowing Southampton forwards to turn with the ball and drive toward United’s penalty box. In the 64th minute, he showed impressive pace to make life difficult for Theo Walcott, who was through on goal. The former Arsenal man’s weak effort was then denied by David de Gea.
Apart from his defensive contribution, Martinez was also crucial in helping United get out of Southampton’s pressing. And made things look fairly easy with his technical ability in possession.