Edinson Cavani Scores a Late-Winner; The Red Devils Win 3-2 Against Southampton


The line-up

Starting the line-up with a 4-3-1-2, diamond formation, with David De Gea as the keeper, Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer intended to start with a mid-field dominating formation, with Matic sitting just ahead of the back-four with that holding role. Fred and and Donny Van De Beek were two further forward with certain holding roles in the mid-field, and lastly, Bruno Fernandes with that no.10 role upfront of the diamond. At the defense, it was the same back-line that started the 4-1 win against Istanbul Basaksehir, as due to the absence of Luke Shaw due to injury, it meant that it was a yet another start for the new signing Alex Telles, with the three other regulars, namely Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Victor Lindelof and club captain Harry Maguire. Up-front it was Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood with both having the roles of a striker, respectively.

About the game

In the first half, United had played very poorly, defensive wise, as the two goals which they conceded, were from set-pieces. United should have been ahead in the seventh minute when Alex Telles played Mason Greenwood through after poor defending from Jannik Vestergaard, however, the striker could only hit the side-netting after rounding McCarthy. However, The Red Devils found themselves two goals down after 30 minutes of the Premier League clash at St Mary’s through goals from Jan Bednarek and James Ward-Prowse, with the first one set up from a corner and the second got in from a free-kick taken by Ward-Prowse.

At the half time, due to a slight niggle, David De Gea had to be subbed off with the knee injury he suffered in trying to save Ward-Prowse’s free-kick. As such, Dean Henderson replaced him. It’s was his  Premier League debut for United with Edinson Cavani also coming in for Mason Greenwood. After the half time and the substitutions the game had totally changed from that moment, with Cavani coming on for Manchester United, 

United fought back in the second period, with star midfielder Bruno Fernandes pulling one back for the visitors just before the hour mark with his seventh league goal of the season. Bruno Fernandes propelled himself into some elite company when netting for the fifth time in a row on the road in the Premier League for Manchester United. Fernandes collected a cross from the right from Edinson Cavani and swiveled before firing a low shot into the bottom corner. Despite being criticized for only scoring goals from penalties, Bruno Fernandes had yet again managed to score from open play.

At the 74th minute of the game, it was Telles’s corner which was punched away to Fred on the edge of the area which he teed up to Fernandes, whose shot took a deflection and ricocheted towards Cavani in the six-yard box. He threw himself at the ball and headed emphatically past Southampton Goalkeeper, McCarthy. Cavani tied the game to a 2-2 and the game was on, again. It might be tagged as an unintentional assist for Bruno Fernandes and a very good positioning play and a swift instinct from the Uruguayan elite, Cavani. 

At the dying moments of the game, Cavani stroked in his second header of the game and completed United’s comeback. The goal stemmed from a free-kick, 35 yards from goal, which Fernandes clipped to the unmarked Rashford on the left. He fizzed a cross towards the near post, where Cavani stooped to flick an accomplished header past the goalkeeper’s fingertips. That was a serious striker’s goal, not just the finish but also the timing of the run. This type of runs and finishes is what Cavani is all about. The Uruguayan had won United its eight consecutive away league game of the season with an excellent job, coming on as an impact substitute just as now manager Ole Gunnar Solkjaer did during his playing days.

 Cavani was without doubt the man of the match with two goals and one assist even after coming on as a half-time substitute and playing for just 45 minutes of the game. Bruno displayed another sensational performance with a goal and an unintentional assist to his name as well as a “pass to assist” to his name as he was quick and intelligent enough to square the free-kick towards Rashford, for him to cross it onto the forehead of Edinson Cavani for the late-winner. 

 “I was quite calm [at half-time]. It’s about not conceding another goal and getting the next one. There was always going to be another one in that game. We must have had five or six clear-cut chances in the game today so it was about taking them when we got the chance. It worked. It is a trait of Manchester United to never give in. Every single one of them, there was absolutely no chance they were going to give up. That’s a big thing for a Manchester United player and person.” Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer told BBC Sport.

Some key insights of the game

– Manchester United are the first side in Premier League history to win four consecutive away games despite trailing in each.
– United have also won eight consecutive top-flight away games for the first time in their history.
– Southampton have dropped 25 points from winning positions in the Premier League since the start of last season, second only to West Ham (31).
– Edinson Cavani is only the second player to both score and assist a goal after coming on as a substitute in an away Premier League for Manchester United, after Ruud van Nistelrooy against Charlton Athletic in September 2002.
– Bruno Fernandes is the fourth United player to score in five consecutive away games in the Premier League after Van Nistelrooy (2002 and 2003), Robin van Persie (2013) and Zlatan Ibrahimovic (2017).



Written by Arnab Chanda

A 6’, aspiring Advocate, Arnab Chanda, hails from the plains of Assam, currently a 4 th year B.A.
L.L.B student at Sharda University. Being a fanatic Manchester United fan, foodie and a car
enthusiast, his leisure time mostly revolves around trying out new dishes, playing football and
reviewing cars, though he also enjoys to travel and to explore new places. He is a very hard-
working, punctual and sincere person who likes to give his best in everything that he does, but
does not miss a chance to use his humour to light up the mood of his surroundings and to
spread positivity. He’s a momma’s boy who soulfully respects his elders and wants to serve the
society for its welfare.

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