IBO Reporter : channonite
|I have been wondering how on earth to approach this report and went back to have a re-read of Spot51's treatment of the previous 0-9. On that occasion I was actually in St.Mary's and stayed to the bitter end. Then there was a feeling of being present for something that wasn't likely to happen again in my lifetime. That was a case of Saints being rubbish and everything that Leicester did came off. Nothing that Saints did made any difference.
This game was very different indeed. For several games now Saints have been suffering from a catalogue of injuries to key players. The couple of days of actually being top of the Premier League earlier in the season seem like a long time ago now. Added to that the window had closed the day before the match and two defenders (Vokins and Valery) had been sent out on loan. There was a feeling that the club were gambling that they would be able to get through this match relatively unscathed, before the injured players started returning.
Watching the game from home, it quickly became apparent that Manchester United were really up for the game, Djenepo was looking like having one of his headless chicken games and was not providing any cover for the inexperienced Ramsey at right back.
I didn't have time to register any thoughts about the debutant, young Alex Jankewitz, before I saw the referee, the now infamous Mike Dean, holding up a red card. I had been making a note about Djenepo and Ramsey and had completely missed what had happened. Less than two minutes into the game and the youngster seemed to have had a red mist moment and come flying into a tackle with studs up. Replays showed that the ref had no option, other than to send the 19 year old Saints player off. Not a good start, which is a considerable understatement.
I am not going to do a conventional report on the match, other than to list the goals and occasionally add comments. There was a certain amount of reorganisation, which happened several times during the match, but seemed to me at the time as nothing more than re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.
For just over a quarter of an hour, the team managed to hold Manchester United at bay, but the inevitable happened and the first goal went in. Luke Shaw crossing for the other full back, Wan-Bissa to score from close in
1-0 Wan-Bissaka 18'
Then the second just seven minutes later, when Greenwood got beyond the defenders and cut back for a smart finish from Rashford.
2-0 Rashford 25'
There was a rare moment of hope for Saints, when they managed to threaten briefly and won a free kick, well within the range of James Ward-Prowse, after Djenepo had been cut down by Cavani. Although the kick was well taken, de Gea was alert to the threat and pushed the shot over the bar.
The third was really unfortunate, when a Rashford cross was turned into the net by Jan Bednarek.
3-0 Bednarek 34' (og)
Then the fourth went in just before halftime, when Cavani converted another accurate cross from Shaw
4-0 Cavani 39'
Following this, both Ramsey and then Stephens managed to get themselves booked for increasingly desperate defending. In fact, Ramsey's booking came when Cavani was convinced that he had been fouled inside the box, but VAR ruled that the offence had occurred outside and a free kick was awarded, which came to nothing.
Halftime came as some sort of relief and there were nervous discussions online about that Leicester game.
The second half at least initially looked like some sort of improvement and it looked as though Adams perseverance had paid off, when he put the ball in the net past de Gea at the second attempt, only for VAR to rule it out.
The next goal came a whole 24 minutes into the second half, when Martial volleyed into the roof of the net, from Fernandes' assist.
5-0 Martial 69'
At this point Ralph made his first substitution, sending on Redmond to relieve Danny Ings
Mere seconds after the substitution McCarthy pushed away a shot from Greenwood and Stephens hacked it clear, but only as far as McTominay, who scored from all of 20 yards out.
6-0 McTominay 71'
Then, with just 12 minutes left, Ralph sent on the 19 year old French defender Allan Tchaptchet in place of Djenepo, switching to a back three, but again, this was just re-arranging the deck chairs.
Then came the most contentious moment in the whole game, when Martial went down in the box, seemingly felled by Jan Bednarek. Mike Dean awarded the penalty and showed a red card to Bednarek. VAR was called on and seemed to go on forever, with Dean being called over to the pitch side monitor. The referee, after some time staring at the monitor, stuck with his original decision and sent off the second Saints player of the match. The penalty was duly despatched by Fernandes.
7-0 Bruno Fernandes 87' (pen)
It is worth mentioning at this point that there was general amazement by the pundits and certainly from me, that it was a sending off offence and on the replays it looked like Martial was already going down and there had been no contact, so shouldn't even have been a penalty. This seems to have been confirmed, when Saints disputed the red card during the week and the complaint was upheld, with the red card being rescinded. Which makes the three goals that followed (including the penalty), when Saints were down to nine men, even more galling.
The following two goals in injury time completed the rout and the general sense of injustice felt by Saints fans was complete.
8-0 Martial 90'
9-0 James 90'+3
Man of the Match
The referee was already in Saints least favourite official category before the match and I think that performance cemented his place there for ever. So I have little hesitation in making the odious Mike Dean my Man of the Match. And yes, that is definitely sarcastic! It will be interesting to see, once crowds return to stadiums, his reception at St.Mary's, should he ever be chosen to officiate at one of our games again.