Manchester United mounted a stunning second-half comeback to beat Southampton 3-2 in Sunday’s Premier League fixture. It was a brilliant win for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and the Reds. Two players stood out in particular, both summer signings, while there were impressive displays from another three men.

Edinson Cavani leads the way vs Southampton

His two goals grab the headlines. They were both fantastic headers and the result of excellent anticipation and movement. The all-round game he offered, though, was exceptional.

Drifting across the frontline, Cavani’s first moment of influence came with a pinpoint accurate cross from the right. The weight on it was ideal for Bruno Fernandes to control and finish.

Southampton v Manchester United - Premier League
(Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

His movement is so refreshing when compared to the more modern Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial. They both like to take people on.

Cavani likes to take one touch, the one with which he scores. This was a defining game for him. A couple more like this, and his one-year at United will quickly turn into two.

Donny van de Beek excels in first league start

The Dutchman got his first Premier League start and offered United so much. He made fewer passes than most of his teammates but the combination of movement and efficient play make him such a valuable player.

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 29: Donny van de Beek of Manchester United in action with Jan Bednarek of Southampton during the Premier League match between Southampton and Manchester United at St Mary's Stadium on November 29, 2020 in Southampton, England. Manchester United best players against Southampton on Premier League
(Photo by Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images)

If there is one criticism of van de Beek’s performance, it has to be that he must be more confident in the box. He has to shoot more.


There were two occasions, at the least, where van de Beek had the chance to shoot but looked for the perfect final ball. Shots in those scenarios and he could have scored twice in addition to his all-round excellent play.

Honourable mentions:

Bruno Fernandes

Still too sloppy in his own half, Fernandes has areas of his game which frustrate. He always delivers, though. Once again, he popped up with a goal. Cavani’s assist was superb but Fernandes was calm in the box. His finish was good.

Nemanja Matic

It’s difficult not to be frustrated by Matic sometimes. The Serbian looks static and often too slow in possession. But those moments where he holds the ball and pauses drag opponents in and provide more space for United’s forward line.

Once you get past that and focus on Matic’s defensive contribution, well, you have to pay credit to him.

Alex Telles

A nod to Wan-Bissaka but a longer mention to the excellent Alex Telles. His delivery is a level above all of his United teammates.

He causes panic in opposition defences and that is certainly not the case with any of United’s other full-backs.

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