Manchester United needed a special second half performance to turn the game around against Southampton. Enter Edinson Cavani.
United’s new number seven netted two headers to inspire a comeback, and set up United’s first with a cross for Bruno Fernandes.
Cavani’s contribution was praised by Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl.
Hasenhuttl told the Saints’ official club website that he felt the timing of United’s first goal, in the 59th minute, was also crucial in turning momentum back in the favour of the away side.
He said: “We conceded a little too early on, I think. You see that they have some good alternatives from the bench.
“Cavani was a constant danger in the box. We invested a lot, it was a very intense game.”
Both of Cavani’s goals came from headers and this has been a weakness of United’s forwards over the past season.
United’s young trio of Rashford, Martial and Greenwood all prefer the ball played into their feet. Cavani is a more well rounded player and an unpredictable one for defences.
His movement is exceptional and defenders cannot switch off for a moment or he will make them pay. We saw that at the weekend.
This was Cavani’s third league goal and he is yet to start a game. That should change next week.
Always competitive against Southampton
Manchester United’s last five matches against Southampton have all been close ones.
In 2018 United drew 2-2 at St Mary’s under Jose Mourinho. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer then led the team to a 3-2 win at Old Trafford later that season, with featured a rare long range goal from Andreas Pereira.
Last season the shares were spoiled with a 1-1 draw on the road and then a 2-2 draw at Old Trafford late in the season with Michael Obafemi netting an injury time equaliser.
This one was heading towards another draw before Cavani’s 92nd minute winner.