ManUnited 0-0 Soton:Devils stay in hell, fail to make heaven - FCNaija

EPL By: Linus Onyeze | 30/12/2017

Manchester United drew for the third time this festive period as they were forced to a 0-0 draw at Old Trafford by Southampton in the Premier League on Saturday.

Jose Mourinho’s side failed to get maximum points as it marked yet another miserable day in the office for the Portuguese and his charges.

Going into the game, United knew they had to win else, they surrender second place to Chelsea, who had earlier beaten Stoke. And it looked like it was going to script when in the eighth minute, a precise cross into the box found Romelu Lukaku, whose header floated just over the bar. That was a good chance.

But the early exchanges didn’t just see the Red Devils with a chance, as Southampton also went close four minutes later, as a pass traveled right across the box to James Ward-Prowse and gave him a sight of goal. He tried to beat the keeper in the bottom right corner, but David de Gea denied him with a decent save.

However, less than a minute later, Mourinho was forced into a substitution after Lukaku picked up a head injury and had to be replaced, with Marcus Rashford replacing the Belgian.

United were dominant, but weren’t creating enough chances. But as the game progressed, Juan Mata went close for the Devils, but it didn’t result into a goal as the teams went into the break goalless.

At the restart, Southampton looked to go on the front foot, and after the 51st minute, Shane Long went close, as he snuck up from behind Nemanja Matic to hit the ball on target, but De Gea was on hand to save with his foot. That could have been a goal.

United kept probing, with Anthony Martial coming on for Henrikh Mkhitaryan, and the Frenchman immediately won a freekick after being fouled following one of his trademark mazy runs.

And with the game looking like ending in a stalemate, Paul Pogba put the ball into the back of the net, but it was chalked off for offside, much to the consternation of the Frenchman and his manager.

The game would end without any of the sides finding the back of the net, with the result meaning United are now third on the table, after Chelsea beat Stoke earlier in the day.