Three things Erik ten Hag got right as Man Utd inch past Southampton

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To quote Rio Ferdinand, 'Man United are BACK'.

Well, sort of. Today's victory over Southampton wasn't nearly as emphatic or impressive as their win over Liverpool five days ago, but getting three points is all Manchester United will care about, and rightly so.

Bruno Fernandes' sumptuous volley opened the scoring for the Red Devils, crucially breaking the deadlock after a lacklustre first half display. Just like against Liverpool, United were under the cosh for much of the second period, though managed to hold onto their lead.

Here, Daily Star Sport runs through the three things Erik ten Hag got right at St Mary's as United climb back into the top half of the Premier League.

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Naming an unchanged XI

He'd have been mad not to! After the scintillating performance his players produced against Liverpool, every single one of them deserved to start this afternoon.

Ten Hag made some big calls on Monday, namely dropping Cristiano Ronaldo and captain Harry Maguire, and he stuck to his guns again today, opting for the same youthful exuberance that so fluidly opened up Jurgen Klopp's side up on Monday.

It wasn't the best of team performances, but the likes of Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford, Anthony Elanga and Lisandro Martinez are all looking fitter, sharper and happier – and they've got Ten Hag's faith in them to thank for that.

Sum up Manchester United's performance today in one word in the comments section below.

Bringing Casemiro on

United didn't splash £60million on Casemiro just to leave him on the bench! Ten Hag might have been wise to keep an unchanged side, but he was wiser still to realise when the game needed the Brazilian's energetic tenacity and defensive astuteness.

With the visitors holding on to a narrow 1-0 lead, Casemiro was introduced. Off came Elanga, as Ten Hag switched the shape around to shore the centre of the park.

The substitution came at a vital time too, as United had seen almost nothing of the ball for 10 minutes prior, and they duly held on for the win.

Using Ronaldo effectively

Cristiano Ronaldo won't be happy with his role of impact sub, but he performed it effectively after replacing Sancho with 20 minutes left to play.

The Portugal superstar used his athleticism and pace to provide crucial hold-up play and potential escape route with United under pressure for the most of the second-half.

Ronaldo might well be off in a few days, but if that's his final appearance for the club, at least he did something useful with it.


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  • Manchester United FC
  • Premier League
  • Erik ten Hag
  • Southampton FC

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