Goal Analysis: Daniel James – Southampton 1-1 Manchester United 31/8/2019

Goal Analysis: Daniel James – Southampton 1-1 Manchester United 31/8/2019

Manchester United mainly looked to play over Southampton’s pressing, with David de Gea hitting long balls to their forwards, however their only goal came from trying to pass through the home side’s pressure.

The move starts with Harry Maguire recovering the ball after Southampton misplaced a through ball.

James goal
Maguire collects the loose ball

His teammates move back to join him while Southampton move up into a defensive shape, not engaging United but in a position to start.

James goal
United move back to begin passing out while Southampton get into their defensive shape

Victor Lindelof takes his time on the ball though and eventually Che Adams decides to close him down, curving his run to block the pass into Paul Pogba.

James goal
Adams presses Lindelof. Sofiane Boufal is in a position to press either Scott McTominay or Aaron Wan-Bissaka if they receive the ball.

Lindelof is comfortable enough under pressure to simply stride forward on the ball though, dribbling past Adams.

This asks questions of Sofiane Boufal: the Moroccan initially takes up a position between Scott McTominay and Aaron Wan-Bissaka so that he could potentially press either if United passed into them. With Lindelof pushing past Adams though, Boufal has to leave them to stop the Swede from advancing further and that puts him in a position where he can only cover the pass into one of Wan-Bissaka and McTominay.

James goal
Lindelof dribbles past Adams. Boufal holds his position to stop Lindelof advancing, although this gives McTominay and Wan-Bissaka space.

He opts to shut down the central lane into McTominay, which is probably the worse decision as Oriol Romeu has moved across to cover the Scot, although Boufal might have been unaware. This leaves the pass open to Wan-Bissaka down the line which Lindelof happily takes advantage of.

James goal
Boufal adjusts his position to block the pass into McTominay, so Lindelof passes to Wan-Bissaka.

Kevin Danso is initially in a position to block the pass inside but he has to drop off to stop Wan-Bissaka having space to advance down the wing, leaving a pass open to Andreas Pereira inside.

James goal
Wan-Bissaka has the ball. Danso is in a position to block the pass into Pereira, but he has to drop off to stop Wan-Bissaka having space down the line. McTominay makes a run off the back of Romeu.

Jannik Vestergaard is quickly on top of the Brazilian but he lays it off to McTominay, who has run off the back of Romeu into space. Southampton pushing forward to press has left a lot of space for United to exploit once they worked their way around the forwards.

James goal
Wan-Bissaka passes to Pereira. Vestergaard pushes up so Pereira can’t turn.
James goal
Pereira lays off the ball for McTominay, who has space due to Southampton pushing up to press.

McTominay switches the ball out to the opposite flank to Daniel James.

James goal
McTominay switches play to James on the left

The Welshman continues to bear down on goal but Cedric Soares never closes him down, wary of the run of Juan Mata down the outside.

James goal
Soares is reluctant to close James down as this would leave the overlapping Mata with plenty of space

Jan Bednarek makes a late attempt to step up and meet him while James Ward-Prowse desperately tries to catch up, but neither can get there fast enough to stop him firing home a shot from just inside the penalty box.

James goal
Bednarek and Ward-Prowse close James down but neither can stop his finish

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