Manchester United endured a frustrating afternoon in the Premier League on Sunday with a 0-0 draw against bottom-placed Southampton marked by the expulsion of midfielder Casemiro.
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The result was not what manager Erik ten Hag wanted after last week’s 7-0 drubbing by Liverpool in the league and was a disappointing follow-up to the scintillating 4-1 Europa League win over Real Betis in mid-week.
In the first leg, Ten Hag had responded by naming the same starting line-up and was rewarded with a return to form.
“You see how a team reacts after a setback,” said Ten Hag. “This is not the first time this season, I think you see five or six times we can reset and bounce back. This team has character so a big compliment to the team.”
Marcus Rashford smashed United into an early lead with his 26th goal of the season, but Betis levelled against the run of play when Ayoze Perez fired into the far corner.
It was two of United’s most fiercely criticised stars in recent days who made the difference after the break.
Antony curled a brilliant shot into the top corner before Bruno Fernandes, who Ten Hag named again as captain, headed in Luke Shaw’s corner.
“Bruno was brilliant today,” added Ten Hag. “He led the team from the first minute by his game in possession, making the rhythm of the game and scored a goal so I am happy.”
Wout Weghorst then netted just his second goal in 15 appearances for United by pouncing from close range six minutes from time.
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