Saints’ stun­ner

Obafemi robs United of third place

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Sport - By James Ducker

Manchester United Rash­ford 20, Mar­tial 23 Southamp­ton they had fi­nally crossed that par­tic­u­lar psy­cho­log­i­cal hur­dle.

They had come from be­hind to lead, third place was in sight and Chelsea and Le­ices­ter City were about to pay for their week­end de­feats, in part thanks to a stu­pen­dous save late on by David De Gea to deny Nathan Red­mond on the keeper’s 400th ap­pear­ance for United.

But Southamp­ton had other ideas and, for Ole Gun­nar Sol­sk­jaer, their equaliser must have had more than a pass­ing re­sem­blance to a rather fa­mous goal he scored at the Nou Camp 21 years ear­lier.

In this case, James Ward-Prowse played the role of David Beck­ham, whip­ping in a dan­ger­ous cor­ner, Jan Bednarek flicked it on, Teddy Sher­ing­ham-style, and there was sub­sti­tute Michael Obafemi to stab home on the goal line ahead of Vic­tor Lin­de­lof, as Sol­sk­jaer had done against Bay­ern Mu­nich in the Cham­pi­ons League fi­nal.

United were down to 10 men at the time. Bran­don Wil­liams had gone off ear­lier hav­ing sus­tained a bang to the head fol­low­ing a col­li­sion with Kyle Walker-Peters shortly af­ter com­ing on and Sol­sk­jaer, hav­ing al­ready used his three win­dows to make sub­sti­tu­tions, could not throw on a re­place­ment.

But it was not an ex­cuse. United had cre­ated enough op­por­tu­ni­ties to kill the game off be­fore Obafemi struck, and hav­ing done so well to hit back quickly af­ter trail­ing to Stuart Arm­strong’s early goal, cour­tesy of strikes from Mar­cus Rash­ford and An­thony Mar­tial, this was acutely frus­trat­ing for Sol­sk­jaer.

It was not a calami­tous goal for United. They re­main fifth, on goal dif­fer­ence be­hind Le­ices­ter, but with Bren­dan Rodgers’s side their op­po­nents on the fi­nal day, they know vic­tory in their re­main­ing three games will guar­an­tee a top

Tak­ing the Mick: Michael Obafemi cel­e­brates scor­ing Southamp­ton’s added-time equaliser at Old Traf­ford af­ter com­ing off the bench to earn his side a point

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