Credit for Southampton too much to ask?

Posted by Chris Rann

Dejan Lovren leads the celebrations after Southampton grabbed a late leveller, though the goal was credited to Adam Lallana.GettyImagesDejan Lovren leads the celebrations after Southampton grabbed a late leveller, though the goal was credited to Adam Lallana.

The problem with edited highlights of a game is that they are just that. Edited.

Anyone who tuned into the nation's favourite highlights show on Saturday night would have watched the exchanges between Manchester United and Southampton in the 1-1 draw and thought to themselves: "Wow, how did United not win that. Absolutely battered Saints then dropped points with a lucky smash and grab set piece." That does not sit well with me at all. Why? Because this was actually a highly entertaining end to end match between two evenly matched sides. Is the editor briefed to not show it like that?

A glance at the statistics would show you that possession of the ball was even (Saints had slightly more at 54%), aerial duals were even (Saints won slightly more at 58%) and chances were even (Saints had 18 to United's 12).

In fact, were you to break this game into quarters it would be fair to say that Manchester United were dominant for two quarters and Saints dominant for the other two. This was no mis-match. This was no lucky point.

- Okwonga: Saints check Moyes' momentum
- Brewin: Three things - Man Utd 1-1 Southampton
- Payne: Man Utd's prudence gifts Southampton point

United did have the 'better' chances, but when you have Robin Van Persie and Wayne Rooney up front that is likely going to be the case, and though Saints defended resolutely the front pair always looked like scoring. In contrast Saints forwards weren't at the races, partly due to a decent showing from Jonny Evans, and partly an off day.

With regards to all other areas of the pitch it was a level playing field and in certain areas Saints were the prominent players. Morgan Schneiderlin had Marouane Fellaini's number from the first kick of the game and Nathaniel Clyne did well to limit the lively Adnan Januzaj. Saints' star performer was captain Adam Lallana, who was superb throughout, making Patrice Evra look decidedly ordinary.

A draw was actually the correct result on the balance of the game, but forgive me if you will a little self indulgence as I suggest that you might argue a case that Saints should have won.

For starters, the United goal should not have stood. Rooney was offside, and it isn't even a debatable decision. Play should have been stopped there. Also, while United had plenty of opportunities to enhance their lead, Saints' forwards, as I alluded to earlier, were wasteful in front of goal and could easily have sealed the points on another day.

However, a point at Old Trafford is not to be sniffed at, and Saints fans were happy bunny at the final whistle, but is a little credit from the highlights editors too much to ask? Slowly but surely the current team is changing Southampton's reputation as also rans and strugglers amongst football supporters in general, how long before the visual media catch up?


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