Jose Mourinho suggested after a third Premier League match without victory that his team had not had enough “mad dogs” on the field in their 2-2 draw with Southampton.
In a dreadful start to the game for the Red Devils, the Saints, who had only netted four times at St Mary’s – had two more goals after only 19 minutes.
Michael Obafemi set up Stuart Armstrong to score his third Saints goal in two league games with a thumping finish from inside the area.
Seven minutes later Cedric curled home a free kick from 20 yards out after Marcus Rashford had fouled Mario Lemina.
Rashford then atoned for the free kick that led to Southampton’s second goal with a pair of assists – first to Romelu Lukaku for his first goal in three months – and then to Ander Herrera for a cheeky backheel to draw United level before the break.
That should have been their cue to go on and win on a ground where they have usually done well.
But they failed to resume the second half in control of the match and David De Gea was the busier of the two goalkeepers.
“It’s a football expression,” Mourinho said of his ‘mad dogs’ reference.
“I love dogs and I think they are better than many men. People who are aggressive on the ball, fight hard to recover the ball. Marcus Rashford was a mad dog until he got tired.
“In that first period Marcus Rashford was fresh, not hurt by hard tackles in the ankles in situations that progressively put a player in difficulty. One foul here, one foul there, 75 minutes and he was done.
“The comeback is good. It was a match we wanted to win and because of that good reaction in the first half we had 45 minutes to win the game and we didn’t so for me it was not obviously a good result.
“Someone once said that simplicity is genius. I agree totally. I think in some areas of the pitch simplicity is still genius. We wanted to win in the second half but we needed better decisions, to move the ball faster. And Southampton were playing for a point.”