Harry Maguire.

Maguire says United have to learn from late goal

Monday 13 July 2020 23:07

Manchester United captain Harry Maguire admits there will be a defending post-mortem after the Reds dropped two points at the death against Southampton from a stoppage-time corner.

United were set to move into third place in the Premier League and into a Champions League spot with a 2-1 Old Trafford lead. But, deep into added-on time, Saints sub Michael Obafemi poached an equaliser from the set-piece that left us still narrowly outside of the top four.

Consequently, Maguire wasn’t happy.

“We have been really good on set-plays lately. Defending set-plays is something we have improved on during this unbeaten run,” our skipper told Sky Sports after the 2-2 draw.

“At the start of the season, we had a terrible record conceding set-play after set-play. But we have been really good at them lately.

“The guy can’t get a header in at our front post when we have got four men around it. We will have a look at it and we will learn from it.

“We are disappointed. We got control of the game, we had numerous chances to kill the game off. We were not at our best. We are not saying that there are loads of areas to improve on but we did enough to win the game and a set-play has killed us in the end.”

Southampton took a 12th minute lead through Stuart Armstrong but United answered emphatically with strikes by Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial. However, the Saints wouldn’t lie down.

“They are a team that has got no pressure on them. Coming to Old Trafford, no fans, obviously they are playing for pride in the league, but can’t get relegated, can’t reach Europe. So we knew they were going to press and they pressed like mad,” added Harry.

“We didn’t handle it well enough in the first 20 minutes. We gave them a soft goal. We got ourselves back into the game, back where we want to be but the second half was a bit of a slog.

“We weren’t good enough on the ball," he added. "We gave the ball away far too much as a team, everyone in the team. We brought a little bit of pressure onto ourselves but we felt we had done enough to win the game. We created chances, we should kill the game off with a third goal.”

It was a blow for the Reds who could have leapfrogged Euro rivals Leicester City and Chelsea.

“Of course, [it's a missed opportunity]. We are playing at Old Trafford and we want to win every game we play for Manchester United so we go for three points, we didn’t get three and we are disappointed at the moment,” Maguire said.

Harry Maguire and his United team-mates look down after the late leveller.

“But we have to dust ourselves down and we have some big games coming up, where we have to go for the three points.”

United now travel to London to play Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Thursday night. A place in the top four remains in our hands with games to follow afterwards against West Ham United and Leicester City.

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