Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has said the ‘hunger and attitude’ on show from his players was the best thing about Tuesday’s 9-0 annihilation of Southampton.
An already inexperienced Saints side was reduced to ten men almost immediately when teenage midfielder Alexandre Jankewitz was shown a red card for a dreadful high challenge on Scott McTominay 79 seconds after kick-off and United took full advantage.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka was the unlikely first goalscorer 18 minutes in, converting Luke Shaw’s deep cross, with Marcus Rashford, Edinson Cavani, Anthony Martial, McTominay, Bruno Fernandes and Daniel James getting in on the act. Southampton defender Jan Bednarek also turned the ball into his own net in the first half and was later sent off in the closing stages.
Tonight was Alex Jankewitz's first Premier League start.
— 90min (@90min_Football) February 2, 2021
The win equals the Premier League record for the biggest ever win, set by United themselves in 1995 in an iconic thrashing of Ipswich, and later matched by Leicester in a similar game against Southampton in 2019 – they had Ryan Bertrand sent off after 12 minutes in that one.
“Best thing about tonight was the hunger and attitude to do the right things,” Solskjaer told journalists after the final whistle. “That is the only way we can improve and get better. We want to be unpredictable. The freedom, creativity and imagination was there.”
He had also told BBC Sport: “When they had a man sent off it was up to us to get the first goal.
“You have to take your chances in tight or open games – you never know what might be the deciding factor. We know, better than anyone, what goal difference can do to you because we have lost the league on goal difference.
“Confidence is one thing but it was about the mojo and spark, the X-factor.”