Ander Herrera produces important cameo for Manchester United against Southampton

by Leo Nieboer

Ander Herrera produced a vitally solid display in midfield from the bench as Manchester United held on for a 1-0 win against Southampton in the Premier League.

The visitors went ahead after 20 minutes from Romelu Lukaku’s strike – his eighth of the season – and largely dominated the first period.

But Southampton came out battling after half time and, with Man United losing control, Herrera was introduced to stem the tide.

And he put on a crucially solid performance in the middle, making six tackles to help United to their fifth Premier League win this season.

Herrera has been forced to fight for his place under Jose Mourinho for the first time in recent weeks. The boss recently admitted that Marouane Fellaini and Nemanja Matic were performing too well to be left out, giving the Spaniard limited time to assert himself on the pitch.

But Mourinho needed him in the second half at Saint Mary’s. The ball was going out wide with far too much ease and Mario Lemina was making dangerous inroads. Herrera’s tenacity and desire to cover every blade of grass was needed and he didn’t disappoint when called upon, harassing an increasingly tiring and frantic home side until the final whistle blew on yet another clean sheet for United.

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