Gavin Bazunu sparked a standing ovation against Manchester United
"How on earth did Manchester United not score?!"
Gavin Bazunu and two of his Southampton teammates inspired a standing ovation from the home crowd after an incredible, frantic spell of defending and shot-stopping against Manchester United.
In all their years in the Premier League, Southampton had conceded more goals (98) to United than from any other side. Despite the club's historic struggles against United, the current crop are nothing to be emphatically feared.
Bruno Fernandes tried to catch the 20-year-old Bazunu, early on, with a speculative shot from long range as he spotted Bazunu outside his box. The effort dropped short, though, and Bazunu easily pouched it. Soon after, Diogo Dalot chipped over Bazunu but had too much on his cross and it sailed over Fernandes, on the back post, too.
On 18 minutes, Bazunu made a miraculous save to deny United a certain goal after Fernandes had a header blocked inside the six-yard box.
The ball dropped to Anthony Elanga, but Bazunu was quickly over to keep out his low effort. Fernandes was blocked again before Christian Eriksen was denied by a combination of Bazunu and Armel Bella-Kotchap. The blocks and saves were so good that Saints fans rose to acclaim the players as United had to settle for a corner.
"How on earth did Manchester United not score?!" 🤯
Gavin Bazunu and his Saints teammates pulling off miracles pic.twitter.com/t3Y0jqGQH0
— SportsJOE (@SportsJOEdotie) August 27, 2022
Bruno Fernandes denies Gavin Bazunu clean sheet
After that scare, Southampton got a handle on the game and created a couple of decent chances for Che Adams, but he blazed them both off target. Bazunu was not called on to make any more saves in the first half, even when United got a free-kick from 23 yards out. The Saints wall did its' job and it was scoreless at the break.
Erik ten Hag stuck with his starting XI for the first burst of the second half, and his faith in those players was rewarded, on 55 minutes, when Diogo Dalot picked out Fernandes at the edge of the box. The United captain finished crisply and, with the ball placed in the bottom corner at pace, Bazunu had no chance.
Outstanding finish! 🎯
Bruno Fernandes finds the back of the Southampton net with a first-time finish ✅ pic.twitter.com/P9oCDRLaOA
— Football on TNT Sports (@footballontnt) August 27, 2022
That Fernandes goal was enough to secure a Manchester United victory, and Gavin Bazunu was left playing long punts up the field as Saints chased an equaliser.
Following the game, Southampton boss Ralph Hassenhutl was at a loss to say how his said had not claimed at least a point. "I have no fear about this team," he told BT Sport. "They show every week that they fight for this team, and their targets."
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