Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was pleased by his players’ ruthlessness and insisted they “played the game properly” as Manchester United sent nine-man Southampton home with a 9-0 loss.
A night that began with Alexandre Jankewitz being sent off within 90 seconds of his first Saints start ended with the Old Trafford giants equalling their Premier League record win against Ipswich in 1995.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Marcus Rashford got the ball rolling, with Jan Bednarek scoring an own goal before Edinson Cavani grabbed a fourth in a one-sided first half.
Southampton kept the hosts at bay until quickfire Anthony Martial and Scott McTominay goals, with things unravelling after referee Mike Dean surprisingly sent off Bednarek having reviewed his challenge on Martial.
Bruno Fernandes scored the resulting spot-kick, before Martial and fellow substitute Daniel James wrapped up a 9-0 thrashing against Southampton, who lost by the same scoreline to Leicester in October 2019.
“I thought they played the game properly because we had to,” Solskjaer said of his side.
“Sometimes when you play against 10 men they sit behind the ball, make it hard for you, break on you.
“We played the game properly, we switched it from side to side, threatening in behind, some good individual movement and crosses. We played it the way we had to.
“It came from them. They drove it on, the players out there. Harry (Maguire), Victor (Lindelof), David (De Gea), the ones at the back played the ball quickly.
“Scott played the ball quickly so we got into their half and last third and they wanted more and more.
“So, when you play football you have to make the most of it, it might be the last game you play, you never know. So, we played like it could’ve been the last game.”
There was no arguing with Jankewitz’s red card but Solskjaer says Bednarek should not have been sent off for his challenge, which came at a time when injury-ravaged Southampton were already losing 6-0.
That second red card was the catalyst to a spectacular collapse that leaves Hasenhuttl picking up the pieces after the second 9-0 defeat of his tenure.
“We lost again in a horrible way,” the Saints boss said. “The same story, one man down after – this time was after two minutes.
“Then 90 minutes can be long in the Premier League. I couldn’t help them from outside because I had no alternatives, I had no (experienced) players on the bench.
“No alternatives in the defence to defend better. A little bit helpless.
“But in the end it’s a little bit different situation to the first time because we’ve played a good season so far and we are in a position in the table where we haven’t been for a long time.”
Hasenhuttl says teenager Jankewitz “knows he made a big mistake” after the gutting defeat.
“We don’t need this result to know what we have to do better,” the Southampton boss added.
“This time it’s a completely different situation, not that it hurts less. The opposite. It hurts even more when you get this result again.
“But, I mean, the team is a different one now and it’s the reason why we’ve played a good season so far, so let’s see how the season ends. Better than the past, I think.”