Manchester United are back to winning ways, but they made it difficult for themselves in Southampton on Saturday.
Bruno Fernandes' tidy finish on 55 minutes was the only goal of the game, and sealed back-to-back Premier League wins for United for the first time since February.
United were somewhat lucky, however, as Southampton were the better side for large portions of the game, and United made very few chances after Fernandes' goal.
After the win over Southampton, the BT panel discussed United's performance. Club legend Paul Scholes felt that Erik Ten Hag's side missed the influence of Cristiano Ronaldo up front, saying their play would have been better balanced with the benched Portuguese striker up front.
Southampton v Manchester United
Southampton will feel unlucky to have come out on the losing side against Manchester United on Saturday afternoon.
Though vastly improved from their opening losses to Brighton and Brentford, United were less than inspiring on the south coast, and it took a moment of brilliance from Bruno Fernandes to seal a nervy 1-0 win.
Outstanding finish! 🎯
Bruno Fernandes finds the back of the Southampton net with a first-time finish ✅ pic.twitter.com/P9oCDRLaOA
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) August 27, 2022
That's now back-to-back wins for Manchester United in the Premier League, with victory over Southampton following their impressive win against Liverpool on Monday night.
They were far more impressive in that Liverpool win, though, and the BT panel acknowledged as much post-match.
The topic of discussion quickly turned to the potential departure of Cristiano Ronaldo from the club. For the second game in a row, the wantaway Portuguese forward started the game on the bench, though he seemed in good spirits pre-match.
Ronaldo's former United teammate Paul Scholes was part of the BT panel, and he said that United's performance at Southampton would have been much better if he had started up front.
I actually felt, watching the game today, that they needed Cristiano. I think he'd have been that focal point in the team, I think they really missed a focal point centrally.
Cristiano is more of a focal point now - when you get to 37 years of age, you're not going to go sprinting away from people, he isn't very good at holding the ball up...whereas Marcus [Rashford] is totally different.
There'll be different times when different players will be needed. I hope Cristiano doesn't go but, if he does go, I think they'll need a centre forward.
With only a matter of days left in the transfer window, it remains to be seen whether Cristiano Ronaldo will still be at Manchester United next season. He has been linked with moves away all summer, and his lack of game time at the start of the season will hardly have helped his attitude.
If Ronaldo does stay at Manchester United, he may have to get used to similar cameo appearances to that at Southampton on Saturday.