Manchester United striker Edinson Cavani was the hero of the hour as the Red Devils beat Southampton 3-2 on Sunday. Cavani assisted Bruno Fernandes’ goal and scored two late headers of his own to complete a stunning comeback for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side at St Mary’s. And the Uruguayan has matched a United record set by his manager in the process.
According to Opta, Cavani has become just the second player in Premier League history for United to be directly involved in three or more goals as a substitute.
Solskjaer was the only other player to do that, scoring four against Nottingham Forest in early 1999.
The afternoon did not start well for United or Cavani on the south coast.
Goals from Jan Bednarek and James Ward-Prowse put Southampton 2-0 up at half time.
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Cavani was brought on by Solskjaer at half time but was not ready to take to the field upon the resumption of play.
The 33-year-old did not have the correct boots and had to ask a member of the United backroom staff to collect the right ones from the dressing room.
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United legend Roy Keane criticised Cavani after the match but said the forward made up for it with his match-winning performance.
“Yeah he was obviously slow getting onto the pitch with them boots,” Keane said on Sky Sports.
“Just as well he did score because how the guy is not prepared and ready to go on, it’s mind boggling.
“Obviously he didn’t need the boots in the end, scored with two headers, but a great contribution when he came on.
“Obviously he still has that quality and that hunger and desire.”
Keane says Cavani is going some way to proving his doubters wrong following his summer arrival.
“I think it was always a gamble when he came to the club,” Keane added.
“People doubted why he didn’t have a club, did he have the hunger, the desire? And we’ve seen it there.
“We’ve seen clips of him in some other games and you think: ‘Has he still got it?’. And we’ve seen proof of it today.
“He could turn out to be a huge signing for United. It was a bit of a gamble really but obviously worked out well today.”
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