LVG preferred to maintain his convectional 3 - 5- 2 formation instead of the familiar 4 - 4- 2 which United have been accustomed to during the reign of Legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson who was there at the stadium as Southampton leapfrogged united to occupy the 3rd spot thanks to a 69th minute strike from Tadic after a Graziano Pelle strike hit the post and Blackett inability to clear the line.
Di maria did look sharp at the start of the game but by the second half he was a ghost figure on the pitch. As at the last quarter of the game none of the two preferred strikers were left on the pitch and united weren't able to manage a single shot on target.
Considerably right there was no way he could play Rafael because of his cheek bone injury but he could as well played Valencia as a right back even though he LVG always insist that Valencia and Young are not right backs, but every United fan will remember clearly that Valencia has been playing that role under the previous two managers.
If the fear of dropping Wayne Rooney was his excuse, he could have simply played Rooney upfront alongside Robin Van persie while Di maria plays from the left or right flank while Danny Blind and Micheal Carrick play in the central midfield position, while Luke Shaw, Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and Valencia form the back four in a 4-4-2 formation.
Another notable wrong decision of LVG was playing both Luke Shaw and Danny Blind on the wing back and left back respectively.This decision crippled United as Danny Blind wasn't able to have an influence on the game from that position as he would if he was played in the center along side Micheal Carrick and United were left with the option of trying to cross the ball into the Southampton 18 yard at any slightest opportunity. Just as they did last season against Fulham were they recorded a total of 71 crosses the highest for any team since the inception of the Barclays premier league.
Man United may have wasted a lot of chances or better still were unlucky as Juan Mata missed series of chances but to be fair they did not play well enough to win the match and it was evident in the inability to record a single shot on target.
Many may claim that united lost the game because most of its players were just returning from injury but I am of the opinion that LVG and his coaching staff made the game difficult for themselves by making too many wrong decisions which also included the substitutions they made.
Manchester United may seem to have an easy run of games coming up in the next few weeks but if Louis Van Gaal and his managerial team get it all wrong just as they have done today, they may just produce the same kind of result they did at the beginning of the season where they kicked off with a home defeat to Swansea City.