Manchester United’s poor start to the season has continued at Old Trafford again this afternoon, as they failed to pick up a victory against Southampton at Old Trafford - despite taking a 1-0 lead.
Robin Van Persie struck for United, but in the end Southampton deserved to take something from the game - and did just that when Dejan Lovren, or Adam Lallana, scrambled the ball beyond David de Gea in the United goal to take a deserved point away from Old Trafford.
Southampton pressed high up the pitch, and the United defence looked rattled with the ball at feet - it was almost a carbon-copy of the game the two teams played against each other last year, accept this time United did not scrape a win.
Wayne Rooney had his moments in the game, but also struggled as the game went on.
The England international was at hand to put RVP through for his opener, and moments later he struck the woodwork with a blazing effort.
It may not have been his most magnificent performance, but he was necessary higher up the pitch, to ease the pressure Southampton enjoyed putting on United in their own third - and if he did come off, an attacking player needed to be introduced.
But with just three minutes remaining David Moyes made a change that left the Theatre of Dreams stunned - he took Rooney off for Chris Smalling.
Perhaps this was the type of change he would have made whilst Everton boss or perhaps he had one eye on the Champions League next week.
Either way it was an unpopular and potentially costly decision.
Two minutes later and Southampton levelled, Matt Le Tissier ran around the Sky studio, and Moyes’ poor start to United management continued.
The decision to take off a player who was playing well, and acting as a vital link between midfield and attack baffled the Old Trafford faithful, and those following the game on Twitter were just as irate.
And it wasn't the only criticism. The fans were also perturbed to see Ryan Guggs come on for Nani and
It did not make sense to force themselves further back against a team who love to press so far up the pitch. It simply left those up top isolated, and invited The Saints on to them - the end product of which was an equaliser.
It was another demonstration that at the moment Moyes does not have the right mind-set for this job. He still seems to be trying not to lose games, as he would with Everton, rather than trying to win them.
That needs to change, and change fast if he is to start winning games again with United.
And decisions like taking off Rooney for Smalling are the type of moments that United fans will lay down at his door and say, what were you thinking?
Here is some of the reaction from Twitter…
AF would not sub Rooney for a defender with only 1-0 lead. We are sending out the wrong message to teams. Attack!!!!!!!— Warren Hamlin (@HamlinWarren) October 19, 2013
Smalling on for Rooney ffs. Dumbest sub ever— Brian_Mufc (@x_Mufc_x) October 19, 2013
Still trying to understand smalling for rooney sub. Right after i attempt to understand giggs for nani.Moyes has given me a tough assignment— kenna © (@Kennagq) October 19, 2013
Such a bad sub!! Rooney for Smalling!! Leave them tactics at Everton— Limitless (@MaccaStayFresh) October 19, 2013
can moyes sub rooney please? keep losing the ball each time he got it. moyes needs some eyes rehabiltation— ~'#FreeShinji#'~ (@IMRicko) October 19, 2013
1st sub: Giggs for Nani, 2nd sub: Welbeck for Fellaini then final nail on the coffin Smalling for Rooney! Smh!!— Ijeoma Daniel-Usonwu (@quinnydreddiva) October 19, 2013
Alas,Giggs was selected,and if nani had to go out,whatever happened to zaha,if rooney was below par,whatever happened to kagawa or chicharit— Wizzy (@ayzii007) October 19, 2013
Taking off a striker for a defender? Not quite as negative as it sounds, with Jones moving to midfield. But Giggs for Nani was baffling.— Scott (@R_o_M) October 19, 2013
Moyes must take the blame today, shocking changes second half, Giggs and Smalling for Nani and Rooney, asking for trouble. #MUFC— KING CRAIG (@ItsHim_Stephens) October 19, 2013
image: © Jason Gulledge