Former Blackburn Rovers and Celtic forward Chris Sutton has backed Manchester United to respond to their historic defeat against Liverpool with a 3-0 win over Southampton this weekend.

Manchester United endured their heaviest defeat in 92 years when Liverpool picked up a 7-0 win over them at Anfield on 5 March. Surprisingly, six of Liverpool’s seven goals came in a blistering second half.

The Red Devils, however, have seemingly recovered from their loss, with them bagging a 4-1 win over Real Betis in the first leg of their Europa League Round-of-16 clash on Thursday (9 March).

Sutton believes Manchester United will play with some anger against Southampton, which will help them return to winning ways in the Premier League. Predicting the tie’s outcome, Sutton wrote in his BBC column:

“Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford insists his side didn’t give up when they were getting hammered by Liverpool, but their second-half performance at Anfield was not a good look.

“As bad a day as it was for United – it was embarrassing for anyone who played, and they will keep being reminded of it for many years to come – some of the fall-out from that game has been over the top.”

Sutton continued:

“To suggest United’s season is going to crumble now is just silly when you consider the run they were on beforehand, and the way they were getting those results. We’ve seen their players have got a bit about them already. Yes, they need to respond, but I think that is exactly what will happen.

“Southampton got an important win over Leicester last time out and this will not be a stroll for Erik ten Hag’s side but I suspect United will play with some anger in this game. Because of that, I think they will win.”

Sutton’s prediction: 3-0 for United

Manchester United have an excellent head-to-head record against Southampton at Old Trafford. In 53 games played across competitions, the Red Devils have bagged 35 wins while losing on only nine occasions. They have scored 108 goals against the Saints while conceding 57.

Bruno Fernandes shines in Manchester United’s emphatic win over Real Betis

Captain Bruno Fernandes was heavily criticized for his body language in the defeat against Liverpool. Former Manchester United defender Paul Parker even urged Erik ten Hag to take the armband away from him, claiming he did not possess leadership qualities.

Fernandes responded to criticism on the pitch on Thursday night, dropping a masterclass as the Mancunians cruised to a 4-1 win over Real Betis in the Europa League last 16. The Portugal star first found Antony in space on the right flank in the 52nd minute. The Brazilian came inside and found the back of the net with a fierce left-footed strike.

The provider turned scorer in the 58th minute, superbly heading in Luke Shaw’s perfect corner kick delivery at the front post. The two goal involvements aside, Fernandes played five key passes, created two big chances, completed three dribbles, and won seven duels.