Red Devils end away hell with Saints victory
Manchester United edged a tight contest at Saint Mary’s, overcoming Southampton 1-0 to claim back-to-back Premier League (PL) wins for the first time since February. Defeat means the Saints are now 10 PL games without a clean sheet.
Each side came into this fixture with their tails up, having recorded their first league victories of the season last time out. Southampton looked to capitalise on this fledgling momentum, imposing themselves on the game with several inviting crosses throughout the first half. Armel Bella-Kotchap was presented with the Saints’ best chance of the half, but could only blaze over on the stretch after the ball dropped to him from a corner. Despite a confident showing from the hosts, Manchester United fans would have been the more aggrieved not to be ahead after a series of incredible blocks denied successive shots from Anthony Elanga, Bruno Fernandes, and Christian Eriksen.
Undeterred by the Saints’ attacking conviction, United pressed for an opener as they looked to change the tide of the match. With the hour mark approaching, Diogo Dalot picked out an unmarked Fernandes on the edge of the box, who confidently cushioned his volley beyond Gavin Bazunu to put United ahead. Ralph Hasenhüttl’s side responded well to going behind, coming close to an equaliser from Joe Aribo’s header, but David de Gea was able to palm the effort away. As time ticked away, the hosts pressed for an elusive goal, but a stoppage-time acrobatic bicycle kick from Sékou Mara was as close as they came.
Despite a solid performance, Southampton are ultimately left empty-handed, conceding a club record-extending 99th PL goal to Manchester United in the process. Meanwhile, the Red Devils gladly end a horrific streak of seven consecutive PL defeats on the road – their worst away league run since 1936.