the inside of an upright from a tight angle.
Southampton continued to contribute during an even opening period and Gaston Ramirez smashed a free-kick over the bar as Mauricio Pochettino's new side displayed plenty of confidence and ambition. Yet United carried the greater threat with Robin van Persie cutting inside to prompt the usual buzz of anticipation around the ground before seeing his shot deflect off target.
A dangerous cross by Rooney found its way through to Boruc, who scrambled clear, despite Kagawa and Danny Welbeck looking to pounce, and the Reds moved in front in the 27th minute. Van Persie floated a free-kick to the far post where Patrice Evra's diving header back across goal allowed Rooney to tap in from close range.
Evra and van Persie both fired wastefully wide from similar positions as Sir Alex's side hit top gear, cutting the Saints open with some outstanding moves. Welbeck was the central figure in supplying Evra's opening while Kagawa profited from a gem of a pass by Rooney to release van Persie, who was uncharacteristically profligate when presented with a sight on Boruc's goal.
The hosts continued to press before the break but Boruc kept out Welbeck after the England international expertly controlled a van Persie pass and let fly with his left foot. However, the match turned in the Saints' favour at the start of the second half when they noticeably upped