Southampton 1 United 1
Daniel James got himself on the scoresheet for the third time in four matches, but the day ended in frustrating fashion as Manchester United were forced to settle for a 1-1 draw by 10-man Southampton on Saturday lunchtime.
James opened the scoring after 10 minutes with a sublime effort which flew past Saints goalkeeper Angus Gunn. Jannik Vestegaard equalised just before the hour-mark and despite Kevin Danso seeing red for a second bookable offence with just under 20 minutes remaining, the Reds couldn’t find a winner despite a raft of late chances.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was forced to make changes from the side who faced Crystal Palace last weekend, with Luke Shaw and Anthony Martial injured for the trip to the south coast. Ashley Young and Juan Mata were their replacements, the experienced duo making their first league starts of the season and Andreas Periera came in for Jesse Lingard.
The hosts threatened early on, putting pressure on centre-backs Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire at every opportunity but it was the Reds who took an early lead.
Scott McTominay did well to not only maintain possession in the middle but to find James in space on the left with an excellent pass. The Wales international cut inside, having used Mata’s clever overlapping run as a decoy, and thundered a fierce shot beyond Angus Gunn to score his third league goal in four appearances.
James was a constant threat throughout the first half, with every United attack seemingly involving the 21-year-old. Just minutes after his opening strike, he found himself in an almost identical position but unfortunately couldn’t re-enact the finish, scuffing his effort along the ground. He did test Gunn again though with another well-struck shot from just outside the penalty area forcing the Saints goalkeeper to punch clear.
Ralph Hasenhüttl’s side ended the half much as they had started it - on the front foot. Danny Ings’ volley dropped wide thankfully and McTominay did well to block a Sofiane Boufal effort from 20 yards out as United kept the home side at bay, going into the break a goal to the good.
Southampton picked up where they left off at the restart and after Lindelof had lost possession on the half-way line Boufal found Che Adams in space in the area but he sliced wide from 10 yards out when he really should have hit the target.
It took until just before the hour-mark for David De Gea to be tested, the Spaniard saving well from a near-post header from Saints’ first corner of the match. But seconds later Vestegaard nodded home from Boufal’s cross to level for the home side.
With 17 minutes left to play, Danso received his marching orders from referee Mike Dean - a second bookable offence for a late tackle on McTominay after a shirt pull on Pereira in the first half. That halted Saints’ momentum, and with Hasenhüttl sacrificing striker Ings for defender Maya Yoshida, the home side looked like they were happy to settle for a point.
James, a constant threat throughout the afternoon, had three opportunities in as many minutes as the clock ticked down, stinging the palms of Gunn before skewing a volley back out to Aaron Wan-Bissaka on the opposite side and then failing to connect with a cross to him at the back post.
The Reds continued to pile on the pressure as Rashford saw his low shot kept out and substitute Mason Greenwood saw his excellent curling effort kept out by Gunn ensuring the points were shared.
Southampton: Gunn, Cedric, Vestergaard, Bednarek, Danso, Højbjerg, Romeu, Ward-Prowse, Boufal (Armstrong 71), Adams (Long 62), Ings (Yoshida 77’).
Subs not used: McCarthy, Stephens, Valery, N’Lundulu.
Booked: Danso, Armstrong
Sent off: Danso
Scorer: Vestegaard 58
United: De Gea; Young, Lindelof, Maguire, Wan-Bissaka; Pogba, McTominay (Greenwood 82’), Andreas (Lingard 68’); James, Mata (Matic 68’), Rashford.
Subs not used: Romero, Rojo, Tuanzebe, Chong.
Booked: Maguire, Young
Scorer: James 10
Referee: Mike Dean
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