Manchester United 2-2 Southampton: Saints fight til the end to claim point

Southampton fought until the end at Old Trafford on Monday to draw 2-2 and claim a deserved point against Manchester United.

Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side went ahead early on through Stuart Armstrong, but two quickfire goals from Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial saw the hosts go ahead at half-time.

With the scoreline the same until late on though, Saints sensed their chance and got their leveller when Michael Obafemi bundles home from a corner in the sixth minute of stoppage-time.

Saints controlled the opening stages of the contest and looked to be able to attack at will.

They kept possession well early on, but carelessness from James Ward-Prowse almost gifted United an opener and forced Alex McCarthy into making a good save to deny Anthony Martial.

Stuart Armstrong of Southampton (L) celebrates (Photo by Dave Thompson/Pool via Getty Images)

The visitors to Old Trafford did not seem fazed though, continued to graft in attack and eventually got their reward after 15 minutes.

As so many teams have recently, United looked troubled by Saints’ pressing. Danny Ings stole the ball off of Paul Pogba, who had switched off momentarily, and then found Nathan Redmond breaking into the box. His dinked cross to the back post found Armstrong in the perfect position to control well and side-foot a volley into the far corner of David De Gea’s net.

This seemed to produce a reaction from the home side though and Saints found themselves 2-1 behind after 23 minutes.

The equaliser should have been dealt with better by the Saints defence as a hopeful cross from Pogba found Anthony Martial, who then took advantage of players rushing to the ball to set up Marcus Rashford for a calm finish.

With almost the next attack, a few passes saw most players caught ahead of the ball as Martial received play on the left and the Frenchman found space and time to cut inside and rifle a shot inside the near post.

With United now looking threatening every time they ventured forward, Saints held on until half-time and kept the deficit to just one goal – something that would be so vital come the end of the game.

The next goal would be crucial one for the side that got it, and both teams went close to claiming it as the second period went on.

Marcus Rashford very nearly got United’s third on two occasions. One long-range strike skidded into the side-netting with Alex McCarthy worried, whilst a move all of his own making only saw him denied at close-range by Ryan Bertrand’s block.

Saints sensed their chance to secure an 11th point since the Premier League’s restart though. Kyle Walker-Peters’ low cross flashed right across goal with his teammates on their heels, and then Nathan Redmond drove into the box to force a flying save from David De Gea in a late spell of pressure.

Michael Obafemi was thrown on in the latter stages to try and steal that late equaliser that had eluded Saints whilst United had to play the last few minutes with 10 men after Brandon Williams was forced off – a situation that the visitors looked to take advantage of with a few late corners.

Despite Saints not being a tall team, they did make one of James Ward-Prowse’s deliveries count as Obafemi turned goal poacher supreme.

A curled ball into the near post area found he head of Jan Bednarek and he flicked across goal – taking defenders and David De Gea out of the game and allowing Obafemi to turn home on the goal line.

The 2-2 result could have serious implications for United’s Champions League qualification hopes but also shows just how far Saints have come since the season restart.

Manchester United line-up

De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw (Williams 75), Matic, Pogba (Fred 63), Greenwood (James 84), Rashford, Fernandes (McTominay 84), Martial

Subs not used: Romero, Bailly, Pereira, Mata, Ighalo

Saints line-up

McCarthy, Walker-Peters, Stephens, Bednarek, Bertrand, Romeu (Obafemi 87), Ward-Prowse, Armstrong (Smallbone 69), Redmond, Ings, Adams (Long 64)

Subs not used: Gunn, Vestergaard, Danso, Hojbjerg, Vokins, Ferry