Southampton were looking to make an impression in front of their own fans on Sunday but faced a tough challenge in the form of a Manchester United side full of confidence.
A quick start from United saw them almost take the lead after a goalmouth scramble from a set-piece, but it was Saints who would hold the lead going into half-time.
Taking advantage of a slack period of play from the visitors to St Mary’s, Jack Stephens won the possession high up the pitch by muscling Bruno Fernandes off the ball and snapped a pass into Moussa Djenepo in a central position.
The Malian combined with Adam Armstrong who flicked onto Che Adams, and the striker shifted the ball onto his left foot before firing a low shot into the net via a big deflection off of United midfielder Fred.
Southampton take a while to get going but press well when it matters
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Things looked fairly ominous early on as United knocked on the door but Saints eventually grew in confidence and it was their pressing that created their first goal and, indeed, got their home support off their seats for the first time.
The 10-minute spell before the goal saw them gain some sort of control and force United into a few mistakes. Free-kicks were won around the opposition penalty area and Adam Armstrong had a good opportunity to place a shot from the edge of the box.
But then came the opening goal. Saints were alert as United became slack for a moment that turned out to be crucial, making the most of a lack of physicality from Bruno Fernandes and the general uncertainty of what their pressing had caused.
Ultimately, their fight saw them battle a United side full of stars for 90 minutes and they were well worth their point come the final whistle.