Same story, same ending, different scorer, different opponent. Manchester United’s love for late goals and late winners continue as their new hit-man Robin Van Persie scores a hat-trick and makes it a perfect result for Alex Ferguson’s 1000th game in charge as the club manager.
Pre game :
Heading into the game, much of the talk was about Ferguson’s 1000th game as Manchester United’s manager. The decision to play Anders Lindegaard instead of regular number one goalkeeper David de Gea was also a talking point.
Rio Ferdinand was also a notable inclusion as he made his first appearance of the season, partnering Nemanja Vidic.
United made it difficult for the Saints to settle into the game.The hosts soon steadied the ship and starting playing some good football in the final third. They took a surprise lead when Jason Puncheon’s cross found Rickie Lambert at the back post, and he headed home for 1-0.
Antonio Valencia whipped in an invited ball to Van Persie, who took the ball on his chest and hit the back of the net with a half-volley.
Second Half :
United started the second-half brightly and almost edged their noses in front on 49 minutes when Kagawa latched onto a deft Van Persie chip, but shot wide.
More drama ensued when Jos Hooiveld brought down the Dutchman in the area following a poor clearance by Davis. The forward stepped up to take that kick himself, but his cheeky effort was poor and failed to trouble the Saints keeper.
The striker went on to redeem himself, but he left it late. Rio Ferdinand’s 88th-minute header came back off the post, and Van Persie pounced to bundle the ball over the line for the equaliser.
United thought they had rescued a point, but it turned out to be more than that. A superb stoppage-time goal from Van Persie off a corner broke Southampton hearts and secured all three points for the Red Devils.