After an opening day flurry of goals in their five-star performance against newly promoted side Norwich last weekend, Manchester United returned to the reality of the English Premier League by dropping points after Southampton held them to a 1-1 draw at Saint Mary’s Park on Sunday.
Following from yesterday’s tie between Manchester City and Norwich where the Canaries keeper Tim Krul became the first to register an own goal in the EPL, United’s Fred entered his name into the unenviable register as the first infield player to score against his side as he deflected Che Adam’s strike in for the opener.
It was a goal that came against the run of play as the lively Red Devils were in control of the game for extended periods in the time before and after the goal. However, their prospering spell of possession and chances came to nothing before the halftime interval.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s charges kept up the pressure in the second half and, as he did on Matchday one, Paul Pogba was dictating the creative play from midfield. It was a moment of magic from the Frenchman 10 minutes into the second period that led to the leveller.
Pogba brilliantly carved a path the Saints’ defence through into the box and after a swift one-two with midfield talisman Bruno Fernandes, laid it to the feet of Mason Greenwood who revived United’s comeback chances by slotting it past Alex McCarthy in the Southampton goal.
The lesson from their capitulation under pressure against Everton was all Southampton needed to lock up their defence and not give in to the repeated attempts by the Red Devils to add to the scoreline at different times in the latter stages of the fixture.
Even Solskjaer’s introduction of Scott McTominay, Jadon Sancho and Jesse Lingard did not get them the extra goal they were searching for to follow up their big open day victory and snatch a late victory at St Mary’s.
It ended as a draw, giving Southampton their first point of the season but more significantly sending United into the record books. With a 27-match unbeaten streak, they equalled the longest away unbeaten team record in English top-flight history, set by the Arsenal invincibles in 2004, 17 years ago.