Live Commentary: Southampton 2-3 Manchester United - as it happened

Robin Van Persie
© PA Photos
Sports Mole brings you live coverage of Sir Alex Ferguson's 1000th league game in charge of Manchester United as they face Southampton.

Good afternoon and welcome to Sports Mole's live coverage of this afternoon's Premier League game between Southampton and Manchester United.

The Saints have got off to a bad start in the top division, losing their opening two games against Manchester City and Wigan Athletic.

Meanwhile, United suffered a shock loss to Everton in their first game, but recovered to beat Fulham last weekend.

The match is a milestone one for United boss Sir Alex Ferguson, who will take charge of the Red Devils in a league match for the 1000th time.

You can see full team news for both sides here.

Please note that kickoff is at 4pm.


6pmRight, that's it from me here. It has been a superb match, fitting of Fergie's 1000th, as Van Persie first hattrick for United breaks the hearts of Southampton fans. Thanks for joining, and stay stuned to Sports Mole for analysis, reaction and news from today's match.

5.59pmYou can read a full match report from the thrilling game at St. Mary's already! Here it is!

5.58pmDon't forget that Van Persie also missed a penalty by trying the Panenka past Davis. He could have had four!

5.55pmThere you have it, league win 599 in his 1000th match in charge for Ferguson, and it was as dramatic as any of them. A hattrick from Van Persie completed a phenomenal comeback for United after it looked as though Southampton may get a shock victory in the closing stages. Southampton still the only team yet to record a point this season following Aston Villa's 1-1 draw with Newcastle.

90+4 minFULL-TIME Southampton 2-3 Manchester United

90+3 minOne minute left for Southampton to get a goal back, can they do it?

90+1 minThey can. Robin van Persie completes his hattrick and completes the comeback for United. They always do. The Dutchman was unmarked from the corner, and made no mistake with his header.

90+1 minGOAL! Robin van Persie

90 minCorner for United...surely not?

89 minThey always find a way, don't they? Back level to 2-2.

87 minRafael's cross is met by Rio Ferdinand, and his header deflects through and comes back off the post. The balls falls to Van Persie - probably the man Southampton least wanted it to - and he taps into the empty net from six yards.

87 minGOAL! Robin van Persie

86 minCHANCE! Hernandez is almost in as he weaves his way between two defenders in the box, only to be denied by the fantastic challenge by Clyne.

85 minUnited are pushing for an equaliser now, and a ball into the box is met by the head of Hernandez, but the Mexican's header goes some way wide.

84 minJust over five minutes of normal time left, and Southampton have been good value for their lead, but this is Manchester United - never count them out.

80 min...and Nani tries to play it back to Rafael on the volley. Comes to nothing, strange decision to waste a set piece like that.

80 minNani's cross is sliced over the Southampton crossbar for a corner...

78 minSUB Off goes Adam Lallana for Southampton's final sub, and on comes the club's former record signing Jay Rodriguez.

76 minMike Dean gets hit by a clearance from Southampton. There's something about the ref getting hit that unites every fan in the stadium.

74 minSUB Rickie Lambert also makes way after a great display, to be replaced by Guly do Prado.

73 minSUB Off goes Jason Puncheon for Emmanuel Mayuka, who gets a debut in English football.

70 minVan Persie tries to make up for his error, but can't find the target with his right-footed effort.

68 minKelvin Davis redeems himself. Time to tell, the full story: Davis initially put his side in trouble with another poor kick, and Nani advanced before playing the ball to Van Persie, who is felled by a lunge from Hooiveld. The Dutchman then tries to delicately dink the ball over Davis, but the keeper bats it away. Poor pen from Van Persie.

68 minSAVED!

67 minPENALTY TO UNITED!

66 minCHANCE! Lambert answers the cries by racing through behind the United defence, before trying to find a teammate at the back post, but it was just cut out.

65 minThe crowd sing "Lambert for England" with Roy Hodgson in the stands.

63 minEvra makes a fine block from Lallana as he was just about to pull the trigger following more good play by Lambert. Southampton have been really impressive so far.

61 minCHANCE! And Scholes almost makes an immediate impact, sending Van Persie through, but his shot is well saved by Davis.

61 minSUBS: Scholes and Nani come on for United.

59 minIt's all Southampton at the moment as Lallana gets into a good position on the edge of his box, but his shot trickles through to Lindegaard.

58 minDavis floats another cross to the back post, but this time Rafael wins the header against Lambert at the back post. Important one to win too.

57 minCHANCE! Puncheon comes very close to adding a third for Southampton! A weaving run turns Evra inside out and he fires a powerful drive towards the near post, but Lindegaard beats it away.

55 minUnbelievable! Southampton have retaken the lead! A mirror image of Lambert's goal, but this time the cross comes from the other wide and Schneiderlin heads home following Evra's slip. 2-1 to the Saints!

55 minGOAL! Morgan Schneiderlin

53 minCHANCE! Awful pass by Kelvin Davis almost hands United an equaliser as his pass is intercepted by Valencia, who squares it who Van Persie. The striker, however, completely misjudges and hits it wide.

50 minPuncheon uses the full back as a decoy runner, cutting inside before his shot was blocked. Southampton have made a good start to this half!

48 minCHANCE! Kagawa advances after being fed by Van Persie, but his shot from the edge of the box flies just wide.

46 minAnother angled pass to Lambert, who peels off against Rafael once more. He chests it down but it is eventually cleared. Another sign of him winning the aerial battle, though.

5.04pmSouthampton get us back underway here!

5.03pmTwo trademark strikes from both sides's number one strikers give us our 1-1 scoreline here.

5pmIt will be interesting to see how this second half pans out. I'm still backing United, but Southampton looked capable of an upset at times during that first half.

4.54pmHow would you like a nice summary of that half? Well, here's one anyway.

4.54pmHow would you like a nice summary of that half? Well, here's one anyway.

4.52pmHow will Fergie feel at half time of his 1000th league game in charge? He won't be ringing the changes just yet, but he will be disappointed that his side have failed to control Southampton better.

4.50pmAn exciting half at times, and Southampton have certainly held their own against the might of United. Lambert's header gave them the lead, but it was short lived as Van Persie got his new side back on level terms.

45+1 minHALF-TIME Southampton 1-1 Manchester United

45 minMeanwhile, another Carrick ball over the top almost finds Van Persie, but he can't bring it under his spell. Would have been very special if he could have.

45 minJust the one minute of added time.

42 minThat cross is too much for Van Persie, he can't control it. Useless, that man.

36 minCHANCE! A long ball to the back post by Antonio Valencia finds Patrice Evra unmarked at the back post, but the left back's header is straight at the ground.

36 minThe Saints are enjoying this occasion! No real chances since their goal, but a number of reasons to be optimistic. Lambert's strength is proving to be a problem for United.

33 minAnother shot on goal from Southampton, but again it lacks power. Still, it has Lindegaard scrambling across goal just to make sure.

32 minLambert is having joy in the air so far today despite being against Vidic and Ferdinand.

31 minWard-Prowse comes forward for the hosts, exchanging passes with Davis before firing a tame shot wide.

28 minFree kick to United in a good position, but Van Persie will be disappointed with his effort as his shot is off target.

27 minVan Persie shapes to curl his effort into the top corner, but gets his angles wrong and his effort goes over the bar.

24 minRickie Lambert almost puts his side back ahead with a half volley from the edge of the box but his effort goes just wide. It had Lindegaard worried!

22 minTwo goals in two starts for United for Van Persie, and it's that deadly left foot again. A high cross towards the back post found the Dutchman after Clyne slipped, and he chested it down before nestling it into the Southampton goal.

22 minGOAL! Robin van Persie

21 minElsewhere, you may be interested to hear that Aston Villa, like Southampton without a win so far, have taken the lead against Newcastle.

19 minKagawa tries to get his side back level, but his 25 yard effort is parried for a corner by Kelvin Davis.

15 minSouthampton take the lead! Kagawa is dispossessed the ball eventually falls to Puncheon, who hangs his cross up to the back post, where Lambert is there to meet it and header home. The home fans (and every neutral in the country) go wild!

15 minSouthampton take the lead! Kagawa is dispossessed the ball eventually falls to Puncheon, who hangs his cross up to the back post, where Lambert is there to meet it and header home. The home fans (and every neutral in the country) go wild!

15 minGOAL! Rickie Lambert

14 minSchneiderlin swings his left boot at the ball and it goes high and wide. Poor shot but Southampton have settled into this match nicely.

13 minCHANCE! Straight from the training ground, Southampton pile all their men onto the line for the corner, and Lallana peels round the back but misses the ball.

10 minThe Saints are starting to see more of the ball now and Puncheon's cross finds Lambert, but his header loops harmlessly into the arms of Lindegaard.

8 minRickie Lambert makes a nuisance of himself upfront, but Ferdinand deals with it well.

5 minThe first sight of goal for United and it's a half chance for a player of Van Persie's quality. A long ball from Carrick is chested down by the Dutchman and volleyed wide. A hint of his old partnership with Alex Song there.

2 minPoor free kick from Van Persie and Rafael's shot from the clearance is also blocked.

1 min...the corner is cleared but United launch another attack, and Rafael is fouled for a free kick in a dangerous position.

1 minIt's a corner to United as Valencia's cross is blocked...

1 minUnited take control of the ball early on, Southampton yet to touch it.

0 minUnited get us underway.

3.59pmWorth noting that Ferdinand and Vidic start together again today. It's been a while.

3.58pmThe two teams come out of the tunnel. Southampton have a good record against United at home in the league, but most of those matches came at the intimidating Dell.

3.56pmCity won yesterday, you'll remember, and you can be sure that United will have that in the back of their minds even at this earlier stage of the season.

3.50pm10 inutes until kickoff, and you know what that means: Prediction time! I haven't got a single one right yet, but usually get the number of goals right. Every cloud. Anyway, my prediction for this one is 1-2.

3.49pmNew Southampton record signing Gaston Ramirez is being paraded in front of the fans. Big signing for the Saints, him.

3.46pmSome stats for you on Ferguson's 999 league games so far: 598 wins, 233 draws, 168 losses, 1,863 goals scored and 663 conceded. Some record.

3.45pmThere will be no David de Gea in today's starting lineup, he has been replaced by Andy Lindegaard. You can read full team news here.

3.42pmOn the milestone, Fergie tells Sky Sports: I only learned [about the 1000th match] the other day, it's amazing isn't it. It's been a fantastic period and a fantastic experience at being at a club for a long time.

3.40pmA sub note for the greatest manager of all time today as well - 1000 league games as manager.

3.40pmAlready today we've seen Arsenal beat Liverpool 2-0 at Anfield. You can read a full report of that match here.

3.38pmGood afternoon! We're all set for Southampton vs Man United here as the hosts look for their first league points of the season.


Robin Van Persie
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