MX23RW : Friday, December 14 20:01:32
Dec 1, 2018 at 5.30pm UK at ​St Mary's Stadium
Southampton
2-2
Man UtdManchester United
Armstrong (13'), Soares (20')
FT(HT: 2-2)
Lukaku (33'), Herrera (39')

Result: Manchester United drop more points despite two-goal recovery at Southampton

Manchester United are held to a 2-2 draw by strugglers Southampton at St Mary's Stadium in a Premier League match that saw all four goals scored in the first half.

Manchester United recovered from two goals down at Southampton but were made to settle for a 2-2 draw in Saturday evening's Premier League clash at St Mary's Stadium.

Romelu Lukaku and Ander Herrera struck in the space of five first-half minutes for the Red Devils to cancel out goals from Stuart Armstrong and Cedric Soares.

The visitors, who fielded an unorthodox backline that included Nemanja Matic and Scott McTominay, offered little attacking threat in the second half as they dropped yet more points.

United have now gone three matches without a win in the top flight, leaving them outside the division's top six after playing a game more than the sides around them.

Ander Herrera is congratulated by his teammates after drawing Manchester United level against Southampton on December 1, 2018© Reuters

Southampton had gone nine league games without a win heading into this one, and their lack of confidence was clear to see from the off as Alex McCarthy's poor clearance gifted the visitors an early chance.

Marcus Rashford failed to pick out Herrera with his backheel, however, and the keeper recovered in time to block the shot from Lukaku when it eventually arrived.

It would be United's turn to fall apart 10 minutes later, as Armstrong fired across David de Gea once Michael Obafemi had prodded the ball through to him.

The Red Devils' evening went from bad to worse soon after as Soares guided a 25-yard free kick into the top corner of the net after Rashford brought down Mario Lemina.

Manchester United's players look dejected after conceding the opening goal to Southampton on December 1, 2018© Reuters

Having barely created anything from open play - McTominay's wayward header from Ashley Young's cross aside - United somehow found themselves on level terms at half time thanks to a couple of quickfire goals.

Lukaku ended his 12-match scoring drought in United colours by lifting the ball over McCarthy, before Herrera flicked it home at the end of a cutback from Rashford, who also played a key part in the opener.

Herrera had a powerful shot from range kept out by McCarthy but Southampton, who had won just one of the previous five league games that they led in this term, got in an attempt of their own through Nathan Redmond's free kick.

The home side held firm in a quiet opening 25 minutes of the second half, at which point substitute Manolo Gabbiadini and Lukaku exchanged shots, neither getting the better of the opposition keeper.

Cedric Soares celebrates Southampton's second goal against Manchester United with teammate Nathan Redmond© Reuters

Despite United needing a goal and not looking like scoring it, Jose Mourinho held off from making a change until the final quarter of the match, with Diogo Dalot coming on for his Premier League debut because of an injury to Luke Shaw.

After seeing another on-target shot come in from Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, which De Gea was equal to, Mourinho finally summoned Anthony Martial for Rashford and Jesse Lingard for Lukaku.

United have made a habit of snatching victories late on in games in recent weeks, but Redmond's powerful shot, forcing De Gea into the save of the match 10 minutes from time, was the closest either side came to a winner in a low-quality second half.

SOUTHAMPTON (3-4-3): McCarthy; Yoshida, Vestergaard, Stephens; Valery, Lemina (Davis 93'), Hojbjerg, Cedric; Armstrong, Obafemi (Gabbiadini 64'), Redmond

MANCHESTER UNITED (5-3-2): De Gea; Young, Matic, Jones, McTominay, Shaw (Dalot 72'); Fellaini, Herrera, Pogba; Rashford (Martial 77'), Lukaku (Lingard 86')

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Manchester United duo Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku warm up during the Champions League clash with Young Boys on November 27, 2018
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool1613303462842
2Manchester CityMan City1613214593641
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs16120430161436
4Chelsea16104233132034
5Arsenal16104235201534
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd167542826226
7Everton166642319424
8Bournemouth167272526-123
9Leicester CityLeicester166462120122
10Wolverhampton WanderersWolves166461719-222
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham166372325-221
12Watford166372023-321
13Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton166371922-321
14Cardiff CityCardiff1642101530-1514
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle163491322-913
16Crystal Palace1633101323-1012
17Burnley1633101532-1712
18Huddersfield TownHuddersfield1624101027-1710
19Southampton161691330-179
20Fulham1623111640-249

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