Premier League

September 2, 2012



2 - 3

Manchester United

Premier League

15:00 +00:00, September 2, 2012

St. Mary's Stadium, England

  • 94'

    It's all over: a terrific match ends in a win for United thanks to Van Persie and his hat-trick. Southampton, playing like this, will get something soon

  • 94'

    But you have to hand it to United: they do this sort of thing again and again and again. They try to break with Hernandez, but he's offside. Seconds to go now

  • 93'

    This is harsh on Southampton: three defeats from three is not what they deserve after the quality of their performances against City and then United

  • 92'

    GOAL And United have won it - Van Persie flicks in a header. He has his hat-trick, Fergie has a victory in his landmark game

  • 91'

    The ball will be whipped in yet again: thousands of United crosses, it seems, in the last few minutes

  • 90'

    Four minutes of stoppage time, which United mark by winning a corner. Fonte clears. This is tense

  • 89'

    Hernandez, by the way, came on for Welbeck (72 minutes)

  • 89'

    Fox plays it deep, Ward-Prowse has a shot blocked. Then Fox blazes over

  • 88'

    Hooiveld gets there, but Vidic just does enough to stop him getting a clean header. It's another corner

  • 87'

    Back come Saints, and they win a corner. Can they find a late goal of their own? Plenty forward...

  • 86'

    GOAL And the pressure tells: Hernandez crosses, Ferdinand heads against the post and Van Persie atones for his penalty miss by poking in the leveller. It's all on again

  • 85'

    But the pressure is growing. Everyone's up in the Southampton area most of the time

  • 84'

    Again, Southampton are there. Again, Scholes steps in. Again, United cross, but substitute Hernandez can't get there

  • 83'

    Ward-Prowse typifies the Southampton attitude, first to a loose ball in midfield, but Scholes picks up the pieces and looks to go long towards Evra

  • 83'

    Hooiveld does well to see off Hernandez as the United man looks to raid down the right

  • 82'

    Fergie's anxious on the touchline: this isn't the way his 1,000th league game in charge of United was supposed to go

  • 81'

    And that'll be their throw, too. Another booming chorus of 'When the Saints Go Marching In' from a home crowd who, unsurprisingly, have loved pretty much every second of this

  • 80'

    And another Southampton clearance. They're holding firm, and win a free-kick inside their own half for a foul by Rafael

  • 79'

    Another raid, another United corner

  • 78'

    United are getting more and more crosses in - Saints need to find a spell of possession to ease the pressure

  • 77'

    Jay Rodriguez is on for the excellent, excellent, Adam Lallana

  • 76'

    Can they hold their nerve? Van Persie is in, but Hooiveld gets there and Saints whack it away. If they keep doing that, it'll keep coming back at them

  • 75'

    United upping the tempo. Nani tries to find a ball in. Southampton clear, but then give it away

  • 74'

    Puncheon off, Emmanuel Mayuka on. It's his debut. What an occasion to make it on. Goal hero Lambert, this year's Grant Holt, is off and Guly Do Prado on

  • 73'

    Carrick crosses, but that's beyond everyone

  • 72'

    United cross, Davis takes confidently. We're heading towards the final 15 minutes of an absorbing encounter. You feel there are still goals in this, and you feel certain that Southampton can score again

  • 71'

    And then blasts over with his right foot

  • 70'

    Van Persie's got some making up to do - he twists and turns on the right of the Saints area

  • 69'

    The keeper gets himself out of jail (and, of course, Hooiveld) - but the defender would never have had to make the challenge without that Davis misjudgment

  • 68'

    And Van Persie misses! He tries a casual approach, chipping the ball to the right of Davis, who dives to save it. You get the feeling that was supposed to go down the middle, and be higher, over a diving keeper

  • 67'

    But wait a minute - Davis makes another mistake, passing the ball out casually. Hooiveld crashes in to Van Persie. Penalty. No question about it. Ridiculous challenge, but the Davis mistake started the trouble

  • 66'

    Great break from Ricky Lambert, onside and down the right. His low cross is desperately smuggled away from danger by United, who aren't finding things easy at the back

  • 64'

    Sweepy stuff from Southampton, switching the ball from side to side. Vidic is forced to head back to his keeper with Lambert and Lallana - who else? - chasing

  • 63'

    Lallana's in the area from Lambert's pass. He's also offside, says the assistant ref. But he didn't look it

  • 62'

    Down to the other end, and more fine play from Puncheon forces Evra to make an excellent, and slightly desperate, block

  • 61'

    Almost instant dividends as Scholes plays in Van Persie on the left of the area. Davies saves well

  • 60'

    Nani's on for Kagawa and Scholes for Cleverley: United changes

  • 59'

    This is the way to do it. This is what Norwich and Swansea did last season: play your own game, fearlessly, and see where that gets you

  • 58'

    Then it's Lallana after more good football. He gets it all wrong from the edge of the box, though, and the effort just about dribbles through to the United keeper

  • 58'

    Nearing the hour mark: can Southampton score again? They're looking like it. Davis improvises a splendid cross, and United are scrambling to get it away

  • 57'

    Up comes Puncheon. He turns his way into a shooting position and, from an angle, forces Lindegaard to parry behind

  • 56'

    Adkins is a picture of delight on the touchline. Two good crosses, two good headers, although a defender slipping helped Schneiderlin find space

  • 55'

    From end to end - Van Persie fails to take his opportunity. Schneiderlin, in style, takes his

  • 54'

    GOAL Forward come Southampton, with Puncheon and Lambert again. Lambert crosses, and Schneiderlin thumps a header into the net. Saints back in front - and one of their best players thoroughly deserves that goal

  • 53'

    Valencia crosses, but Van Persie can only steer a shot tamely wide from about 12 yards out. A let-off, and especially for Davis

  • 52'

    Puncheon's keeping the ball well when he gets it - but suddenly Saints are in trouble. The ball goes back to Davis, whose kick-out is casual and goes straight to Valencia

  • 52'

    Which it does. Nothing the United back line can't deal with, though

  • 51'

    Foul on Lambert by Vidic just inside the United half. This free-kick will probably go long

  • 50'

    It looked good for a second, but Davis is ruled to have failed to keep the ball in play. Crowd not terribly thrilled with that decision. United's turn to have a throw

  • 49'

    Puncheon is thwarted by Carrick, but it's a throw to the Saints on their right, midway inside the United half

  • 48'

    Applause from the crowd as Southampton keep it neat and crisp in midfield. Fonte, though, is forced to go back to his goalkeeper as united apply some pressure

  • 47'

    Kagawa roams forward after a neat United move. He has a chance to shoot from distance, does that and steers it not too far past a Southampton post

  • 47'

    United back on the ball. Vidic tries a studious pass, which is cut out, but Saints are unable to benefit as Puncheon's ball forward brings only an offside flag

  • 46'

    Then another: Lambert looks, just for a second, to have got that under control, but it's illusory

  • 45'

    Southampton get us off and running in the second half, pinging an early ball forward towards Lambert

  • 45'

    And that's half time: a very decent game, and nicely balanced. Join us to find out whether the second half will provide it with a winner

  • 45'

    Then the ball is played long to RVP, who can't control it. Good ball from Carrick, and Saints would have been in dire trouble had the Dutchman's touch been better

  • 44'

    Nigel Adkins waves his arms on the touchline as the referee gives his side a free-kick on their right, about on half way. It comes to nothing

  • 43'

    Kagawa once more - he's increasingly linking things in midfield for Fergie and the gang. Cleverley takes it on, then Carrick... possession stuff as we head towards the last minute of the half

  • 42'

    Not for long. Kagawa is always available for United, but he just fails to get an ambitious ball through to Van Persie. RVP hasn't really been able to get into the game in the last ten minutes or so

  • 41'

    Steve Davis (not the snooker one) comes down the left: United block him out, but he's soon back on the ball once more

  • 40'

    United are increasing their possession ratio as the half draws towards a close - but Lallana gets in. The Saints crowd think he was brought down. Mike Dean says no, and he's right

  • 39'

    Another Valencia crossing chance. This time, he makes it and Evra, lurking, gets a far post header that Davis deals with. Not entirely certainly, but he deals with it

  • 38'

    Valencia's been good. He gets down the right once more. Once more, fine work from Southampton at the back thwarts a crossing chance

  • 37'

    This is very even, very open and very positive. Kagawa, buzzing around purposefully, wins United a throw inside the Saints half - but again, snapping in, the home side make sure they have no time on the ball

  • 36'

    Schneiderlin slides a low ball towards Fonte, who had stayed forward, but 'keeper Lindegaard gets there first

  • 35'

    It's half cleared, but they keep possession: Adkins must be delighted with this

  • 34'

    Lambert wins a free-kick - foul by Vidic around half-way. The United man's not too thrilled by Mike Dean's decision, but what can Saints make of it?

  • 33'

    Fox, Lambert and Lallana combine after what looked a foul by Welbeck earlier in the play: Lallana hits a daisycutter through Ferdinand's legs, but it's past the post

  • 32'

    Lambert gets another touch in the air, but Lindegaard's there to claim. Southampton have been brilliant in their attitude to conceding the equaliser: they've just kept on doing what they do well

  • 32'

    Lovely tricks from Lallana. He's Southampton's star of the show. This time, he twists and turns but crosses beyond his loitering colleagues

  • 31'

    Nathaniel Clyne loves an attacking interlude, just as he did in the Championship with Palace, despite being a defender. He roams deep in to the United half, but can't make anything of it

  • 30'

    Well, he needn't have. The Netherlands international gets it all wrong, floating an unthreatening effort well wide. So much for all that build-up

  • 29'

    He's lining this up. Kelvin Davis looks anxious and, frankly, who's to blame him?

  • 28'

    Rafael rolls the ball across to Welbeck, and Fonte fouls him inside the D - free-kick to United, almost dead central. It's going to be RVP...

  • 26'

    It comes to nothing, though. Good game, this

  • 25'

    And more good stuff from Schneiderlin, too, before United win the ball back. Welbeck's crowded out but Van Persie is in a shooting position to the right of the area

  • 24'

    A short-lived lead for Southampton, but they're undaunted: Lambert has a crack from just outside the box after more fine Lallana work. It's thumped hard, but wide

  • 23'

    GOAL And, from the left of the area, he controls the ball and hammers in a trademark clinical finish. Two in two for him - he's doing what we'd all expect him to do

  • 23'

    But here comes another cross from United, this time from Valencia - it runs to Van Persie after a defender slips

  • 22'

    In comes a cross and out comes Davis, a keeper of great experience and authority, to claim

  • 21'

    Good stuff from Southampton's Prowse, making sure Cleverley doesn't have the chance to latch on to a dropping ball outside the Saints box

  • 20'

    Kagawa has a run and a shot. And why not? It's low, from distance and well struck. Keeper Kelvin Davis turns it behind for a corner

  • 19'

    Their tails are up, the crowd are loving it and Manchester United - although that particular move doesn't come to anything - are rattled

  • 18'

    Welbeck picks up a rebound as United try to respond, but he's blocked out of the picture and Southampton look forward again with ex-Rangers man Davis

  • 17'

    Great stuff from Southampton: enterprising football and a typical Lambert finish. The Saints have got better and better as this match has gone one, and their talisman has rewarded them

  • 16'

    GOAL And what a cross it is - straight on to Lambert's head. The header is down, past Lindegaard, and the roof all but comes off St Mary's

  • 15'

    Schneiderlin dispossesses Kagawa and Puncheon has a chance to cross

  • 14'

    Lallana again: he runs with the ball and the move gives Schneiderlin a chance to shoot - it's wildly over the top but Southampton come back again

  • 14'

    ...Lallana gets half a touch on it, but it's not enough to cause any United palpitations. Good set piece, though

  • 13'

    Good noise in St Mary's - the corner's low and cleverly worked away from the six-yard box crowds...

  • 12'

    And they're keeping it on the floor, looking to Puncheon again. That move culminates in a corner, with Carrick unable to keep a spinning ball from going behind

  • 11'

    Lallana and Fox now, moving down the Southampton left. United step in and tidy that one up, but Nigel Adkins' side are seeing more of the ball now (or more of the football, as he would put it)

  • 10'

    The cross is steered in towards Rickie Lambert, but that'll be Lindegaard's, and is

  • 9'

    Puncheon on the ball, combining with Lallana down the right

  • 8'

    It's in their defensive third, mind you, and doesn't last too long. Puncheon chases after a ball forward aimed at Lambert and flicked away from him by United, but can't get there

  • 7'

    Van Persie then tries to get Welbeck away down the middle: Southampton clear and are then grateful for a little possession of their own

  • 6'

    Clyne plays the ball up to Lambert, but he can't win the flick-on. Cleverley and Carrick move the play around well: Carrick lofts the ball to Van Persie inside the area. He brings down what is a difficult pass, but can only steer an effort wide

  • 5'

    Saints just about deal with that, but United are in complete command of the early possession

  • 4'

    Some possession for the Saints, but the ball forward is a bit aimless. They lose it, then win it back through some good Lallana harrying, but United are soon back and Van Persie tries a clever flick inside the area

  • 3'

    Van Persie hits a poor one. It's blocked. Rafael has a swipe at the rebound from the edge of the box - and that's blocked as well

  • 2'

    Half away, but Southampton can hardly get to the ball at the moment. Rafael is fouled by Danny Fox, again on the right, and it's a free-kick. Dangerous

  • 1'

    Carrick again - United work the ball to Valencia who wins a corner. Van Persie to take


    Manchester United get the game under way, wearing their white change strip. Southampton, in red, have to fend off an early raid from Michael Carrick, who makes a burst down the right


    Plenty of motivation for the Saints: there was much expectation before what turned out to be a disappointing 2-0 home defeat to Wigan after their fine second half performance at Manchester City. They're a good side, with a good manager: can they get a point (or three) on the board on an afternoon when few expect them to?


    It's Sir Alex Ferguson's 1,000th league game in charge of Manchester United, but Southampton hasn't always been the happiest of hunting grounds for him. Remember Matt Le Tissier's outrageous brilliance in a 6-3 Southampton win? Those grey shirts? Fergie has dropped David de Gea, replacing him with Anders Lindegaard. Robin van Persie starts


    And here are the line-ups for the South Coast clash: Southampton: Kelvin Davis, Clyne, Fonte, Hooiveld, Fox, Puncheon, Steven Davis, Schneiderlin, Ward-Prowse, Lallana, Lambert. Subs: Gazzaniga, Rodriguez, Lee, Do Prado, Richardson, Mayuka, Seaborne.
    Manchester Utd: Lindegaard, Da Silva, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Valencia, Cleverley, Carrick, Welbeck, van Persie, Kagawa. Subs: De Gea, Evans, Giggs, Hernandez, Nani, Scholes, Powell.


    ESPN FC will bring you live, minute-by-minute commentary of Southampton's Premier League meeting with Manchester United at St Mary's