Sir Alex’s 1000th Premier League game was an eventful one, as the Saints of Southampton were up for the challenge in their Saint Mary’s stadium, giving the gaffer something to think about for the next few days and upcoming games, as United had to come back from behind twice to scrap a win, and the saviour was none other than United’s new hero, RvP, scorer of a hat-trick to nail the Saints right in the end to win 2-3 and give Sir Alex something to smile about after being rocked by Southampton throughout this match.
It promised to be a tough match as Southampton scared City in the first match of this season but lost 3-2, and this time they looked determined to cause a real upset. United took possession for the first 5 minutes or so, but then it was all Southampton on the attack, and they were duly rewarded when veteran Lambert rose higher than Rafael to head in the opening goal on the 16th minute, with Lindegaard well beaten. Kagawa tested Davis at the other end, but the Saints’ keeper had little to do as United dropped in rhythm and Southampton looking to add a second. But United managed somehow to score the equalizer with none other than RvP, as he perfectly controlled Valencia’s cross with his chest to unleash an unstoppable volley past Davis on the 23rd minute. While we were all waiting for an onslaught from United, Southampton took control yet again till half time.
United started the second-half like the first one, but got caught again on the 55th minute, as Schneiderlin was left unmarked in the box following Evra’s slip and he coolly headed in Lambert’s cross past Lindegaard. United were KO-ed at that time, and it needed the introduction of Scholes to reinvigorate the Red Devils, but still they were falling short of options. RvP even managed to miss a penalty on the 68th minute, as he nonchalantly tried to do a “Panenka”, but saw Davis palm the ball away to keep the Saints in the lead. With Chicharito as well sent on, United were desperately looking for an equalizer, which finally came on the 87th minute, as Ferdinand headed on the post, only for RvP to bundle in the rebound with Davis beaten. United were not yet done however, as RvP was again in the mix in added time, as he met Nani’s corner with a perfect header to send in travelling support and United staff in an explosion of joy. Alas same fate awaited the Saints yet again following their second meeting with a Manchester club, but they have shown some promising football, and may be they will indeed win their next game if they keep up with this work rate, while United’s coaching staff need to work more on the lads, as the overall performance was well below par, despite the win and RvP’s hat-trick.