Manchester United welcome Claude Puel’s Southampton to Old Trafford on Friday evening hoping to build on Sunday’s 3-1 victory over Bournemouth which saw Jose Mourinho’s men top the table, albeit on goal difference. Goals from Juan Mata, Wayne Rooney, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic saw the Reds pick up all three points on the opening weekend of the 2016/17 Premier League campaign. United’s opponents on Friday drew their league opener at the weekend against 10-man Watford as new boy Nathan Redmond cancelled out Etienne Capoue’s first-half strike.
The Saints have become somewhat of a bogey side for United in recent years as they’ve won on their last two visits to the Theatre of Dreams, by the same 1-0 scoreline. In fact, the away side has come out on top in each of the last four meetings between the two sides (two wins each). Jose Mourinho will be hoping to put an end to that sequence as Friday night football returns to the Premier League. Let’s have a look at the last three meetings between the Reds and the Saints.
Manchester United 0-1 Southampton, Premier League – 23rd January 2016
Things were looking up for Louis van Gaal’s side following a disastrous December where he was lucky not to be shown the exit door. Two draws and three victories – one of which coming at Anfield – saw signs of improvements, that was until Southampton rocked up at Old Trafford.
Charlie Austin headed home just minutes from time on his debut for Southampton following his January move from Championship side Queens Park Rangers. The Reds were lackluster in defeat, producing just one shot on target in the entirety of the game. The Reds stayed fifth after the defeat to Southampton which is where they ended up at the end of the season, missing out on Champions League football to neighbours and rivals Manchester City on goal difference.
Southampton 2-3 Manchester United, Premier League – 20th September 2015
Feelings were mixed going into this game against Southampton at St Mary’s. A week earlier the Reds had put Liverpool to the sword at Old Trafford, winning 3-1 with new signing Anthony Martial scoring the pick of the goals but United came unstuck against PSV Eindhoven just days a few days later in their Champions League group stage match when they lost 2-1 – the same game that Luke Shaw broke his leg that would see him miss the remainder of the season.
Italian striker Graziano Pelle fired the home side ahead just before the quarter of an hour mark, converting a loose ball from a fine David De Gea save. Anthony Martial – who scored on his debut against Liverpool a week previous – levelled proceedings later in the first half before capitalising on a poor back pass from Maya Yoshida to give the Reds the lead after the restart. Juan Mata made it 3-1 midway through the second half in a move that consisted of 45 passes before the Spaniard found the back of the net. Pelle headed in his second goal of the game late on but Louis van Gaal’s side hung on to leave with all three points.
Manchester United 0-1 Southampton, Premier League – 11th January 2015
Dusan Tadic’s strike midway through the second-half lifted Southampton to third place in the table after grabbing the only goal of the game to secure Southampton’s first league win at Old Trafford for twenty-seven years and in doing so ended United’s ten match unbeaten run.
James Ward-Prowse set Graziano Pelle on his way but the Italian’s shot came back off the upright allowing Tadic to calmly place the ball past a number of United players on the line. United did improve after the goal however failed to force Fraser Forster in the Southampton goal to make a single save. Juan Mata missed two sitters from close-range late on as the Saints held on for a historic victory.