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Ratings: Romelu Lukaku scored twice in 3-2 victory over Southampton; Andreas Pereira shows his class with a goal and an assist

Manchester United beat Southampton 3-2 at Old Trafford in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon. It was another win for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who has earned 32 points out of a possible 36 points in the Premier League since he became the caretaker manager. United will face a much bigger test on Wednesday night as they attempt to turn over a 2-0 defeat at Old Trafford in Paris against Paris Saint-Germain.

United started well with Romelu Lukaku coming close to scoring in the first few minutes of the match. However, Southampton, after not being awarded what seemed to be a clear penalty, pushed forward and took on United. Yan Valery scored a screamer, assisted by Charlie Austin in the 26th minute of the match. David De Gea tried to make the save but the ball was struck so sweetly that he had little chance to stop Southampton from finding the back of the net.

United had a few more chances in the first half, none of them creating an opportunity to find the back of the net and get the game level. Alexis Sanchez seemed to have suffered an injury after a challenge at the start of the second half and the Chilean could not continue. Diogo Dalot replaced Sanchez. Dalot got himself involved right away, laying a pass to Marcus Rashford, which was off target. It was like United were now playing with 11 men, not with ten men having to carry another.

Andreas Pereira became a star in the game soon after Dalot’s introduction with the 19-year-old Portuguese defender laying an assist for the Belgian-born Brazilian, who put Valery’s goal to shame, putting United level with Southampton. Five minutes later, Pereira then played the assist for Romelu Lukaku, who put United ahead for the first time with a sublime finish. Southampton may have taken the early spoils but it is how you finish, not how you start. James Ward-Prowse equalised from a 75th-minute free-kick.

Lukaku scored his second goal in the 88th minute, putting United back into the lead, putting the side back into fourth place in the Premier League. Some may say it was unfortunate for Southampton but they have hardly been one of the better teams in the league this season, which is down to them and them only. Rashford won a penalty for United late on, which should have been given to Lukaku, who was on a hat-trick but Paul Pogba took it and saw his effort saved by Angus Gunn. Luckily it wasn’t costly for United.

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Man of the Match: Romelu Lukaku

The Belgian has risen in stature in the last two matches, scoring two goals which were crucial. Today against Southampton, Lukaku could have scored a few more goals, missing in the early stages of the match after Angus Gunn stood firm in goal for the visitors. The Belgian was seemingly back to his best after putting United ahead seven minutes after Andreas Pereira equalised for United, then Southampton equalised in the 75th minute with Lukaku pouncing again 13 minutes later.

Match Statistics:

Manchester United

1 David De Gea

The Spanish number one had little to do against Southampton. However, a stunning Yan Valery strike saw him beaten with the Saints taking the lead in the 26th minute. De Gea then conceded a Ward-Prowse free-kick which levelled the score at 2-2.

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18 Ashley Young

Young was not one of the best players today. His throw-in, which seemed naive, led to Valery scoring a stunning goal to put the visitors ahead. He also gave away the free-kick that led to Ward-Prowse's free-kick equaliser, which put pressure in United again.

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Chris Smalling

Nervous at times. Southampton were pressing a lot, which did not calm him much.

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2 Victor Lindelof

The Swedish international stood firm against the Southampton press. United could have benefited from his playing from the back though. Seemed to be much calmer than Smalling, at times.

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23 Luke Shaw

Played further forward at times but that allowed Valery to break through and scored that stunning goal to put Southampton ahead in the 26th minute. Dug in deep at times, which was good to see.

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39 Scott McTominay

Got involved in the game but many will not be happy with his performance. Did well against Palace on Wednesday but more patience is needed with McTominay. He needs experience and it getting that when he is playing.

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Andreas Pereira

The Belgian-born Brazilian seemed shocking at stages against Southampton, losing possession too easily but made up for his early mistakes with a sublime equaliser, layer on by Diogo Dalot. Pereira then provided the assist for Lukaku's goal which put United ahead in the game. Pereira was replaced by Fred in the 82nd minute of the game.

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6 Paul Pogba

United needed the Frenchman today with the lack of ball playing in the defence. Pogba has little impact in the game, having a 58% influence in the game. Pereira had the most influence in midfield. United won a penalty late in the game, Pogba took it and saw his effort saved. Maybe Lukaku should have been granted the penalty, to maybe complete his hat-trick.

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10 Marcus Rashford

I don't think the right-wing is the place for him but with the injury crisis, he had to play there. Ran the ball into touch and did not seem to get the better of his opposition here. He never gave up though. In the second half, he played a central role with Lukaku and played much better.

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Romelu Lukaku

MOTM for me. Had a shot on goal in the opening three minutes and Gunn made sure he never scored. Put United ahead with a sublime finish in the 59th minute, five minutes after Pereira scored the equaliser. Got his second goal in the 88th minute, putting United ahead for the second time. Should have taken the penalty, perhaps he could have scored a hat-trick. Four goals in the last two game for him now.

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Alexis Sanchez

The Chilean has good work rate for United but I cannot help feeling that he's out of his depth. His game ended in the 52nd minute after an injury in a challenge saw him unable to continue.

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Substitutes

Diogo Dalot

Replaced Sanchez 52'. The Portuguese teenager instantly got involved from his introduction providing the assist for Pereira's equaliser and making United looking more of a threat on the attack.

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17 Fred

Replaced Pereira 82'. Got involved in the game and played the ball to Lukaku to score the winner. It will be a boost for his confidence if anything else.

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Tahith Chong

Replaced Rashford 90+5'. Had a minute on the pitch if he was lucky. No involvement but good to see him given the opportunity to get involved. Looking forward to seeing him play some more football soon.

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Goals: Andreas Pereira 54′, Romelu Lukaku 59′, 88′; Yan Valery 26′, James Ward-Prowse 75′

Assists: Diogo Dalot 54′, Andreas Pereira 59′; Charlie Austin 26′

Manchester United: De Gea; Young, Smalling, Lindelof, Shaw; McTominay, Pereira (Fred 82′), Pogba; Rashford (Chong 90+5′), Lukaku, Sanchez (Dalot 52′)

Substitutes Not Used: Grant; Bailly, Rojo; Gomes

Bookings: Romelu Lukaku 89′; Ryan Bertrand 39′

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