Southampton 2, Manchester United 3
Edinson Cavani scored an injury time winner as Manchester United battled back to beat Southampton at St Mary’s.Embed from Getty Images
United had lost David De Gea at half time to injury and were 2-0 down thanks to a pair of set pieces by James Ward-Prowse leading to a header by Jan Bednarek from a corner and a stunning free kick by the Southampton captain himself.
The 33-year-old Uruguayan came off the bench and set up Bruno Fernandes before scoring the equaliser and then the winner himself during injury time.
The Reds had conceded the first goal in all four of their away Premier League games this term but had recovered to win all four, and this time they had the experience of a Uruguayan super-sub to spearhead them to a record eighth successive away wins in the Premier League.
It was the tenth time they had come from behind to beat the Saints in the Premer League era and the result pushed them temporarily up to 7th place in the Premier League – just 5 points behind league leaders Liverpool with a game in hand.
Anthony Martial travelled with the squad but got taken ill overnight and missed out along with Paul Pogba who has an ankle injury.
And after a good midweek performance Donny van de Beek made his first Premier League start for the Reds as boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made just two changes from the side that beat Istanbul Basaksehir in midweek.
Replacing Martial and Edinson Cavani were Nemanja Matic and Mason Greenwood for the game against an unchanged Southampton side.
There was a minute’s applause to remember Diego Maradona prior to taking the knee for Black Lives Matter.
Mason Greenwood could have opened the scoring after some lax defending in he 7th minute but shot into the side netting with Jannik Vestergaard trailing in his wake.
Southampton were finding it hard to cope with the Reds – Fernandes was brought down by Oriol Romeu with a hard tackle but recovered to clip the outside of the post with a long range effort a few minutes later.
But the Saints took the lead after persevering when United conceded a corner from a James Ward-Prowse free kick which was headed away by Victor Lindelof.
Ward-Prowse’s subsequent corner was headed in by Jan Bednarek from close range after Marcus Rashford lost him in the 23d minute.
The Saints won another corner after Kyle Walker-Peter’s cross took a deflection and came off the outside of the United post and gave Ward-Prowse plenty of chances to warm up on his set piece delivery with corners.
The Saints were on top but United almost equalised when McCarthy’s poor clearance went straight to Mason Greenwood but the keeper redeemed himself with a double save from the youngster and the follow-up by Fernandes after half an hour.
Moussa Djenepo was fouled by Fred just outside the area and Ward-Prowse hit a stunning free kick which De Gea reached but could not stop from falling into his own goal to give the home side a 2-0 lead after 33 minutes.
It was his 9th goal from a direct free kick in the Premier League out of 26 taken – only David Beckham among English ones has scored more – for a player who has hit as many direct free kick goals (5) as Lionel Messi since the start of the 2019/20 season.
Djenepo almost notched a third with a fierce shot which was saved by De Gea with the goalkeeper still reeling from jarring his left knee against the post while trying to save Ward-Prowse’s free kick.
Edison Cavani comes off the bench to turn over Southampton
Dean Henderson made his Premier bow for the Reds after he replaced De Gea at half time because of the knee injury sustained trying to save Ward-Prowse’s free kick while Cavani replaced Greenwood.
Henderson was quickly in action, saving from Theo Walcott while McCarthy saved from Rashford after he had beaten the offside trap an chanced his arm from range.
Cavani’s shot was deflected over the bar as United’s scoring touch deserted them.
Fernandes finally pulled one back on the hour are Cavani picked out Fernandes from the right – the Portuguese took his time and scored from 12 yards out with the Saints dropping deeper – his 10th goal of the season.
Fernandes became the fourth United player to score in five consecutive away games in the Premier League after Ruud van Nistelrooy, Robin van Persie, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Cavani’s header from an Aaron Wan-Bissaka cross floated just wide of the back post with United pushing Saints hard.
Shane Long was introduced with 18 minutes to go for Djenepo but United quickly equalised with a diving header by Cavani to meet a deflected raking ball into to the box by Fernandes.
Rashford tried to set up Fred for a late winner but the pass was too far in front of the midfielder who would have been offside anyway as the Reds kept plugging away.
Fernandes tried to chip McCarthy from a long way out but only found the roof of the net the home side decided to lock the front door and take the point.
But Cavani popped up with the added time winner when he ran to meet a low cross by Rashford to nod a massive winner for United in the 92nd minute – his second and third goals for the Reds.
GOALS – Southampton 2, Manchester United 3
Southampton 1, Man Utd 0: 23. James Ward-Prowse corner headed in by Jan Bednarek after Marcus Rashford lost his man during the set piece.
Southampton 2, Man Utd 0: 33. James Ward-Prowse scores his 9th goal from a direct free kick from 20 yards out, David De Gea jars his left knee against the post trying to reach it – having only gotten one hand on the ball but unable to keep it out.
Southampton 2, Man Utd 1: 60. Bruno Fernandes coolly finished from 12 yards out after Edinson Cavani picked him out with a pass from the right with Southampton backing off.
Southampton 2, Man Utd 2: 74. Edinson Cavani reacted quickly to a deflected shot by Bruno Fernandes to produce a diving header which beat Alex McCarthy.
Southampton 2, Man Utd 3: 90+2. Edinson Cavani showed a real goal poaching instinct to get on the end of a low Marcus Rashford cross, stooping to head the ball past Alex McCarthy.
MATCH STATS – Southampton 2, Manchester United 3
Southampton: McCarthy, Walker-Peters (N’Lundulu 90+4), Vestergaard, Bednarek, Bertrand, Romeu, Ward-Prowse, Armstrong (Diallo 90), Djenepo (Long 72), Walcott, Adams
Southampton Subs not used: Forster, Stephens, Tella, Obafemi
Booked: Ward-Prowse 16 (foul on Donny van de Beek)
Goals: Bednarek 23; Ward-Prowse 33
Man Utd: De Gea (Henderson 46), Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Telles (Williams 84), Fred, van de Beek, Matic, Fernandes, Rashford, Greenwood (Cavani 46)
Man Utd Subs not used: Mata, James, Fosu-Mensah, Tuanzebe
Goals: Fernandes 60; Cavani 74, 90+2
Referee: Jonathan Moss