Man United 1-1 Saints
Lambert didn’t make it onto the pitch during the international break, so it wasn’t injury that relegated him to the bench at Manchester United. In contrast, Boruc missed out for Poland at Wembley, but he seemed untroubled by an alleged strain, giving some credence to rumours of a row with the now-sacked coach.
Southampton’s miserly defence can leave the stopper with plenty of time on his hands, even at Old Trafford, but a through ball opened up a chance for Rooney that Boruc saved – unfortunately the ball fell to Van Persie as the keeper was blocked by Fonte, and the Dutchman kept his head for a finish that many would have missed.
Rooney might have doubled the lead when he was given time to swivel and fire in a shot that clattered back off the bar, and it was 1-0 at the break.
Last season Saints had a pretty good (but fruitless) stab at rescuing a point on a ground where they haven’t won since well back in the 20th century, but it was harder work this time, despite the introduction of Ward-Prowse and Lambert – Van Persie struck the bar, Boruc produced a good save to deny Januzaj and Schneiderlin a great tackle to stop Welbeck, while the visitors failed to come up with anything as threatening.
Even Guly was sent on to find an equaliser, prompting a very vocal exit from an exasperated fan who didn’t rate the move. He missed Clyne’s 86th minute effort that was a great opportunity but hit at a comfortable height to save. No matter: Ward-Prowse’s even later corner was met by Lovren and ended up in the net via Lallana who was making a nuisance of himself in front of De Gea. Lovren thought it was his goal and paid a price as he ended up at the bottom of a heap of nine ecstatic colleagues – in fact Southampton’s celebrations gave us the odd sight of Manchester United lined up and ready to kick off, just faced by Boruc, the only Saint actually on the pitch at the time.
Five minutes of ‘Moyesie’ time were successfully negotiated for a hard-earned point that actually saw Saints slip back two places.
LSSC Man of the Match: Nathaniel Clyne, well clear in the voting, but the defence are preforming well as a unit.