London Saints

Manchester United Away Lost 3 – 2

We always travel hopefully but always with an element of reality checking, sometimes more than others. A trip to Manchester United is one of those where you are aware that things could go badly wrong, and a torrid beginning suggested a difficult afternoon. Lukaku was the first to go close for United but Gunn got down well to tip his shot around the post and Southampton survived several other near misses before they properly got into the game. But as is often the way with such encounters, when the dominant team fails to score, their opponents gradually find a way into contention and so it was with Saints. When Bertrand got beyond Smalling in the penalty area, a touch in the back might have brought a penalty on another ground, but no matter as Valery soon found himself in space and surprised DeGea and nearly 75,000 others with a terrific shot into the top corner – he’ll find himself closed down a lot sooner in future weeks. It may be stretching a point to suggest that we were good value for a half time lead, but the scoreline was not over-flattering; the trick that we haven’t really mastered is how to turn such a position into three points. Sure enough United found an equaliser, and an equally spectacular goal too when Pereira opened himself up to fire into Valery’s corner of the net. One each soon turned into a deficit when Yoshida could have been a bit harder in the challenge and our usual nemesis, Lukaku, added to his personal tally in this fixture. The response from the visitors was excellent and they were rewarded by Ward-Prowse’s superb free kick that left DeGea beaten from distance for the second time. The way the game was going, it really wasn’t too much to hope for a winner, but obviously as time went on, things were becoming a bit more desperate and after 88 minutes there was Lukaku again to hit the fifth and last goal; what would we have given for Gunn to have touched than one wide as well? In fact Gunn was called into late action when he kicked away Pogba’s down-the middle penalty after a foul by Armstrong, but by then we were deep into Fergie Time.
LSSC Man of the Match: Jan Valery, nudging out Ward-Prowse in a very close vote between the two.

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