Jannik Vestergaard’s powerful second half header gave 10-man Southampton a credible draw against a mediocre Manchester United side.
The Saints were tentative in the first half in front of a raucous home crowd, being sloppy in possession and offering a minimal threat in the final third. The Saints deservedly fell behind to a curling effort from Daniel James’ – a carbon copy of his goal against Crystal Palace last week – cutting infield on his right to score his third goal in four games. After the break the Saints gained momentum and played with more intensity, as United in contrast became increasingly sloppy.
The Saints came close to an equaliser when new signing Che Adams fired wide, before David de Gea made a characteristically smart save from Danny Ings’ looping header. The Saints then capped an intense period of pressure via the towering figure of Vestergaard, who scored his first goal for the Saints as his bullet header met the end of a clever Danny Ings cross to level the score on the hour mark. The Saints were on the receiving end of a red card this week, as Kevin Danso was given a second yellow for a malicious challenge on Scott McTominay. This preceded a heavy spell of pressure from the away side, but the Saints held firm. Angus Gunn was key in ensuring the Saints earned their first home point of the campaign, making smart saves to deny long-range efforts from Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood in the dying embers of the game.
This was a huge point gained for Southampton, and this was reflected in Ralph Hasenhuttl’s delight at the final whistle. The Saints boss punched the air with joy and clenched the air with fist salutes, before applauding the home fans. After beating Brighton with a numerical advantage last week, the Saints were up against it with ten men this week, but were able to hold on to a point despite being a man down.
After kickstarting the campaign with defeats to Burnley and Liverpool, the Saints are now unbeaten in their last three matches. The Saints can reflect on a good week after following up their away victories at Brighton and Fulham with a credible draw at home to United. Next up for the Saints is a trip to Premier League newcomers Sheffield United, before mouthwatering South Coast derbies at home to Bournemouth, and then away at rivals Portsmouth in the EFL cup.