Jannik Vestergaard’s towering header gave 10-man Southampton a point after another moment of magic from Manchester United new boy Daniel James looked to have put them on course for victory at St Mary’s.
James scored his third Premier League goal in four appearances with a fierce, rising right-foot drive after only 10 minutes, and the 21-year-old Wales attacker was the biggest threat for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side.
Saints, however, gained momentum in the second half as a disappointing United side grew increasingly sloppy, and Vestergaard capped a spell of pressure with the equaliser just before the hour.
Che Adams had blazed wide of an open goal and David de Gea had saved superbly from Danny Ings before the giant figure of Vestergaard rose to meet Kevin Danso’s fine cross.
It proved the high point of Danso’s afternoon as he was then sent off for a crude lunge at Scott McTominay when he was already on a yellow card, leaving referee Mike Dean with an easy decision.
United, predictably, laid siege to Southampton’s goal in the closing stages but were kept out as keeper Angus Gunn saved superbly from Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood, while both Jesse Lingaard and Ashley Young were just off target.
It leaves the Old Trafford side with only one win from four league games, the opening-day win against Chelsea being followed by draws here and at Wolves and that home defeat by Crystal Palace.
Few tears were shed when Manchester United said their farewells to expensive attacking failures Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez, departed for Inter Milan permanently and on loan respectively.
It was ironic, then, that a lack of killer touch by those left behind saw United leave St Mary’s with just a point after taking charge of most of the first half and mounting an assault on Southampton’s goal following Danso’s dismissal.
James mixed the dangerous and the erratic after his brilliant goal but looks a real talent, with pace to burn and end product – the same could not be said for the disappointing Rashford.
Solskjaer will rightly point to the late heroics of Gunn and several other near misses but their chance of victory suffered its biggest blow when they lost any semblance of control early in the second half and allowed the hosts, always determined under Ralph Hasenhuttl, back into the game, culminating in Vestergaard’s header.
Juan Mata had little iNFLuence, while Paul Pogba produced the sort of display that frustrates so many, conceding possession countless times and his efforts paling in comparison to those of the likes of James and McTominay.
United’s recent record is dismal, reading just two wins in their past 13 games and with no away victories since Paris St-Germain were beaten in the Champions League in March.
There is plenty for Solskjaer to ponder – and work on.
Hasenhuttl joy as Saints show fight
Saints boss Hasenhuttl’s reaction at the final whistle showed exactly what this point meant to him and his side.
The Austrian punched the air in delight, hugged counterpart Solskjaer then delivered a few more clenched-fist salutes before making his way around the pitch taking the adulation of the home fans.
It may only have been a draw but his delight was understandable. Hasenhuttl must have feared the worst when Danso’s reckless lunge at McTominay left his side at a numerical disadvantage and at United’s mercy.
Goalkeeper Gunn played his part, while bravery and last-ditch defending answered other emergency calls. It was exactly what Southampton’s manager and supporters wanted to see.
It also means Saints can look back at a good week, with a win away at Brighton, victory at Fulham in the Carabao Cup and a creditable draw here after opening with defeats at Burnley and at home to Liverpool.
More to follow.
- 2Cédric Soares
- 38DansoBooked at 73mins
- 19BoufalSubstituted forArmstrongat 71′minutesBooked at 90mins
- 10AdamsSubstituted forLongat 62′minutes
- 9IngsSubstituted forYoshidaat 77′minutes
- 1de Gea
- 5MaguireBooked at 40mins
- 18YoungBooked at 90mins
- 39McTominaySubstituted forGreenwoodat 82′minutes
- 15PereiraSubstituted forLingardat 68′minutes
- 8MataSubstituted forMaticat 68′minutes
- Mike Dean
- Shots on Target
Match ends, Southampton 1, Manchester United 1.
Second Half ends, Southampton 1, Manchester United 1.
Stuart Armstrong (Southampton) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Nemanja Matic (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Stuart Armstrong (Southampton).
Foul by Daniel James (Manchester United).
Delay over. They are ready to continue.
Ashley Young (Manchester United) is shown the yellow card.
Delay in match because of an injury Cédric Soares (Southampton).
Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Jan Bednarek.
Attempt missed. Ashley Young (Manchester United) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses the top right corner.
Attempt missed. Marcus Rashford (Manchester United) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Daniel James.
Attempt saved. Mason Greenwood (Manchester United) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Harry Maguire.
Attempt blocked. Nemanja Matic (Manchester United) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Aaron Wan-Bissaka.
Attempt saved. Marcus Rashford (Manchester United) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Paul Pogba.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Shane Long (Southampton).
Substitution, Manchester United. Mason Greenwood replaces Scott McTominay.
Substitution, Southampton. Maya Yoshida replaces Danny Ings.
Attempt missed. Daniel James (Manchester United) right footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right.
Attempt saved. Daniel James (Manchester United) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Paul Pogba.
Second yellow card to Kevin Danso (Southampton) for a bad foul.
Scott McTominay (Manchester United) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Kevin Danso (Southampton).
Ashley Young (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Shane Long (Southampton).
Substitution, Southampton. Stuart Armstrong replaces Sofiane Boufal.
Scott McTominay (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Shane Long (Southampton).
Paul Pogba (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Oriol Romeu (Southampton).
Substitution, Manchester United. Nemanja Matic replaces Juan Mata.
Attempt blocked. Marcus Rashford (Manchester United) left footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Paul Pogba with a through ball.