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Southampton 1-1 Manchester United: Greenwood salvages record-equalling draw for Red Devils

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Mason Greenwood’s second goal in as many Premier League games secured a record-equalling 1-1 draw for Manchester United at Southampton on Sunday.

Saints took the lead in the first half with what went down as an own goal by Fred, who saw Che Adams’ shot strike him before finding the corner of the net at St Mary’s Stadium.

The Red Devils put Southampton under huge pressure after the interval and Greenwood equalised following great work from the excellent Paul Pogba, who had struck the crossbar in the first half.

A point ensured United are unbeaten in 27 Premier League away matches, matching a record in the English top flight set by Arsenal between April 2003 and September 2004.

James Ward-Prowse tested David de Gea with a well-disguised free-kick in the first minute but United soon got into their stride.

Pogba’s header looped up and struck the crossbar, with Anthony Martial’s attempt following up cleared off the line by Mohammed Salisu.

Salisu came to the rescue again when he blocked a shot from Pogba, who headed a Luke Shaw free-kick over as Saints continued to look vulnerable from set-pieces.

It was Southampton who were in front on the half-hour mark, though, as Jack Stephens robbed Bruno Fernandes and Adams’ left-footed shot from just outside the penalty area struck Fred before flashing beyond De Gea.

The Red Devils were level 10 minutes after the break as Greenwood’s scuffed left-footed shot in a crowded box squirmed under Alex McCarthy after Pogba and Fernandes combined to create the opportunity.

Pogba was causing Saints all sorts of problems and he flashed a shot just wide after Jadon Sancho had replaced Martial.

Greenwood nodded wastefully over the bar and McCarthy palmed away a downward header from Fernandes as United dominated.

De Gea produced a sharp reflex save to deny Adam Armstrong against the run of play after Harry Maguire was dispossessed by Ward-Prowse, with Saints’ new striker somehow failing to nod home at the back post from the resulting corner.

Jesse Lingard was introduced late on, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side were unable to snatch all three points at a ground where they came from two goals down to win last season.

What does it mean? Missed opportunity for United

United looked likely to go on and follow up their 5-1 thumping of Leeds United with another victory having equalised so soon after the break, yet they were not clinical when on top.

The Red Devils had 15 attempts but only hit the target four times and Southampton should take great credit for a battling performance.

United have now recovered 36 points from losing positions in Premier League games against Southampton, more than any side has managed against an opponent in the history of the competition.

Greenwood in great company

Forward Greenwood was on target in the rout of Leeds and this goal took his tally in the Premier League to 19; Michael Owen (40), Robbie Fowler (35) and Wayne Rooney (30) are the only players to have netted more in the competition as a teenager.

The 19-year-old is only the fourth teenager to score in back-to-back games at the start of a season, Alan Smith being the last to achieve that feat for Leeds United 21 years ago.

Martial a peripheral figure

Martial was not at his best before being replaced by big-money signing Sancho just before the hour mark.

The France international had just the one attempt and 13 touches – 10 fewer than goalkeeper De Gea – after being picked by Solskjaer to lead the line.

Key Opta facts

– Southampton have won just two of their last nine Premier League games when scoring first (D3 L4) and have dropped the most points from winning positions since the start of last season (28).
– Paul Pogba is the first player in Premier League history to register as many as five assists in a team’s first two matches in a season, with four previously the most: Jeremy Goss in 1992-93, Henrikh Mkhitaryan in 2017-18 and Harry Kane in 2020-21.
– Fred is the fourth Manchester United player to score an own goal against Southampton in the Premier League, after Phil Neville, Wes Brown and John O’Shea. Only against Newcastle (5) have the Red Devils scored more own goals in the Premier League era.
– Bruno Fernandes equals the longest unbeaten away start to a Premier League career. Manchester United have not lost any of the 26 away games he has featured (W16 D10), equaling the record set by Manchester City’s Gabriel Jesus between February 2017 and December 2018.
– Southampton have dropped 42 points from winning positions in Premier League games against Manchester United, with only Spurs against Arsenal (45) dropping more against an opponent in a single fixture in Premier League history.

What’s next?

United travel to Molineux to face Wolves next Sunday, while Southampton take on Newport County in the EFL Cup on Wednesday before a weekend trip to Newcastle United.

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