Unlucky Saints sunk by Rooney double

Jay Rodriguez, right, celebrates his goal

Jay Rodriguez, right, celebrates his goal

Updated on in Sport

Manchester United were forced to survive a second-half Southampton bombardment before edging seven points clear in the Barclays Premier League title race.

However, whilst Wayne Rooney's hot streak continued with a first-half brace that took him to nine goals in nine games, of far more concern to Sir Alex Ferguson was his side's shocking display after the interval, and David de Gea's goalkeeping.

De Gea carried much of the responsibility for Jay Rodriguez's early opener and looked nervy throughout, almost spilling Rickie Lambert's free-kick straight to Adam Lallana.

The visitors spent almost the entire second period camped in the United half and were only denied a deserved point by some desperate defending as United failed completely to stem the tide of attacks.

Despite their lofty status, certain negative topics have gone round on a depressing loop for the Red Devils this season. Bad defending, weak goalkeeping, conceding the first goal.

So, after just two minutes came the perfect storm. An underhit and misdirected back pass from Michael Carrick, De Gea failing completely to block, and Rodriguez stroking into an empty net.

As the goal came not that long after news emerged of a Stoke bid for England keeper Jack Butland, stories linking Asmir Begovic with an Old Trafford switch were instantly gaining strength.

Related links

On this occasion, De Gea should not shoulder all the blame.

Indeed, if he had 'cleaned out' Rodriguez, as some in the stands suggested, he could quite easily have conceded a penalty and been sent off, leaving his team-mates with a much stiffer task than the one they ended up facing.

Equally, it cannot be denied De Gea's attempt to intervene was soft in the extreme and offered more ammunition for those who say the Spain youngster, as agile as he is, simply cannot cope with the demands made of him in the Premier League.

Southampton's problem was that despite their delirium, they still had another 88 minutes to get through against a side so used to coming from behind it is almost routine.

They never looked likely to manage it.

One excellent through-ball from Shinji Kagawa was all it took to slice through the visitors' defence, allowing Rooney to charge forward and score.

Kagawa hit a post on United's next attack and it took some excellent goalkeeping from Artur Boruc to keep the hosts at bay as returning Robin van Persie and Danny Welbeck both threatened danger.

Rooney's first goal had been his 100th at Old Trafford.

It also meant Manchester United have scored in a record 61 consecutive Premier League home matches.

In neither instance was it likely to be the last.

And when Patrice Evra climbed highest at the far post to meet Van Persie's free-kick, the France defender left Rooney with the easiest of tap-ins from barely a yard.

Not that anything can be taken for granted with Sir Alex Ferguson's side, as the United boss himself outlined in his programme notes.

And with the hosts struggling to find their rhythm at the start of the second period, Mauricio Pochettino's team pushed forward in search of a leveller, with substitute Lallana having a significant influence as Rickie Lambert twice went close.

Amid the kamikaze defending that eventually heralded the introduction of Rio Ferdinand, perhaps the most telling moment came when De Gea spilled Lambert's long-range free-kick.

A gasp went round Old Trafford before De Gea pounced to deny Lallana a tap-in, sarcastic cheers - admittedly from a minority - when the keeper next caught the ball indicating the former Atletico Madrid man may be reaching the point of no return with the Red Devils.

Briefly, United relieved the pressure, with Van Persie's goalbound header brilliantly saved by Boruc before the Dutchman had an effort ruled out for a debatable offside.

But Southampton were soon back on the offensive, which meant, finally, United fans were able to cheer something positive from De Gea, an excellent flying save to turn away Lambert's free-kick.

Nemanja Vidic flung himself in the way of another Lambert piledriver before Rooney, who finished playing on the left as defensive cover for an overrun Evra, ensured the Saints' final assault got nowhere.

Most read

People who read this also read

Comments

10:23pm Wed 30 Jan 13 Saint 2701 says…

Why oh why was Fox on the pitch. Useless no good piece of sh!t !!! Decent 2nd half perfomance. On to the next one. Coyr

  • Score: 0

10:25pm Wed 30 Jan 13 Little Hitler says…

We had a good go at them tonight, unfortunately, Whiskey Nose always seems to get the better of us at Old Trafford. Quick regroup needed then we go again against Wigwam.

  • Score: 0

10:31pm Wed 30 Jan 13 Blackknight says…

Its not enough to play well enough to have won. You have to win as well.

  • Score: 0

10:32pm Wed 30 Jan 13 milton road says…

Lol rubbish, United's home record speaks for itself and at home United have been dominant. Spurs are the only team to take any points from Old Trafford this season. Whilst they may at moments have been erratic at times away from home. At home they have dominated. Tonight Saints changed things around at half time and drove them back. Sick of all this nonsense about teams having a bad day against Saints. Its not coincidence that Saints have played well against Arsenal Chelsea, Everton and now Utd. MP likes his team to take the game to the opposition and we did in the second half. For once Echo give Saints some credit instead of going on about how bad Utd were. They didn't play second half because we did not let them. Perhaps you should call yourself Portsmouth news mark 2. We played the top scorers in the division and second half ran them ragged. Next you will be saying the 11 - 21 shots was imagination Great effort Saints proud of you lads.

  • Score: 0

10:47pm Wed 30 Jan 13 Saint.82 says…

milton road wrote…

Lol rubbish, United's home record speaks for itself and at home United have been dominant. Spurs are the only team to take any points from Old Trafford this season. Whilst they may at moments have been erratic at times away from home. At home they have dominated. Tonight Saints changed things around at half time and drove them back. Sick of all this nonsense about teams having a bad day against Saints. Its not coincidence that Saints have played well against Arsenal Chelsea, Everton and now Utd. MP likes his team to take the game to the opposition and we did in the second half. For once Echo give Saints some credit instead of going on about how bad Utd were. They didn't play second half because we did not let them. Perhaps you should call yourself Portsmouth news mark 2. We played the top scorers in the division and second half ran them ragged. Next you will be saying the 11 - 21 shots was imagination Great effort Saints proud of you lads.

I don't normally go in for all this echo bashing nonsence... but for once I agree... But the reason it is not Pro saints, and more anti united is because it is a direct copy and paste job from the manchester evening news. http://www.mancheste reveningnews.co.uk/s port/football/match- reports/manchester-u nited-2-southampton- 1-1279748? Lazy journalism Echo... Could you not have at least slanted it to be from the saints point of view a little bit?

  • Score: 0

10:56pm Wed 30 Jan 13 Rising_Son says…

Saint 2701 wrote…

Why oh why was Fox on the pitch. Useless no good piece of sh!t !!! Decent 2nd half perfomance. On to the next one. Coyr

Why the need to hate someone so much?

  • Score: 0

10:58pm Wed 30 Jan 13 milton road says…

FERGUSON RARE PRAISE SOUTHAMPTON SECOND HALF PLAYED THE BEST FOOTBALL OF ANY AWAY SIDE HERE THIS SEASON.

  • Score: 0

11:01pm Wed 30 Jan 13 slugger says…

Rising_Son wrote…

Saint 2701 wrote…

Why oh why was Fox on the pitch. Useless no good piece of sh!t !!! Decent 2nd half perfomance. On to the next one. Coyr
Why the need to hate someone so much?

Trouble is (as far as I can tell) that some people need someone to blame , being as Guly wasn't playing it would appear that Danny Fox (who did ok imo) is the next in line to take the flak ...... sad people !

  • Score: 0

11:06pm Wed 30 Jan 13 Strasbourg Saint says…

milton road wrote…

Lol rubbish, United's home record speaks for itself and at home United have been dominant. Spurs are the only team to take any points from Old Trafford this season. Whilst they may at moments have been erratic at times away from home. At home they have dominated. Tonight Saints changed things around at half time and drove them back. Sick of all this nonsense about teams having a bad day against Saints. Its not coincidence that Saints have played well against Arsenal Chelsea, Everton and now Utd. MP likes his team to take the game to the opposition and we did in the second half. For once Echo give Saints some credit instead of going on about how bad Utd were. They didn't play second half because we did not let them. Perhaps you should call yourself Portsmouth news mark 2. We played the top scorers in the division and second half ran them ragged. Next you will be saying the 11 - 21 shots was imagination Great effort Saints proud of you lads.

Like. If luck evens itself out over a season, we're in for a cracking end. Proud of the lads, but we mustn't now blow it on Saturday.

  • Score: 0

11:08pm Wed 30 Jan 13 Strasbourg Saint says…

slugger wrote…

Rising_Son wrote…

Saint 2701 wrote…

Why oh why was Fox on the pitch. Useless no good piece of sh!t !!! Decent 2nd half perfomance. On to the next one. Coyr
Why the need to hate someone so much?
Trouble is (as far as I can tell) that some people need someone to blame , being as Guly wasn't playing it would appear that Danny Fox (who did ok imo) is the next in line to take the flak ...... sad people !

Actually, Slugger, I think Guly cost us the 3 points this evening :)

  • Score: 0

11:14pm Wed 30 Jan 13 Rising_Son says…

Strasbourg Saint wrote…

slugger wrote…

Rising_Son wrote…

Saint 2701 wrote…

Why oh why was Fox on the pitch. Useless no good piece of sh!t !!! Decent 2nd half perfomance. On to the next one. Coyr
Why the need to hate someone so much?
Trouble is (as far as I can tell) that some people need someone to blame , being as Guly wasn't playing it would appear that Danny Fox (who did ok imo) is the next in line to take the flak ...... sad people !
Actually, Slugger, I think Guly cost us the 3 points this evening :)

More like six, I reckon. Stras, you still going to Newcastle?

  • Score: 0

11:18pm Wed 30 Jan 13 Saint. says…

Yet again DE you let yourselves down! I could not believe my ears! Fergie saying on both Sky and BBC that Southampton FC was the best team at Old Trafford! We were camped in their half and nearly had them. Pepe is hopefully right about MP teams , and if after tonight performance it going to be awesome! For those who have not herd Pepe comments on MP, here they are, " you don't have to look for MP teams, they come looking for you"

  • Score: 0

11:36pm Wed 30 Jan 13 saintmac says…

Shaw I think was given a rest before Wigan and Forren will come off the bench at Wigan now he is approaching full fitness. Expect Llalana to start at Wigan assuming no side effects after tonight. Played well second half but we must take more of our chances to be certain of staying up. I feel more confident with MP and look forward to avenging our defeat against Wigan at home. COYS.

  • Score: 0

11:38pm Wed 30 Jan 13 Saint 2701 says…

Rising_Son wrote…

Strasbourg Saint wrote…

slugger wrote…

Rising_Son wrote…

Saint 2701 wrote…

Why oh why was Fox on the pitch. Useless no good piece of sh!t !!! Decent 2nd half perfomance. On to the next one. Coyr
Why the need to hate someone so much?
Trouble is (as far as I can tell) that some people need someone to blame , being as Guly wasn't playing it would appear that Danny Fox (who did ok imo) is the next in line to take the flak ...... sad people !
Actually, Slugger, I think Guly cost us the 3 points this evening :)
More like six, I reckon. Stras, you still going to Newcastle?

I just cant stand Fox, personally think we missed Guly today. Everything came down Fox's side, he ball watches and sourrenders the wing far too much. Luke Shaw is by far the better player! I reackon if we had forren, shaw and lallana we'd have nicked a draw tonight, but then again we lost at old trafford, kind of expected it! Much bigger game saturday. Hopefully fox will be sold tommorow.

  • Score: 0

11:40pm Wed 30 Jan 13 Strasbourg Saint says…

Rising_Son wrote…

Strasbourg Saint wrote…

slugger wrote…

Rising_Son wrote…

Saint 2701 wrote…

Why oh why was Fox on the pitch. Useless no good piece of sh!t !!! Decent 2nd half perfomance. On to the next one. Coyr
Why the need to hate someone so much?
Trouble is (as far as I can tell) that some people need someone to blame , being as Guly wasn't playing it would appear that Danny Fox (who did ok imo) is the next in line to take the flak ...... sad people !
Actually, Slugger, I think Guly cost us the 3 points this evening :)
More like six, I reckon. Stras, you still going to Newcastle?

Yes. Tickets on sale next week. Everything else is booked. Will you be there on the Saturday evening? (Now off to bed, it's pushing towards 1am here). Sleep well everyone (unless you're having liquidation nightmares, of course).

  • Score: 0

11:54pm Wed 30 Jan 13 White and red till dead says…

Saint.82 wrote…

milton road wrote…

Lol rubbish, United's home record speaks for itself and at home United have been dominant. Spurs are the only team to take any points from Old Trafford this season. Whilst they may at moments have been erratic at times away from home. At home they have dominated. Tonight Saints changed things around at half time and drove them back. Sick of all this nonsense about teams having a bad day against Saints. Its not coincidence that Saints have played well against Arsenal Chelsea, Everton and now Utd. MP likes his team to take the game to the opposition and we did in the second half. For once Echo give Saints some credit instead of going on about how bad Utd were. They didn't play second half because we did not let them. Perhaps you should call yourself Portsmouth news mark 2. We played the top scorers in the division and second half ran them ragged. Next you will be saying the 11 - 21 shots was imagination Great effort Saints proud of you lads.
I don't normally go in for all this echo bashing nonsence... but for once I agree... But the reason it is not Pro saints, and more anti united is because it is a direct copy and paste job from the manchester evening news. http://www.mancheste reveningnews.co.uk/s port/football/match- reports/manchester-u nited-2-southampton- 1-1279748? Lazy journalism Echo... Could you not have at least slanted it to be from the saints point of view a little bit?

Now that's funny!!

  • Score: 0

12:53am Thu 31 Jan 13 skiptonsaint says…

good performance we are no mugs in this league now but we need points wigan is massive fans were great . 2k on a weds away ? and we were noisey !

  • Score: 0

3:11am Thu 31 Jan 13 GHamilton says…

milton road wrote…

Lol rubbish, United's home record speaks for itself and at home United have been dominant. Spurs are the only team to take any points from Old Trafford this season. Whilst they may at moments have been erratic at times away from home. At home they have dominated. Tonight Saints changed things around at half time and drove them back. Sick of all this nonsense about teams having a bad day against Saints. Its not coincidence that Saints have played well against Arsenal Chelsea, Everton and now Utd. MP likes his team to take the game to the opposition and we did in the second half. For once Echo give Saints some credit instead of going on about how bad Utd were. They didn't play second half because we did not let them. Perhaps you should call yourself Portsmouth news mark 2. We played the top scorers in the division and second half ran them ragged. Next you will be saying the 11 - 21 shots was imagination Great effort Saints proud of you lads.

Your spot on about top teams having a bad day, didnt play well, ...this is all too common in this country,never a mention that they could n't play well because they were n't allowed to...never enough credit to the underdogs. How the hell we' ve managed to play as well as we have twice against this lot, and walk way with sweet FA almost defies belief. But, Fox should never have started, and neither should Hoyvield, ball watching for their second goal, he had no idea Rooney comming in behind him....these two are costing us dear, must get rid and soon.

  • Score: 0

4:49am Thu 31 Jan 13 Rising_Son says…

Stras, I'll be staying at a b&b in Jesmond, a little bit away from the city centre. And you?

  • Score: 0

7:18am Thu 31 Jan 13 Red n White says…

White and red till dead wrote…

Saint.82 wrote…

milton road wrote…

Lol rubbish, United's home record speaks for itself and at home United have been dominant. Spurs are the only team to take any points from Old Trafford this season. Whilst they may at moments have been erratic at times away from home. At home they have dominated. Tonight Saints changed things around at half time and drove them back. Sick of all this nonsense about teams having a bad day against Saints. Its not coincidence that Saints have played well against Arsenal Chelsea, Everton and now Utd. MP likes his team to take the game to the opposition and we did in the second half. For once Echo give Saints some credit instead of going on about how bad Utd were. They didn't play second half because we did not let them. Perhaps you should call yourself Portsmouth news mark 2. We played the top scorers in the division and second half ran them ragged. Next you will be saying the 11 - 21 shots was imagination Great effort Saints proud of you lads.
I don't normally go in for all this echo bashing nonsence... but for once I agree... But the reason it is not Pro saints, and more anti united is because it is a direct copy and paste job from the manchester evening news. http://www.mancheste reveningnews.co.uk/s port/football/match- reports/manchester-u nited-2-southampton- 1-1279748? Lazy journalism Echo... Could you not have at least slanted it to be from the saints point of view a little bit?
Now that's funny!!

I wondered why there was so much in there about De Gea. Not many teams will go to United and have almost double the amount of chances. Unforunately we couldn't take as many of them as we needed, hopefully we're saving the goals for the wigan game which I feel is the more important

  • Score: 0

7:18am Thu 31 Jan 13 jammo1974 says…

milton road wrote…

FERGUSON RARE PRAISE SOUTHAMPTON SECOND HALF PLAYED THE BEST FOOTBALL OF ANY AWAY SIDE HERE THIS SEASON.

he always does when they win wouldn't of been so gracious if we snatched a point!!!

  • Score: 0

7:21am Thu 31 Jan 13 jonnyP says…

GHamilton wrote…

milton road wrote…

Lol rubbish, United's home record speaks for itself and at home United have been dominant. Spurs are the only team to take any points from Old Trafford this season. Whilst they may at moments have been erratic at times away from home. At home they have dominated. Tonight Saints changed things around at half time and drove them back. Sick of all this nonsense about teams having a bad day against Saints. Its not coincidence that Saints have played well against Arsenal Chelsea, Everton and now Utd. MP likes his team to take the game to the opposition and we did in the second half. For once Echo give Saints some credit instead of going on about how bad Utd were. They didn't play second half because we did not let them. Perhaps you should call yourself Portsmouth news mark 2. We played the top scorers in the division and second half ran them ragged. Next you will be saying the 11 - 21 shots was imagination Great effort Saints proud of you lads.
Your spot on about top teams having a bad day, didnt play well, ...this is all too common in this country,never a mention that they could n't play well because they were n't allowed to...never enough credit to the underdogs. How the hell we' ve managed to play as well as we have twice against this lot, and walk way with sweet FA almost defies belief. But, Fox should never have started, and neither should Hoyvield, ball watching for their second goal, he had no idea Rooney comming in behind him....these two are costing us dear, must get rid and soon.

Agree, especially bout Hooiveld- really thought he'd be the one to step up his game to the Prem & Fonte would struggle but its been the opposite. Fox blows hot & cold but could be worth a left midfield slot at most cos defensively he's a liability. Be interesting to see if MP does sign anyone else- another defender perhaps? Anyone else still unsure of Maya? Proud of the Lads Nast night!! COYS

  • Score: 0

8:12am Thu 31 Jan 13 Strasbourg Saint says…

Rising_Son wrote…

Stras, I'll be staying at a b&b in Jesmond, a little bit away from the city centre. And you?

We reach Newcastle at 2.30pm on Saturday and will be staying in a Travelodge in Seaton Burn (to the North, just the other side of Gosforth). Are you on the Facebook forum? I'll try to find you on there. Seedhouse is also going and I guess Yorkie, too (almost a home match!).

  • Score: 0

9:15am Thu 31 Jan 13 Dubai-saints89 says…

Blackknight wrote…

Its not enough to play well enough to have won. You have to win as well.

couldn't agree more. its makes it even more frustrating. SAF even said we were the best side to come to OT. it hurts we didn't even get a point. 3 points against wigan is a MUST

  • Score: 0

9:19am Thu 31 Jan 13 Dubai-saints89 says…

jonnyP wrote…

GHamilton wrote…

milton road wrote…

Lol rubbish, United's home record speaks for itself and at home United have been dominant. Spurs are the only team to take any points from Old Trafford this season. Whilst they may at moments have been erratic at times away from home. At home they have dominated. Tonight Saints changed things around at half time and drove them back. Sick of all this nonsense about teams having a bad day against Saints. Its not coincidence that Saints have played well against Arsenal Chelsea, Everton and now Utd. MP likes his team to take the game to the opposition and we did in the second half. For once Echo give Saints some credit instead of going on about how bad Utd were. They didn't play second half because we did not let them. Perhaps you should call yourself Portsmouth news mark 2. We played the top scorers in the division and second half ran them ragged. Next you will be saying the 11 - 21 shots was imagination Great effort Saints proud of you lads.
Your spot on about top teams having a bad day, didnt play well, ...this is all too common in this country,never a mention that they could n't play well because they were n't allowed to...never enough credit to the underdogs. How the hell we' ve managed to play as well as we have twice against this lot, and walk way with sweet FA almost defies belief. But, Fox should never have started, and neither should Hoyvield, ball watching for their second goal, he had no idea Rooney comming in behind him....these two are costing us dear, must get rid and soon.
Agree, especially bout Hooiveld- really thought he'd be the one to step up his game to the Prem & Fonte would struggle but its been the opposite. Fox blows hot & cold but could be worth a left midfield slot at most cos defensively he's a liability. Be interesting to see if MP does sign anyone else- another defender perhaps? Anyone else still unsure of Maya? Proud of the Lads Nast night!! COYS

im sure MP has picked up on Fox's On and Off form. I wont be surprised if a left winger comes in. probably coutiniho was the replacement but he chose Liverpool, today a new winger could be brought in. lets wait and see..

  • Score: 0

12:00pm Thu 31 Jan 13 forever a saint says…

I thnk we should get Mr Hooper from Celtic,just go to theclub offer £10 million for him & put him up front with Sir Rickie.Apart from Rodriguezs' lucky tap in last night we have no one to aid SRL,Lallana needs to concentrate on being an attacking midfielder & ping crosses in for Rickie or be the distraction to open up space in/around the box,i dont think Rodriguez is Premiership quality when it comes to pure firepower.Buy Hooper put him up with Rickie & we will score more often and scare most defences COYS FOADP

  • Score: 0

4:49pm Thu 31 Jan 13 manchester exiled Saint says…

I went back into the city last night for a drink and then the train home.Every single United fan sayong we were the best fooball team they had seen this season. That second half had the scared like no one else for a long time. We should be proud of that performance. I think the whole team played well. Fox had his best game in the Prem and the substituions at half time were a surprise but worked wonders. Its been a proud day to be a Saints fan in Manchester. But still no points. On to Wigan...

  • Score: 0
Comments are closed on this article