Manchester United were unable to get back on track in the Premier League on Saturday, again failing to win. This time, they were undone by fourth-placed Southampton, who looked like a team worthy of their standing in their performance at Old Trafford. United scored early, but Dejan Lovren came up with a late equalizer to secure a 1-1 draw for the Saints.
United put Southampton under some early pressure and created the game's first clear chance in the 12th minute. Nani beat Luke Shaw before squaring for Robin van Persie, but his shot was right at Artur Boruc.
Pablo Osvaldo had an excellent chance for Southampton in the 24th minute, but failed to make the most of it. Adam Lallana played him in on goal after a Wayne Rooney turnover, but Osvaldo misjudged the time and space he had to take a shot. Instead of taking a touch and steadying himself, he shot first time and scuffed it, leaving David De Gea with an easy save.
That miss ended up being a massive turning point in the match. Two minutes later, Adnan Januzaj set up United's goal, taking advantage of some space behind the Southampton defense. He played Rooney through, but United's attacking midfielder failed to make the most of the chance, putting it right into Boruc. Luckily for him, van Persie wasn't far behind. He picked up the rebound, rounded Boruc and placed his shot into an empty net.
The end of the half was back-and-forth, with both teams generating some decent chances, though Southampton were the better side to close the first 45. Lovren had a shot from 25 yards saved in the 34th minute and Victor Wanyama won a dangerous free kick on the edge of the box just before the break, but Luke Shaw put his free kick into the wall.
United's biggest spell of dominance in the game came around the hour mark, when they generated some great opportunities off corners. Boruc had to save back-to-back shots from van Persie and Nani on the 62nd minute mark, then make his best stop of the night off a swerving shot by Januzaj on the corner that followed those two efforts.
Things started to turn Southampton's way around 10 minutes later, and they looked excellent from the 70th minute mark until their eventual equalizer. Lallana had a great chance in the 73rd minute after he beat Marouane Fellaini with an impressive dribbling move, but like many previous shots, he hit his effort right at David De Gea.
Southampton's breakthrough came in the 88th minute, off a corner. Substitute James Ward-Prowse took the in-swinging effort, which United failed to clear, resulting in a nasty goal-mouth scramble. Lovren pounced on the ball and found a way to push it into the back of the net through traffic, giving his side a well-earned equalizer.
Predictably, United were the aggressors in the closing minutes, but were unable to test Boruc as the Saints held on for an impressive draw. Rafael had a shout for a penalty in the final minute, but Mike Jones was having none of it.
Manchester United: De Gea, Evra, Jones, Evans, Rafael, Fellaini (Welbeck 76'), Carrick, Januzaj, Rooney (Smalling 87'), Nani (Giggs 69'), van Persie
Goals: van Persie (26')
Southampton: Boruc, Shaw, Lovren, Fonte, Clyne, Wanyama (Do Prado 83'), Schneiderlin, Davis (Ward-Prowse 67'), Lallana, Osvaldo, Rodriguez (Lambert 56')
Goals: Lovren (88')