MX23RW : Wednesday, March 6 07:56:21

Result: Romelu Lukaku nets twice as Manchester United fight back to edge out Southampton

Manchester United overturn a half-time deficit to register a dramatic 3-2 victory over Southampton in Saturday's Premier League clash at Old Trafford.

Two goals from Romelu Lukaku have helped Manchester United overturn a half-time deficit to register a 3-2 victory over Southampton in Saturday's Premier League clash at Old Trafford.

Yann Valery put the Saints into the lead with his first goal in professional football, but Andreas Pereira netted an equally impressive strike to get United back on level terms.

Lukaku's first goal was cancelled out by a magnificent set piece from James Ward-Prowse, but Lukaku struck in the closing minutes to secure a hard-fought three points for his side.

United now sit fourth in the top-flight standings after Arsenal's draw with Tottenham Hotspur, while Southampton remain two points above the relegation zone.

Manchester United's Romelu Lukaku gets a shot away against Southampton in the Premier League on March 2, 2019.© Reuters

United started brightly in the North-West and Lukaku came close to opening the scoring as early as the third minute, with Angus Gunn having to get down well to his left to parry the Belgian's 10-yard effort away from goal.

The home side continued to pepper the Saints' goal with Gunn having to make a timely block from Lukaku, but the visitors managed to create an opportunity of their own with Jannik Vestergaard missing the target with a header.

However, the chance helped settle Southampton down, and after easing their way into the contest they took the lead in stunning style as Valery found the top corner of David de Gea's net from 25 yards to register his first goal for the South-coast outfit.

Going behind sparked United back into life, but chances continued to be squandered by Lukaku, who miscued an effort from 10 yards with his weaker right foot and then glanced a header wide of the target from close range.

Southampton celebrate Yann Valery's goal against Manchester United in the Premier League on March 2, 2019.© Reuters

Chris Smalling went even closer to a leveller, with the defender hitting the far post with a 12-yard header after meeting an outswinging corner.

United were dealt a blow soon after the restart when Alexis Sanchez sustained what could prove to be a significant knee injury, but the home side levelled the game moments afterwards when Pereira curled a pinpoint strike into the top corner from 25 yards out.

Southampton continued to look for goals at the other end, but United completed the turnaround just six minutes later when Lukaku switched the ball onto his right foot inside the area before firing a low effort into the bottom corner.

The goals were harsh on the visitors, but they did not prevent the Saints going in search of an equaliser, although Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg could only send a shot from the edge of the area wildly over the bar.

Manchester United celebrate scoring against Southampton in the Premier League on March 2, 2019.© Reuters

However, Southampton eventually did get back on level terms with their second tremendous goal of the game as Ward-Prowse curled a free kick into the top corner of De Gea's net.

Southampton showed the greater ambition during the closing stages and forced a couple of corners, but United always posed a threat when they went forward and it came as little surprise when a fifth and decisive goal was scored.

The ball broke kindly for Lukaku on the edge of the area, and the forward proceeded to send a low first-time effort into the bottom corner of Gunn's net from 20 yards out.

United could have extended their advantage in the fourth minute of added-on time when Stuart Armstrong tripped Marcus Rashford, but Paul Pogba's penalty was superbly kept out by the legs of Gunn.

MANCHESTER UNITED (4-2-3-1): De Gea; Young, Smalling, Lindelof, Shaw; McTominay, Pereira (Fred 82'); Sanchez (Dalot 52'), Pogba, Rashford (Chong 95'); Lukaku

SOUTHAMPTON (3-5-1-1): Gunn; Bednarek, Yoshida (Gallagher 90'), Vestergaard; Valery, Ward-Prowse, Romeu, Hojbjerg, Bertrand; Redmond; Austin (Armstrong 63')

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Antonio Valencia in action for Manchester United on August 27, 2018
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City29232476205671
2Liverpool29217164154970
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs29201856302661
4Manchester UnitedMan Utd29177558382058
5Arsenal29176661392257
6Chelsea28175649301956
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves29127103735243
8Watford29127104141043
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham29116123741-439
10Everton29107123939037
11Leicester CityLeicester29105143541-635
12Bournemouth29104153954-1534
13Crystal Palace2996143539-433
14Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2987142636-1031
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2886143041-1130
16Burnley2986153253-2130
17Southampton2969143249-1727
18Cardiff CityCardiff2974182557-3225
19Fulham2945202765-3817
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2935211551-3614

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