By Lee Savery
A Wayne Rooney brace helped Manchester United come from behind and hang on to victory at Old Trafford to go seven points clear at the top of the Premier League.
The visitors stunned Old Trafford when Jay Rodriguez latched onto Michael Carrick’s poor pass back to round David de Gea and score after just three minutes. Yet another game where the Red Devils had conceded first.
The lead would only last 5 minutes, however, when Shinji Kagawa’s flick to Rooney was met with a swift finish from the No. 10. United took control and Kagawa was unlucky not to have scored himself as his shot, from inside the box, hit the post.
Rooney would double his lead on 27 minutes. Phil Jones was fouled on the right side. The free-kick was taken by Robin van Persie who found Patrice Evra, at the back post, whose superb diving header across goal found Rooney for a tap in.
The second half resulted in no goals, however, Southampton dominated with United being pushed back further and further as the half went on. This is shown from the statistics with the Saints having nearly double the attempts at goal than United (11 & 21 respectively).
De Gea had to save twice from Ricky Lambert free-kicks. One he spilled but fortunately he gathered at the second attempt. The second one was a terrific diving save, to his left, that looked certain to find the bottom corner. He was not at his best tonight but he kept what he had to out.
United had a couple of close moments amongst the Southampton possession, both falling to van Persie. The Dutchman had a quiet night but Artur Boruc kept out a header from close range before van Persie scored the next chance but he was ruled offside.
The home side had to hang on but the result stayed at 2-1 as the Saints could not find a leveller. A big three points that has restored the seven point lead over neighbours Manchester City.
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