Southampton vs. Manchester United: Score, Highlights and Grades
Manchester teams must be really sick of pesky Southampton already this season. And Southampton must wonder what they have to do to hold on to a lead against two of the league's top teams this season.
Manchester United survived a major scare from Southampton, overcoming a 2-1 deficit in the 87th minute behind two late goals from Robin van Persie and winning the match, 3-2.
For Southampton, it was eerily similar to the 2-1 lead they held over Manchester City before also losing that match, 3-2. They certainly aren't intimidated by the big boys.
For van Persie, it was his first hat trick for Manchester United, and made up for a botched penalty kick that would have tied the game in the 69th minute.
And for the Red Devils, it was a sign that RVP would more than take the place of Wayne Rooney while the striker remained off the pitch due to injury.
Manchester United may take things close to the wire, but thus far this season, they've proven to be a threat from the opening to final whistle. It wasn't always pretty against Southampton, but the best teams can win ugly, too.
Let's take a look back at this excellent Barclays Premier League match.
The Entire Southampton Team: A
You've got to give the whole team credit here—they were probably unlucky to miss out on at least securing a point in this one. They battled, took advantage of the opportunities they had and were up 2-1 with only a few minutes remaining.
No, they couldn't close it out, but this is Manchester United they were playing. They gave the Red Devils all they could handle, and have made a clear statement early in this season that they are not a team to be taken lightly.
Robin van Persie, Manchester United: A-
I think it's safe to say RVP has lived up to his signing thus far. He better not miss any penalties like that moving forward, but Manchester United will certainly live with his hat trick.
Shinji Kagawa, Manchester United: C+
For the first time, I didn't think Kagawa was a major presence on the pitch. Kagawa had a clear shot he didn't finish, and he did set up van Persie for a sitter that the Dutch striker failed to score on.
Still, Kagawa has been so good for the Red Devils early on that I was surprised he didn't leave a bigger imprint on this game. Hardly a setback for Kagawa, but he was a bit too quiet for my tastes on Sunday.
Rickie Lambert, Southampton: A
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