Romelu Lukaku Leads Manchester United Past Southampton in Premier League

Gianni VerschuerenFeatured ColumnistSeptember 23, 2017

Southampton's Dutch defender Wesley Hoedt (R) vies with Manchester United's Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku during the English Premier League football match between Southampton and Manchester United at St Mary's Stadium in Southampton, southern England on September 23, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Glyn KIRK / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.  /         (Photo credit should read GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images)
GLYN KIRK/Getty Images

Romelu Lukaku scored the only goal in Manchester United's 1-0 win over Southampton on Saturday, continuing the club's fine run in the Premier League.

Saints kept things close with the Red Devils, but a smart goal from the Belgian in the first half made all the difference.

Here's a look at the teamsheet, per John Cross of the Daily Mirror:   

The match did not get off to a good start, with both teams struggling with their passing, but Henrikh Mkhitaryan did get an early chance, firing straight at Fraser Forster.

Nathan Redmond went close for the hosts, powering a shot just wide, and Marouane Fellaini had minor appeals for a penalty turned down after a back-and-forth in the box.

While chances were rare early, United struck gold with their first major look on goal. Lukaku couldn't find the back of the net with his initial header, but the Belgian was able to knock the rebound past Forster for the lead.

Per Samuel Luckhurst of the Manchester Evening News, he has started his Red Devils career in historic fashion:

Ryan Bertrand tried to respond immediately, but his tame shot was easily saved by David De Gea.

Marcus Rashford perhaps should have made it 2-0 just before the half-hour mark, firing wide, and Fellaini needed treatment after a harsh foul from Shane Long, who was rightly booked. Wesley Hoedt made a key interception to end the half, as United went into the break with a deserved lead.

Saints started the second half on the front foot, and Oriol Romeu perhaps should have tied things up from close range, missing with a toe-poke.

Miguel Delaney of The Independent couldn't believe it:

Redmond put De Gea to work with a low shot, and Long's header seemed destined for the back of the net but flew wide. On the other side of the pitch, Forster kept his team in the match with a great save on Lukaku.

Manolo Gabbiadini was introduced with little over a quarter of an hour left, but it was team-mate Dusan Tadic who nearly equalised, beating De Gea with a drive that rolled past the post.

Ander Herrera fired over the bar from a promising position, and the Spaniard gave his team several late scares with some clumsy fouls around the box. Manager Jose Mourinho was sent to the stands in injury time, but his team held on, grabbing a close win.