Manchester United fought back from two goals down to secure a point but their Premier League struggles continued with a 2-2 draw at Southampton.
All the goals came in the first half at St Mary’s and it was Southampton who raced into an early two-goal lead thanks to Stuart Armstrong’s third goal in two games and a stunning free-kick from Cedric Soares.
United, who started with Scott McTominay and Nemanja Matic in a back three alongside Phil Jones, put a lacklustre opening behind them with two goals in six minutes as Romelu Lukaku and Ander Herrera brought Jose Mourinho’s side level, but they could not find a winner in what was a poor second half.
Southampton held on for what could prove to be a valuable point to move up to 18th in the league and ease the pressure on manager Mark Hughes, while a point takes United – who are without a win in three Premier League games for the first time since December 2017 – up to seventh.
Hughes urged his side to be positive against United ahead of kick-off and his players took his advice on board as Armstrong drilled a powerful effort past David de Gea and into the far corner after being played in by Michael Obafemi.
The hosts extended their advantage in the 20th minute, following Marcus Rashford’s foul on Mario Lemina, Cedric striking an inch-perfect free-kick over the wall and into the top corner.
Southampton’s celebrations were dampened slightly when Lukaku raced onto Rashford’s through ball before confidently thumping the ball into the top corner for his first goal for the club since September 15.
Six minutes later and United were back on level terms. Rashford did well to get to the byline before pulling the ball back for Herrera, whose flick found its way past Alex McCarthy at the near post.
The momentum had swung back in United’s favour after Mourinho’s men hauled themselves back into the game, but after the interval they failed to kick on and up the tempo again.
Marouane Fellaini headed wide after meeting Ashley Young’s free-kick and Luke Shaw shot wide from the edge of the box but the visitors struggled to create any clear-cut opportunities to score a winner