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Dublin: 0°C Friday 16 April 2021

Frustrated Man United fail to score at Old Trafford as Saints earn a point

Jose Mourinho’s side have now suffered back-to-back draws in the Premier League.

Manchester United v Southampton - Premier League - Old Trafford Phil Jones intercepts from Southampton striker Shane Long. Source: Dave Thompson

THE FULL-TIME whistle saw a chorus of boos pour down from the stands at Old Trafford on Saturday evening, as Manchester United were held to a scoreless draw by a rigid Southampton performance.

It was the first time Jose Mourinho’s side had failed to score at home in the Premier League all season, with the stalemate meaning United remain 15 points adrift of Manchester City at the top of the table.

United began brightly with an early chance coming and going for Juan Mata, but Southampton’s persistent doggedness combined with the absence of a final product meant it was an unproductive evening for the hosts in front of goal.

But there was even more concern for the hosts despite the result, as star striker Romelu Lukaku was stretchered off in the first half following a clash of heads with Saints defender Wesley Hoedt after just 14 minutes.

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Manchester United v Southampton - Premier League - Old Trafford Source: Dave Thompson

His replacement Marcus Rashford caused a host of problems inside the box but could convert few of the chances that came his way, as goalkeeper Alex McCarthy offered a reassured display which swatted any efforts on goal away with calm.

Ireland striker Shane Long so often looked like breaking his 10 month goal absence on Saturday. Despite the type of workmanlike performance which has become his hallmark, the 30-year-old simply could not beat an unflappable David de Gea.

United now remain in third place in the Premier League after Chelsea’s comprehensive win against Stoke City on Saturday afternoon saw Antonio Conte’s side move into second spot.

The42 has just published its first book, Behind The Lines, a collection of some of the year’s best sports stories. Pick up your copy in Eason’s, or order it here today (€10):

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