Saints strike down Red Devils, Gunners move up
Southampton leapfrogged a lacklustre Manchester United into third place in the Premier League table on Sunday as substitute Dusan Tadic’s goal secured a clinical 1-0 victory at Old Trafford.
Despite controlling possession, Louis van Gaal’s United failed to muster a single shot on target and saw their 11-game unbeaten run in all competitions ended when Tadic netted in the 69th minute.
The Serbian’s goal gave Southampton a first win at Old Trafford since January 1988 and enabled them to avenge their 2-1 loss in December’s reverse fixture, when United had managed only three attempts at goal.
It took Ronald Koeman’s side two points above their opponents into third place, while United, who have won only once in their last five league games, now lead fifth-place Arsenal by a single point.
United had new goalkeeper Victor Valdes on the bench and welcomed Daley Blind back from injury, while Angel di Maria made his first start since November, but Radamel Falcao was absent from the match-day 18.
In the day’s earlier match, Alexis Sanchez delivered a majestic display as Arsenal closed the gap in the race for a top four finish in the Premier League with a 3-0 victory over Stoke.
Sanchez made Laurent Koscielny’s opener and then netted his 17th and 18th goals of the season either side of half-time at the Emirates Stadium to lift Arsenal above Tottenham into fifth spot.
Just five weeks after Stoke’s shock victory over the Gunners, Arsenal legends Thierry Henry and Robert Pires watched from the stands as French defender Koscielny started the revenge mission with a sixth minute header from Sanchez’s cross.
Arsenal right-back Mathieu Debuchy was forced off with a shoulder injury after tangling with Stoke’s Marko Arnautovic, but the hosts struck again in the 33rd minute.
It was another moment of magic from Sanchez as the former Barcelona forward took Tomas Rosicky’s pass and sized up his options before cleverly beating Asmir Begovic at his near post.
Sanchez wasn’t finished yet and his deflected free-kick four minutes after the interval sealed the points.