Sunday 21 July, 2019

Man United into EPL's top 4 after beating Southampton 3-2

Manchester United's Romelu Lukaku celebrates scoring his side's third goal of the game, during the English Premier League football match against Southampton at Old Trafford, in Manchester, England, Saturday, March 2, 2019.

Manchester United's Romelu Lukaku celebrates scoring his side's third goal of the game, during the English Premier League football match against Southampton at Old Trafford, in Manchester, England, Saturday, March 2, 2019.

Romelu Lukaku scored an 88th-minute goal to earn Manchester United a thrilling 3-2 victory over Southampton and a place in the top four of the Premier League on Saturday.

When interim manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer replaced Jose Mourinho in December, United were in sixth spot, 11 points off the Champions League qualification positions.

This win over Southampton made it 10 victories in 12 league matches under Solskjaer and lifted United above Arsenal — and to within three points of third-place Tottenham.

Three days after scoring twice in a 3-1 victory over Crystal Palace, Lukaku again proved the difference for United with another double.

Yan Valery rocked Old Trafford with a long-range opener for Southampton in the 26th, only for Andreas Pereira to make it 1-1 with a similarly impressive effort from distance in the 53rd.

Lukaku put United ahead for the first time by steering home a finish in the 59th but James Ward-Prowse bent home a free kick to bring Southampton level with 15 minutes left.

Lukaku had the final say when he made space for himself after collecting Fred's pass and fired home a low right-footed shot in front of the Stretford End.

There was still time for United's Paul Pogba to have a penalty saved by Angus Gunn in injury time after Marcus Rashford was fouled.

Already without Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial because of injury, United lost Alexis Sanchez to a right knee injury in the second half.

"It looks like his ligaments but hopefully he won't be out too long," said Solskjaer, whose team plays Paris Saint-Germain in the second leg of its Champions League last-16 matchup.

PSG lead 2-0 from the first leg.

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