Man United 2 Southampton 1: We were fortunate to win, says Ferguson
Man United 2 Southampton 1: Sir Alex Ferguson says the Red Devils were fortunate to beat the Saints after an unconvincing display
Sir Alex Ferguson admitted Manchester United were “fortunate” to beat Southampton after edging to a narrow victory at Old Trafford.
Jay Rodriguez scored inside three minutes for the visitors after intercepting Michael Carrick’s poor back pass and outwitting David De Gea before rolling his finish into the empty net.
However, United were soon level as Wayne Rooney raced onto Shinji Kagawa’s through pass and finished past Southampton goalkeeper Artur Boruc, before adding a second from close range in 27th minute.
The Saints were impressive in the second half, and Rickie Lambert and Rodriguez both tested United’s De Gea with free-kick efforts, but the Red Devils held on to move seven points clear of second-place Manchester City.
“[Winning] is the name of the game at this stage of the season. For the first 30 minutes I thought we were fantastic, we played really well,” Ferguson told BBC Sport.
“But in the second half Southampton have been the best team to play here this season. We were fortunate to win the game.
“We found the pitch difficult to play on. Southampton won a lot of 50-50s as our players looked to take a touch. We watered the pitch before the game but once it dried out in the second half it became difficult.”
Southampton’s ambitious new manager Mauricio Pochettino expressed his dismay not to secure a point at United.
“I’m very proud (of Ferguson’s praise),” said Nigel Adkins’ successor.
“It’s very important for my players to hear. But we leave with no points. We did play well but I’m upset at not getting a draw at least. It doesn’t console me.
“I think in the second half we played as we should have done for the whole game. I think it’s important for the team to know we can play that well.”