Manchester United 0-1 Southampton: Austin debut hero; United booed off
- Austin heads home later winner
- Third win on spin for Saints
- United fans boo players off
$6.5 million for Charlie Austin is a bit of a bargain.
On Saturday the striker Southampton signed last week from Queens Park Rangers jumped off the bench to head home a late winner as Saints defeated Manchester United 1-0 at Old Trafford.
[ MORE: Van Gaal - “Fans right to boo” ]
United were poor throughout and hardly created any chances of note as a stubborn Southampton side won for the third-straight game -- also keeping a third-straight clean sheet -- and piled more misery on United’s manager Louis van Gaal who was booed throughout after his side only had one shot on target.
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With the victory Saints move on to 33 points, while United remain on 37.
[ RELATED: Watch full match replays ]
A dour opening first 45 minutes saw Southampton look more likely to take the lead and they had a great shout for a penalty kick.
Shane Long was bundled down in the box by Ander Herrera but the referee waved away the calls from Saints. United got away with one.
Before the break United had a few half chances with Wayne Rooney striking from distance and Jesse Lingard having a shot fly just wide but Van Gaal’s side were booed off the pitch as they extended their record of not scoring in the first half of homes games to 11 matches.
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At half time Juan Mata replaced Marounae Fellaini with the home fans delighted to see the Spanish playmaker on the pitch to try and unlock Saints’ defense.
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In the second half Southampton continued to look comfortable in possession and the home fans continued to grow restless. A mouse was spotted on the pitch in a bizarre incident and that was one of the highlights of the second half, which says it all.
[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]
However, Austin came on for the final 10 minutes to make his Southampton debut and in the 87th minute he scored the game-winner in dramatic fashion.
7:43 - It took Charlie Austin just seven minutes & 43 seconds after coming on as a substitute to score on his debut for Southampton. Impact.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 23, 2016
A free kick from James Ward-Prowse on the right found Austin eight-yards out and the former QPR man sent a bullet header into the top corner as he celebrated in front of the jubilant away fans.
As the home supporters berated Van Gaal and United’s players, Southampton celebrated back-to-back wins at Old Trafford after previously going 27 years without a win at United.
How many more damaging defeats can Van Gaal endure before it’s the end for him at United?