Southampton ended Manchester United’s 10-match unbeaten run on Sunday with a 1-0 victory that dislodged Louis van Gaal’s side from third place in the Premier League.
Dusan Tadic clinched Southampton’s first win at Old Trafford in 27 years in the 69th minute to strengthen the south-coast team’s chances of qualifying for the Champions League for the first time.
Five minutes after coming off the bench, Tadic set up Graziano Pelle for a shot that hit the post. Tadic was alert to send the rebound into the net with the game’s only shot on target.
The Serbia midfielder did earn a booking for his celebration, taking off his shirt and flexing his muscles in front of the cameras. Southampton is now two points ahead of fourth-place United.
Sanchez double sinks Stoke
Alexis Sanchez scored twice after creating the opener on Sunday as Arsenal eased to a 3-0 victory over Stoke and moved up to fifth in the Premier League. Sanchez’s cross was headed in by Laurent Koscielny inside six minutes, and the Chile forward was on target in the 33rd minute after completing a one-two with Tomas Rosicky.
A free kick from Sanchez four minutes into the second half went through the wall and the ball was pushed onto the post by goalkeeper Asmir Begovic before going into the net. It took his tally to 18 goals since joining in July from Barcelona for around $60 million.
“For the top players it’s about consistency and not just about being good one week but every week,’’ Arsenal midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain said.
“And I think Alexis has done that all the way through this season. He was brilliant again today, got two good goals and set Laurent’s goal up as well. Hopefully it continues for him because he’s having a great season and his confidence is brimming and that helps the team as well.’’
The victory may have come at a cost. Defender Mathieu Debuchy, who had only just returned from an ankle problem, was carried off during the first half with a shoulder injury sustained when falling into the advertising hoardings after colliding with Stoke’s Marko Arnautovic.
Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny, meanwhile, had been left to watch from the bench as David Ospina made his Premier League debut. It came after a week of negative headlines for Szczesny over smoking in the showers after the loss at Southampton on New Year’s Day.
But it was a quiet day for Ospina on a day when Arsenal was in complete control. Arsenal had shown its intent from kick off as Sanchez tested Begovic with an early effort which was curling towards the bottom right corner before being pushed behind.
Stoke has not won at Arsenal since 1981 and was soon behind. Begovic pushed an angled drive from Rosicky behind. Sanchez’s corner was only half-cleared, and Koscielny played the loose ball back out to the forward. Koscielny ran off into the six-yard box and ghosted in unmarked to plant a firm header past Begovic from Sanchez’s cross.