Manchester United stretched their winning to run to five games as Robin van Persie struck twice in a 2-1 win at Southampton.
The visitors took the lead on 11 minutes when Jose Fonte’s sloppy back-pass was seized upon by the Dutchman and he slid the ball past Fraser Forster.
Soon after, Graziano Pelle ended a run of 592 minutes without a Premier League goal as he snatched an equaliser for the south-coast club.
Nonetheless, with 19 minutes remaining, a Wayne Rooney free-kick evaded everyone but van Persie, who skilfully prodded home from a tight angle.
With this victory, Louis van Gaal's side have won their fifth consecutive game of the season; a feat they were unable to achieve during David Moyes' tenure. As it stands, this is the longest current winning run of any team in the Premier League.
|Possession (%)||Passes Completed|
Southampton may have dominated possession (55%), but the Red Devils proved the far more clinical of the two teams. Ronald Koeman's side managed 15 attempts in total, just four of which threatened David De Gea in the Manchester United goal.
|Goals||Total Shots||Shot Accuracy (%)|
Meanwhile, the visitors recorded a mere three shots throughout 90 minutes; the lowest tally recorded by any English top-flight club this term. In fact, this is the lowest shot total managed by the Old Trafford outfit since August 2003.
Van Persie proved the hero, weighing in with an almost faultless display. The Dutchman was the only Manchester United player to manage an attempt at goal, yet he converted two of his total attempts. He has now scored six times in the league this term, becoming the club's top scorer.
|Robin van Persie||6||14|
Rooney's ball for United's second of the night was the club's only pass completed into the Saints' box all evening. This move saw the England international record his third assist of the season - only Angel Di Maria has more (6).
As Chris Smalling came off just 18 minutes into the first half through injury, he became the 42nd United player to face a spell on the sidelines since the campaign began. That's 42 injuries, in just 15 domestic fixtures - a statistic that will continue to worry the Manchester United hierarchy.
Nonetheless, having collected the full share of the points, the Red Devils move up to third - the highest position the club has achieved since the opening day of 2013/14 season. Southampton drop to fifth place, just a single point off fourth.