Football: Manchester United edges Southampton 3-2, Liverpool draw

Manchester United's Spanish goalkeeper David de Gea embraces Manchester United's French striker Anthony Martial (second from left) after Manchester beat Southampton at St Mary's stadium on Sunday.
Manchester United's Spanish goalkeeper David de Gea embraces Manchester United's French striker Anthony Martial (second from left) after Manchester beat Southampton at St Mary's stadium on Sunday. PHOTO: AFP

LONDON (AFP) - Teenage striker Anthony Martial further endeared himself to Manchester United's supporters with a nerveless brace as his side came from behind to win 3-2 at Southampton on Sunday.

Scorer of a memorable solo goal in last weekend's 3-1 win over Liverpool, 19-year-old Martial struck either side of half-time at St Mary's after Graziano Pelle had given Southampton a 13th-minute lead.

Juan Mata added a third in the 68th minute and despite Pelle scoring again, United held on for a victory that propelled Louis van Gaal's side up to second place in the Premier League table, two points below leaders Manchester City, who lost 2-1 at home to West Ham United on Saturday.

Martial, who signed from Monaco on transfer deadline day for a reported initial fee of £36 million (S$78.26 million), started up front alongside Wayne Rooney, who returned following a hamstring injury.

Southampton went ahead when Pelle followed in to score after Sadio Mane's shot from James Ward-Prowse's inviting right-wing cross had been parried by visiting goalkeeper David de Gea.

Pelle hit the post moments later, but Martial equalised in the 34th minute, throwing Virgil van Dijk off balance with a neat Cruyff turn inside the box and slipping a shot beneath Maarten Stekelenburg.

He put United ahead five minutes into the second half, seizing on a woeful Maya Yoshida back-pass and coolly beating Stekelenburg, before Mata slammed home after Memphis Depay's shot came back off the post following a hypnotic 45-pass move.

While Martial again stole the headlines, United were also indebted to De Gea, who produced a jaw-dropping one-handed save to claw a Jose Fonte header off the line when the score was 2-1.

Pelle converted a cross from Mane with a well-placed header four minutes from time, but United survived.

United's old rivals Liverpool continue to struggle, having seen their run of league games without victory extended to four following a 1-1 draw at home to Norwich City.

Daniel Sturridge made his first appearance since April after hip surgery and his side went ahead in the 48th minute when Danny Ings, a half-time replacement for Christian Benteke, drilled home his first Liverpool goal.

But Norwich equalised 13 minutes later courtesy of a deft lob by centre-back Russell Martin - his third goal of the campaign.

The result left Brendan Rodgers's Liverpool in 13th place, seven points below City, but a point above defending champions Chelsea, who beat Arsenal 2-0 on Saturday in a game that saw Gabriel and Santi Cazorla sent off for Arsene Wenger's side.