MANCHESTER (REUTERS) - Manchester United's Champions League qualification hopes suffered a blow after an equaliser deep in stoppage time from Michael Obafemi earned Southampton a 2-2 draw in the Premier League at Old Trafford on Monday (July 13).
United were poised to move up to third after Anthony Martial's 23rd minute strike had put them 2-1 ahead.
On the day when second-placed Manchester City's two-year ban from European football was overturned on appeal, meaning the top four will qualify for the Champions League as usual, United stay in fifth place on 59 points.
Leicester City are fourth, ahead of United on goal difference, with Chelsea third on 60 points. City and title winners Liverpool have already secured Champions League places for next season.
"You think you have three points in the bag but we probably didn't deserve three points today," said United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
"Southampton are a good team, they run, and run and chase. We never got into our rhythm today. We played some fantastic football at times. The two goals we scored were very, very good.
"It was the worst time to concede a goal but it happens in football. We have won so many games in that way. It is all part of the learning for this team," he added.
Southampton took a shock lead in the 12th minute when Paul Pogba was robbed by Danny Ings just outside the area and Nathan Redmond's cross found Stuart Armstrong at the back post where the Scottish midfielder slotted home.
Marcus Rashford then had the ball in the net, converting a low cross from Luke Shaw, but it was ruled out for offside although the United striker did not have to wait long to level.
Pogba played the ball in to Martial who held off two Saints defenders before poking the ball to Rashford who made no mistake with a left-foot finish in the 20th minute.
Three minutes later United had the lead, Bruno Fernandes fed Martial on the left and the French international cut inside and smashed the ball home.
United finished the game with 10 men after Brandon Williams went off injured, with Solskjaer having no substitute opportunities, and they failed to hold on to the three points when Obafemi turned in a corner at the back post.
United played the same starting team for the fifth straight league game, the first time they have done so since 1993, but Solskjaer did not feel his side had suffered from fatigue.
"I don't think tiredness was the case. It was just one of those days we did not take our chances and they took theirs.
"David de Gea had one really good save but apart from that we had the bigger chances but you are not going to be given three points and Southampton are a very good side," he said.
Saints boss Ralph Hasenhuettl was delighted with the way his vastly improved 12th placed team approached the match.
"We developed our game with the ball extremely (well) in the last few weeks. We are becoming more brave. We are taking more risks. If you take more risks things can happen," he said.
"We wanted to be brave, we have nothing to lose and we can play free. You can feel the guys really enjoy (it) at the moment."