Van Persie hat-trick saves Ferguson
Manchester United's Robin van Persie celebrates scoring his side's third goal of the game
It will not be a game Ferguson will remember fondly when he reflects on his coaching career as Manchester United had to come from behind twice to earn a late 3-2 victory over Southampton at Saint Mary’s Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
While many thought the United would coast to victory over their clearly less talented opponents, the Saints had other ideas and could consider themselves a little unlucky to come away with a loss.
Two goals in the final five minutes of the match from none other than Van Persie saw Southampton go from leading the game 2-1 to walking away with their third defeat in a row.
And while van Persie will grab the headlines, it was certainly not his best performance as he squandered numerous chances in front of goal, including a missed penalty.
But still he found the back of the net on three separate occasions to hand United their second three points of the season – further highlighting the importance of Ferguson signing the Dutchman.
The home side certainly didn’t start positively and were in trouble of conceding a goal early on, but a woeful shot from Van Persie in the seventh minute let them off the hook.
A long ball from Michael Carrick picked out Van Persie inside the box, and while the Dutchman did brilliantly to control the ball he shot narrowly wide from 12-yards out.
After that early scare, though, Southampton settled in front of their home crowd and took the lead in the 16th minute.
Jason Puncheon whipped in a delightful cross to find the towering Rickie Lambert at the back post the Southampton man made no mistake with a powerful header from ten-yards out, 1-0.
United, however, were not to be outdone and quickly hit back seven minutes later.
In a similar fashion to the first goal of the game Valencia supplied a cross to the back post to find Van Persie, who again showed superb control to chest the ball down and fire it home from 12-yard s out, 1-1.
The rest of the half saw the game ebb and flow as both teams create chances, but neither could find their second goal.
The second 45 saw the Saints start a lot more positively than they did the first Stanza and they retook the lead in the ten minutes after the restart.
A slip in defence by Patrice Evra allowed Morgan Schneiderlin to latch onto another deep cross into the box and the Southampton defender took full advantage with another header into the bottom left-hand corner, 2-1.
After going behind for a second time United set their stall out to attack and they looked certain to get an equaliser in the 68th minute when United were awarded a penalty kick, but surprisingly Van Persie missed from the spot.
And then just as United looked to be heading for their second defeat in three games, Van Persie found his second goal when he latched onto a ball which bounced of the post from a Rio Ferdinand header. Van Persie couldn’t miss from only a couple yards out to level matters, 2-2.
Then, as we have all become accustom, United found another late goal with Van Persie brilliantly heading home a corner-kick in the 92ndminute to claim his hat-trick and the Red Devils win.