Southampton 2 - 3 Manchester United
Lambert (16), Schneiderlin (55) van Persie (23, 87, 90+2)
Robin van Persie scored an almighty hat trick at the Dell, as Manchester United won 3-2 in "Fergie Time" against an ambitious Southampton side.
Sir Alex Ferguson has reached a milestone that is unlikely to be beaten anytime soon, as he came into the match today being his 1000th league game for Manchester United. Nigel Atkins became the 158th manager to face the Red Devils under Fergie in the league. But the headlines went RVP's way as he made the United manager's 1000th league game one to remember in an astonishing win.
United haven't had the best of times away after losing 1-0 to Everton. and it took 15 minutes for Southampton to steal the limelight from Fergie, when Adam Lallana crossed a curling ball into Ricky Lambert at the far post, only for him to tower over Rafeal and drill in a powerful header into the net to make it 1-0.
But Robin van Persie didn't let that happen for long as he collected a cross from the left from Antonio Valencia, controlled with his chest, and converted his chance in some style with his infamous left foot, bringing the scores level at 1-1.
Chances came a begging from both sides as Lambert, van Persie and others were going for goal, but the chances began to fade out as the first half came to an end.
Shinji Kagawa was closest at the opening of the second half with a shot dragging just wide of the near post, whilst van Persie came close from sloppy passing at the back for Southampton.
Yet as chances came all from United, Southampton made the most of their first chance with a goal from Morgan Schneiderlin after he headed in, after a slip from Patrice Evra lead to the goal to make it 2-1 to the Saints.
Jason Puncheon tried to extend their lead soon after with a low shot to the near post, but Anders Lindegaard parried it away, and removed the threat of the corner straight after. Attempts from Lallana and Lambert followed soon after as Southampton look strongest in attack in the early stages of the second half.
Jos Hooiveld ruined the momentum for Southampton though as he came sliding straight into the back of van Persie in the penalty area, but van Persie tried a Pirlo-style penalty, only to be denied by Kelvin Davis making the Dutchman look a fool.
But as we all know the saying "Fergie Time" came into full spring as Fergie was tapping his watch, only for the magic to happen on the pitch, as van Persie clawed back the game for United at 2-2 with a simple finish, following a headed effort from Rio Ferdinand which hit the post.
And yet again Robin van Persie gave Fergie the celebration he wanted with a hat trick to remember, as a swinging corner comes to the main man, as he headed the ball into the back of the net, sending the United fans in the ground into raptures, leading to United winning the game 3-2 in fitting style to tribute the great Scot.
So as Southampton are still without a point in their first three games, United move up to fifth and their away blues are gone for now. Robin van Persie has scored four goals in his time at United so far, twice as many as Arsenal have in three games.
Sir Alex Ferguson will look back at the game as a terrific win, but the defence needs to improve dramatically if United are going to put on a serious charge for the title. But he will look at Robin van Persie to lead the goals tally as today he went from villain to hero in just over half an hour, and looking sharp for the rest of the season.