Win lifts United to third
SOUTHAMPTON, England (AP):Two clinical finishes from Robin van Persie gave Manchester United a 2-1 victory against Southampton in the English Premier League yesterday, despite the visitors being pegged back for much of the game at St Mary's.
Van Persie scored with United's only two efforts on target to give Louis van Gaal's side its fifth win a row and overtake Southampton in third place. Southampton dropped to fifth behind West Ham after their third straight loss against the teams they hope to challenge for a top-four spot - Manchester City, Arsenal and United.
Van Persie punished a wasteful performance from the home side, which created enough chances to win the game comfortably. He took advantage of a defensive blunder to put United ahead after 12 minutes, and went unmarked to meet Wayne Rooney's free kick at the far post to poke in the winner after Graziano Pelle had levelled for Southampton in the 31st.
"I don't think we played our best football today," Van Persie said. "In the end, it's a fifth straight victory. We're on the way up."