Manchester United’s summer business was at the centre of attention during the first half of their Premier League clash with Southampton at St Mary’s Stadium this afternoon.
Before Anthony Martial scored his second goal in as many top-flight games, Graziano Pelle gave Southampton a 12th-minute lead after David de Gea had brilliantly kept out Saido Mane.
Pelle could have doubled his tally and Southampton’s advantage only a couple of minutes later when he span away from Daley Blind and bent a shot against the foot of the post from 15 yards out.
Although Pelle has got himself on the scoresheet, Mane was the primary danger man for the hosts in the opening 45 minutes, reminding United why they were interested in signing him this summer.
According to The Telegraph, the Red Devils made a bid for the Senegalese international last month, but Southampton stood firm after selling several other key players to their domestic rivals.
Mane’s pace took him away from Michael Carrick, and he continued his run into the box to meet a pinpoint cross from James Ward-Prowse. De Gea saved, only for Pelle to bounce on the rebound.
However, no fault can be laid at the door of De Gea, whose instinctive save is evidence of why United will greatly benefit from the Spanish goalkeeper’s failed transfer to Real Madrid, as BBC Sport report.
The signing of Martial for a fee which BBC Sport understand to have been £36m is threatening to be every bit as good a piece of business as hanging onto De Gea following his 34th-minute equaliser.
The 19-year-old Frenchman showed great composure and footwork to wriggle away from his marker inside the area and bring United level at 1-1, although Juan Mata appeared to be offside in the build-up.