Southampton, England (SportsNetwork.com) - Robin van Persie scored on either side of the intermission on Monday as Manchester United claimed a 2-1 win over Southampton at St. Mary's Stadium.
United finds itself in a fine run of form of late with Louis van Gaal's men riding a four-match winning streak in Premier League play coming into Monday's tilt.
Van Persie found the back of the net in the 12th and 70th minutes to propel the Red Devils into third place in the table with 28 points from 15 games played.
The visitors opened the scoring in the 12th minute when Wayne Rooney played a through ball into the Southampton half that was corralled by Southampton defender Jose Fonte, but he flubbed his back-pass to goalkeeper Fraser Forster, allowing Van Perise to slide it into the bottom right corner with a delicate finish.
The hosts pulled back the equalizer in the 31st minute when Graziano Pelle latched onto a blocked shot from Victor Wanyama and rocketed it into the roof of the net, leaving United goalkeeper David De Gea with no chance for a save.
But the Red Devils found the winning tally with 20 minutes to play via some nice set-piece execution. Rooney sent a well-struck free kick toward the back post where Van Perise got free and tapped it home with a second deft finish.
Southampton pushed for another tying goal and had an excellent chance with 13 minutes to play when Pelle let a strike go from the left side of the pitch with pace, but De Gea got down quickly for an impressive save to keep his side in the ascendency.
The fourth official's board showed four minutes of added time, but United did an excellent job of keeping the ball and not letting Southampton get close to goal as the Red Devils claimed an important three points.
Southampton has lost three consecutive Premier League matches and is winless in four, while having not beaten Manchester United since 2003.