By Brian Sears
30 August 2012
They roll from the tongues of Southampton fans like hallucinogenic recollections: three home league wins on the bounce against the mighty Manchester United, between April 1996 and January 1998.
And what score lines they were: 3-1, 6-3 (that’s SIX-three) and, errm, 1-0.
The point of this being what exactly?
The point is that Southampton, who play host to United this Sunday, have won as many of five of their 13 Premier League meetings on their own soil against United.
That’s five out of 13, or 38 per cent, which is a better win ratio than any clubs who have faced United more than 10 times in the era apart from Arsenal and Chelsea.
As Sportingintelligence detailed earlier this week (see here), United’s manager Alex Ferguson, will become the first person in English football history on Sunday to be manager for 1,000 league games unbroken at the same top-division club.
In his 999 games so far, United have won 598, drawn 233 and lost 168.
Those games date back to 1986, before the Premier League era. Of the games in the Premier League era alone, United have lost 79 away.
See the table below for the full club-by-club breakdown of who has inflicted United’s 79 away defeats in the Premier League era to date.
Ferguson has not had a league game at Southampton for more than seven years, and his last visit saw Saints relegated after a 2-1 defeat.
No sane Southampton fan would expect their team to shock United this weekend but at least they have a decent(ish) recent record to nurture some hope. (At home at least: they have won just one point from 39 away at United in the Premier League era).