After United’s impressive performance against Liverpool last game week, Erik ten Hag fielded an unchanged side against the Saints with club captain Harry Maguire noticeably left on the bench again, along with Ronaldo.
The first chance for United came from Bruno Fernandes, who charged into the final third with options to pass to Elanga or Sancho but his pass was poor and Southampton tried to launch a counter attack.
United dominated possession but struggled to find a way through.
Malacia had a great chance to set something up for Fernandes but his cross was sent across the face of goal just a little too far in front of the captain.
Moments later Eriksen tried to pick out Elanga but Southampton once again intercepted.
The best chance of the half came as the ball pinballed around the penalty area, Elanga, Eriksen and Fernandes all had chances to poke it across the line but Southampton were resolute in their defending.
At the other end, Southampton had a chance when United failed to clear the ball properly and despite it being whipped in quick, it sailed past everyone.
Just before half time United had a free-kick within scoring range but Fernandes hit it straight into the wall.
Both teams came out fighting in the second half and Scott McTominay had a good chance to put the Reds ahead but it was turned behind by the keeper.
The breakthrough came from captain Fernandes as he hit Dalot’s cross first time, and it was a brilliant finish to put United in the lead!
Che Adams was causing the United defence problems and he had a good go at levelling things up but his strike flew over the crossbar.
Southampton were growing into the half and United were trying to hold on, with Fred doing some good defensive work when he was added to the fray.
The away fans got their first glimpse of Casemiro as he replaced Elanga.
Ronaldo also got a run out as he looked to get back on the score sheet.
United held on for a 1-0 victory and rose to 6th in the table as they look to forget all about their spell at the bottom of the table.
Team: de Gea, Rashford, Sancho (Ronaldo 68), Martinez, Fernandes, Malacia, Eriksen (Fred 92), Varane, Dalot, Elanga (Casemiro 80), McTominay