Daily Echo:

Under pressure Mark Hughes got a performance but not quite the result he was hoping for from his team as Saints let a two-goal lead slip to draw 2-2 with Manchester United at St Mary’s.

Saints flew out of the traps to get a cushion and looked by far the better side but were pegged back by two United goals in six minutes before a cagey second half where neither side really asserted their dominance.

The draw, though a decent result, will mean more pressure for Hughes with Saints still in the bottom three and waiting for a first home win of the season, but he can point to another decent display to make the case that things are heading the right way.

Hughes opted for a youthful Saints side and a back five after being impressed with what he saw at Leicester in midweek and, without Ryan Bertrand, Yan Valery got a Premier League debut and Michael Obafemi a first top flight start.

Alex McCarthy was lucky to get away with a nightmare moment just three minutes into the game when he went to clear but produced an air shot.

Marcus Rashford picked the ball up on the left by-line and backheeled it with Romelu Lukaku eventually having a chance to shoot but McCarthy had recovered to make the save.

But it was Saints who dominated the early stages.

The counter attacking pace of Nathan Redmond and Michael Obafemi looked like the main weapon Saints would use to try and get through an unfamiliar United backline and they combined well moments later only for the 18-year-old’s shot to be blocked.

They did so again to even better effect as Saints took the lead on 13 minutes.

Redmond produced a mazy run in from the right wing and fed Obafemi.

The youngster showed great strength to hold the ball up with his back to goal on the edge of the box and great awareness to feed it to Stuart Armstrong.

The Scottish midfielder then produced a rifling right footed finish that flew past David De Gea and into the far corner.

Amazingly, Saints made it 2-0 seven minutes later.

Marcus Rashford was booked for a scissoring challenge on Mario Lemina which gave Saints a free kick 20 yards out to the left side of the area.

Stand-in left wing back Cedric Soares stepped up to take it and hit a right footed shot that went over the wall and bent into the near top corner with De Gea unable to get anywhere near it.

Saints looked the better team and the more likely to get the next goal which surely would have killed the game off.

However, against the run of play it was United who pulled one back on 33 minutes.

Rashford was able to hold on to a ball through the middle and square to Lukaku who drilled past McCarthy from 12 yards out.

Rashford was at it again six minutes later as he produced the inspiration and another assist to level things up.

He spun Jannik Vestergaard to get through the Saints defence and drilled a cut back from the right by-line that was going behind Ander Herrera six yards out at the near post. However, the United midfielder produced a wonderful flicked finish through his legs to beat McCarthy and make it 2-2.

United had an early chance in the second period as Ashley Young’s right wing free kick picked out the head of Marouane Fellaini in a good position but he couldn’t find the target.

The Red Devils were bossing possession in the second half and pinning Saints back and it was proving a struggle to get Redmond and, particularly, Obafemi into the game prompting Hughes to bring off the youngster for Manolo Gabbiadini.

The Italian striker got off an instinctive shot minutes later but could only pick out De Gea.

With United continuing to have a lacklustre approach to pushing forward Saints started to gain a foothold.

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg forced De Gea into a stop with a long range drive before the keeper turned over Redmond’s effort from distance.

An odd second half came to an end with Saints applauded from the pitch after a strong performance against one of the big six but still in search of a second win of the season to ease their relegation fears.