Jannik Vestergaard scored his first Saints goal to secure a 1-1 draw against Manchester United at St Mary’s.

Saints were poor in the first half and fortunate to only be one goal behind at the break with Daniel James netting a stunning strike after ten minutes.

But they were much better in the second period and levelled things up as the big centre half headed home on 58 minutes.

They had to battle to hang on to a point after Kevin Danso was sent off for a second bookable offence but they head into the international break on the back of two wins and a draw in the space of a week.

Ralph Hasenhuttl handed Cedric Soares his first Premier League start since January and Sofiane Boufal a first Premier League start for 18 months and it was a tactically intriguing start to the match.

United were trying to build from very deep, encouraging Saints to press them high up the pitch and then break quickly on the counter outnumbering Hasenhuttl’s side.

Saints were happy to try and take full advantage and press as best they could and it was leading to success.

They came close to opening the scoring on eight minutes as Boufal tried a shot from outside the area that whistled just wide of the post.

But it was United whose plan worked as they took the lead on ten minutes.

They swiftly worked the ball out to Daniel James on the left wing and he pressed on into the area.

Cedric Soares didn’t know whether to press or cover the overlapping attacker while Jan Bednarek wasn’t quick enough to get out either allowing the United man time to open up his body and unleash a fierce right footed strike that bent into the opposite top corner at pace.

James was threatening another moments later but this time didn’t connect as well and Angus Gunn was able to make the save.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka was the next to come close for United but fired a volley from Scott McTominay’s cross over the bar.

Saints were unable to work out how to handle James and he tested Gunn again on 22 minutes as he drifted more centrally, picked up the ball and took a shot from 20 yards that was parried away.

United continued to look the better team as Saints struggled but at least Hasenhuttl’s side did manage to get their foot on the ball a little more and stem the stream of chances.

At the break the most positive thing was that they were only one goal behind with United wondering how their dominance had failed to deliver a bigger cushion.

Saints were under pressure again just five minutes into the second period as Marcus Rashford was played in behind via a ball over the top, but Gunn did well to close down and save from close range.

Che Adams had a great chance to equalise on 55 minutes as Boufal poked the ball through to him deep in the United area but he slashed his half volley well wide.

Saints did level things up three minutes later.

David De Gea punched a flicked Danny Ings header from James Ward-Prowse’s corner out to the right where Kevin Danso picked it up and lifted a cross into the box. Jannik Vestergaard outjumped Victor Lindelof and powered home a header from six yards out.

Saints were doing well and United looked subdued when Kevin Danso was sent off on 73 minutes.

Having already received an obvious yellow card in the first half, the makeshift left back slid in and chopped down McTominay as he sped down the line and there were no arguments as referee Mike Dean handed him a second booking and then a red card.

United were suddenly buoyant and James drilled in another shot which Gunn had to push away.

Maya Yoshida was brought on to slot in at left back as Saints went with one up front to try and hang on to a point.

It wasn’t going to be an easy end to the match for Saints and Gunn had to save again, this time blocking with his legs at the near post from Rashford’s low drive.

Jesse Lingaard was the next to try and bag a winner but he directed a shot wide from just outside of the area.

It was a real onslaught from United and Gunn produced a superb save diving to his right to deny Mason Greenwood before Ashley Young curled an effort narrowly wide.

Saints managed to run the clock down successfully from there to get over the line and pick up a draw.