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Southampton 1-1 Manchester United: Giggs' interim tenure ends with a whimper

United served up one of their most dreary performances of the entire campaign at Southampton on Sunday, as the season ended on a 1-1 draw.

Ian Walton

Well done to the hardcore Manchester United fans that stuck through the 1-1 draw away at Southampton on Sunday, despite the drivel served up by the Reds. Ryan Giggs' selection promised free-flowing attacking football, but what we actually got was a disappointingly disjointed performance. United were firmly second-best throughout the first half and went behind to a Lambert opener, only for Juan Mata to equalise from a free-kick shortly after the restart.

The tone for the first half was set in the first few minutes, with Southampton doing all of the pressing and United struggling to string more than a couple of passes together. The Saints were unfortunate to have a penalty appeal turned down early on when Nemanja Vidić handled in the area, shortly before David de Gea was called into action on a close-range poke from Victor Wanyama.

Eventually the Saints had a deserved breakthrough just short of half-an-hour in, when a terrible defensive mix-up between Vidić and Ferdinand left the former on the ground with blood pouring from his nose and the latter caught out of position. Rickie Lambert was promptly slipped in behind, and made no mistake when one-on-one with de Gea.

United's best chance of the entire first half was a low attempt from Chris Smalling that went harmlessly wide, with Southampton maintaining a strong hold on the game. Luke Shaw did an excellent job of keeping Adnan Januzaj quiet, while Robin van Persie was left frustratedly isolated with Shinji Kagawa and Juan Mata both uncomfortably deep.

Fortunately we didn't have to wait too long before a second half equaliser, though it tellingly came from a set-piece rather than open play. A delightful curling free-kick from Juan Mata sailed into the top corner, with Artur Boruc rooted to the spot.

The goal didn't exactly spark a great United revival, though the game was certainly more even in the second half lull. The best opportunity fell to Darren Fletcher, though the midfielder nodded a free header wide after making a good run into the Southampton box. That was about as exciting as things got; the season -- and Giggs' interim tenure -- ending with a whimper. Roll on Louis van Gaal.