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Saints aim to end Old Trafford misery
SAINTS will enter the Theatre of Dreams this weekend aiming to end a wretched run of results at Manchester United.
It is 25 years and counting since Saints last won a league game at Old Trafford, but Saturday might represent the club’s best chance yet of ending that run.
The last time Saints left Old Trafford with three points was in January 1988 when Colin Clarke scored twice in a 2-0 victory.
Since then, the club have made 18 trips to United in the league, amassing a grand total of just two points.
Saints have lost their last six gams at Old Trafford with the last point coming in the last century – in 1999.
It is hard to imagine, though, that any of those Saints teams would have been as confident as this one is now.
Whatever happens on Saturday, they cannot be overtaken by David Moyes’ side.
Saints, who have won their last three games, are flying high. United, by contrast, are experiencing some turbulence.
That is little surprise. Adjusting to life after the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson was never going to prove an easy task for the red half of Manchester.
Under Moyes, results have been mixed, with their Adnan Januzaj-inspired 2-1 win at Sunderland last time out providing some much-needed relief following their 4-1 humiliation at Manchester City and their 2-1 home defeat against West Brom.
United, the most dominant force in English football over the last two decades, are having to find their way again.
Saints, on the other hand, are as sure of themselves as they have been for a long time.
It makes for a fascinating dynamic heading into this weekend’s fixture.
One of Saints’ two draws in their last 18 visits – the 3-3 draw in 1999 – did, at least, provide the memory of Marian Pahars nutmegging Jaap Stam, not to mention Massimo Taibi infamously allowing Matt Le Tissier’s tame shot to squirm under him.
But it is quite something to consider that Saints have been through 18 permanent managers since Chris Nicholl led them to victory at Old Trafford 25 years ago.
Saints have also lost an FA Cup and League Cup tie at United during the same time span.
They did have one famous success, however, winning a penalty shootout in an FA Cup fourth round replay in 1992, after the sides were level at 2-2 following extra-time.
In the main, though, the trip up the M6 has been a fruitless one for Saints over the last quarter of a century. Maybe, just maybe, this Saturday will be the moment that all changes.
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