From the pinnacle of an FA Cup Final win through to last season’s late triumph at Old Trafford, Southampton have had some memorable games with Manchester United, and Matt Le Tissier expects another classic encounter this weekend.
Sunday’s EFL Cup Final pits Saints against José Mourinho’s side at Wembley Stadium for the first major domestic trophy of the season.
Claude Puel’s men have beaten Premier League opponents in each round of the competition without conceding a goal in that time too, but Le Tissier expects this to be the biggest test of the lot.
“It’s going to be tough,” he said. “United are probably in the best form in the Premier League with 16 games unbeaten I think, so we’re going to go in as the underdogs - as we did in 1976 - and hopefully we can come out with the same result.
“You think of the 1976 final immediately, also the 6-3 in the mid-90s, the 3-1 when they changed shirts at half time quite famously. There’s been some cracking fixtures with them over the years, and hopefully we can make another great memory of beating them again.”
One of the other famous ties against United came in this competition during 1986 when Le Tissier scored his first goals for Southampton in a 4-1 success which had famous consequences.
“It was in November 1986 which seems a long time ago now,” he recalled. “I came on as a sub and I think we were already 2-0 up when I came on and I scored a couple. Ron Atkinson was gone two days later as United parted company with his services and in came Sir Alex Ferguson as manager for the most successful period in their history, so United fans should be thanking me, really!”
Back on the current cup run, Le Tissier has been a keen spectator throughout this competition, and would love nothing more than to see Saints completing the job in style on Sunday.
He said: “Having been at all of the rounds the whole way through and not seen a goal conceded so far, it’s been quite a run, and I’m looking forward to that run continuing on Sunday and then being able to gloat live on Sky Sports when we win it.
“They’ve had to play Premier League teams in every round and gone away to win at both Arsenal and Liverpool, which is a pretty decent run through to the final. It’s been no easy run and they’ve earned every single step of the way, so hopefully they can go and finish it off.”