The Belgian striker was picked out for a random drug test after the Red Devils had picked up a hard-fought away win.
MANCHESTER UNITED’S team bus left St Mary’s without match-winner Romelu Lukaku on Saturday night.
But it was a different bus Jose Mourinho’s team parked on the pitch to make sure Lukaku’s first-half strike secured another victory.
The Belgian found it harder to provide a urine sample for drug-testers than score goals this season and had to catch up in a taxi.
And United had more trouble than expected dealing with a Saints side who played better in the second half than anyone seeing them recently could have anticipated.
So much so that Mourinho ended the game with three centre-backs, three full-backs and three defensive-minded midfielders — plus Lukaku — on the pitch.
Yes, we have seen United blow teams away this season with 4-0 wins over Swansea, Everton and West Ham. But this was the other side of the coin.
A 1-0 win away from home when you are not at your best and you dig in at the end.
That wins titles just as much as blowing away Palace 5-0 like rivals City did. And the Special One knows it only too well.
So will Mourinho’s ability to be pragmatic when required ultimately defeat Pep Guardiola’s fanatical devotion to fantasy football?
You would not bet against it.
Or, as Southampton defender Maya Yoshida put it: “I think Mourinho is realistic.
“He understands the situation — that’s why they became more defensive. And then they won.
And that’s Mourinho.
Ashley Young, who now appears to be the first-choice left-back and provided the cross which led to Lukaku’s goal, said: “It was a tough game, a game where we had to defend and defend as a team.
“It wasn’t a United performance but we came down here to get the three points and that’s exactly what we did.”
Lukaku’s goal, a rebound after Fraser Forster saved his initial header, was the only real highlight of the first half.
Southampton were as toothless as ever. Since losing a thrilling EFL Cup final to United in February, they have played 12 home games and scored in only two.
They improved hugely after the break but, unfortunately for them, the best chances fell to midfielder Oriol Romeu.
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He stabbed wide from inside the six-yard box, saw a goal-bound header cleared by Marouane Fellaini and then dragged a late effort past the far post.
Mourinho, who was sent to the stands in stoppage time for stepping on to the pitch, said: “I’m happy that we were able to cope with something new for us — which was to have to play a defensive game in the last 20, 25 minutes.
“We tried to be positive, we tried to score goals and control matches. It’s not always possible.
“The players knew that, they knew that difficult times would arrive and that difficult time arrived today.
“We missed the chance to kill the game and then we did what nearly everyone else is doing in the Premier League — play five at the back and fight hard to keep a clean sheet.”
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