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Matchwinner Lukaku says Manchester United are ready for top four ‘challenge.’

Romelu Lukaku struck an 88th-minute winner to seal a crucial 3-2 win for Manchester United over Southampton at Old Trafford today.

In a game full of quality goals, young Saints full-back Yan Valery gave the visitors the lead on 26 minutes with a superb long-range strike.

United wrestled back control of the game and went 2-1 up just shy of the hour mark after excellent finishes by Andreas Pereira and Lukaku.

It seemed as if United would kick on and win the game comfortably, but Southampton continued to push forward, and Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side were rewarded when dead ball specialist James Ward-Prowse curled home a sublime free-kick with 15 minutes remaining.

In all honesty, the Saints actually looked the more likely to score a winner, until Lukaku popped up to curl home with his right foot from the edge of the area in the 88th minute,  sending Old Trafford wild.

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United move above Arsenal into the top four after today’s win and Lukaku revealed his side are up for the challenge of finishing the season strongly.

“We knew we had to win the game today and did it. Not our best game but we have to be happy,” Lukaku told BBC Sport.

“We created a lot of chances in the opening 10 minutes but won the game.

United were handed the chance to make the scoreline more comprehensive in injury time when they were awarded a penalty, but in-form midfielder Paul Pogba missed the spot-kick, although Lukaku has backed his teammate to bounce back.

“I am a striker and I wanted Paul Pogba to score the penalty, he has been on a good run but he has been an important player for us and will bounce back.

“I was focussed on the win and help my team-mates. The manager gave me another chance today.

“We have to look one game at a time and are working hard on the training ground. We are ready for the challenge.”

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