Mata then finished off a 45-pass move before Pelle’s late consolation, leaving both managers with differing opinions on the outcome.
Southampton crept into their shell following the equaliser and the visitors grew in confidence and stature as the second half started.
After a slow start to the season, Southampton will be looking to build on their impressive home form and send Manchester United away empty handed.
David De Gea had initially done brilliantly to keep out Saido Mane – who was a rumoured summer transfer target for Louis van Gaal – with an instinctive reaction save but Pelle followed it up to find the back of the net.
The South Korea worldwide struck in the 68th minute at White Hart Lane, moments after Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris had tipped a shot from Bakary Sako onto the post at the other end, to give the hosts a 1-0 win.
“I wouldn’t have imagined that he would have had the composure that he’s had, because his goal-scoring record before he came to Manchester United was 15 goals in 70 games, which doesn’t suggest he’s got that level of composure.”
The ball fell loose and Martial reacted quickest, rolling away from Virgil van Dijk and slotting low into the corner.
Praise for David De Gea and his save to deny Jose Fonte: “He is the goalkeeper to do that”.
The Dutchman was particularly happy with Juan Mata’s goal, which came as a result of 44 passes beforehand: “Fantastic”.
As the game appeared to wind down, the Saints pulled one back virtually out of nowhere, with Pelle heading home Mane’s cross.
[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]. Mostly they shall have dips.
Southampton cleared a ball but their former midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin headed it back into the penalty area. The Saints will be desperate to beat Swansea City in Week 7 and could really use the points, too, as they then face a trip to Stamford Bridge.
An assessment of Martial’s performance and future at United: “He is always an attacking point for a lot of players and that I like in him“.
“Many people will have been a bit (surprised) because of the prize tag but he’s a very intelligent guy and he will be a great player for the future of Manchester United“.
He was also irritated when a reporter asked if his team would need to score plenty of goals this season if the defence was not watertight.