Southampton vs Manchester City: The defending Premier League champions were held by some spirited Saints to a 1-1 final score at St. Mary’s Stadium on Saturday.
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Kyle Walker-Peters staked Southampton to a deserved lead after seven minutes, but Aymeric Laporte hit back midway through the second half. Saints had two chances in quick succession early in the second half that could, and should, have seen them go 2-0 up before ultimately paying the price.
Alas, it’s a fantastic result (and performance) for Southampton (25 points), who climb above Crystal Palace for 12th place in the Premier League table as a result. Meanwhile, Manchester City’s 12-game winless run in the Premier League is over.
Southampton vs Manchester City final score, stats, results
Final score: Southampton 1, Manchester City 1
Goal scorers: Southampton (Walker-Peters 7′), Manchester City (Laporte 65′)
Shots: Southampton 7, Manchester City 20
Shots on target: Southampton 3, Manchester City 5
Possession: Southampton 25%, Manchester City 75%
3 things we learned – Southampton vs Manchester City
1. Hasenhuttl back from the brink: Less than six weeks ago, Ralph Hasenhuttl was the subject of some intense “Is it time to fire the manager?” conversations. Fast-forward to present day, and not only are Southampton in the midst of a solid run of results (2W-4D-1L in their last seven), but they are once again a side that is so clearly improving from game to game. The Saints players believe in themselves once again, and that belief has significantly raised the quality of performances. Sure, they dropped two more points from a winning position on Saturday, but they were every bit Manchester City’s equals for 90 minutes. That fact alone represents massive growth for a side that looked a virtual lock to fire the manager a month and a half ago.
2. Grealish, Foden, Sterling, Jesus ineffective: Not a single one of the four players who played across Manchester City’s front-three made a positive impact for their side. Raheem Sterling was wasteful with his best chance of the game, Foden disappeared aside from one sweetly hit volley, Grealish was a non-factor and Jesus is a shell of the impact sub he once was. Just because Manchester City don’t have a striker (or any semblance of a focal point for their attack) doesn’t mean they need one, if they can cope without the massive investment. Saturday’s frustrating attacking performance, on the heels of similar showings against Chelsea, Arsenal and Brentford (albeit in victories), seem to indicate that there is still untapped potential at the very top for Pep Guardiola’s side.
3. Door left ever so slightly cracked for Liverpool: The gap is 12 points, but Liverpool have two games in hand, meaning they can halve Manchester City’s advantage just by playing the same number of games. Six points isn’t insurmountable, especially with one more meeting (April 9) still to come.
Man of the Match: Mohammed Salisu – The 22-year-old Ghanaian center back snuffed out 10 attacks (clearances, interceptions and tackles) in the first half alone, and he followed that up with another 15 in the second half as Saints held on for dear life.
Southampton vs Manchester City highlights
Kyle Walker-Peters finishes a stunning team goal to make it 1-0 (video)
Barcelona of England’s south coast: That’s what they call Southampton, you know.
Raheem Sterling can’t beat Fraser Forster from 6 yards out (save video)
An incredible save by Fraser Forster, or a shocking miss by Raheem Sterling, or both?
[ VIDEO: PL highlights ]
Aymeric Laporte heads Manchester City level (goal video)
When Kevin De Bruyne serves up a free kick like this one, it would have been incredibly wasteful for Laporte to not turn it home.