An own goal from Gareth Barry capped a miserable afternoon on the south coast for Premier League champions Manchester City as they fell to a potentially title-deciding defeat at Southampton.
It was a day to forget for many of the Blues’ megastars as first half strikes from Jason Puncheon and Steve Davis helped the Saints pull off a shock 3-1 win.
Edin Dzeko’s close-range effort just before the break looked to have given Roberto Mancini’s side a lifeline but the home side continued to put them to the sword in the second half and frustrated City at every turn.
It was a high-tempo start from Southampton and they fully deserved their opener on seven minutes, Puncheon reacting quickest to the loose ball after Jay Rodriguez scuffed his shot.
The Saints were in dreamland just 15 minutes later when City keeper Joe Hart gifted Davis the easiest of opportunities, spilling Rickie Lambert’s efforts straight into the path of the midfielder.
Things did get better before they got worse for the Blues, Dzeko poking the ball home from close range to reduce the deficit.
But, any hopes of a revival were all but killed off just after the restart when Barry prodded the ball past Hart to restore Southampton’s two-goal advantage and give Manchester United the chance to extend their lead at the top of the Premier League to 12 points with a win over Everton tomorrow.
Image courtesy of the BBC via YouTube, with thanks.