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December 7, 2013
• St. Mary's Stadium, Southampton, Hampshire
Referee: A. Taylor
• Attendance: 31229
P. Osvaldo 42'
S. Agüero 10'
FULL-TIME Southampton 1-1 Manchester City. And that's it, Southampton have arrested the slide of three consecutive defeats with a creditable draw which ends Manchester City's own three-match winning run. Sergio Aguero's early strike was cancelled out by Dani Osvaldo's outstanding goal, a surefire contender for goal of the month and it means Arsenal can stretch their lead over Manuel Pellegrini's men at the top to eight points if they beat Everton tomorrow.
90' + 3'
Yellow Card Sergio Agüero
90' + 3'
Both sides pushing for a late winner here, can either side get a much-needed late goal?
90' + 1'
Luke Shaw's cross is a threatening one but Costel Pantilimon deals with it comfortably enough and tries to get Manchester City on the front foot once again.
Sergio Aguero is caught offside and Southampton drive forward as a riposte, earning themselves a free-kick after Samir Nasri's foul on Calum Chambers.
Southampton look the likeliest to score here but have had a couple of warnings including a Sergio Aguero header which fell just wide of goal a few moments ago.
Gaston Ramirez takes to the field to replace the once again outstanding Adam Lallana, with Southampton hoping for a fresh impetus in the attacking areas.
Jay Rodriguez is caught offside once again after another curled pass into his path and it has become an unfortunate feature of Southampton's attacking play this afternoon.
Manchester City starting to step it up for the final 10 minutes but Southampton are continuing to hold firm here.
Manchester City make a change of their own and it's an attacking one, as Edin Dzeko steps off the bench to replace Yaya Toure. James Ward Prowse then curls a delightful pass into the feet of Jay Rodriguez, who can only turn the ball over the bar on the stretch, but the striker was offside regardless.
Yellow Card Samir Nasri
Dani Osvaldo is replaced by Rickie Lambert as Samir Nasri enters the book - the first player to do so this afternoon - after a late challenge on Steven Davis.
Manchester City work some room on the left but Aleksandar Kolarov wastes the opportunity to whip a ball into the box, instead attempting an optimistic near-post thunderbolt, which hits the side netting and Southampton can recover.
The incessant Southampton pressure is getting to Manchester City here, with Fernandinho slicing a pass into touch and getting a few quizzical looks from his teammates for it.
Aleksandar Kolarov hauls down the tricky Adam Lallana and Southampton have a free-kick out on the right-hand side. James Ward-Prowse's delivery is superb and is right into the corridor of uncertainty but Vincent Kompany comes to his side's rescue with a desperate lunge to steer the ball away from goal.
A slightly worrying sight for Southampton fans as Dejan Lovren limps over to the touchline but he runs back on as Manchester City win a corner to try and help out his defensive peers.
James Ward-Prowse lashes high and wide after the ball sat up nicely for the young midfielder before Fernandinho strides forward with the ball but is met by a crunching challenge by the dominant Jose Fonte.
Sergio Aguero looks to get at the Southampton defence but Jose Fonte does well to show the Manchester City striker onto his left foot and he can only drag his shot wide of the target in the end.
Dani Osvaldo beats the offside trap and latches onto Adam Lallana's scooped pass but Costel Pantilimon is out quick and the striker can't quite find a team-mate and the ball is diverted out for a corner. Jay Rodriguez gets up to meet it but fails to direct his header goalwards.
It means a change of shape for Manchester City, with Yaya Toure going up to support Sergio Aguero, with Javi Garcia next to Fernandinho at the base of the midfield and Jesus Navas a direct replacement for James Milner on the right in an attempt to peg back the influential Luke Shaw on the left.
Jesús Navas González
Manuel Pellegrini shuffles his pack as he looks for a winning formula, with Alvaro Negredo and James Milner - the two men to come into the team today - being replaced by Jesus Navas and Javi Garcia.
Steven Davis does superbly to escape the attentions of Yaya Toure and gets a shot off on goal, which Costel Pantilimon claims at the second attempt.
Southampton really upping the ante now and create another opening as Jay Rodriguez cashes in on hesitancy in the Manchester City defensive ranks between Pablo Zabaleta and Vincent Kompany to tee up Dani Osvaldo, but the Italian's effort zips wide off the turf.
Steven Davis and Martin Demichelis are involved in a bruising collision with the former coming off worse. The Northern Irishman has been stitched up, though, and will continue.
Southampton really should be ahead. Jay Rodriguez's footwork is silky and he weaves his way through a poor Manchester City defensive shape but is met by the imposing Costel Pantilimon before the ball breaks loose for Dani Osvaldo, who cannot show the sort of poise he displayed for the finish; hacking wildly over the crossbar.
Paulo Gazzaniga gets down well to his right to thwart Sergio Aguero, palming the ball wide after the Argentine had worked a yard of space and volleyed at goal before Yaya Toure unleashes a ferocious effort from just outside the area which bends inches wide of the upright.
Samir Nasri almost capitalises on some slack defending from Jose Fonte but cannot quite bring a looping ball down in time after some more intricate build-up play from Manchester City.
Dani Osvaldo is flagged offside on this occasion, as Steven Davis seeks out the goalscorer once again with a diagonal ball to the left-hand side of the penalty area.
We are back underway at St Mary's with Manchester City kicking us off for the second period.
HALF-TIME: Southampton 1-1 Manchester City: Two sumptuous strikes from two excellent strikers mean the scores are level at the interval here at St Mary's. Aleksandar Kolarov's low centre was tucked home superbly by Sergio Aguero early on but Dani Osvaldo's finish was even better, taking down a long ball, beating two defenders and curling an exquisite finish home.
James Milner gets in behind Luke Shaw and crosses for Samir Nasri but the Frenchman's finish is sadly lacking after a lovely cushioned first touch as he blazes over the bar.
Dani Osvaldo seeks out the energetic Calum Chambers on the right but cannot quite lift the ball over Aleksandar Kolarov after a brilliant run at the heart of the Manchester City midfield by Adam Lallana. The Saints don't want this half to end at the moment.
Goal D. Osvaldo
GOAL! And what a goal! Dani Osvaldo levels the scores with an absolute peach for Southampton. Steven Davis' long ball searches out Osvaldo who controls brilliantly, turns Vincent Kompany inside out before checking back and unleashing a dipping strike into the far corner off the underside of the bar. Game on!
Another Manchester City attack comes to nothing but there is controversy at the other end as Pablo Zabaleta falls onto the ball and handles before the visitors launch another attack.
James Ward-Prowse drills a low strike towards goal but Costel Pantilimon - after initially parrying - does well to smother the ball under pressure from Dani Osvaldo.
So close to a leveller for Southampton! Luke Shaw's cross is perfect from the left and it reaches his fellow full-back Calum Chambers at the back post but the youngster can only head wide when it seemed easier to score.
More brilliant work from Southampton as they engineer another shooting opportunity. This time, Luke Shaw's low cross is missed by Adam Lallana before Aleksandar Kolarov challenges James Ward-Prowse at the back post. Sergio Aguero then races clear, but his shot is straight at Paulo Gazzaniga.
Adam Lallana almost profits from a static backline but his first touch eludes him and the ball is cleared for a corner. Martin Demichelis leads the charge out but is caught out by Dejan Lovren, whose run and cross has to be dealt with too by the visitors.
Manchester City have been on the back foot for the last few minutes but then create a chance out of nothing after some exquisite approach play. Yaya Toure's floated pass falls perfectly into the path of Pablo Zabaleta, whose cutback finds Sergio Aguero, but the goalscorer's ice-cool touch in front of goal this time deserts him and he shanks the ball over the bar.
Southampton threaten once more, this time Jack Cork gets forward and lets rip from 25 yards but Costel Pantilimon gets everything behind it to keep the ball out.
Luke Shaw's ball in from the left misses everybody and bounces up from the pitch at Aleksandar Kolarov's midriff. The Southampton fans are up in arms, crying for a penalty but Anthony Taylor called it correctly. Fantastic work from the referee.
Martin Demichelis comes to City's rescue with a good bit of defending after Calum Chambers had escaped down the right but his centre - aiming for Dani Osvaldo - was just too short and the Argentine managed to clear.
Costel Pantilimon uses his 6ft 8" frame to claim the ball from the corner and release Aleksandar Kolarov on the left. Not a lot in the way of goalscoring chances at the moment.
Manchester City on the front foot once more but when possession is squandered, Southampton break quickly. Yaya Toure fells James Ward-Prowse and the youngster steps up to earn a corner after his free-kick deflects away from goal.
Southampton go long towards Adam Lallana, who does brilliantly to control before turning and running at Martin Demichelis, who concedes a corner. Dejan Lovren is up to meet it but his header goes wide of Costel Pantilimon's right-hand post.
All the play is in Southampton's half at the moment, with the hosts struggling to wrestle possession back off Manchester City, who have started at a high tempo.
Dejan Lovren scythes down Alvaro Negredo and hands Manchester City a free-kick in a promising position.
Samir Nasri robs Calum Chambers of possession and sprints downfield before curling in a cross for Alvaro Negredo, who heads towards goal before winning a corner. From the subsequent set piece, Nasri's delivery is met by Aleksandar Kolarov but his header goes just wide of the far post.
Assist Aleksandar Kolarov
Goal Sergio Agüero
GOAL! Sergio Aguero does what he does best, finishing off another flowing move for his 11th goal in his last 10 Premier League games. Samir Nasri frees the overlapping Aleksandar Kolarov down the left and the Serb cuts the ball back for Aguero, who benefits from Jose Fonte's slip, to slam the ball home left-footed from close range. Brilliant finish.
James Milner looks to release the livewire Sergio Aguero but the Saints defence are alert to cut out any danger in time. Flowing start to the game here.
The sides trade chances as first Alvaro Negredo finds himself clean through after good work from Yaya Toure and Samir Nasri but the Spaniard's touch is heavy and Paulo Gazzaniga can collect. At the other end, Dani Osvaldo nods down Luke Shaw's diagonal pass to Steven Davis, who fires just wide.
Manchester City largely in control during the early stages here, with Sergio Aguero getting a shot off but it goes harmlessly wide of Paulo Gazzaniga's post.
Sergio Aguero looks to release the returning James Milner down the right after an incisive counter attack from Manchester City but Jose Fonte gets across to rescue Southampton.
Referee Anthony Taylor gets us underway here at St Mary's!
Manchester City are the top scorers in the league with 40, 10 more than anyone else but just 11 of those have come away from the Etihad. Sergio Aguero is the key man for City right now; the Argentinean has struck 16 times in his last 14 appearances in all competitions. He also has a stunning 10 goals in his last nine league games.
The Saints have now conceded eight goals in their last three matches, having only let in just five in their previous 11 league games this season. That said, only Arsenal (10) have a better defensive record.
Mauricio Pochettino tasted his first victory with Southampton in the 3-1 success over City in February this year, with the other match finishing 3-2 to Manchester City on the opening day of last season. So, with nine goals in the those two previous fixtures, can we expect goals this afternoon?
Manchester City, in stark contrast, are flying. Three successive wins for themselves is the best run since Manuel Pellegrini took the reins at the Etihad and the win at West Brom halted their wretched away form but it was the performance that will have pleased Pellegrini most. Today presents a chance to peg back leaders Arsenal before they visit City next weekend.
Defeats at Arsenal and Chelsea had checked Southampton's progress but were expected unlike the midweek defeat to Aston Villa, so the visit of high-flying and high scoring Manchester City is not entirely welcome this weekend. Three consecutive defeats is the worst run of form since Mauricio Pochettino arrived at the club.
And here is Manuel Pellegrini's team this afternoon for Manchester City. Pantilimon; Zabaleta, Kompany, Demichelis, Kolarov; Milner, Yaya Toure, Fernandinho, Nasri; Aguero, Negredo. Substitutes: Hart, Navas, Lescott, Clichy, Richards, Dzeko, Garcia.
Here are the teams in full, beginning with the hosts, Southampton. Gazzaniga; Chambers, Lovren, Fonte, Shaw; Cork, Davis; Ward-Prowse, Lallana, Rodriguez; Osvaldo. Substitutes: Cropper, Yoshida, Lambert, Ramirez, Hooiveld, Reed, Gallagher.
Manchester City, meanwhile, make two changes of their own, as James Milner and Alvaro Negredo replace Jesus Navas and Edin Dzeko from the midweek 3-2 win at West Bromwich Albion.
Southampton make four changes to the side that lost a third successive Premier League match to Aston Villa in midweek, as Calum Chambers, Jose Fonte, Jack Cork and Dani Osvaldo all come in for Nathaniel Clyne, Maya Yoshida, Victor Wanyama and Rickie Lambert for the Saints.
Good afternoon and welcome to this LIVE commentary of Southampton v Manchester City at St Mary's Stadium.
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