Southampton 1-1 Man City: Aymeric Laporte rescues point but Saints bring an end to long winning run
Man City’s 12-match winning run in the Premier League was ended by Southampton as the league leaders were held to a 1-1 draw at St Mary’s.
Kyle Walker-Peters put the hosts ahead early on, but Aymeric Laporte equalised in the second-half and a winner looked almost inevitable as City pinned the Saints back.
But it finished level and although Pep Guardiola’s side are now 12 points clear at the top, Liverpool in second have two games in hand and will feel there is now a glimmer of hope in the title race.
Ralph Hasenhuttl promised pre-match that Southampton would look to cause City problems by being brave, and they did just that to take lead after seven minutes.
Nathan Redmond cut the ball back into the box, where Walker-Peters took one touch to control the bouncing ball and then with his second sent a wonderful finish with the outside of his foot into the far corner.
City were as patient as ever on the ball, but they struggled to create any chances and they very nearly fell two goals behind. Armando Broja was played in and he finished calmly past Ederson, but as he wheeled away in celebration the offside flag went up.
Broja continued to cause problems and went round Ederson shortly after, with the Brazilian appearing to bring the striker down. Once again though, the linesman and his offside flag came to City’s rescue.
The visitors’ best chance of the match came as Phil Foden went past Mohammed Salisu and put a brilliant ball into the box, but Raheem Sterling, under no pressure, hit the shot straight at Fraser Forster from six yards out.
Southampton hit the woodwork ten minutes after the break, after another perfect corner delivery from James Ward-Prowse. The ball looped up, Broja won the header in front of Ederson but it bounced off the post and away.
For all their intricate combination play, City’s equaliser came in very simple fashion. Kevin De Bruyne curled a free-kick to the far post, where Laporte was left unmarked and he headed past Forster.
The pressure from City was relentless after the goal, with Bernardo Silva and Foden both having shots well blocked. Minutes later, De Bruyne sent a curling effort from the edge of the box crashing off the post and Gabriel Jesus’ header was then well-saved from close range.
A long VAR check eventually decided De Bruyne had been fouled just outside the area after a challenge from Oriel Romeu, while Stuart Armstrong would have been relieved to avoid a red card as VAR reviewed his high challenge on Laporte, but allowed play to continue.
De Bruyne went close twice more while Rodri had a shot blocked in the final minute, as he thought there was going to be a repeat of his late winner against Arsenal earlier in the month.
Southampton held on for a point their defending deserved though, and they have now drawn home and away to City this season.