Live Commentary: Southampton 1-1 Manchester City - as it happened

Live Commentary: Southampton 1-1 Manchester City - as it happened
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Relive Sports Mole's coverage of the Premier League action from St Mary's Stadium where Southampton hosted Manchester City.

Southampton played hosts to Manchester City at St Mary's in the Premier League on Saturday with both sides challenging high up the table.

Having made an impressive start to the season, Saints went into the game off the back of three consecutive defeats, while City had started to hit top form having won their last three matches.

However, neither side could be separated and they were forced to settle for a score draw on the South Coast.

Read how the match unfolded in our live commentary below.


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2.02pmGood afternoon and welcome to Sports Mole's live coverage of Premier League action where Southampton entertain Manchester City at St Mary's.

2.04pmToday's clash on the South Coast should be a thriller, with both sides desperate for a win and guilty of playing some sublime football so far this season. Saints have dropped off following a brilliant start to the campaign, while City are beginning to flex their title-challenging muscles.

2.06pmSouthampton have find life tough as of late. They went into their clash at Arsenal two weeks ago with the chance to move to the top of the Premier League table, but since that defeat have also lost at Chelsea and suffered their first home defeat of the season to Aston Villa during the week. Their fixture list doesn't get any easier today, as one of the title contenders enter Hampshire in fine form.

2.07pmSaints, who are ninth in the table going into this match, are currently undergoing a bit of a mare with injury problems. Victor Wanyama and Nathaniel Clyne are both out, along with Jose Fonte. However, former club-record signing Gaston Ramirez is expected to feature today having recovered from a cold.

2.10pmMeanwhile, Manchester City are looking ferocious at the moment and are starting to show why they are serious title contenders this year. They have netted 28 goals in their last seven games across all competitions and are now just four points behind league leaders Arsenal with the best goal difference in the division. Only a defeat at Sunderland last month represents any kind of a blip for Manuel Pellegrini's side, and they go into this game off the back of a 3-2 win on the road at West Bromwich Albion on Wednesday.

2.11pmCity also have injury worries of their own, although captain Vincent Kompany looks likely to start again today after successfully returning from a long absence in midweek. However, Matija Nastasic, David Silva and Stevan Jovetic all remain on the sidelines with calf injuries.

2.13pmWhile the recent form points to a Manchester City win today, their respective records at home and away this season paint a different picture. Saints have made St Mary's a bit of a fortress, with Aston Villa proving the only team to have beaten Southampton on home turf so far. Couple this with the fact that City have already lost four games on the road this year and won just two of their seven trips, and we could be in for quite an interesting fixture here today. Remember as well, that it was the Saints who went marching on in this meeting last term.

2.15pmRight, the team news is out, so let's what both managers have opted for. Starting with Mauricio Pochettino and his Saints team.

2.16pmSAINTS XI: Gazzaniga, Chambers, Fonte, Lovren, Shaw, Cork, S. Davis, Ward-Prowse, Lallana, Rodriguez, Osvaldo

2.17pmSo Pochettino has gone for four changes to the side that were beaten here by Villa in midweek.

2.19pmClyne and Wanyama are two of the expected absentees, while Maya Yoshida and Rickie Lambert drop to the bench; which represents a bit of a surprise.

2.21pmPochettino hands a start to 18-year-old defender Callum Chambers, while Jose Fonte is also brought into the back four having recovered from injury. Jack Cork and Pablo Osvaldo have also been given the nod.

2.23pmSo that's the first team, let's take a look at the bench.

2.24pmSAINTS BENCH: Cropper, Yoshida, Lambert, Ramirez, Hooiveld, Reed, Gallagher

2.25pmI must say then when I mentioned earlier that Saints were going into this game in ninth, that was in relation to the score at Old Trafford in the early kick off. With Newcastle United currently leading Manchester United though, Saints would begin their match against City in eighth; a place ahead of Manchester United.

2.26pmSo that's what the home side have to offer, let's take a look at Pellegrini's City.

2.27pmCITY XI: Pantilimon, Zabaleta, Kompany, Demichelis, Kolarov, Milner, Yaya Toure, Fernandinho, Nasri, Aguero, Negredo

2.28pmPellegrini has made two alterations following his side's win at West Brom in midweek.

2.29pmAlvaro Negredo and James Milner are recalled, while Edin Dzeko and Jesus Navas are forced to settle for places among the substitutes.

2.30pmCaptain Kompany is able to lead the side out today alongside Martin Demichelis, while the in-form trio of Yaya Toure, Samir Nasri and Sergio Aguero all start.

2.31pmSo that's what Pellegrini has chosen to start with today, let's take at his substitutes.

2.31pmCITY BENCH: Hart, Navas, Lescott, Clichy, Richards, Dzeko, Garcia

2.32pmIt's a very strong bench for City which still includes England number one Joe Hart.

2.33pmSo with all the team news sorted, let's take one final look at both of those starting lineups side by side.

2.33pmTHE STARTING LINEUPS:
SAINTS XI: Gazzaniga, Chambers, Fonte, Lovren, Shaw, Cork, S. Davis, Ward-Prowse, Lallana, Rodriguez, Osvaldo
CITY XI: Pantilimon, Zabaleta, Kompany, Demichelis, Kolarov, Milner, Yaya Toure, Fernandinho, Nasri, Aguero, Negredo

2.36pmYou were guaranteed goals when these two teams met in the league last season. City edged past Saints on the opening day of the season 3-2 at the Etihad, but Southampton emerged triumphant in the return match with a 3-1 win, which marked Pochettino's first victory in charge of the club.

2.37pmIt's not happy times for the Saints boss at the moment though, as their run of three straight defeats marks their worst form under the reign on Pochettino.

2.46pmOn the other hand, City are on a run of three consecutive victories, their best run under Pellegrini.

2.47pmI mentioned earlier about how frightening Manchester City have been in attack as of late; well they've picked a good time to face Saints, who have now conceded eight goals in their last three games. They had only previously let in just five goals in their opening 11 league fixtures. But only Arsenal (10) have conceded fewer in this season's Premier League than today's hosts.

2.51pmJust to bring you up to date with the league's earlier result where Newcastle held on to beat Manchester United at Old Trafford. The Red Devils stay below Saints ahead of their clash with City.

2.54pmThe players have gone back into the dressing rooms following their warm-ups. We're just minutes from kick off at St Mary's.

2.57pmBoth teams are out at St Mary's with the players wearing black armbands in memory of Nelson Mandela.

1 minKICKOFF! Saints get the match up and running.

3 minSaints, wearing their all-red home kit with white trim, are playing from right to left in this first half.

4 minCity are playing to the right in their first strip of sky blue shirts with white shorts and socks.

5 minNot a lot to report in these early stages. Saints have had most of the ball.

6 minCHANCE! Big opportunity for Negredo to get an early goal as he brings the ball down well on the right of the box following a ball over the top. However, his second touch is too heavy, and the ball rolls through to Gazzaniga in goal.

7 minCHANCE! Now Saints go up the other end and get a shot at goal. Shaw's cross from the left is nodded down by Osvaldo to Davis on the edge of the box, but his first-time shot is dragged wide of the left post.

10 minGOAL! Southampton 0-1 Manchester City (Sergio Aguero)

10 minGuess who? That's right, Sergio Aguero. Kolarov flies down the left and whips a low cross in from the byline, which somehow creeps through four Saints defenders to Aguero on the edge of the six-yard box, who simply sweeps the ball into the back of the net.

11 minThat's Aguero's 11th league goal in his last 10 appearances. He is some player.

13 minNasri curls in a corner to the near post, which Kolarov gets to. But he flicks it wide across the face of goal.

15 minCity have really taken over since scoring and have had all of the ball. Saints cannot get out of their own half at the moment.

18 minNegredo has been in the war over the past few minutes having been most recently caught by Lovren. He looks as if he will be able to shake it off though.

22 minSaints are starting to creep back into this, but City are looking solid at the back currently.

24 minNearly a chance for Saints as Pablo Osvaldo chests the ball down before volleying it over from just inside the box, however, the flag had gone up for offside.

28 minLuke Shaw is looking very lively down the left for Saints, especially when linking up with James Ward-Prowse. This time, however, he curls in a low cross which Osvaldo is just inches from connecting with.

29 minHaving weathered the City storm, Saints are actually starting to get on top at the moment.

31 minMISS! City proving how dangerous they are on the break. Toure, from the centre of the park, clips a ball out to Zabaleta on the right, who meets it on the edge of the box. He then pulls a pass back inside to a patient Aguero, but the striker skies it over the crossbar. He is human after all. Saints get away with one there.

33 minSaints have come twice in the past few minutes but just haven't been able to get a shot away as City frantically clear the ball anywhere so long as it's away from their busy penalty area.

37 minCLOSE! City are very nearly made to play for some slack defending there. Shaw crosses a ball from the touchline which is just watched by the City backline as it bounces along the six-yard box to the far post. It bobbles up for Chambers to run in and head it at the back, but he cannot shake off Kolarov and get it on target.

38 minWard-Prowse opens up his body and shoots from 25 yards, but it's a routine stop for Pantilimon low to his left. Saints are knocking on the door at the moment though.

42 minGOAL! Southampton 1-1 Manchester City (Pablo Osvaldo)

42 minIt's been coming, but this is a sublime goal from Osvaldo. He drifts down the left side of the box, before shifting the ball onto his right and curling a dipping effort right over Pantilimon and off the underside of the bar. That was from out of the very top draw.

43 minThat goal just reeked of Dennis Bergkamp and, coming at the expense of their title rivals, I'm sure Arsenal fans will have been delighted to see that one dip in.

44 minIt's no more than what Saints deserve though. Since going behind, they've been by far the better team and an equaliser looked highly likely.

45 minHALF TIME: Southampton 1-1 Manchester City

3.48pmEven Stevens at the break then at St Mary's following a very entertaining first half.

3.50pmCity took an early lead through Aguero, and put Saints under immense pressure for the following few minutes. However, the hosts were well on top until the half-time whistle, and deservedly got their leveller thanks to a stunning Osvaldo goal.

4pmThe teams are back out, and we're ready to go for this second half.

46 minKICKOFF! City get the second half underway.

48 minCity have made the stronger start to this second half, and Nasri nearly found a way through, but Lovren could clear.

50 minSAVE! City continue to increase the pressure as Aguero hits a half-volley from the right of the area, which Gazzaniga can get down to push it away.

51 minCLOSE! Toure goes close to putting City back ahead as he battles through a number of Saints defenders, who seemingly bounce off the big Ivorian. He then gets a shot away from the edge of the D, but it curls just wide of the far post.

53 minCHANCE! Now it's Saints' turn to go up the other end. Rodriguez runs through the Chelsea defence before going down under the fair challenge of Pantilimon on the edge of the six-yard box, before Osvaldo balloons the loose ball over.

56 minIt's a pretty even affair at the moment, as both sides continue to threaten.

59 minDavis easily moves inside past Toure on the edge of the box, but he fires straight at Pantilimon.

60 minCity are readying a double change with Jesus Navas and Javi Garcia getting ready to come on.

62 minCITY CHANGES Negredo and Milner are the men to make way, with Garcia and Navas coming on.

64 minIt looks as if Pellegrini has changed his shape a bit, with Navas and Nasri pushing up either side of Aguero, and Garcia slotting alongside Toure and Fernandinho.

65 minLovely bit of skill from Lallana as he scoops the ball over the City defence to Osvaldo. He looked to be offside, but it's not given, and City can just about hack it out for a corner.

65 minRodriguez gets his head on the corner from the penalty spot, but it bounces agonisingly wide of the far post.

66 minThe atmosphere has really lifted at St Mary's as Saints continue to build momentum.

67 minCLOSE! Fonte allows Aguero to run at him and refuses to commit to a challenge in fear of being beaten, so the Argentine continues to edge his way forward to the left of the box before smashing a shot across the face of goal and wide.

68 minWorrying times for Saints here as Dejan Lovren, who has been one of their best players this season, is down and looks in some pain.

70 minLovren is limping off with the help of the Saints physio. However, he somehow comes back on. Let's see how long he lasts.

71 minLovren isn't moving well at all.

72 minLast-ditch defending from Kompany to keep City level. Saints curl a dangerous ball into the box that looks certain to be converted into the back of the net, but the Belgian can stretch out a foot and prod it away.

75 minKolarov tries to score from a really acute angle after being laid off by Aguero. He had men in the centre to cross to, but instead slams the ball into the side-netting. It's a real waste.

76 minSaints are readying Rickie Lambert to bring on.

77 minSAINTS CHANGE Osvaldo, who scored a superb equaliser, is replaced by Lambert in a like-for-like change.

78 minYELLOW CARD Nasri loses possession and goes over the top of the ball to catch Davis.

79 minCITY CHANGE Yaya Toure is taken off in City's third and final alteration, with Edin Dzeko coming on.

80 min10 minutes to go in this match, can either side find a winner?

82 minRodriguez looks to have beaten Zabaleta as he knocks the ball past him, and is then deliberately blocked off by the full-back. Zabaleta knew exactly what he was doing, but Saints are not awarded a decision.

85 minAguero gets on the end of a cross from the right, but he was too far out to challenge Gazzaniga with that header, and it goes wide.

88 minNo chances in the past few minutes, but both teams are going in search of a winner.

90 minSAINTS CHANGE Harrison Reed comes on for the final few minutes to replace Davis.

90 minThere will be four added minutes at the end of this game.

90+3 minYELLOW CARD Sergio Aguero goes into the book for throwing the ball away. How petty of him.

90+4 minFULL TIME: Southampton 1-1 Manchester City

4.52pmThat's it then, neither side can find a second-half winner and are forced to settle for a point, which will certainly do for the hosts.

4.53pmOsvaldo's beauty was enough to cancel out Aguero's opener. Saints stay eighth in the table while City are now five points behind leaders Arsenal in fourth having played a game more.

4.54pmThat's it from me but stick around for my analysis piece and more sporting action and reaction on Sports Mole.

Southampton's Jay Rodriguez celebrates with teammates after scoring his team's opening goal against Aston Villa during their Premier League match on December 4, 2013
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City98103242825
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd96212241820
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs85211551017
4Chelsea95131710716
5Watford94321517-215
6Newcastle UnitedNewcastle9423108214
7Arsenal84131210213
8Liverpool83411312113
9Burnley934289-113
10Southampton933389-112
11Huddersfield TownHuddersfield9333710-312
12Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton9324910-111
13West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom9243710-310
14Leicester CityLeicester92341214-29
15Swansea CitySwansea9225610-48
16Everton8224513-88
17West Ham UnitedWest Ham9225817-98
18Stoke CityStoke92251020-108
19Bournemouth9216613-77
20Crystal Palace9108219-173
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