MX23RW : Thursday, June 24 21:45:57| >> :120:25709:25709:
May 13, 2018 at 3pm UK at St Mary's Stadium
Attendance: 31,882
Man CityManchester City
FT(HT: 0-0)
Jesus (90')

Live Commentary: Southampton 0-1 Manchester City - as it happened

Relive Sports Mole's Premier League coverage as champions Manchester City beat Southampton 1-0 at St Mary's on the final day of the season.

Southampton took on champions Manchester City on the final day of the Premier League season aiming to secure top-flight safety by avoiding a sizeable thrashing at the hands of Pep Guardiola's men.

Saints might well have found an early lead when Wesley Hoedt saw his header come back off the crossbar in a first half that Saints managed to match City at St Mary's.

It had looked like Pep Guardiola's charges would miss out on a record 100 points tally, only for substitute Gabriel Jesus to score in the closing stages of injury time to seal a late 1-0 win for the Sky Blues.

Relive all of the action with our minute-by-minute updates below.

Good afternoon everyone and thanks for joining us as we bring you live coverage of the final day of the Premier League season, as Southampton take on Manchester City at St Mary's. Mark Hughes and his Saints will be safe ignoring a 10-goal swing with Swansea City, while Manchester City are aiming to break a top-flight points record today.

SOUTHAMPTON STARTING XI: McCarthy; Hoedt, Yoshida, Stephens; Cedric, Bertrand, Romeu, Hojberg; Tadic, Austin, Redmond

SOUTHAMPTON SUBSTITUTES: Forster, McQueen, Pied, Sims, Ward-Prowse, Gabbiadini, Long

MANCHESTER CITY STARTING XI: Bravo; Danilo, Stones, Laporte, Delph; Fernandinho, Gundogan, De Bruyne; Bernardo, Sane, Sterling

MANCHESTER CITY SUBSTITUTES: Ederson, Walker, Kompany, Jesus, Zinchenko, Foden, Diaz

Saints are able to welcome back centre-back Maya Yoshida following his suspension during the week. Hughes has opted for a 3-4-3 that will see Nathan Redmond, Charlie Austin and Dusan Tadic operate going forward.

Hughes has decided to lead with both Oriol Romeu and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg in the centre of midfield, leaving Cedric and Ryan Bertrand to move down the respective flanks. Wesley Hoedt and Jack Stephens will sit alongside Yoshida at the back.

Guardiola has mixed up his Manchester City side, where Claudio Bravo starts in between the sticks ahead of Ederson. John Stones starts alongside Aymeric Laporte in the middle of defence, while Danilo and Fabian Delph are the full-backs today.

Fernandinho, Ilkay Gundogan, and Kevin De Bruyne feature in a three-man midfield, leaving Bernado Silva, Leroy Sane and Raheem Sterling to lead City's forward line. Gabriel Jesus is forced to settle for a place on the bench, where Phil Foden will also hope to make an impact from later this afternoon.

Saints are on the brink of securing Premier League survival having defeated fellow strugglers Swansea City 1-0 during the week. That result saw Southampton move three points clear of the Swans and into 17th place in the standings.

The coastal club will stay up this afternoon should they avoid a 10-goal swing with Swansea City defeating already-relegated Stoke City elsewhere today. Southampton would have to lose heavily against City and Swansea would then need to hammer Stoke to shift the goal difference by at least 10.

Wednesday's hard-fought victory capped off what has been a largely resurgent period for the Saints under Hughes, who has seen his side now win two of their last three Premier League matches.

Prior to that, it had taken Southampton the best part of 22 games to pick up two victories in the top flight. Since Hughes has arrived at the club, Southampton have won two, drawn two and lost three - his Saints being helped out drastically by the inconsistencies of other sides around them.

Those defeats seem to be a good distance behind the club now, though. Southampton are currently unbeaten in four league games, winning two and drawing two in recent weeks.

Southampton have won eight points from their last four league contests, which is as many as they collected in their previous 12 games combined. Hughes and his men are almost there, but will be wanting to avoid any hints of complacency this afternoon.

Looking at the goal swing required to send Southampton down, the club's previous biggest defeats in the league came courtesy of 7-1 losses at both Everton and Liverpool in the late 90s.

Coming into the final day, Southampton have the second worst home record in the league this term. Only West Bromwich Albion with 18 points have earned fewer at home than Southampton's 19 across the entirety of the campaign.

Moving on to City, Guardiola's side finally lifted the league trophy, won with five games to spare, after their final home game of the season during the week, having comfortably dispatched Brighton & Hove Albion 3-1 at the Etihad.

City have been remarkable domestically this campaign, picking up the Premier League title at a canter while also collecting the League Cup too. The Sky Blues are unbeaten in their last five matches, winning four and scoring 15 goals.

Critics will point to the club's wholesale failure at the hands of Liverpool in the Champions League, but Guardiola's domination of the English top-flight has been breathtaking at points in the campaign.

Such has been the brilliance of this City side, today the club are aiming to become the team with the most away wins in a Premier League season. Should they win out today, City will have bagged 16 out of a possible 19 victories on the road.

Another record potentially there to be broken for City is the number of points collected on their travels. Victory at St Mary's would leave Guardiola's side with the most collected in a Premier League campaign with 50.

City might well have been in holiday mode on another occasion, but today also represents an opportunity to break a rather special record for the club. Picking up three points against Southampton would see City become the first team to reach the 100-points mark in an English top-flight season.

The Sky Blues have already broken Premier League records this season too. City's bagging of 105 goals, 97 points and 31 victories are all Premier League records for a single term.

A win on the road would also see City move to 32 wins for the season, beating Tottenham's record for most wins in a top-flight campaign set in 1960-61.

Pep's revolution has the potential to rewrite so many records on the final day. Guardiola's side are also two goals short of the club's record of 107 scored in the top flight in 1936-37.

Sane and De Bruyne will be battling it out to become the club's leading assist maker this season. Both players have collected a staggering 15 assists each across the Premier League campaign.

Man City have won two of their last three league visits to St Mary's, winning 3-0 on both occasions. Southampton did win 4-2 at the backend of the 2015-16 season at St Mary's, though.

Southampton have won just one of the last nine meetings, drawing two and losing six against City. cross the clubs' last six meetings, City have led things with four wins, one draw and a loss against Saints.

PREDICTION! Southampton will be considering themselves pretty much safe while City will be fully motivated to make sure that they reach the record points tally this afternoon. Guardiola has named a strong side despite a lack of recognised striker and the visitors should have just a little too much for Saints, who will likely fall to a defeat but not one big enough to see them relegated. I'm backing City to win this game 3-1.

Heading into the final game, Hughes has hinted that he might just want this Saints job long term. Here's what he recently told BBC Sport regarding the managerial position at Southampton: "It's a very good club, especially with what's in place here to allow players to move forward and have success. So yes, it's a well-run club, good club, and a good opportunity for whoever gets it."

The players are now in the tunnel and we will be underway very shortly, just a couple of minutes until kickoff now at St Mary's...

KICKOFF! Here we go then, we are off and underway on the south coast on the final day of the season!

Saints have started brightly here and Tadic almost makes Delph pay by wrong-footing the left-back, but City recover with numbers back to help out the defender on the right channel.

Good from the hosts! Hojbjerg intercepts to win the ball of De Bruyne and then feeds Tadic racing away on the break. The winger looks for a smart ball beyond the defence for the run of Austin, who does not quite have the pace as Bravo comes out to collect.

SHOT! Plenty of positive early work from the home side, this time Stephens steps forward from the back and is able to win possession on the edge of the City box. The defender opens up to shoot, although his effort is deflected kindly into the arms of Bravo.

OFF THE BAR! The hosts win a corner on the right which is then turned towards the front post. With City marking zonally, Hoedt is given a free leap and is able to send a header onto the crossbar with Bravo flapping helplessly.

First glimmers of danger on the left as Sane's pace leaves Cedric for dead inside the box, but the defender does brilliantly to recover and send the resulting cross away for a corner, which Saints defend calmly.

This has been a very bright start from Hughes and his men, who have not been afraid to throw bodies forward into the City half. De Bruyne gives the ball away carelessly on the edge of the box, leaving Austin to lash a wild effort from a tight angle way off target.

City began a little sluggishly but the visitors are now moving the ball about coolly inside the Southampton half. Sterling comes in off the right flank but is unable to trick his way beyond Yoshida, who stands firm to dispossess the forward.

City have just started to increase the pressure, especially down the flanks. De Bruyne feeds Sane, but his cross into the middle is hooked away by Stephens without too much trouble.

Southampton look nice and compact without the ball and City are so far unable to find a way through. Sane moves across to the right, but once again a visiting move breaks down when Hoedt steps in to tackle.

This left flank is proving profitable for City at the moment. Sane drifts inside to move the ball on to De Bruyne, who sees his effort deflected away for a corner. Saints respond with some tight marking from the set piece, leaving Yoshida to clear the danger when the ball comes in.

City are warming up as we speak. Danilo drives into space down the right and moves the ball into space for the run of De Bruyne. Yoshida is alert and covers well, ultimately leaving Hoedt to clean up the loose ball inside the box.

SHOT! Tadic turns in a clever free kick that evades almost everyone inside the box. The ball drops free to Hoedt over at the back post, but the centre-back can only lash his wild volley into the side netting.

Proceedings are moving from end to end rather quickly in this contest. Gundogan, who is sporting one of the most beautiful moustaches I've seen in a long while, finds himself free just outside of the box, but his driven effort flies wide without testing McCarthy.

Unnecessary really from Hoedt, who flies straight into the back of De Bruyne with very little danger around. The resulting set piece allows Sane to step up and he curls a poor effort straight into the Southampton wall.

Twitchy from Southampton! City move the ball with pace into the left channel, where Sane chips towards the front post. McCarthy and Yoshida are left scrambling to clear with the keeper looking all at sea, but the ball eventually drops kindly and Danilo cannot make use of the loose ball.

Strong tenacity from Hoedt allows the home defender to scramble forward down the left channel, where he chips a promising ball in behind to find the run of Austin. Laporte covers well, though, getting across in the nick of time to thwart the Southampton forward before he can shoot.

Hughes will be very pleased with what he has seen so far. Southampton have been well organised at the back, but have also offered plenty of support to Austin when moving forward, preventing City from being totally dominant in the first half. Saints have looked rather comfortable.

For all of City's slick movement, the visitors are perhaps suffering from a lack of recognised forward. Southampton's three centre-backs have marshalled City's forward line well thus far, Sterling being rather anonymous in the first 30 minutes or so.

It's one of those days for Saints and Stephens shows his side's intentions by walloping the ball completely out of the ground when dispossessing Sane on the left flank. For all of City's endeavour, the visitors do not have too much to show for their domination on the ball.

SHOT! This is more like it from Sterling. The City forward shows great strength to roll Yoshida and sprint towards goal, although his resulting shot is a poor one and goes flying over McCarthy's goal without testing the stopper.

Southampton are ending the half on the front foot as Tadic moves down the right at pace, but he cannot find a way beyond Delph.

SHOT! Plenty of late spark from Saints at the moment, this time as the ball drops kindly to Romeu on the edge of the area, but he cannot keep his volley down as the long-range effort flies just over the bar.

City have Southampton pegged back inside the box, leaving Sterling to shift possession into Bernardo Silva. The playmaker chips into the middle, but Hoedt is up first to head clear.


Job done so far then on a fairly stress-free afternoon for Saints. Hughes has this team setup to defend well and they have kept City at bay with relative ease so far on the final day of the season.

Southampton have got men behind the ball and been compact, but they have also be unafraid to move men forward and counter, which has left City at times in two minds. The visitors haven't quite clicked in the final third, although Southampton have done well to contribute to that.

Guardiola will be slightly frustrated by what he has seen. His side have held plenty of the ball but have been unable to find a way through a compact defence. Perhaps bringing on Jesus might just give the away side more of a focal point going forward after the interval.

Hughes will be wanting much more of the same. Swansea are also losing 2-1 at home to Stoke as we speak making the possibility of a Welsh escape even more unlikely.

SECOND HALF! City get us moving again St Mary's. Can the visitors find something going forward to break the top-flight points tally today?

Sane looks to catch the hosts cold when he moves beyond the last man, but the referee has a keen eye and spots a handball from the German as he attempts to bring the ball out of the air.

De Bruyne has the chance to bend in a free kick from the left. The Belgian's delivery is brilliant, but not one City body can produce the required flick to send the pass home, leaving the ball to flash just wide of the back post.

City have enjoyed a bright start to this second half, much like the first, the visitors have held most of the ball. Cedric does well inside the box to buy a free kick off Sane when the pair go up to challenge for the ball.

Sterling show great movement to pick up the ball on the edge of the box, but his layoff into the path of De Bruyne is a poor one, leaving Saints to do just about enough to put the Belgian off.

Guardiola's men are moving the ball with more purpose in this second period and with a little more pace too. Laporte open up from range but his shot cannons into a defender. City have had 90% possession after the interval!

CHANCE! City keep De Bruyne's ball alive in the middle and it eventually drops down to the feet of an unmarked Fernandinho. The Brazilian opts to try something first time, only to blaze a horrible effort over the crossbar.

SUBSTITUTION: Pep wants this win... City make a change as Jesus comes on for left-back Delph.

De Bruyne turns in the middle and sweeps the ball out wide for the run of Sane, who picks up possession and drives down the flank past Cedric. The wing-back does well to recover and force the German inside, where he is eventually crowded out.

CHANCES! City keep the ball alive with great pressure inside the Saints box, leaving Sterling to crash an effort off the post. It takes a slight deflection, leaving the ball to go out for a corner. The resulting set piece then sees Stones claim highest, forcing McCarthy to tip his header over the bar.

SUBSTITUTIONS: ChangeS now for Saints as James Ward-Prowse takes the place of Redmond. Austin also comes off for Shane Long up top.

Clever defending from Cedric who finds himself in the middle of the park receiving the ball. He turns Fernandinho smartly to buy a free kick and relieve a bit of pressure on his teammates.

Southampton offer up their first real forward move of the second period. Tadic comes away at pace on the left channel and looks for the movement of Long in behind, but Stones is across well to intercept.

CLOSE! City are now playing with a back three and Saints make good use of that as Tadic exploits space on the left. The winger finds a cross for Ward-Prowse in the middle, but Bravo shuffles across in time to make a comfortable save.

YELLOW CARD! Fair enough from Ward-Prowse, really. Sterling is scampering away on the counter with the Southampton man caught up the pitch. The youngster brings down Sterling to thwart the break but also goes into the referee's book.

Sane glides majestically across the face of the Saints box, but again the hosts stand firm to keep out the City pressure, which is starting to grow again just over the last minute or so.

Sane drives into the home box and goes down under pressure from two defenders, but the referee's is having nothing of it and waves play on. City are still just lacking that bit of spark in the final third. Plenty of endeavour but no final ball to speak of just yet.

OFF THE LINE! What headlines this would have been. Danilo gets beaten for offside by the run of Tadic, which also commits Bravo off his line. The winger drives towards goal through bodies, leaving Fernandinho to make a vital block on the line.

Southampton are enjoying themselves now as we head into the final 10 minutes of the game. With City pushing forward, Saints are looking for every opportunity to counter through Tadic and Ward-Prowse.

Nothing much doing for City at the moment, the visitors are reaching the Saints box but are being thwarted by the number of bodies behind the ball.

City turn a corner towards the near post, but Hoedt is quickest to react and head away the danger. Will we somehow see City break this points tally in the closing moments at St Mary's?

Pressure from the Sky Blues is just starting to ramp up again as City load the box for another corner. Southampton do not mind too much, however, Yoshida leaping above everyone to head clear.

Saints are trying to employ a high defensive line now and it seems to be keeping City at arms length. Yoshida again coming out from the back to head away a ball forward from De Bruyne.

Ward-Prowse swings in a testing free kick into the middle, leaving Bravo to gather at the second attempt. It looks like we are headed for a draw here, which will be a massive frustration for City.

Sane thinks that he is through on goal and Cedric is about to bring him down, only for the referee to blow for offside. That was so close. Stephens appears to have played the perfect offside trap.


Oh my word, what have we just seen! Jesus breaks off his man to latch onto a long ball from De Bruyne, allowing the Brazilian to chip over an on-ruishing McCarthy.


What a beautiful end to a beautiful season of Premier League football for Manchester City, who have now broken the record for most points collected in an English top-flight season having now moved onto 100. It is the first time that Guardiola has reached 100 points as a coach too.

Southampton will be delighted with that performance despite eventually losing. Sparkie has kept the coastal club up and will now be hoping to land the job full-time as the Saints head into what will now be a summer of reassessing and rebuilding. That's going to be all from me this afternoon, thanks for joining us!

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