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Saints 1 Manchester City 1
Updated 5:35pm Saturday 7th December 2013 in Sport
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- Saints end three-game losing streak
- Aguero gives City the lead after ten minutes
- Brilliant Osvaldo equaliser three minutes before half time
- Saints end the day in eighth place
SAINTS 1 MAN CITY 1
This game is so finely balanced as we head into four minutes of stoppage time
Reed on for Davis in these final minutes
Ramirez on for Lallana with five minutes left
Lambert is introduced for Saints with 13 minutes remaining in place of Osvlado.
Dzeko on for Toure for City
Saints really look like they believe they can win this game while City look anxious
Aguero makes a yard to get a shot away but it's across goal and wide
Rodriguez's header from a Ward-Prowse corner goes just wide
Double change for City on 62 minutes as Jesus Navas and Javi Garcia replace Negredo and Milner.
Another good chance for Osvaldo goes begging as Kompany inadvertantly diverts the ball into the striker's path in the area but his shot across goal is well wide
Osvaldo has a much simpler chance than the one he scored as Rodriguez brilliantly tricks his way through the City defence. His run is halted as Pantilimon gets down to block at his feet.
The ball came out to Osvaldo but he blazed well over the bar
City get off to a flying start to the second half and Gazzaniga has to get down to his left to save from Aguero before Toure's fierce shot fails to quite curl back on target in time to trouble the Saints stopper
Saints celebrate after Dani Osvaldo scored the equaliser.
The equaliser from Dani Osvaldo.
The second half is underway
Southampton's Dani Osvaldo (left) scores past Manchester City's defenders Pablo Zabaleta and Martin Demichelis.
SAINTS 1 MAN CITY 1
Nasri has a sniff of a chance before the break but fires across goal and wide.
SAINTS 1 MAN CITY 1 (Osvaldo 42)
Osvaldo picks up a ball down the left and scores a wonderful solo goal.
He turns Kompany inside out, cuts inside Zabaleta just inside the area and curls a brilliant right footed shot into the opposite top corner.
Manchester City celebrating their goal.
Chambers has a great chance to level for Saints on 37 minutes.
Lallana holds the ball up and feeds it to Luke Shaw who takes one touch to control and another to whip in a great cross from the left across the six yard box.
The City defenders dare not touch it and Pantilimon refuses to come for it and the ball bounces up for Chambers at the far post but he heads wide.
Moments later Ward-Prowse fires in a low shot from distance but Pantilimon makes the save.
Saints are very relieved as Ageuro blazes over the bar when you might have expected him to score after being found by Zabaleta's cut back
Calum Chambers (right) breaks away from Manchester City's Samir Nasri.
Jack Cork forces Costel Pantilimon into action with a low shot from 20 yards that the City keeper saves down to his right
Adam Lallana (left) in action against Manchester City's Samir Nasri.
City still look very dangerous but in fairness Saints have recovered their composure after falling behind
Kolorov's flicked header from a corner drifted just wide of the far post.
SAINTS 0 MAN CITY 1 (Aguero 10)
Nasri feeds in Kolorov on the overlap down the left.
He cuts back a low cross that evades all the Saints players in the area but not Aguero who hits a low shot on the turn from ten yards out that gives Gazzaniga no chance.
A couple of interesting early moments.
Firstly only a heavy touch from Negredo stopped him having a one-on-one finishing opportunity against Paulo Gazzaniga.
At the other end Steven Davis dragged a half volley from the edge of the area wide of the target.
Saints are enjoying plenty of early possession
The game is underway
The teams are out, those strange jackets they wear for all of ten seconds have come off and we are nearly set for game time
More fans outside St Mary's stadium before the match.
The teams will be out shortly to get this game going
Pictures of fans getting in the mood for the match ahead.
Man City are being led out for their wamr up by captain Vincent Kompany.
And here come Saints led by Adam Lallana...
For Mauricio Pochettino today's match that not only gives Saints the chance to get back on track, but for former Espanyol manager Pochettino to get one over on old foe Manuel Pellegrini, a man he knows well from his time in Spain.
"I have many memories of having faced Manuel Pellegrini in La Liga, when he was Villarreal, Malaga and Real Madrid," he said.
"I even knew him when I was with Under-18s in Argentina. He was managing the Chile Under-20s some 25 years ago.
"I have great respect for him. I wouldn't say that we were friends, but we have a great working relationship and he is someone I admire. We have a very good professional relationship."
Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini has reiterated how highly he rates Sergio Aguero, emphasising that he regards the Argentina international as a better all-round player than Luis Suarez.
Both Aguero and his fellow striker Suarez have been in glittering form this season, although the spotlight has been on the latter in particular since Wednesday night, when he fired in four goals - including a superb 20-minute first-half hat-trick - for Liverpool in their 5-1 win over Norwich.
Those efforts mean the Uruguay frontman now tops the Barclays Premier League scoring charts for 2013-14 with 13 goals - two more than second-placed Aguero has netted.
And at his Friday press conference to preview Saturday's top-flight trip to Southampton, when asked about Suarez, Pellegrini made it clear his view of Aguero as the Premier League's number one footballer has not changed.
"Suarez is a very important striker, but I think Sergio participates more in the game," he said.
He added: "Sergio is just 25 years old, so I think of course he can improve.
"I think this year he has improved a lot in the way he works during matches.
"He has always been a top player and he has always scored goals, but I think at this moment, he has added working for the team without the ball, which is also important for him.
"I never said he was the best striker in the Premier League - I said he was the best player. Maybe there are players who are better strikers than him, but not as complete as him.
"Maybe it (his improvement) is because he is older. For me, a player has the best performances between 24 and 30 years old.
"Sergio started very young in his career and I think that every year, he is improving.
"This year, the best thing he is doing is scoring goals, but he has added to his performance the work for the team without the ball."
A run of three successive defeats and an ever-mounting injury list is hardly the best preparation for taking on Manchester City, yet Mauricio Pochettino is confident Southampton can enjoy an upturn in fortunes against the title hopefuls.
Saints began the season as the toast of English football, with their blend of home-grown talent and big-money signings impressing in an attractive, high-tempo style.
Not only that, they were also getting results and could have gone top of the Barclays Premier League with victory at Arsenal two weeks ago.
However, Saints have slumped to eighth after a run of three successive defeats and now face the unenviable task of attempting to thwart in-form City.
That challenge has been made all the more difficult by injuries picked up by Victor Wanyama and Nathaniel Clyne in the midweek defeat to Aston Villa, swelling the possible first-team absentees for the game to eight.
"I believe that every game is a test, not just against Manchester City," the Argentinian said ahead of Saturday's match. "Every single game is a very large test for us.
"It is clear that we picked up some injuries against Aston Villa that we did not have in the past, but nothing has changed within this team.
"This team still believes, it still believes in how we play, and what a great chance for us to go and invert this negative run we are on in front of our fans in a great stadium. This is a very good chance for us to change our fortunes right now."
The big news for Saints is that Jose Fonte is fit to partner Dejan Lovren in the centre of defence while Rickie Lambert drops to the bench.
The four changes see Calum Chambers in for the injured Nathaniel Clyne and Fonte in for Yoshida.
Also into the side is Jack Cork and Dani Osvaldo with Victor Wanyama out injured and Lambert dropping to the bench.
Gaston Ramirez has recovered from his cold and is back amongst the subs.
SAINTS: Gazzaniga, Chambers, Fonte, Lovren, Shaw, S Davis, Cork, Ward-Prowse, Lallana, Rodriguez, Osvaldo.
Subs: Cropper, Yoshida, Hooiveld, Reed, Ramirez, Gallagher, Lambert.
MAN CITY: Pantilimon, Zabaleta, Kompany, Demichelis, Kolarov, Milner, Yaya Toure, Fernandinho, Nasri, Aguero, Negredo.
Subs: Hart, Richards, Lescott, Clichy, Garcia, Navas, Dzeko.
Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini is optimistic Blues captain Vincent Kompany will be fine to keep his place in the team for Saturday's Barclays Premier League away clash with Southampton.
The Belgium defender, who has been sidelined by a thigh problem, made his first appearance since October 5 on Wednesday when he played for the whole of the 3-2 league win at West Brom, and there have been no ill-effects reported after that outing.
Striker Stevan Jovetic, defender Matija Nastasic and playmaker David Silva will all miss the Southampton game due to their calf injuries, but Pellegrini has indicated the latter of the trio could be involved in Tuesday's Champions League match at Bayern Munich.
The headlines for Saints in the build up have been dominated by the club's injury problems.
We should get the team news very soon but Artur Boruc, Kelvin Davis, Danny Fox, Guly do Prado, Victor Wanyama and Morgan Schneiderlin are expected to miss out.
Jose Fonte was facing a late fitness test.
Hello and welcome to the Daily Echo's live coverage of Saints against Manchester City at St Mary's in the Premier League.
Saints are aiming to end their three game losing streak against City who have been superb at home but have struggled on the road this season.
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