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- Saints shock Premier League champions 3-1
- Jason Puncheon gave Saints an early lead
- Steven Davis doubled the hosts' advantage
- Edin Dzeko pulled one back for City before half-time
- Gareth Barry own-goal made it 3-1
Thanks for joining us on what has been a fantastic day for Saints and their new manager Mauricio Pochettino, who gets his first win in charge of the team. We will have reaction for you on the website later. For a full report and pictures from the game, look out for a copy of this weekend's Sports Pink as well as even more in Monday's Daily Echo
Absolutely buzzing with that result !! Gutted to be injured and missing out on such a good game, fans were amazing by far the best #saintsfc— @Luke_shaw3 09 February 2013
Saints move up to 15th in the Premier League table as a result of today's victory. They are now six points clear of the relegation zone - the biggest gap to the bottom three they have enjoyed all season.
SAINTS 3 MANCHESTER CITY 1
SUBSTITUTION (80 mins): Steven Davis off, James Ward-Prowse on.
SUBSTITUTION (73 mins): David Silva off, Maicon on.
SUBSTITUTION (72 mins): Danny Fox off, Frazer Richardson on.
Yaya Toure cautioned for a trip on Morgan Schneiderlin.
SUBSTITUTION (66 mins): Joleon Lescott off, Aleksander Kolarov on.
SUBSTITUTION (61 mins): Jason Puncheon off, Adam Lallana on.
SUBSTITUTION (55 mins): Samir Nasri off, James Milner on.
CHANCE (55 mins): Sergio Aguero finds space in the area and shoots across goal, but Artur Boruc dives to his left to palm it away.
Gael Clichy booked for pulling back Jason Puncheon.
Saints 3 Manchester City 1 (Gareth Barry og 48): A bizarre goal. Rickie Lambert plays a low ball across the area, but Gareth Barry is there to clear it with no Saints players near him. However, facing his own goal, he rather nonchalantly rolls it into the bottom corner.
CHANCE (47 mins): A long ball out of defence from Jos Hooiveld sets Rickie Lambert away down the left channel. He's forced to check back, before laying the ball into the path of Jason Puncheon, who blazes well over from the edge of the area.
Saints 2 Manchester City 1
PENALTY APPEAL (45+2): Yaya Toure clumsily challenges Jay Rodriguez in the area. It's a strong case for a spot kick, but Martin Atkinson doesn't give it.
Saints 2 Manchester City 1 (Edin Dzeko 39): Saints' corner is cleared by City, who break away well. The move ends with Zabaleta squaring to Dzeko. Although the ball is slightly behind him, he somehow manages to turn it into the far corner.
CHANCE (38 mins): Nathaniel Clyne exchanges passes with Jason Puncheon and drives towards the area, before hitting a shot that is deflected wide.
CHANCE (32 mins): Saints go very close to a third goal. The ball drops to Jay Rodriguez on the left side of the area. The striker hits a shot across goal that goes just wide of the far post.
CHANCE (28 mins): Jos Hooiveld judged to have fouled Edin Dzeko just outside the area. Sergio Aguero, however, slams the resulting free-kick straight into the wall.
Rickie Lambert cautioned for pulling back Joleon Lescott.
Saints 2 Manchester City 0 (Steven Davis 22): Rickie Lambert cuts inside Gael Clichy and hits a pretty tame left-foot shot at Joe Hart. The City and England keeper commits an absolute howler, though, letting the ball slip through his grasp and then his legs, allowing Davis to slide in and poke home.
CHANCE (16 mins): Sergio Aguero squeezes his way into the Saints area and flashes a low ball across the face of goal. It's crying out for a City touch, but none of the visiting players get near it.
Saints 1 Manchester City 0 (Jason Puncheon 7): Puncheon wins the ball off Gareth Barry and races forward before playing in Jay Rodriguez. Yaya Toure gets back to challenge him, with Joe Hart coming out to smother the ball too. Hart saves, but it rebounds to Puncheon to slot home.
Referee Martin Atkinson gets the match underway. Saints kick-off.
The teams are out at St Mary's. It's a wet day here in Southampton, so conditions could have an effect on the game. We will have updates for you throughout the match.
Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has just told ESPN that he reckons Saints will pose an even greater challenge than they did on the opening day of the season, when City won 3-2 at the Etihad Stadium:
We know today will be difficult, because in this moment Southampton are playing very, very well. We hope that we can do the same result (as the opening day), but we know that now they are better.Roberto Mancini
Adam Lallana is on the bench today, so Rickie Lambert captains the Saints side. Lallana, who was given the armband by Nigel Adkins at the start of the season, was asked this week if he expects to retain the role under Mauricio Pochettino. The midfielder admitted he did not know what would happen, but insisted it would not be an issue if the captaincy was taken off him:
I am not sure. I am just eagerly looking forward to coming back. I am only 24 and that is not a massive issue. If I am (captain), then great. If not, I will still give 100 per cent for the team.Adam Lallana
The early results today have been perfect for Saints. Fellow strugglers Newcastle, Reading, Wigan and QPR all lost. Aston Villa will host West Ham tomorrow.
Two changes for Saints today. Luke Shaw and Gastón Ramírez miss out completely through injury. Replacing them in the starting line-up are Danny Fox and Steven Davis. New signing Vegard Forren earns a place on the bench, while Adam Lallana remains among the substitutes. For Manchester City, skipper Vincent Kompany is not fit to play, while Carlos Tevez is not in the squad either, due to personal reasons.
SAINTS: Boruc, Clyne, Yoshida, Hooiveld, Fox, S. Davis, Schneiderlin, Cork, Puncheon, Lambert, Rodriguez.
Subs: K Davis, Richardson, Forren, Ward-Prowse, Chaplow, Lallana, Lee.
MANCHESTER CITY: Hart, Zabaleta, Garcia, Lescott, Clichy,Yaya Toure, Barry, Nasri, Silva, Aguero, Dzeko.
Subs: Pantilimon, Rodwell, Kolarov, Sinclair, Milner, Maicon, Kolo Toure.
Referee: Martin Atkinson.
Newcastle's 2-1 defeat at Tottenham in today's early kick-off puts the Magpies within the reach of Saints. A win for Mauricio Pochettino's team tonight and they will overtake former manager Alan Pardew's side on goal difference, moving up to 15th position in the table.
A couple of impressive milestones could be reached today. Most notably, Rickie Lambert requires just one more goal to reach 100 in his Saints career and join a very exclusive club. He scored at City on the opening day of the season, so there’s every reason to hope he could bring up his ton this evening. Plus, he loves a goal against Joe Hart. Elsewhere, Adam Lallana is approaching his half-century, with 49 goals to his name. With just two this season, the midfielder is certainly due another strike.
Here's Saints manager Mauricio Pochettino, and rather more importantly for most of us his translator, speaking ahead of today's match:
MAN CITY SQUAD NEWS: Skipper Vincent Kompany has a chance of returning to the line-up from a calf injury. The centre-half was expected to miss another week, but has started training again. He faces a late test, but City are hoping he will be fit. Mancini is also boosted by the return of brothers Yaya and Kolo Toure from African Cup of Nations duty with Ivory Coast. Micah Richards, a long-term absentee, is the only player definitely ruled out.
SAINTS SQUAD NEWS: Left-back Luke Shaw is a doubt after picking up a ligament issue ahead of his England Under-21s debut against Sweden in midweek. Fellow full-back Nathaniel Clyne, another to drop out of the Young Lions' squad, may also be unavailable through injury. Gastón Ramírez and Guly do Prado are also possibly out, while Jose Fonte remains sidelined. Adam Lallana could make his first start since suffering a knee injury on December 8. January acquisition Vegard Forren is awaiting his debut.
Hello and welcome to the Daily Echo’s blog covering this evening’s Premier League meeting between Saints and defending champions Manchester City, at St Mary’s. The two sides are facing each other for the second time this season, after their dramatic encounter on the opening day of the campaign, at the Etihad Stadium. Back then, Saints recovered from a goal down at half-time to take a surprise 2-1 lead, only for City to mount a late rally and claim the victory, 3-2. Hard-luck losses against the Manchester clubs have certainly been a theme for Saints this season. Perhaps, however, things will be different today. Anything from this would undoubtedly represent another important step on the road to survival for Mauricio Pochettino’s team. By contrast, nothing less than three points will do for Roberto Mancini’s side today, with the gap to leaders Manchester United already at nine points. We will have the build-up, team news and match updates here for you.