Manchester City defeated Southampton 2-0 at the Etihad Stadium in the final fixture of the English Premier League season. Man City came into the match having recorded six victories in a row, while the Saints were looking to be in the running for a place in Europe next season. The game got off to a good start with both teams looking lively.
City defender Martin Demichelis upended Filip Djuricic near the corner flag and the Argentine was duly cautioned in the second minute. Ronald Koeman’s men had the best of the early exchanges resulting in numerous half chances including a glancing header from Toby Alderweireld that failed to trouble Joe Hart in the tenth minute. When the Citizens eventually got out the starting blocks it was all one-way traffic.
Their 25-goal hitman Sergio Aguero was put through by David Silva for a clear run at goal but blasted his shot over the crossbar at an acute angle after 21 minutes. Two minutes later Yaya Toure’s pile driver was spilled by Saints keeper Kelvin Davis only to brilliantly save from Aguero at point blank range. Shane Long was the first player to be cautioned for the visitors for hacking down James Milner.
In his last Premier league appearance Frank Lampard broke the deadlock with a trademark run and finish after a Milner low cross in the 31st minute. Barely a minute after the goal Aguero was on to goal after a Silva through ball but was denied by Davis. At this point Man City was rampant looking like they had a goal in them at every opportunity.
Davis was having a wonderful match as he again denied Aguero diving at full stretch after Toure’s thunderous run picked the Argentine out in the 37th minute. Koeman’s men almost drew level in the dying moments of the half after Graziano Pelle’s edge-of-the-box strike went wide with Hart rooted to the spot. Barely a minute into the second half Pelle almost levelled the scores with an improvised flick with a ball played slightly behind him.
The Saints striker then hit the outside of the post after meeting a low cross from Ryan Bertrand but was adjudged offside. City might have scored a second goal when Milner fed to Lampard at the far post only for Davis to save in the 70th minute. With Manuel Pellegrini’s charges seemingly content to absorb the pressure, Silva tried to bend the ball into the top corner from 20 yards out but the gifted Spaniard’s effort went wide of the target.
There was an exchange of half-chances from both teams in the last quarter of the match with Long and Wilfried Bony going close with the latter hammering a 25-yard attempt at goal with little back lift. In the 88th minute Aguero finally scored his 26th goal of the season after an easy tap in from defender Eliaquim Mangala’s nod down to secure a happy end to the season for last season’s champions.