Yesterday’s Premier League games produced a major shock at St. Marys in the late kick-off, as Southampton defeated champions Manchester City 3-1 to move six points clear of the relegation zone.
The game was summed up by terrible mistakes from some of their more reliable performers.
The home side took the lead after just seven minutes. Winger Jason Puncheon scored from a rebound after Jay Rodriguez’s effort was saved by Joe Hart. The Saints were two goals up on 22 minutes after a terrible error from Hart.
Rickie Lambert cut inside from the wing and produced an effort which Hart comfortably saved, only to fumble to the ball to midfielder Steven Davis, who had the simplest task of scoring from a few yards out.
City looked like they were back in the game on 39 minutes. Pablo Zabaleta broke down the flank and found Edin Dzeko whose scuffed effort bounced beyond Artur Boruc in the Southampton goal. City’s hopes of a comeback were extinguished early in the second half.
Rickie Lambert put a cross into the City box and England international Gareth Barry sided-footed an effort past his own goal. City never looked likely to equalise, as the home side put in a disciplined defensive display.
The defeat means that Manchester City’s hopes of claiming the Premier League now lie in tatters. The victory moved the home side away from the relegation zone.
Elsewhere, Chelsea claimed a comfortable 4-1 victory over relegation threatened Wigan at Stamford Bridge. The Blues went ahead through a composed finish from Brazilian midfielder Ramires. Eden Hazard doubled the Blues lead with a low strike from Cesar Azpilicueta’s cross.
Two minutes later and Wigan gave themselves a lifeline, Shaun Maloney producing a superb finish from a tight angle after rounding Peter Cech. Chelsea however sealed the points on 86 minutes, Frank Lampard drilling home an effort from a pass from Eden Hazard.
The victory was completed in the last minute, as substitute Marko Marin headed home a rebound after Ali Al Habsi had saved an Azpilicueta effort.
The victory moved Chelsea back up to third in the Premier League table. Meanwhile the visitors remain in the relegation zone, two points away from safety.
Tottenham had temporarily gone above the Blues in the early kick-off, after defeating Newcastle 2-1 at White Hart Lane. Welsh winger Gareth Bale was again the star of the show for Spurs. Bale opened the scoring on five minutes with a superb free-kick from 25 yards.
Newcastle equalised on 24 minutes though, as Yoan Gouffran’s effort took a hefty deflection off Michael Dawson, before beating Hugo Lloris in the Spurs goal. Bale scored the winner on 78 minutes, racing through the Magpies defence before firing through the legs of Tim Krul.
Bale was denied a hat-trick by Tim Krul late-on, but Spurs and Bale couldn’t be denied the victory. Newcastle are still in the relegation dogfight, while Spurs are looking good for a Champions League spot.
Swansea hammered bottom club QPR 4-1 at the Liberty Stadium. The home side took the lead after just eight minutes. Julio Cesar failed to deal with a Nathan Dyer effort and Michu followed in to score with the rebound.
Full-back Angel Rangel doubled the Swans lead, after having an initial effort saved by Julio Cesar. QPR got a goal back early in the second period through substitute Bobby Zamora. The Swans soon regained their two goal advantage though, when Cesar made a hash of Pablo Hernandez’s shot, allowing the Spaniard’s effort to squirm in.
Michu completed the victory in the 67th minute, slotting home after a superb team move. The victory moved the Swans up to seventh place in table, while the Hoops remain rock-bottom.
At the Stadium of Light ten-men Arsenal claimed a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Sunderland. The only goal of the game was a superb team move. Jack Wilshere drove the Gunners forward, found Theo Walcott and the England international squared the ball to Santi Cazorla, who fired home past Simon Mignolet.
The Gunners were reduced to ten men just past the hour mark, as young defender Carl Jenkinson was dismissed for a second bookable offence. The home side pressed for an equaliser, but the Gunners held out for a victory.
Stoke claimed their first victory of 2013 with a 2-1 victory over strugglers Reading at the Britannia Stadium. The Potters took the lead on 67 minutes, centre-back Robert Huth with a powerful effort. Striker Cameron Jerome doubled the home side lead with another powerfully struck effort.
Centre-back Adrian Mariappa got a goal back for the Royals with seven minutes remaining, but the comeback kings of recent weeks couldn’t find an equaliser in this one. They remain fourth from bottom, two points away from the drop zone.
Norwich and Fulham drew 0-0 at Carrow Road in the dullest game of the day in the Premier League. The draw leaves both clubs still looking over their shoulders nervously at the relegation zone.
Can Southampton now move away from the danger zone?