Pablo Osvaldo’s superb individual goal earned Southampton a 1-1 draw with Manchester City on Saturday, denying the visitors a win that would have lifted them into second place in the Premier League.
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Sergio Aguero scored his 12th goal of the campaign to put City ahead in the 10th minute and on course for a second straight away win in four days.
But City was overrun at times by Southampton, which deservedly claimed a point to end a run of three successive losses when Osvaldo beat two players before curling home a classy finish in the 42nd.
”We lost control,” City manager Manuel Pellegrini said. ”We started very well, we scored a goal, had a chance to score a second one, and after that we played too quickly. Southampton are a good team and if you give them the ball they have dangerous players.”
City dropped a place to fourth, five points off leader Arsenal having played a game more.
Many pundits’ title favorite, City’s terrible away form has prevented the team from being up alongside Arsenal atop the standings but there were signs of improvement in that department on Wednesday in its 3-2 win at West Bromwich Albion.
City took that confidence into this game at St. Mary’s, with Aguero maintaining his brilliant scoring form by smashing home a finish from 12 yards after being fed by Aleksandar Kolarov. It was the Argentina striker’s 11th goal in his last 10 league games.
Aguero was guilty of a poor miss soon after, blazing a shot over the bar following good work by Yaya Toure and Pablo Zabaleta. That kept Southampton in the game and the hosts levelled thanks to a sublime piece of play by Osvaldo.
The Italy striker has been slow to take to life in the Premier League following his offseason move from Roma for 15 million pounds ($24.5 million) but he made it two goals in four days by turning Vincent Kompany inside out, cutting back inside Zabaleta and floating a curler into the top corner from just inside the area.
”It was a very important point today, to end the bad results we’ve been on,” said Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino, referring to successive losses to Arsenal, Chelsea and Aston Villa. ”Psychologically today, to end with a result, was amazing for us.”