Manchester City take on Southampton on Sunday, knowing a win against the Saints, coupled with results elsewhere going their way, could see them start to open a gap between themselves and the chasing pack, albeit by one or two points. Southampton have been a difficult side to play against over the years, but still, the blues have only lost 11 home games to the Saints in all competitions.
The first meeting between the two didn’t exactly go City’s way, with the Saints pulling off a 4-3 win at Maine Road in October 1926. In April 1928, the blues recorded their first home win over Southampton, winning 6-1 which remains their highest win at home to the Saints.
The blues are unbeaten in eight matches at home to Southampton, a streak that started in January 2005, and continued with a 2-1 win at the Etihad Stadium last season, thanks to Raheem Sterling’s last minute winner. During this run, the blues have won seven and drawn one, scoring 20 goals in the process. But during this time, the blues have only kept one clean sheet – a 2-0 win in May 2015 being the only time Southampton have failed to score since January 2005.
This however, is not their longest unbeaten run. That goes to various blues teams between March 1964 and October 1973, when Southampton failed to win any of their 11 visits to Maine Road. But, out of those 11 matches, City won just five and drew six, keeping three clean sheets in the process. The blues longest winning run is six matches between January 2005 and November 2015, when the blues won six matches in succession against the Saints.
City’s longest run without a win is four matches, achieved on three occasions. The first came between November 1946 and March 1964, when the blues drew two and lost two, including their heaviest home defeat to Southampton; 5-1 in an FA Cup tie in January 1960, which remains as City’s heaviest home defeat to the Saints. The second occasion was between April 1987 and march 1992, when the blues lost three and drew one. The third occurred between September 1999 and April 2004. City drew a home League Cup match 0-0, then lost the following three home matches – two of them ending 1-0 and the fourth was a 3-1 defeat, which was Southampton’s last victory on blue soil.
Southampton went down in history as being the last team to score at Maine Road, when saints won 1-0 in City’s final match at their old stadium, ruining what should have been a perfect end to an emotional day for the club and fans.
In total, the two teams have met 44 times at City, with the blues winning 19, drawing 14 and losing 11 in all competitions. The blues have scored 76 goals during those meetings, but have conceded 57. City have kept just 9 clean sheets in this fixture, and have failed to score on just six of those meetings, with half of those coming between September 1999 and May 2003. City have scored in every home match since then.
The two team have played out two 3-3 draws at Maine Road – March 1991 and November 1994, and Southampton were the last team to beat City in their first home match of the season. That was way back in August 1989, when the newly promoted Blues fell to a 2-1 defeat. Saints almost repeated the trick in August 2012, when the newly promoted side took a 2-1 lead at the home of the new Premier League champions, only for City to come back and win 3-2.
Sunday’s game will be the third November meeting in four seasons, and the ninth in total in November. From those, the blues have only ever lost once – 25 November 1950 when the blues lost 3-2.
Who will come out on top in Sunday’s match? Let us know your thoughts.