Manchester City take on Southampton on Sunday, looking to return to winning ways after suffering successive defeats for the first time since 2016 and three defeats in four matches. The blues are now seven points behind Liverpool in the race for the title and face a Southampton side who have had an indifferent December, winning two, losing three and drawing one match and sit just three points above the relegation zone.
But how have the blues performed at the home of the Saints in previous seasons? Let’s take a look at the stats.
Sunday’s match will be the 44th meeting between the two sides at Southampton. The blues won their first five meeting in this fixture, with City running out 5-0 winners in an FA Cup tie in 1910. The blues then visited the Saints on another four occasions between April 1927 and April 1947, all in the second division with the blues winning two and drawing two, before suffering their first defeat on the south coast – 2-1 in April 1951.
The first top flight meeting came in August 1966, which ended in a 1-1 draw, with the blues waiting six years and seven visits before finally securing a top flight victory at the saints, winning 2-0 in February 1974. That was to prove to be their last away win until November 1991, losing ten and drawing just one of the following 11 matches.
That run is still City’s longest winless run, with eight consecutive defeats at The Dell between December 1978 and September 1985. By comparison, City’s longest unbeaten run at the Saints is five matches, which has been achieved on two occasions - in the first five matches between the two teams and between November 1991 and January 1996, when the blues won three and drew two.
City’s biggest victory is still the 5-0 FA Cup win, and their highest league win came in November 1991 and April 2017 when the blues won 3-0 on both occasions. The heaviest defeat is 4-0 in the League Cup in November 1982, while the biggest league defeat is 4-1, achieved by the Saints twice – January 1980 and March 1983.
In total, City have won just 13 of the 44 games played, losing 20 and drawing 11. City have kept 13 clean sheets at Southampton, including the last two games played on the south coast, while they have failed to score on ten visits. The blues have also scored in every match at Southampton since a 0-0 draw in October 2004.
The two teams have met five times in December in the past, and won none of those fixtures, drawing 2 and losing 3. The two teams have never met on 30th December at Southampton, although the two did meet on Boxing Day in 1990, when the blues lost 2-1.
City desperately need a win to try and keep pace at the top, but Southampton have beaten Arsenal and held United at St Mary’s in December alone. How will this match play out?