16th March 1996.
Manchester City were in the middle of a relegation battle and sat in 17th place in the Premier League, just two points above their relegation rivals and next opponents, Southampton. The south coast side had three games in hand on City, so a win for the blues would be vital.
City had won just six games all season, and their last eight games included visits to relegation rivals Bolton and Wimbledon, and a home match against Sheffield Wednesday, while matches against high-flyers United, Liverpool and Aston Villa also lay in wait.
But City weren’t going to go without a fight and their little pocket-sized dynamo in Georgi Kinkladze was about to write his name into City folklore with a goal that would be talked about for years.
The Georgian midfielder hit the bar in the first half, before breaking the deadlock in the 33rd minute, scoring from close range with a tap-in, but four minutes later, his second was anything but. Kinkladze was picked out on the right wing by Steve Lomas, skipped past one challenge and raced to the edge of the area, where he evaded a further two challenges as he jinked into the area to put him one on one with the Dave Beasant in the Saints goal.
Anticipating a low shot, Beasant went to ground, only for Kinkladze to dink the ball over the keepers body and into the net for one of the goals of the season.
Southampton pulled a goal back in the second half to make it a nervy finish for City, but the blues hung on for a vital three points. Results elsewhere went in City’s favour as the blues moved away from the relegation zone
City were eventually relegated while Saints survived however, despite the options of European football, Kinkladze remained with the blues as they dropped into Division One.
Final Score: Manchester City 2-1 Southampton
MAN CITY: Immel, Frontzeck, Brightwell, Curle, Symons, Summerbee, Clough, Flitcroft, Lomas, Kinkladze, Rosler
SOUTHAMPTON: Beasant, Dodd, Monkou, Neilson, Hall, Charlton, Hughes, Oakley, Tisdale, Le Tissier, Shipperley