MANCHESTER CITY dropped their first Premier League points since OCTOBER to give their title rivals a glimmer of hope.
Kyle Walker-Peters gave Southampton a shock lead with a brilliantly-taken goal inside seven minutes.
But City eventually hit back when Aymeric Laporter headed home Kevin De Bruyne’s free-kick after the break.
Pep Guardiola’s men had won 12 Premier League games in a row going into this game but Saints had beaten them here two seasons ago, as well as earning a 0-0 draw at the Etihad earlier this term.
The hosts barely touched the ball in the opening stages but then were suddenly ahead when full-back Walker-Peters played a neat one-two with Nathan Redmond before crashing the ball past Ederson with the outside of his foot.
It was a fantastic strike and spurred on Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side, who had a clinical finish by Armando Broja ruled out for offside midway through the first half.
Jan Bednarek was a tad lucky only to receive a yellow card when catching Jack Grealish high on the ankle which had the £100million man writhing in pain.
Bednarek almost netted just after half-time when he headed on James Ward-Prowse’s corner at the near post, but Ederson was in the right place and pushed the ball away.
Ward-Prowse had been dubbed the best free-kick taker in the world by Pep Guardiola before the game.
And it was from one of the England man’s dead-balls that Saints struck the post, as Broja stuck the woodwork following Ward-Prowse’s corner, before Bednarek smashed over.
City were looking out of ideas but then out of nowhere were level as Laporte ran from deep to head home De Bruyne’s free-kick.
The visitors pushed on from there with De Bruyne rattling the post with a brilliant strike from outside the area.
De Bruyne was then taken out as he burst into the area by a combination of Mohammed Salisu and Oriol Romeu.
VAR had a good long look at it but eventually deemed the offence to have happened outside the box.
Stuart Armstrong was then holding his breath when catching Laporte with a high foot on the Spaniard’s thigh, yet Stockley Park claimed it was not a sending-off offence.
Southampton held on for a well-deserved point to put a minor dent in City’s title charge.
But Guardiola’s men are still 11 points clear of second-placed Liverpool so the smart money certainly remains on them lifting a fourth Premier League crown in five seasons.
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