Southampton halt City’s win streak; Man United break into top 4

Sports Desk, Jan 22 (EFE).- Manchester City’s Premier League winning streak ended after 12 ground to a halt Saturday in Southampton, where the Saints held the defending champions 1-1.

Hours earlier, Marcus Rashford’s goal in the 93rd minute gave Manchester United a 1-0 win over West Ham United that lifted the Red Devils into fourth place.

Despite trailing the leaders by 32 points, 12th-place Southampton started the contest at St. Mary’s with a measure of confidence based on the 0-0 outcome of the reverse fixture in Manchester a few months ago.

And it was Ralph Hasenhüttl’s squad who struck first, going ahead in the 7th minute on the first Premier League goal by Kyle Walker-Peters.

The Saints’ Armando Broja made it 2-0 for the hosts in the 23rd minute, but the goal was disallowed for an offside.

City, who would end the match with 75 percent possession, managed to threaten on only two occasions in the first half. Raheem Sterling sent a shot just wide in the 35th minute, four minutes before Southampton goalkeeper made a tremendous save to deny Phil Foden.

Jan Bednarek forced a stop from City keeper Ederson early in the second half and Rodri fired over the cross-bar on a chance for the equalizer just before the hour mark.

Just five minutes later, however, Aymeric Laporte headed-in a Kevin de Bruyne free kick to bring City level.

Pep Guardiola’s men poured on the pressure, but the closest they came to a go-ahead goal was a shot by De Bruyne that hit the post and City had to settle for a draw after winning 12 in a row.

The leaders improved to 57 points, 12 better than second-place Liverpool, though the Reds have two games in hand. Southampton are on 25 points, 10 clear of the drop zone.

At Old Trafford, United largely controlled the ball and the pace, but struggled to break through the Hammers defense and failed to put a shot on target in the first half, with a Bruno Fernandes cross that Cristiano Ronaldo couldn’t reach constituting the best moment for the hosts.

Visiting keeper Alphonse Areola did well to keep out a strike from Fred early in the second half, while Jarrod Bowen put the ball into the side netting on the Hammers’ most promising chance.

Three minutes into stoppage time, Anthony Martial and Edinson Cavani combined to get the ball to Rashford in scoring position and the striker beat Areola to grab all 3 points for United and allow the Red Devils to supplant the Hammers in the fourth spot.

Man United, with 38 points, trail third-place Chelsea by 7 points and are only 2 better than Tottenham Hotspur, who have three games in hand. EFE apa/dr

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