Manchester City Home Lost 0 – 1
Bednarek’s concussion at Swansea automatically put him out of contention to face Manchester City in the final game, but no matter as Yoshida was available again, and Højbjerg kept his place with Lemina still injured: in short, a familiar shape in the Hughes era. Barring disaster at the back and a complete capitulation by Stoke at Swansea, Saints were home and dry anyway, but funny things do happen on the final day, especially with the champions in town. As it happened the funniest thing was that City could manage just two shots (according to the dubious official stats anyway!) from their 70% possession, and you could argue that Southampton threatened just as much from their 30%. A notable moment came before ten minutes were up, with Hoedt heading against the bar from a corner, and then Swansea went ahead against Stoke, still within the first quarter of an hour. That still left the Swans behind the clock with Manchester struggling to create openings, other than from a mix-up between McCarthy and Yoshida, and by the break Swansea had even fallen behind thanks to Peter Crouch – used to be a Skate, but he’s still alright now. It was only after the break that City’s possession rate began to mount up and Sterling had a shot against the post, but Saints were to come close themselves when Tadić found space on the left and left ‘keeper Bravo on the ground before his shot was cleared off the line by Fernandinho. It didn’t seem to matter unduly as we actually found ourselves in a heady 16th position with our match deep into added time and with other key games finished, but for the second time in eight days, and for the second time in two meetings against the champions, Southampton managed to concede a goal with the last kick of the match. Maybe they were taking City’s apparent lethargy as a sign to go in search of a winner, but committing players forward allowed DeBruyne to fashion a superb ball to de Jesus who outpaced Stephens and went on to beat McCarthy with an equally sublime lob. That gave City a win that took them to the 100 point mark, and they celebrated accordingly, but more it importantly took Huddersfield above Saints and additional prize money… but both of those clubs had already pleased their owners’ bank managers with their multi, multi, multi million pound performances in the preceding midweek.
LSSC Man of the Match: Pierre-Emile Højbjerg for a change – one of many who worked hard to keep one of the most outstanding teams of recent years at bay.