Match Report

City v Southampton match report

Lampard
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Sun 24 May
2
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City ended the 2014/15 campaign with a hard-fought 2-0 victory over Southampton in what proved to be a fairy-tale finale to Frank Lampard’s Premier League career.

The New York City-bound midfielder scored a trademark thunderbolt in the first half and a late second from Sergio Aguero made it the perfect end to the season for the Blues who, despite the disappointment of losing the title, couldn’t have ended the campaign any better.

Lampard was handed the armband for his 609th and final Premier League appearance as Manuel Pellegrini kept the same starting eleven that beat Swansea 4-2 a week earlier.

Tunnel

There was still plenty at stake for both sides with Southampton still in with a chance of Europa League football next season and the Blues keen to make it six wins on the bounce to ensure the dethroned champions had ended the campaign as the nation’s form team.

With the runners-up spot already assured, there was still the Golden Boot and Golden Glove awards up for grabs for Sergio Aguero and Joe Hart respectively

...City 2 Saints 0...

 

There was little in the way of any notable action in the opening 20 minutes, but then both teams came close to opening the scoring within the space of little more than a minute.

Aguero chance

First Shane Long almost capitalized on a mis-kick by Pablo Zabaleta on the edge of the box, only to be denied by the ever-alert Hart - then City broke forward with David Silva freeing Aguero but the Argentine sliced his shot wide.

City again came close five minutes later when Yaya Toure’s low drive was parried into the path of Aguero but Kelvin Davis made a superb reflex save from point blank range and Aguero again missed the target from the rebound.

Gradually, the Blues had taken command but they were up against a Saints defence that had conceded the fewest goals on the road this season, but with Silva, Toure and Milner increasingly dominant in midfield, it became of matter of when rather than if the Blues would open the scoring.

Then on 31 minutes, finally, City were ahead and, following the script to the letter, it was Lampard who swept home Milner’s low cross as he arrived in the box with the perfect timing that has served him so well during a magnificent career

...City 2 Saints 0...

 

Lampard

And City should have doubled their lead within 90 seconds as the imperious Silva threaded Aguero clear again only for veteran Davis to again deny the Argentine with a smart save.

Southampton upped the ante after the break but continually fell into the Blues’ well-marshalled offside trap.

City attacked sporadically with Lampard sending a header straight at Davis and Silva snatching at a chance from the edge of the box, but as the half wore on, so an equaliser for the visitors seemed more and more likely.

Yaya Toure and James Milner received stirring standing ovations when they were replaced midway through the second period as Manuel Pellegrini looked to shuffle his pack, but the biggest cheer of the day was reserved for the departing Lampard who was replaced 13 minutes from time to rapturous applause from all corners of the ground.

There were one or two nervy moments in the City defence before Saints were finally put out of their misery two minutes from time when Jesus Navas’ shot looped up and Eliaquim Mangala nodded the ball across to Aguero who couldn’t miss from a yard out.

Aguero

It was the perfect end to the perfect day – a clean sheet for Hart, a goal for Lampard and a 32nd of the season for Kun.

The countdown to next season starts here...

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