Southampton's Jay Rodriguez (2nd L) shoots but misses past Manchester City's goalkeeper Joe Hart during their English Premier League match at St Mary's Stadium in Southampton. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth
Manchester City's Premier League title defence fell apart at
the seams in a 3-1 defeat at Southampton when goalkeeper Joe
Hart committed a howler and Gareth Barry scored a bizarre own
Manchester United can increase their lead over City at the
top to 12 points with 12 games left if they win at home to
Everton on Sunday after coach Mauricio Pochettino sealed his
first win for 15th-placed Southampton.
First Barry lost the ball in midfield after seven minutes and
Jason Puncheon stormed forward before coolly finishing off a
rebound after Hart's sprawling stop.
Hart, who saved a Ronaldinho penalty during an excellent
display for England in a friendly against Brazil on
Wednesday, then inexplicably let a Rickie Lambert shot go
through his legs and Steven Davis slid the ball in midway
though the first period.
Edin Dzeko replied for City after a quick counter attack but
just after the break, a weak cross came in and Barry decided
to pass the ball back to Hart only to send it into the corner
of the net with the keeper beaten.
The unstoppable Gareth Bale earlier scored twice in Tottenham
Hotspur's 2-1 home victory over Newcastle United while rivals
Chelsea and Arsenal also won to add spice to the race for the
Champions League spots.