21 October ~ After a defeat and a draw in their previous two matches, Premier League leaders Manchester City will be hoping to get back on track at home to Southampton on Sunday. The Saints had a difficult start to the season, taking just two points from their opening four games, but have since taken ten points from a possible 12 and have risen to eighth in the table.
On September 25, 1971 the two teams were fifth and seventh going into their match at Maine Road. In front of a crowd of 27,897, Francis Lee volleyed in from close range to give City the lead. Mike Summerbee then took advantage of some slack Southampton defending and laid the ball off to Colin Bell, who fired the ball past Saints keeper Eric Martin from the edge of the area.
Wyn Davies completed the 3-0 victory in the second half – left unmarked in the penalty area he picked up a pass from Ian Mellor and squeezed the ball underneath Martin as City fans chanted “we’re going to win the league”.
The victory moved City up to fourth and they hit top spot in the new year. A 2-0 victory over Derby in their final match of the season left City in first position, but all three clubs below them had a game in hand and they eventually finished fourth, level on points with Leeds and Liverpool but one point below champions Derby.
Southampton’s season went in the opposite direction. They lost 8-0 at Everton and 7-0 at Leeds as they fell to 19th place, though they ended up six points above the relegation zone.