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Last Updated: Sunday, 11 May, 2003, 15:54 GMT 16:54 UK
Saints spoil Maine Road party
Manchester City brought the curtain down on 80 years at Maine Road
A 34,957 crowd was there to bid farewell to Maine Road

Man City 0-1 Southampton

Southampton played the role of party poopers at Maine Road with victory over Manchester City on the final day of the Premiership season.

With City bidding farewell to their home of the past 80 years to move across the city, the match was always going to take second place to the festivities and the tears.

Unfortunately for the home side the FA Cup finalists had no sense of occasion and Michael Svensson's first-half goal was enough for Southampton to take all three points and finish the season in eighth, one place ahead of City.

I know we have spoilt their celebrations, but it's right that they should be celebrating the last game at this stadium, it's been a magnificent place for them
Southampton boss Gordon Strachan

The pre-match festivities seemed to distract City initially, but once they settled down, they dominated the game and created the better chances.

Paul Jones had to be alert in the Saints goal early on to beat away a fierce Marc-Vivien Foe shot from the edge of the box.

Two minutes later, Ali Benarbia fed Shaun Wright-Phillips - sporting blue hair for the occasion - and the youngster cut into the box but drilled his shot just wide.

Benarbia and Foe then combined to set up Nicolas Anelka, Jones again hurling himself to punch the drive away.

21 mins: Jones saves superbly from Anelka
34 mins: Svensson heads Saints in front
90 mins: The final whistle blows to bring the curtain down on Maine Road

Jones continued his heroics on 21 minutes when the ball was played back to Anelka who unleashed another fierce drive that the Welsh international stopped superbly.

Southampton had barely troubled City but on 34 minutes Svensson found himself unmarked in the area to head Matt Oakley's free-kick past Peter Schmeichel from eight yards out.

On 40 minutes, Jones continued his one-man defiance of Anelka, this time plunging to his left to turn away another pile-driver from the Frenchman.

Southampton were much more positive in the second half and a fine angled ball by Oakley set James Beattie up for a powerful shot that Schmeichel - playing his last ever game - did well to hold on to.


But City had their own chances to level and Shaun Goater was inches away from connecting with Wright-Phillips' whipped low cross into the box.

Goater was replaced by Robbie Fowler on the hour, going off to a standing ovation from the 34,957 crowd.

As City pushed for the equaliser Foe nearly squeezed in a low cross from the right past Jones' near post, but Saints kept the home team at bay to spoil the Maine Road party.

Man City: Schmeichel, Dunne (Horlock 83), Sommeil, Distin, Jensen, Wright-Phillips, Barton (Belmadi 70), Foe, Benarbia, Goater (Fowler 63), Anelka.
Subs Not Used: Nash, Wiekens.

Booked: Barton, Dunne, Distin.

Southampton: Jones, Telfer, Lundekvam, Michael Svensson, Bridge, Baird, Oakley, Anders Svensson (Tessem 65), Prutton (Higginbotham 80), Ormerod (Fernandes 90), Beattie.
Subs Not Used: Williams, Blayney.

Booked: Prutton, Baird, Beattie, Ormerod.

Attendance: 34,957.

Referee: M Dean (Wirral).

Manchester City boss Kevin Keegan
"The fans are too good for this team at the moment"

Retiring Man City keeper Peter Schmeichel
"I'm not at all emotional"

Barclaycard Premiership
FINAL 2002/2003 TABLE
Click on a team for full coverage
1Man Utd384083
9Man City38-751
15Leeds 38147
16Aston Villa38-545
18West Ham38-1742
19West Brom38-3626



ALSO IN THIS SECTION Man City fall to defeat at Everton
Tuesday football -as it happened
Man Utd 2-0 Stoke
Swansea 1-1 Chelsea

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