Pablo Daniel Osvaldo netted a sumptuous strike to earn Southampton a 1-1 draw in a pulsating encounter with Manchester City.
The fiery Italy international was involved in an unseemly post-match melee as Southampton slipped to a third consecutive defeat amid an injury crisis against Aston Villa on Wednesday, but he returned to St Mary's Stadium and grabbed the headlines for the right reasons.
A superb individual effort from the big-money close-season signing was the least Mauricio Pochettino's team deserved in a match they dominated for long periods after Sergio Aguero continued his purple patch in front of goal in the 10th minute.
Manuel Pellegrini's City won at West Brom on Wednesday, but this was a display far more in tune with the away-day woes that threaten to derail their Premier League title bid.
Midfielder Victor Wanyama suffered a hairline fracture to his leg and right-back Nathaniel Clyne damaged his pelvis in midweek, meaning Jack Cork and Calum Chambers came in as two of four changes in Pochettino's injury-ravaged side.
James Milner and Alvaro Negredo were recalled to the City XI and the latter was let down by a heavy touch after strike partner Aguero played him in on goal after six minutes.
Steven Davis scored in both matches against City last season and dragged an early shot wide before Aguero opened the scoring.
Samir Nasri teed-up Aleksandar Kolarov and the overlapping left-back's low cross was clinically dispatched first time by Aguero for a 17th goal in 15 matches.
Kolarov glanced wide from a Nasri corner three minutes later and Aguero blazed Pablo Zabaleta's 31st-minute cut-back over, but they were rare moments of encouragement for City.
Adam Lallana was involved in much of Southampton's best work but could not bring down Chambers' lofted pass in time to avoid Milner's last-ditch clearance.
The England man and James Ward-Prowse both failed to convert a Luke Shaw cross and another dangerous delivery from the same player was headed wide by fellow full-back Chambers in the 37th minute before Southampton levelled in magnificent fashion.
Osvaldo superbly brought down Davis' long pass and turned Vincent Kompany inside out to arch a shot into the top-far corner via the crossbar.
Nasri almost gave City a lead they scarcely deserved in first-half stoppage time, firing over after being picked out by Milner, but they resumed impressively as Paulo Gazzaniga got down well to thwart Aguero and Yaya Toure barrelled through a congested midfield to smash narrowly wide.
Osvaldo passed up a far simpler opportunity than the one he scored from in the 53rd minute, lifting a loose ball over after Costel Pantilimon dashed out to stop the rampaging Jay Rodriguez.
That combination continued to trouble City and Osvaldo pulled wide in the 57th minute on the back of Rodriguez causing further havoc.
Pellegrini moved to reinforce his over-run midfield as holding player Javi Garcia was introduced alongside Jesus Navas in place of Negredo and Milner with 62 minutes played, and Aguero raced outside Jose Fonte to shoot past the far post five minutes later.
But City's Argentinean talisman was restricted to half chances thereafter and they could be eight points behind Arsenal when the leaders arrive at the Etihad Stadium next Saturday.
|Coach: M. Pochettino|
for P. Osvaldo 77'
for A. Lallana 85'
for S. Davis 90'
|MLS Wrap: Fernandez fires late again for Timbers|
|Liga MX Wrap: Pumas UNAM punish Atlante, Cruz Azul class on show|
|Colombia Primera A Wrap: Millonarios make ground on Atletico Nacional|
|Venezuela Primera Division Wrap: Zamora under siege, as Trujillanos, Mineros win|
|Costa Rica Primera Division Wrap: Perez Zeledon celebrate rare success|
|Galtier: Ibrahimovic ´the killer of opposition sides´|
|Ecuador Primera A Wrap: Emelec retain top spot, Barcelona stun Cuenca late|
|Paraguay Division Profesional Wrap: Lopez lashes hat-trick to send Libertad top|
|Liga de Futbol Profesional Boliviano Wrap: Top four tightens after Real Potosi, Club Universitario d|
|Juventus are a ´great team´ - Conte|
|Ligue 1 Wrap: PSG, Monaco overcome stern tests|
|La Liga Wrap: Messi stars in Barca romp, Valencia lose again|
|Serie A Wrap: Sassuolo grab vital win, Juve leave it late|
|Uruguay Primera Division Wrap: Fenix stay top, Nacional lose|
|UEFA Champions League Preview: Real Madrid v Schalke|
|Ligue 1: Paris Saint-Germain 2 Saint-Etienne 0|
|Serie A: Genoa 0 Juventus 1|
|Primeira Liga: Castro tastes Porto defeat, bottom two beaten|
|Football League Preview: Wigan, Wolves out to continue runs|
|Anderson revels in Aberdeen cup triumph|
|Wenger hails resilient Arsenal after derby win|
|Barca will attack Real Madrid, Martino promises|
|Tottenham deserved derby spoils, claims Sherwood|
|Moyes stunned by United no-show|
|Eredivisie Wrap: Twente boost title hopes, NEC off the bottom|
|UEFA Champions League Preview: Chelsea v Galatasaray|
|Rosicky and Koscielny revel in derby triumph|
|Bundesliga Wrap: Hamburg, Freiburg claim crucial victories|
|Seedorf reveals ultras meeting|
|We never gave up - Seedorf|
|La Liga: Barcelona 7 Osasuna 0|
|Premier League: Tottenham 0 Arsenal 1|
|Football League Wrap: Exeter held, Coventry claim late draw|
|Rodgers pleased with Liverpool dominance|
|Rooney laments one of his ´worst days´|
|Mihajlovic ready to make changes to Samp side|
|Cassano: I´d love to go to Brazil|
|AFC Champions League Preview: Guangzhou host Jeonbuk, Al Jazira travel to Esteghlal|
|Moyes queries referee decisions|
|Garcia urges Roma to win for Strootman|
|Gerrard warns Liverpool´s title rivals|
|Thai Premier League Wrap: Buriram finally beaten, Muang Thong held at home|
|Martinez relieved Barry avoided serious injury|
|Serie A: Milan 2 Parma 4|
|Premier League: Manchester United 0 Liverpool 3|
|Galliani ´hurt´ by Milan fan protests|
|Lopez thankful for Casillas praise|
|CSL Wrap: Batalla on target, Guangzhou lead the way|
|Lambert decision justified, claims Pochettino|
|Allardyce highlights Carroll´s importance|
|Defoe delighted with ´dream´ debut|
|Mancini ´not friends´ with Mourinho|
|Cisse has lost confidence, says Carver|
|K-League Wrap: Pohang bottom, Ulsan win again|
|Insigne targets domestic success, World Cup berth|
|Hughes wants to extend Ireland contract|
|Magath explains Stockdale selection|
|Klopp praises trio despite Gladbach loss|
|Hughton understands fans´ anger|
|Seedorf sets sights on Europe, rubbishes sack rumours|
|MLS Wrap: Defoe double stuns Sounders|
|Simeone speechless after gritty Atletico victory|
|Copa Libertadores Preview: Gremio eye commanding gap|
|La Liga Wrap: Madrid rivals win as title battle heats up|
|Primeira Liga Wrap: Pacos escape drop zone, Estoril strengthen Europe claims|
|La Liga: Atletico Madrid 1 Espanyol 0|
|Mazzarri taking one game at a time|
|Pieters boost for Stoke|
|Ancelotti praises Real´s defensive effort|
|Ligue 1 Wrap: Valenciennes, Sochaux win, Rennes lose thriller|
|Eredivisie Wrap: Seventh heaven for PSV, Den Haag ease relegation fears|
|Rivaldo announces retirement from football|
|Serie A: Verona 0 Inter 2|
|League One Wrap: Brentford beat title rivals, Notts County cut adrift|
|Lambert slams ´leg-breaking´ Ramires tackle|
|It is not important when Bayern win title, insists Guardiola|
|La Liga: Malaga 0 Real Madrid 1|
|Mourinho tight-lipped on Foy performance|
|Bundesliga Wrap: Bayern on brink of title as Dortmund slip up at Gladbach|
|Scottish Premiership Wrap: St Johnstone, Hibs both slip up|
|Pulis praises plucky Palace|
|´Calm´ Poyet cool on survival hopes|
|Carver bemoans Newcastle´s lack of luck|
|Premier League: Aston Villa 1 Chelsea 0|
|Klopp upbeat despite Dortmund defeat|
|Bundesliga: Bayern Munich 2 Bayer Leverkusen 1|
|Everton did well not to panic, says Martinez|
|Solskjaer: Cardiff denied stonewall penalty|
|Pochettino criticises team´s focus|
|Composed Stoke performance pleases Hughes|
|Monk gears up for relegation scrap|
|´Angry´ Hughton dismisses departure claims|
|Magath ´convinced´ Fulham will survive|
|Allardyce ´baffled´ by refereeing decisions|
|My position not important, says Mel|
|Championship Wrap: Leicester, Burnley march on|
|League Two Wrap: York continue play-off push, top three all win|
|Premier League: Southampton 4 Norwich City 2|
|Premier League: Sunderland 0 Crystal Palace 0|
|Premier League: Everton 2 Cardiff City 1|
|Premier League: Swansea City 1 West Brom 2|
|Premier League: Fulham 1 Newcastle United 0|
|Premier League: Stoke City 3 West Ham 1|
|Bruce backs Boyd in diving row|
|Bundesliga: Borussia Dortmund 1 Borussia Monchengladbach 2|
|Pellegrini: Jelavic fouled Kompany first|
|A-League Wrap: Wanderers´ premier chances up in smoke, Victory go second|
|Premier League: Hull City 0 Manchester City 2|
|Palacio eager to kick on|
|Neymar´s position not an issue, insists Martino|
|J.League Wrap: Ardija win seven-goal thriller, Sanfrecce beaten|
|Spurs up for derby day, insists Adebayor|
|Moyes: Liverpool are favourites|
|Rodgers warns Manchester United of title drought|
|Huntelaar: Equaliser was key moment|
|Isco welcomes Seedorf comparison|
|Wenger to investigate Arsenal injuries|
|Mourinho: TV scheduling affecting English clubs in Europe|
|Teamwork the key for Stuttgart - Stevens|
|Atletico face ´11 more´ finals in La Liga|
|Keller wants more from Schalke|
|Valcke rubbishes protesters World Cup claims|
|Blanc demands focus from PSG|
|Anigo ´half satisfied´ after Marseille draw|
|Klopp: Dortmund coping despite injury crisis|
|West Brom sack Anelka|
|Rodgers claims Sturridge can be ´world class´|