Southampton: Does Manchester City Win Take Saints out of Relegation Dogfight?

Mike MillerContributor IIIFebruary 10, 2013

Southampton's win against Manchester City moved the Saints to 15th place in the Premier League table.
Southampton's win against Manchester City moved the Saints to 15th place in the Premier League table.Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Southampton's performance in its 3-1 victory over Manchester City certainly didn't look like one of a team threatened by potential relegation. The Saints thoroughly controlled the match, outshooting the defending Premier League champions 15-8.

While Southampton have taken nine points out of its last six games and have only lost one of its last nine games, the Saints can't get complacent in the battle against relegation.

With Aston Villa's win over West Ham United, Southampton still only sit four points out of the relegation zone. Sitting in 15th place, Mauricio Pochettino's side have 27 points compared to the 23 points of 18th-place Reading.

The current pace of 1.04 points per match would leave the Saints on 39 points at the end of the season. While that amount of points has been good enough in many seasons, it failed to provide safety in 2003 (when West Ham went down with 42 points) and 2011 (when Blackpool and Birmingham went down with 39).

This tweet Georgie Bingham sent out yesterday shows the number of points each 17th-place team has earned since 2003.

Southampton also have a number of six-pointers with teams around them in the table that if results don't go their way, will drag Saints quickly back into danger.

The away trip in two weeks to Newcastle is a prime example of this. If Newcastle United win that game, the two teams will swap spots in the table and Southampton would be one spot closer to the drop. Saints also have fixtures remaining against Queens Park Rangers, Reading, Norwich City and Sunderland.

Southampton also have five road games left on its calendar. The Saints have been less than convincing on the road this season, only earning 10 points in their 13 road games. The only two road wins came at Queens Park Rangers and Aston Villa, both teams behind Southampton in the table.

If Pochettino's squad can maintain the 1.5 points per game pace the Saints are currently on, the club should be able to breathe easily the last day of the season. But the job is not yet done yet for Southampton. Three points against Manchester City doesn't count any more than three points against Newcastle, QPR or Norwich.

Until Southampton pass 40 points, the Saints can't afford to relax.