Manchester City's hopes of retaining the Premier League title suffered another major blow as the champions crashed to a shock 3-1 defeat against Southampton on Saturday.
Roberto Mancini's side desperately needed a victory at St Mary's to keep the pressure on leaders Manchester United, but instead they slumped to their third league defeat of the season after delivering a lacklustre display.
Jason Puncheon and Steven Davis put Saints 2-0 ahead by the 22nd minute and, although Edin Dzeko got one back before the break, a Gareth Barry own goal early in the second half sealed City's fate.
Mancini's second-placed team have now gone three league games without a win and they remain nine points behind United after handing new Saints manager Mauricio Pochettino a first victory since his controversial appointment last month.
United can stretch their advantage at the top to 12 points with 12 games to play if they beat Everton at Old Trafford on Sunday.