Leicester City travel to St Mary’s on Saturday afternoon to take on Claude Puel’s former club Southampton.
The match will be the fifth consecutive season that the Foxes have clashed with the Saints in Premier League action following their 4-1 victory on the same ground last campaign.
That win was certainly a memorable and satisfying result for Puel and his troops. This time however, take a look back to what was an intriguing draw back in the 2001/02 season as both sides battled to remain in the Premier League.
Deane strikes to give Leicester perfect start
Leicester were in dire straights heading into the clash at St Mary’s in March 2002 and were all-but relegated from the top-flight prior to the game. As a matter of fact, Dave Bassett’s men were in the midst of a 14-match winless run.
Despite that, the Foxes started perfectly despite Brett Ormerod striking the woodwork for the hosts. Brian Deane was named as the club’s top goalscorer in the league that season with only six strikes but he showed certain predatory instincts against Southampton. Paul Dickov whipped in an excellent ball that was gleefully nodded into the back of the net by Deane at the front post.
He was to be on the scoresheet again only minutes later as he profited from a huge error from the Saints.
Goalkeeper Paul Jones bizarrely decided to clear the ball with his head, with it falling to Muzzy Izzet 40 yards from goal. The Turkish midfielder looped the ball up and towards goal. Jones got his positioning all wrong as it bounced in front of goal and off of the post. Deane raced on to the loose ball and tucked it into the bottom corner to notch his second.
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Pahars gives Saints a lifeline
With Leicester looking set to claim only their fourth victory of the season, their defensive fragility was exposed yet again as Marian Pahars pulled a goal back only five minutes after Deane had doubled the advantage. The Latvian forward produced a stunning diving header that flew past Foxes goalkeeper Ian Walker.
The former Tottenham stopper then had to be at his best to thwart future Leicester captain Matt Oakley from equalising just before half-time.
Late penalty frustrates doomed Foxes
Leicester looked to make sure of the points in the closing stages as Izzet tested Jones with a clever free-kick. It would be the hosts that were to have the final say, however, and it was Pahars yet again.
James Beattie, who was making his comeback from a lengthy injury, was hauled down in the penalty area by Leicester defender Matt Elliott in the 87th minute of the game. Pahars stepped up to the spot and coolly converted to steal a point for Southampton.
The Foxes would only go on to win twice more throughout the season, ending the campaign bottom of the table with only 28 points. Meanwhile, Southampton would finish in the relative comfort of 11th and nine points clear of the drop zone.