There are times when a single moment can define an entire season. A pivotal point, if you will.
Think of Samir Nasri's cowardice in defending a Robin van Persie free kick at the Etihad Stadium last season, the Patrice Evra header that hit the post when Manchester United were 4-2 up against Everton the season before or the horrific Eduardo injury that derailed Arsenal's title charge in 2008. It can happen.
For Southampton, that moment may have been in the 22nd minute against Arsenal on the 23rd of November.
It was only a couple of weeks ago, the Saints were heading to the Emirates Stadium in London knowing that, unbelievably, if they could nick a two-goal win, they would go top of the table.
And then Artur Boruc lost his marbles. Unsurprisingly for a team that had already beaten Liverpool at Anfield and come away with a point from Old Trafford, they were acquitting themselves incredibly well in the early stages against the Gunners.
But midway through the first half, the Polish keeper decided he was Johan Cruyff (we've all been there, but not in a Premier League game on the edge of your area). He ended up giving the ball straight to Olivier Giroud, and from there, there was no way back for his side.
Losing away at Arsenal is not a disaster, nor is losing away at Stamford Bridge in their very next fixture. But on Wednesday night, they lost their third game in a row, this time going down 3-2 to Aston Villa.
Three losses in a row for a team that were motoring along so well is something of a problem. Especially considering they had suffered just one defeat in their first eleven. And it's not looking any easier from here on in.
In the following month they face home games against Man City and Tottenham, and away days at Newcastle, Cardiff and December. 2014 starts for them with a New Year's Day game against Chelsea, it is not exactly the ideal run of games to face on the back of a slump in form.
Eight goals conceded in their last three is also a stark statistic in contrast to just the five they had leaked in their first 11. And the three they conceded at home to Aston Villa increased increased their tally conceded at St Mary's dramatically, from one to four.
Such is the cut-throat nature of the English top flight, that, within two weeks of being able to go to the summit, Southampton now find themselves in eighth place, twelve points off the lead.
Realistically, they were never actually going to win the title. In fact, only a miracle would have seen them end up in the top four.
But it was so refreshing to see a team with so much young English talent on display near the summit, that, it would be a huge shame if they fell away and we lost them from the business end of the table too early.
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