Match Analysis: Manchester City 3-2 Southampton

Match Analysis: Manchester City 3-2 Southampton
© PA Photos
Sports Mole dissects the action as Manchester City record a 3-2 win over Southampton at the Etihad Stadium.

Manchester City scored twice in the final 20 minutes to complete a 3-2 turnaround against newly-promoted Southampton at the Etihad Stadium.

It was the home side that took the lead through Carlos Tevez five minutes before the break, after David Silva had missed an early penalty for Roberto Mancini's side.

Two goals from two Saints substitutes – Rickie Lambert and Steven Davis – handed them the lead, but Samir Nasri and Edin Dzeko secured all three points for City late on.

Here, Sports Mole dissects the 90 minutes of action between the two sides:

Manchester City statistics:
Shots 20
On target 15
Possession 64%
Corners 7
Fouls 4

Southampton statistics:
Shots 9
On target 6
Possession 36%
Corners 3
Fouls 6

Was the result fair?

On the balance of play, you would have to say yes. City missed a host of chances throughout the match, but they were extremely shaky in defence. Even when Southampton took the lead, you just knew that the home side would come back to claim the win. The Saints have nothing to be ashamed of, but it was hardly vintage from City.

Manchester City's performance

They secured all three points, but it would be difficult to brand it a successful afternoon for the home side. They did play some nice attacking football at times, but they have conceded two goals in each of their last three competitive matches. They might have been out of sight in the early stages of the second period, but they secured the vital three points the hard way.

Southampton's performance

Southampton will go away from this match with nothing but credit. They kept the home side out until the 40-minute mark, while they stemmed the tide early in the second period. They showed their counter-attack threat with two goals either side of the hour mark, but they were guilty of retreating too deep when defending their lead. All in all, nothing but praise for the returning Premier League side.

Sports Mole's man of the match

Samir Nasri: There was not too many standout performers in either side, but with an assist and a goal to his name, you would have to favour the Frenchman. Everything good about their play came through the former Arsenal man – and he will be a key player this season.

Biggest gaffe of the match

This honour must go to Danny Fox. The Southampton defender headed straight into his own box with 10 minutes to play – allowing Nasri to smash it home from close range. City did deserve to win, but it will be the manner of the goals conceded that will hurt the Saints the most.

Referee performance

It was quite an eventful afternoon for Howard Webb. He rightly awarded City an early penalty, but failed to award one to Southampton when Joleon Lescott felled Jay Rodriguez in the box.

What next?

Manchester City: City continue the defence of their title with a trip to Anfield next weekend, but they will have to defend an awful lot better to claim a result.

Southampton: Next up for Southampton is a home tie against Wigan Athletic next weekend.

Sergio Aguero
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