MX23RW : Tuesday, July 27 03:39:28| >> :120:17052:17052:
Dec 30, 2018 at 2.15pm UK at St Mary's Stadium
Attendance: 31,381
Southampton
1-3
Man CityManchester City
Hojbjerg (37')
FT(HT: 1-3)
Silva (10'), Ward-Prowse (45' og.), Aguero (45')

Result: Manchester City return to winning ways at Southampton

Manchester City return to winning ways after back-to-back defeats by beating Southampton 3-1 at St Mary's, moving up to second in the table in the process.

Manchester City have bounced back from successive defeats with a 3-1 victory over relegation-threatened Southampton at St Mary's this afternoon.

The champions had slipped down to third place following shock losses to Crystal Palace and Leicester City, but they returned to winning ways in comfortable fashion on the south coast to move back above Tottenham Hotspur into second place.

City did have to survive a brief scare after Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg had cancelled out David Silva's opener, but a quickfire brace at the end of the first half - including an own goal from James Ward-Prowse and a header from Sergio Aguero - enabled them to cruise through the second half.

Southampton ended the match with 10 men courtesy of a late red card for Hojbjerg, but it had no impact on the result as City moved to within seven points of leaders Liverpool ahead of next Thursday's mouth-watering showdown between the top two at the Etihad Stadium.

Manchester City players celebrate scoring against Southampton on December 30, 2018© Reuters

Pep Guardiola responded to his side's dip in form by making five changes to his starting XI - including returns for Silva and Fernandinho in midfield - while Southampton also rang the changes with six new faces, including a daunting Premier League debut for 18-year-old Kayne Ramsay.

It took only five minutes for the champions to create their first chance as Jack Stephens was caught in possession inside his own area by Raheem Sterling, who in turn teed up Silva to be denied by a fine save from Alex McCarthy.

Southampton had a clear sight of goal themselves in the opening exchanges when Charlie Austin was sent clean through by Mohamed Elyounoussi, but his first touch let him down and Ederson was able to collect the ball.

It proved to be a costly wasted moment for the home side as Man City broke the deadlock just 65 seconds later, when Riyad Mahrez and Bernardo Silva combined to set up the fit-again David Silva, who swept home a simple finish from inside the area.

Manchester City midfielder David Silva celebrates with namesake Bernardo Silva after scoring against Southampton on December 30, 2018© Reuters

The champions had thrown away leads in each of their previous three matches prior to today, but they initially showed no signs of suffering the same fate this afternoon as they dominated the opening half-hour.

Mahrez almost produced a goal of the season contender as City passed the ball around inside their own box before hitting Southampton on the break, with the Algerian carrying it from the halfway line to the edge of the box only to fire his finish wide when he should have at least hit the target.

Another slick passing move almost created a second goal in the 25th minute, but Southampton once again had McCarthy to thank for keeping the score down when he pulled off a brilliant save to deny Aguero from Sterling's low cross.

The hosts had struggled to get out of their own half up to that point, but they began to grow into the game around the half-hour mark and Ederson only narrowly escaped the attentions of Ward-Prowse inside his own six-yard box before showcasing his shot-stopping ability with a smart save to deny Austin's flicked header from a corner.

Southampton's improvement gave them the belief and confidence to start closing City down, though, and they reaped the rewards eight minutes before half time when Hojbjerg caught Oleksandr Zinchenko in possession before blasting his finish past a helpless Ederson from just inside the area.

Southampton midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg celebrates scoring against Manchester City on December 30, 2018© Reuters

That was only the start of the drama at the end of the first half, though, and a revitalised Southampton felt that they should have had a penalty with two minutes until the break when Ward-Prowse went down under the challenge of Zinchenko.

Referee Paul Tierney waved the claims away, and less than two minutes later Ward-Prowse was bemoaning another stroke of bad luck as he inadvertently diverted Sterling's low cross past McCarthy, who could not react quickly enough to keep the ball out at the near post.

It was a hammer blow for Southampton just as they appeared to be getting on top, and worse was to come in stoppage time of the first half as Aguero ghosted in between two defenders to plant a downward header from Zinchenko's cross past McCarthy.

Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero celebrates scoring against Southampton on December 30, 2018© Reuters

Hojbjerg drew a routine save from Ederson in the opening stages of the second half, but the action-packed end of the first appeared to have taken the wind out of Southampton's sails and they never really looked like hauling themselves back into the game for a second time.

McCarthy may have done better for both goals at the end of the first half, but he also prevented Southampton from losing by a much larger margin with further saves in the second half - one of which he made with his head to deny Sterling.

The Saints also needed the woodwork to come to their rescue when Aguero clipped the top of the crossbar with a shot on the turn, and the striker was also denied by a sliding block at the back post shortly after the hour mark.

Sterling saw a penalty appeal turned down moments later as City went in search of a fourth goal without ever really getting out of second gear, and Mahrez should have provided it 10 minutes from time only to fire straight at the keeper after being released by Gabriel Jesus.

Hojbjerg then saw a dipping volley routinely collected by Ederson, but the midfielder's afternoon ended prematurely when he was shown a straight red card for a crunching challenge on Fernandinho.

Southampton's Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg dives into a challenge on Manchester City midfielder Fernandinho which earns him a red card on December 30, 2018© Reuters

The result leaves Southampton only outside the relegation zone on goal difference courtesy of Burnley's victory over West Ham United, with the Saints falling to consecutive home defeats for the first time since September 2017.

Man City, meanwhile, leapfrog Spurs into second and could now close the gap on Liverpool to four points when they host the league leaders in their first match of 2019.

SOUTHAMPTON (4-3-2-1): McCarthy; Ramsay, Stephens, Bednarek, Targett; Hojbjerg, Lemina (Redmond 46'), Romeu (Valery 59'); Ward-Prowse, Elyounoussi; Austin (Long 68')

MAN CITY (4-3-3): Ederson; Danilo, Kompany, Laporte, Zinchenko; Bernardo, Fernandinho (Walker 86'), Silva; Mahrez (Sane 84'), Aguero (Jesus 73'), Sterling

ID:345531: cacheID:345531:1false2false3false:QQ:: from db desktop :LenBod:restore:11619:
Restore Data
Share this article now:
Did you know...?
David Silva celebrates scoring Manchester City's third goal against Southampton on November 4, 2018
Read Next:
How Man City could line up against Southampton
>

rhs 2.0
Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
United StatesUnited States83819
JapanJapan82313
ChinaChina65718
Olympics flagOlympic Athletes from Russia56314
Great BritainGreat Britain45110
Today's Olympic highlights header

Tuesday's key events


TRIATHLON
· Team GB trio Vicky Holland, Georgia Taylor-Brown and Jess Learmonth all have realistic medal hopes in the women's event (10.30pm-1am)

RUGBY SEVENS
· After an impressive opening day, Great Britain play their final group game against a Fiji side level with them at the top of the pool, but also yet to hit their brilliant best (1.30am)

TAEKWONDO
· After disappointment for friend and housemate Jade Jones, Bianca Walkden will go for gold in the women's +67kg category (2am-2.30pm)
· Mahama Cho is another medal contender for Team GB in the men's +80kg class (2am-2.30pm)

SWIMMING
· Team GB's Duncan Scott has the chance to claim his first individual Olympic medal in the men's 200m freestyle final. Teammate Tom Dean is also involved. (2.43am)
· Kathleen Dawson is the Team GB representative in the women's 100m backstroke final (2.51am)

DIVING
· Eden Cheng and Lois Toulson will look to emulate Tom Daley and Matty Lee's success in the women's 10m synchro final (7am-8am)

EQUESTRIAN
· Three-time Olympic champion Charlotte Dujardin is part of a Team GB team going for gold in the dressage team Grand Prix final (9.30am)

ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS
· Superstar Simone Biles leads the United States side in the women's team final (11.45am-2.10pm)

FOOTBALL
· Team GB's women's team play their final group game, taking on Canada with qualification for the knockout rounds already secured (12pm)

> Today's schedule in full
Todays Game Header Right
Tables

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!