Manchester City survived a temporary terror to beat Southampton and shorten the outlet on league leaders Liverpool to seven parts.
Southampton responded to David Silva’s early opener when Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg took the ball off Oleksandr Zinchenko and fired it into the tip nook.
City had success on their facet when Raheem Expedient’s shot deflected off James Ward-Prowse to contain it 2-1.
Sergio Aguero’s succor-publish header completed the scoring ahead of half of-time.
Southampton goalscorer Hojbjerg – who had obliging unprejudiced returned from suspension – became shown a straight crimson card for a lunging contend with on Fernandinho with unprejudiced over 5 minutes to disappear.
City had a different of decent possibilities as Silva, Aguero and Riyad Mahrez all went conclude in the first half of and Aguero smacked the crossbar after the damage.
Southampton threatened too and Charlie Austin became twice denied by City keeper Ederson in the first half of ahead of Hojbjerg’s equaliser.
However the Saints hang been in a roundabout draw undone by Pep Guardiola’s free-flowing facet, who transfer up to 2d space in the desk.
City answer to Liverpool’s venture
Liverpool went 10 parts certain of City at the tip of the desk with a devastating 5-1 thrashing of Arsenal on Saturday, which technique the defending champions wanted victory to retain lunge in the title flee.
City regarded to actually feel the stress on Boxing Day after they squandered an early lead and allowed Leicester to procure 2-1 at the King Energy Stadium.
However they stood up to the venture at St Mary’s – peppering Southampton’s aim from the off and responding to the equaliser with two immediate targets on the stroke of half of-time.
City’s opening aim became straight from Guardiola’s textbook: Bernardo Silva’s tidy scheme-up down the ideally exact and decrease-succor into the centre became with ease attach away by an unmarked David Silva.
Expedient’s shot became then deflected by Ward-Prowse and flapped into the gain by Alex McCarthy to contain it 2-1 ahead of Aguero headed in Zinchenko’s negative at the succor publish with ease.
It technique City can decrease Liverpool’s lead to four parts when the 2 teams meet at the Etihad Stadium on Three January.
Development for Saints
The closing time Southampton performed City in early November they hang been hammered 6-1 and did no longer acknowledge to three early targets.
However this time Southampton posed a threat and came conclude to breaking down a pretty nervy City defence on occasions.
Austin’s header at the come publish became successfully saved by Ederson in the first half of and that came moments after the keeper had shunned Hojbjerg’s sliding contend with on the aim-line.
And Saints’ pressing paid off when Hojbjerg robbed Zinchenko of the ball in the scheme-up to his equaliser.
City would possibly possibly well no longer delay their lead in the 2d half of nonetheless Southampton’s appropriate work became obliging undone by the unhurried sending-off of Hojbjerg.
A day out to Stamford Bridge is a advanced launch to the contemporary year nonetheless the Saints will seemingly steer certain of the fall if they can originate performances luxuriate in this in the 2d half of of the season.
‘The worst ingredient occurred’ – what they talked about
Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl: “The first 15-20 minutes we hang been no longer very appropriate nonetheless we smelt unprejudiced a tiny of sensation when we equalised. We saw that Man City is no longer that assured in the moment luxuriate in they are after they procure week after week. We tried to push ourselves succor into the recreation and press moderately bit earlier nonetheless we saw after they hang got time to flip they are dreadful.
“At half of time we belief about preparing the fellows for a appropriate 2d half of nonetheless in the thoughts became moreover the next recreation against Chelsea. And then the worst ingredient occurred in the crimson card for Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg which is disappointing because he’s one in every of the obliging avid gamers in our crew.
“In a recreation which is Three-1 and with obliging 5 minutes to disappear, it is a must to count on the usage of this form of contend with. He knows it became the contaminated resolution nonetheless it indubitably doesn’t aid us in the moment.”
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola: “It became basic to procure after two defeats and the avid gamers did what they needed to enact. If one crew achieves a hundred parts and then the year after derive forty five in the first round it isn’t very all obnoxious.
“Sooner than 1-1 we performed to attain extra, then they scored and the recreation became extra equal nonetheless we carried on and scored the 2d aim. In old games we did all the pieces, and the first time the opponent arrived in our half of they scored.”
Aguero reaches 50 below Pep – the obliging of the stats
- Manchester City hang won 5 consecutive Premier League games against Southampton for the first time.
- Southampton hang misplaced succor-to-succor Premier League dwelling matches for the first time since September 2017, below Mauricio Pellegrino.
- City hang did no longer retain a spruce sheet in every of their closing 10 aggressive matches – their longest lunge since a speed of 10 ending in February 2015.
- David Silva has scored against Southampton each dwelling and away in this Premier League season – the sixth time he’s completed this feat against a single facet in the competition.
- Bernardo Silva has been straight away obsessive about 10 targets in 19 Premier League games this season (5 targets, 5 assists), equalling his entire in 2017-18 in 35 games (6 targets, four assists).
- Southampton’s starting XI had a median age of 24 years and 274 days; their youngest in a Premier League match for five years (Dec 2013 against Newcastle).
- Aguero has scored 50 Premier League targets below Pep Guardiola, sixteen bigger than any other player has for the club below the Spaniard.
- Hojbjerg is the first Danish player to each glean and be sent off in a single Premier League recreation, while he’s the zero.33 Saints player to enact this after Sadio Mane (v Liverpool in Oct 2015) and Peter Crouch (v Crystal Palace in Would possibly possibly possibly moreover unprejudiced 2005).
Southampton commute to Stamford Bridge to contend with on Chelsea on Wednesday, 2 January (19:forty five GMT), while Manchester City host league leaders Liverpool at the Etihad on Thursday, Three January (20:00 GMT).