Full Time: Southampton 0-3 Manchester City
Manchester City came out with a comfortable 3-0 win over Claude Puel’s Southampton on Saturday evening at the St. Mary’s Stadium, in the Premier League.
It was a relatively quiet affair for the entire first-half, with the Citizens bossing possession as expected, but not producing anything meaningful except an early chance for Sergio Aguero. The Saints looked to sit deep and soak the pressure in and that worked well for them until half-time as the two teams went in with the scoreline still at 0-0.
City began the second half with more purpose and Jesus Navas forced a save from Fraser Forster with a fierce effort before captain Vincent Kompany scored with a header from the resulting corner to hand his team the lead. Both teams looked threatening from then on, but it was City who doubled their lead after a swift counter-attacking move which eventually led to Leroy Sane tapping in from six yards out. And 3 minutes later, City piled on Saints’ misery after another quick move saw Aguero head into the net from a Kevin De Bruyne cross.
The win sees City move into 3rd place in the league standings, one point ahead of Liverpool, who are set to play West Bromwich Albion on Sunday. Here is how the City players fared in what was a clinical second-half performance:
Manchester City Player Ratings:
Claudio Bravo – 6/10
Did not have much to do, with the Saints hardly working him. Looked shaky when dealing with crosses. City fans celebrated his straightforward catch from a Maya Yoshida header with loud cheers, in a sarcastic way.
Jesus Navas – 7/10
Has found a new lease of life in his new role as a right-back. Continued to impress with his surging runs forward and had a shot denied by Forster. Played an important role in the third goal.
Vincent Kompany – 9/10
Broke the deadlock with a great header in the second period – his first goal for city since August 2015. Was solid as a wall at the back. It’s great to see him back in action. Man of the Match.
Nicolas Otamendi – 7.5/10
Looked the part again, playing alongside his captain. Made important blocks and won almost every challenge he went into. Did not put a foot wrong.
Gael Clichy – 7/10
Sent in a great cross for Aguero’s chance early in the game. Put in a much more positive performance as he looked to get forward on every possible occasion while remaining reliable at the back.
Fernandinho – 7/10
An efficient display from the Brazilian in the middle of the park. Shielded his defence admirably throughout the game.
Yaya Toure – 6/10
A quiet night for the Ivorian as he lacked the inventiveness on the ball. Kept it simple and tidy in midfield, but could not impose himself heavily.
Kevin De Bruyne – 8.5/10
Brilliant. Looked the most threatening City player after a slow start, as he set up the second goal for Sane after a brilliant run from his own half. Lifted the ball for Aguero to head home the third from a tight angle. Gave his 13th assist in the league this season.
David Silva – 7.5/10
Missed two great chances to score on either side of the half-time. But it was his corner that Kompany bundled home. Took out three Saints players with a killer pass to send De Bruyne through in the build-up to the second.
Leroy Sane – 7.5/10
Ran the Saints defence ragged with his running and incisiveness in the final third in the second period. Showed great willingness to run the length of the pitch for his goal.
Sergio Aguero – 7/10
Had a couple of chances on either side of half-time, but couldn’t make them count. But was rewarded with a goal late in the game. His all-round display once again was a standout feature.
Pablo Zabaleta – NA
Replaced Silva with ten minutes to spare.
Raheem Sterling – NA
Came on for Sane in the 86th minute.
Kelechi Iheanacho – NA
Came on to replace Aguero with less than a minute of normal time left to play.