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Southampton 0 - Manchester City 3: Match Report

The Super Sunday clash ends on a bitter note.

Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Going into the season, people probably won't pencil in Southampton's game against Manchester City as a battle between for second place in the Premier League, but that was the fact heading into this game with the host one point above last season's champions.

Ronald Koeman made one change from the side that drew 1-1 against Aston Villa on Monday night, with Steven Davis returning from injury as Shane Long dropped to the bench. His opposite number, Manuel Pellegrini, opted for Eliaquim Mangala over Martin Demichelis.

Southampton started the game poorly, their first touches was off and the players doesn't seem to be able to hold on to the ball. It took sheer luck and a massive error from referee Mike Jones that The Saints did not go 1-0 down inside the first ten minutes, as Sergio Agüero was brought down by José Fonte. But the referee instead booked Agüero for diving.

Both sides could not create clear cut chances in the first half, though Southampton grew into the game as the game went on. But they nearly fell behind on the half-hour mark when Stevan Jovetic's shot spun off Fraser Forster, but Toby Alderweireld was on the line to clear it away.

At half-time, Morgan Schneiderlin was taken off and replaced by Maya Yoshida. The Frenchman was said to be suffering from a tightness in his thigh muscle. Yoshida slotted in as the centre-back while Alderweireld was pushed up to the midfield.

Southampton started the second half better than they started the first, Alderweireld and Dušan Tadić both had chances to put the host in the lead in the first five minutes of the second half.

But then, City scored the crucial goal.

Yaya Toure was standing on the edge of the box with little attention being paid to him, the Ivorian then fired a low shot that took several deflections and the ball just slid in under Forster's arm to put City in the lead.

Southampton pressed on for an equalizer but City defended well throughout the game restricting The Saints to corner kicks and free kicks which rarely troubles Joe Hart.

The host then got a boost in their search for an equalizer as Mangala was sent-off for a second bookable offense as he brought down Shane Long who was through on goal. The visitors now must face Southampton's onslaught in the last quarter of an hour with 10 men.

But again, City strikes to distance themselves from Southampton's chase.

Substitute Frank Lampard did his best imitation of the first goal, as he finished a fast break with a low shot from the edge of the box (sensing a familiar theme here?) after being teed up by James Milner.

The Saints did not go away willingly as they had several efforts on City's goal. Pellè nearly got on the end of Long's cross while Wanyama had two shots on target which was comfortably saved by Hart. While Agüero nearly rounded Forster to make it three, but the goalie managed to deny the Argentinian.

City then put the result beyond all doubt with a third goal. A break away move that started after a corner kick for the host ends with Gael Clichy slamming the ball home to make it 3-0.

There was a bit of drama as Vincent Kompany then hobbles off with an apparent injury, forcing City to play with nine men for the last few minutes, but it did not change the result as the visitors climbed to second place. For Southampton, it was their third loss of the season, as they slipped to third place.

Now, it's all about the reaction as we visit North London for a meeting against Arsenal on Wednesday night.