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Manchester City go top of the league after beating Southampton

Manuel Pellegrini's men managed to get their title challenge back on track after beating Ronald Koeman's side 3-1 at the Etihad.

Michael Steele/Getty Images

A spirited second half display wasn't enough for Ronald Koeman's Southampton as they succumbed to a 3-1 defeat away at Manchester City on Saturday afternoon.

This loss means City regain their spot on the top of the Premier League table as they mount their title challenge. Meanwhile, Southampton's impressive unbeaten run away from home has now come to an abrupt end.

Saints were swarmed by a City side who clearly looked up for it having been handily thrashed 4-1 at home by Liverpool the week previous.

Cit's early pressure finally got the better of the Saints backline as Raheem Sterling stole the ball off Maya Yoshida and squared the ball across goal for Belgian international Kevin de Bruyne to bundle home on nine minutes.

11 minutes later, Fabian Delph doubled City's advantage when his shot from distance was deflected by Virgil van Dijk beyond a despairing Maarten Stekelenburg in the Saints net.

The early pressure soon subsided as Southampton started to get back into the game before the half time whistle, punctuated by van Dijk's thunderous effort from distance clipping the bar, cruelly costing the Dutchman a wonderful goal.

Shortly after the second half had started, Saints were back in with a shout of getting at least a point from the Etihad as Shane Long - deputising for the suspended Graziano Pelle - nodded the ball into the City goal from a fantastic cross from the marauding Sadio Mane on the right wing.

Dusan Tadic soon had an opportunity to equalise for the Saints after being threaded through the City defence. However, this chance was squandered as his tame lofted shot was stopped by opposing 'keeper Willy Caballero.

Saints continued to pile the pressure in the second half but any momentum Southampton was enjoying was cruelly stamped out by their opponents as Aleksandar Kolarov expertly volleyed a low shot into the bottom left of Stekelenburg's net on 69 minutes.

Southampton were often their own enemy throughout the game, failing to deal with City's forward pressure and giving away possession. However, the second half performance from Koemen's side was positive and he will be hoping they can earn victory over Liverpool in the Capital One Cup in the week before welcoming Aston Villa to St. Mary's next Saturday.