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MATCH REPORT: Dominant Saints Thrash City

Southampton needed to win this game and oh boy, they did.

Clive Rose/Getty Images

Behind a Sadio Mane hat-trick, and a goal from Shane Long, Southampton beat Manchester City by two goals.

Shane Long opened scoring in the 25th minute for Southampton on a beautiful play. Victor Wanyama recovered the ball and sent it out wide to Cuco Martina. Martina then launched a ball into the right side of the box to find a running Dusan Tadic who flicked the ball back towards the goal where Shane Long would finish with a lovely tap-in.

Shortly after, in the 28th minute, Sadio Mane would deposit his first of three goals into the net. Mane came from way behind the play to be sent in on goal from a lovely through ball by Dusan Tadic. From there, Saints dominated the game for most of the 1st half.

Kelechi Iheanacho would find the goal just before half on a poorly cleared ball. A corner from City bobbled around and hit Cuco Martina in the thigh as he tried to clear and it went straight to Kelechi, who would head the ball in.

The sides went in 1-1, with possession fairly even. Though City had a bit more possession early, Saints did far more with theirs.

Coming out of halftime, City seemed keen on equalizing early on. Seeing much of the possession, City were unable to score and the Saints defense was strong.

Looking for a third goal, Southampton began to even out the play in the 2nd half. Up 2-1, Sadio Mane made it 3-1 in the 57th minute. From a quality Steven Davis corner, Virgil Van Dijk headed a ball straight at Joe Hart who tipped the ball into the crossbar where the ball then fell for Mane, who scored.

Still pushing up, looking for a fourth goal, Southampton continued to look good. Dusan Tadic sent Mane through once again, who beat Joe Hart to take a 4-1 lead for Southampton, and to seemingly put the game out of reach.

Finally, up 4-1, Southampton conceded one more goal for away side. Iheanacho, City's best player throughout the game, sent a curling shot just past Fraser Forster in goal. This goal would be the last though, as Saints snuffed out any possibility of a City comeback.

There is not one player that you could give the Man of the Match to because of the sheer quality displayed by the entire team today. I did, however, decide to pick a MOM, and I'll go with Dusan Tadic. Tadic, who has been criticized by many this season, showed his class today with three assists.

We took to Twitter as well to ask our followers who their MOM was and they chose Shane Long, who is also very deserving. Shane is a close contender for Southampton's player of the year, just behind Virgil Van Dijk. Long's work rate does not go unnoticed, and he puts away a few goals every now and then, so that helps.

Overall, I'd give Southampton an A rating for today. Other than a few scares, the defense was solid. The midfield was unrelenting in both defense and attack.

Southampton's next match is against the hated Tottenham Hotspur, who may or may not still be in a title race by then. What we do know though, is Southampton's Europa League hopes are still alive, thanks to a methodical victory over a top club.