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Southampton beaten 3-1 by Manchester City

The loss of Pierre Emile Hojbjerg to suspension seems greater.

Southampton FC v Manchester City - Premier League Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images

Southampton will be without captain Pierre Emile Hojberg after he earned a straight-red in the closing stages of a 3-1 defeat to Manchester City.

Hojbjerg, who has had a minor history of reckless mistakes, was sent off five minutes from full-time for a lunging challenge against Fernandinho.

The Dane had superbly cancelled out David Silva’s opening goal, before a James Ward-Prowse own goal and Sergio Aguero tallied to lift the defending champions back into second place.

City dominated throughout owning 77 percent of the possession and nearly took a lead within five minutes, only Silva to be denied from point-blank by Alex McCarthy.

But the midfielder got the better of the Saints’ goalkeeper moments later when he was left open in the box to hammer a shot past McCarthy.

Riyal Mahrez failed to double the lead when he curled an effort wide of the post and Aguero fashioned a chance that required a save.

Against the run of play, however, Southampton almost equalised when Charlie Austin met Ward-Prowse’s corner-kick, but Ederson made a reactionary save to prevent the goal.

But Southampton took advantage of an error when Oleksandr Zinchenko was caught in possession and Hojbjerg fired beyond a flat-footed Ederson.

Southampton had a strong penalty appeal waved away when Ward-Prowse was bundled over in the box by Zinchenko.

The decision proved to be crucial for Southampton who went behind 2-1 as Raheem Sterling’s cross took a wicked deflection off of Ward-Prowse.

City then made it 3-1, with Aguero heading in from Zinchenko’s cross and the damage was done.

Southampton: McCarthy, Targett, Bednarek, Stephens, Ramsay, Ward-Prowse, Hojbjerg, Lemina (Redmond 46), Romeu (Valery 59), Elyounoussi, Austin (Long 68).

Unused subs: Gunn (GK), Yoshida, Armstrong, Ings.

Goals: Højbjerg (37)

Bookings: Austin (58), Bednarek (73), Højbjerg (RED 85).

Manchester City: Ederson, Danilo, Kompany, Laporte, Zinchenko, Fernandinho (Walker 86), Silva, Bernardo, Mahrez (Sane 84), Sterling, Aguero (Jesus 73).

Unused subs: Muric (GK), Stones, Otamendi, JFoden.Goals: Silva (10), Ward-Prowse (OG 45), Aguero (45+3).

Bookings: Aguero (32), Kompany (72), Danilo (78).