Manchester City turned the screw on their Premier League title rivals by beating Southampton at Etihad Stadium.

But there was bad news for watching England boss Roy Hodgson as Saints striker Jay Rodriguez was carried off with what looked like a serious knee injury.

Rodriguez injury 'doesn't look good'

That came after Yaya Toure's penalty had given the hosts the lead, though Rickie Lambert equalised with a spot-kick of his own.

Goals from Samir Nasri and Edin Dzeko in first-half stoppage time, then a late effort from Stevan Jovetic, made it 14 wins from 15 home league games for City this season.

The victory moved them to within a point of leaders Liverpool, who visit West Ham on Sunday having already played a game more than Manuel Pellegrini's men.

And it was the perfect preparation for a trip to Anfield eight days from now in a match that could go a long way towards deciding the outcome of the title race.

Analysis

"Manchester City's win tightens up the race for the Premier League title but the big story is the serious-looking knee injury suffered by Southampton striker Jay Rodriguez after he fell awkwardly in the first half in a game watched by England manager Roy Hodgson."

Early arrivals were greeted by the sight of Sergio Aguero being put through his paces, surely a prelude to the City striker's return from a hamstring injury next weekend.

But the pre-match news was not as positive for the visitors, with goalkeeper Artur Boruc's absence with a back problem giving 22-year-old Paulo Gazzaniga an unexpected start.

With such a key change forced upon manager Mauricio Pochettino, Saints needed to make a positive start, but Jose Fonte gifted City a goal inside two minutes.

Contact was minimal between him and Edin Dzeko, but Fonte had given the Bosnian a leg to fall over in the box and was therefore the architect of his own downfall.

Predictably, Toure confidently netted from the spot.

Nasri fired wide shortly afterwards but Southampton managed to stem the early impetus and, without creating a clear-cut chance, were certainly in the contest when Rodriguez departed.

Man City's 2013-14 run-in

  • Sun 13 April: v Liverpool (A)
  • Wed 16 April: v Sunderland (H)
  • Mon 21 April: v West Brom (H)
  • Sun 27 April: v Crystal Palace (A)
  • Sat 3 May: v Everton (A)
  • Wed 7 May: v Aston Villa (H)
  • Sun 11 May: v West Ham (H)

Climbing high to control the ball, the 24-year-old crumpled on landing and immediately clutched his right knee, departing on a stretcher to a standing ovation.

While England do not begin their World Cup campaign until June 14, there must be serious doubt whether Rodriguez will be fit to figure in Hodgson's thoughts.

But Saints team-mate Lambert's hopes of travelling to Brazil will be aided by his penalty record.

By driving past Joe Hart after Pablo Zabaleta had fouled Jack Cork, Lambert extended his 100% record to 31 successful spot-kicks for the Saints.

City were distinctly lethargic - but like most champion teams have an ability to win ugly, and in the four minutes of first-half stoppage time, they turned the contest firmly in their favour.

Strong second half pleases Pellegrini

A delightful move involving Toure, Dzeko and David Silva presented Nasri with the easiest of finishes, though City could count themselves fortunate given Silva was offside when he provided the assist.

There was nothing lucky about their third, though, as Dzeko powered home Aleksandar Kolarov's cross.

The scoring spree took the edge off the second half.

Jesus Navas's low shot produced a feet-first save from Gazzaniga before Toure had a penalty appeal waved away after going down under Fonte's challenge, and was then booked for diving after the same pair came together in the box once more.

City had the game sewn up by then, with Jovetic providing the final flourish when he tapped Navas's low cross into an empty net 10 minutes from time, condemning Southampton to their biggest away defeat of the season.

For a photo gallery from Saturday's Premier League action, visit the BBC Sport Facebook page.  

Lineup, Bookings (3) & Substitutions (6)

Manchester City

  • 01 Hart
  • 05 Zabaleta
  • 13 Kolarov
  • 25 Fernandinho Booked (Javi García - 45' Booked )
  • 04 Kompany
  • 26 Demichelis
  • 15 Jesús Navas
  • 42 Y Touré Booked
  • 10 Dzeko (Negredo - 65' )
  • 21 Silva (Jovetic - 77' )
  • 08 Nasri

Substitutes

  • 02 Richards
  • 06 Lescott
  • 07 Milner
  • 09 Negredo
  • 14 Javi García
  • 30 Pantilimon
  • 35 Jovetic

Southampton

  • 25 Gazzaniga
  • 22 Chambers
  • 23 Shaw
  • 04 Schneiderlin
  • 06 Fonte
  • 05 Lovren
  • 20 Lallana
  • 18 Cork (Wanyama - 80' )
  • 07 Lambert
  • 08 Davis (Gallagher - 75' )
  • 09 Rodriguez (Ward-Prowse - 26' )

Substitutes

  • 02 Clyne
  • 12 Wanyama
  • 16 Ward-Prowse
  • 21 Do Prado
  • 26 Hooiveld
  • 40 Gallagher
  • 41 Cropper
Ref: Chris Foy
Att: 47,009

Match Stats

Shots

15 5

On target

8 1

Corners

5 9

Fouls

9 15

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Manchester City 4, Southampton 1.

90:00 +3:08 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Manchester City 4, Southampton 1.

90:00 +2:07

Foul by Adam Lallana (Southampton).

90:00 +2:07

Pablo Zabaleta (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

90:00 +1:12

Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Luke Shaw.

88:02

Foul by James Ward-Prowse (Southampton).

88:02

Yaya Touré (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

87:21

Victor Wanyama (Southampton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

87:21

Foul by Yaya Touré (Manchester City).

85:19

Foul by Jose Fonte (Southampton).

85:19

Stevan Jovetic (Manchester City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

85:02

Attempt saved. Yaya Touré (Manchester City) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Jesús Navas.

83:54

Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Dejan Lovren.

82:59

Corner, Southampton. Conceded by Pablo Zabaleta.

81:31

Attempt saved. Álvaro Negredo (Manchester City) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Javi García with a through ball.

80:19 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Manchester City 4, Southampton 1. Stevan Jovetic (Manchester City) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Jesús Navas with a cross.

79:05 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Southampton. Victor Wanyama replaces Jack Cork.

77:35 Booking

Booking Yaya Touré (Manchester City) is shown the yellow card.

77:23

Yaya Touré (Manchester City) has gone down, but that's a dive.

76:52 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Manchester City. Stevan Jovetic replaces David Silva.

74:55 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Southampton. Sam Gallagher replaces Steven Davis.

74:21

Attempt missed. Rickie Lambert (Southampton) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Adam Lallana with a through ball.

72:21

Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Luke Shaw.

67:43 Booking

Booking Javi García (Manchester City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

67:34

Adam Lallana (Southampton) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

67:34

Foul by Javi García (Manchester City).

67:22

Attempt saved. Jesús Navas (Manchester City) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by David Silva.

66:01

Corner, Southampton. Conceded by Vincent Kompany.

64:45 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Manchester City. Álvaro Negredo replaces Edin Dzeko.

62:46

Corner, Southampton. Conceded by Vincent Kompany.

62:21

Corner, Southampton. Conceded by Javi García.

61:00

Foul by James Ward-Prowse (Southampton).

61:00

Aleksandar Kolarov (Manchester City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

60:33

Foul by Jack Cork (Southampton).

60:33

David Silva (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

59:53

James Ward-Prowse (Southampton) wins a free kick on the right wing.

59:53

Foul by Javi García (Manchester City).

58:36

Attempt missed. Edin Dzeko (Manchester City) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the left misses to the right.

58:33

Attempt saved. Edin Dzeko (Manchester City) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by David Silva with a through ball.

56:25

Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Jose Fonte.

56:24

Attempt blocked. Aleksandar Kolarov (Manchester City) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Samir Nasri.

55:21

Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Luke Shaw.

53:06

Foul by Jose Fonte (Southampton).

53:06

David Silva (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

50:49

Hand ball by Luke Shaw (Southampton).

45:49

Foul by Morgan Schneiderlin (Southampton).

45:49

David Silva (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

45:00

Second Half begins Manchester City 3, Southampton 1.

45:00 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Manchester City. Javi García replaces Fernandinho.

45:00 +4:24 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Manchester City 3, Southampton 1.

45:00 +3:12 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Manchester City 3, Southampton 1. Edin Dzeko (Manchester City) header from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Aleksandar Kolarov with a cross.

45:00 +0:15 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Manchester City 2, Southampton 1. Samir Nasri (Manchester City) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by David Silva.

43:45 Booking

Booking Fernandinho (Manchester City) is shown the yellow card for hand ball.

43:38

Hand ball by Fernandinho (Manchester City).

42:28

Corner, Southampton. Conceded by Aleksandar Kolarov.

41:33

Corner, Southampton. Conceded by Samir Nasri.

39:54

Foul by James Ward-Prowse (Southampton).

39:54

Fernandinho (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

39:10

Offside, Southampton. Rickie Lambert tries a through ball, but Adam Lallana is caught offside.

37:36

Morgan Schneiderlin (Southampton) wins a free kick on the left wing.

37:36

Foul by Pablo Zabaleta (Manchester City).

36:14 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Manchester City 1, Southampton 1. Rickie Lambert (Southampton) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the top right corner.

35:18

Penalty Southampton. Jack Cork draws a foul in the penalty area.

35:18

Penalty conceded by Pablo Zabaleta (Manchester City) after a foul in the penalty area.

34:17

Edin Dzeko (Manchester City) hits the bar with a header from the left side of the six yard box. Assisted by Samir Nasri with a cross following a set piece situation.

33:29

Foul by Dejan Lovren (Southampton).

33:29

Yaya Touré (Manchester City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

33:18

Attempt blocked. Jesús Navas (Manchester City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by David Silva.

30:19

Attempt missed. Jesús Navas (Manchester City) right footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the right. Assisted by David Silva.

28:34

Offside, Manchester City. David Silva tries a through ball, but Jesús Navas is caught offside.

27:47

Attempt missed. Rickie Lambert (Southampton) right footed shot from long range on the left is close, but misses to the left from a direct free kick.

27:02

Adam Lallana (Southampton) wins a free kick on the left wing.

27:02

Foul by Pablo Zabaleta (Manchester City).

26:05

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

26:00 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Southampton. James Ward-Prowse replaces Jay Rodriguez because of an injury.

22:40

Delay in match Jay Rodriguez (Southampton) because of an injury.

18:28

Attempt missed. Adam Lallana (Southampton) header from the right side of the box is too high. Assisted by Calum Chambers with a cross.

17:42

Foul by Steven Davis (Southampton).

17:42

Samir Nasri (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

17:30

Attempt blocked. Jay Rodriguez (Southampton) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Luke Shaw.

16:42

Rickie Lambert (Southampton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

16:42

Foul by Martín Demichelis (Manchester City).

16:08

Attempt missed. Aleksandar Kolarov (Manchester City) header from the centre of the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by David Silva with a cross following a set piece situation.

15:34

Foul by Steven Davis (Southampton).

15:34

Aleksandar Kolarov (Manchester City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

12:43

Corner, Southampton. Conceded by Martín Demichelis.

10:56

Corner, Southampton. Conceded by Fernandinho.

10:30

Corner, Southampton. Conceded by Martín Demichelis.

5:31

Pablo Zabaleta (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

5:31

Foul by Jay Rodriguez (Southampton).

4:39

Attempt missed. Samir Nasri (Manchester City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Pablo Zabaleta.

2:52 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Manchester City 1, Southampton 0. Yaya Touré (Manchester City) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom right corner.

1:59

Penalty Manchester City. Edin Dzeko draws a foul in the penalty area.

1:59

Penalty conceded by Jose Fonte (Southampton) after a foul in the penalty area.

0:17

Foul by Luke Shaw (Southampton).

0:17

David Silva (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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