Premier League
Man CityManchester City4SouthamptonSouthampton1

Manchester City 4-1 Southampton

By Simon StoneBBC Sport at Etihad Stadium
Manchester city striker Edin Dzeko (left) heads in his side's third against Southampton

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.

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.

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.

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Line-ups

Man City

  • 1Hart
  • 5Zabaleta
  • 13Kolarov
  • 25FernandinhoBooked at 44minsSubstituted forGarcía Fernándezat 45'minutesBooked at 68mins
  • 4Kompany
  • 26Demichelis
  • 15Navas
  • 42Y TouréBooked at 78mins
  • 10DzekoSubstituted forNegredoat 65'minutes
  • 21SilvaSubstituted forJoveticat 77'minutes
  • 8Nasri

Substitutes

  • 2Richards
  • 6Lescott
  • 7Milner
  • 9Negredo
  • 14García Fernández
  • 30Pantilimon
  • 35Jovetic

Southampton

  • 25Gazzaniga
  • 22Chambers
  • 23Shaw
  • 4Schneiderlin
  • 6José Fonte
  • 5Lovren
  • 20Lallana
  • 18CorkSubstituted forWanyamaat 80'minutes
  • 7Lambert
  • 8DavisSubstituted forGallagherat 75'minutes
  • 9RodriguezSubstituted forWard-Prowseat 26'minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Clyne
  • 12Wanyama
  • 16Ward-Prowse
  • 21Do Prado
  • 26Hooiveld
  • 40Gallagher
  • 41Cropper
Referee:
Chris Foy
Attendance:
47,009

Match Stats

Home TeamMan CityAway TeamSouthampton
Possession
Home44%
Away56%
Shots
Home15
Away5
Shots on Target
Home8
Away1
Corners
Home5
Away9
Fouls
Home9
Away15

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Manchester City 4, Southampton 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Manchester City 4, Southampton 1.

  3. Post update

    Foul by Adam Lallana (Southampton).

  4. Post update

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

  5. Post update

    Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Luke Shaw.

  6. Post update

    Foul by James Ward-Prowse (Southampton).

  7. Post update

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

  8. Post update

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

  9. Post update

    Foul by Yaya Touré (Manchester City).

  10. Post update

    Foul by Jose Fonte (Southampton).

  11. Post update

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

  12. Post update

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

  13. Post update

    Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Dejan Lovren.

  14. Post update

    Corner, Southampton. Conceded by Pablo Zabaleta.

  15. Post update

    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.

  16. 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.

  17. Substitution

    Substitution, Southampton. Victor Wanyama replaces Jack Cork.

  18. Booking

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

  19. Post update

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

  20. Substitution

    Substitution, Manchester City. Stevan Jovetic replaces David Silva.

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Chelsea33226565244172
2Liverpool32225588394971
3Man City31224584295570
4Arsenal32197656371964
5Everton31179549311860
6Man Utd331761056381857
7Tottenham32175104044-456
8Southampton33139115044648
9Newcastle33144153851-1346
10Stoke331010133748-1140
11West Ham32107153642-637
12Hull33106173440-636
13Aston Villa3297163548-1334
14Crystal Palace32104182339-1634
15Swansea3389164549-433
16West Brom32614123748-1132
17Norwich3388172652-2632
18Fulham3383223374-4127
19Cardiff3368192964-3526
20Sunderland3067172848-2025
View full Premier League table

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