João and Co send City to PL summit

Manchester City recorded their 12th-straight victory at the Etihad Stadium, as they swept aside Southampton 4-0 to move top of the Premier League (PL) standings.

Coming into the contest having scored 14 times across their previous three matches, the hosts started in dominant fashion with Riyad Mahrez seeing an early effort denied by Gavin Bazunu and Erling Haaland striking the inside of the post from a promising one-on-one situation. Despite those missed opportunities, Manchester City didn’t have to wait long before finding a deserved breakthrough, as João Cancelo manoeuvred his way into the box and slotted a neat finish between the legs of Bazunu.

With just one win from their previous 11 away matches in the PL, Southampton looked powerless to the attacking prowess of the hosts, who duly added a second before HT when Phil Foden lifted a delicate finish into the far corner after Kevin de Bruyne’s ninth assist of the season.

Armed with a two-goal advantage, City came flying out the traps in the opening exchanges of the second half, and extended their lead within five minutes of the restart. An accurate long ball from Rodri fell perfectly to Mahrez, who hit a strike into the ground and beyond Bazunu. After a near-perfect opening hour for the hosts, all that was missing was a customary goal from their clinical marksman. This soon arrived as Cancelo picked out Haaland inside the box, and the Norwegian fired a first-time effort into the net for his 20th goal of the season.

With 20 minutes remaining, Pep Guardiola turned to his substitutes bench, with one eye surely on the packed schedule ahead. Despite the changes, City continued to dominate proceedings, as they cruised to another comfortable victory – one which sends them to the summit of the PL table ahead of Arsenal’s clash against Liverpool on Sunday.

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