Manchester City earned a vital three points away at Southampton on Saturday. Club journalist Rob Pollard takes a closer look at the game.
Southampton made it difficult for City in the first half, putting 10 men behind the ball and restricting their space.
Pep Guardiola’s side had their attacking capabilities limited and struggled to create clear-cut chances.
But the second half saw them systematically dismantle the home side with ruthless efficiency.
Sergio Aguero added a third late on and three big points were sealed.
Southampton tried to frustrate – but City had too much class.
Kompany leads by example
Kompany’s goal and performance will understandably grab the headlines this morning.
The City captain was brilliant throughout, bringing leadership, a calming influence and some much-needed physicality to City’s defence - and he deservedly took home the man-of-the-match award.
His mere presence brings additional stability at the back. Hopefully he can now remain injury-free for the remainder of the season as City look to secure silverware and Champions League qualification.
Click here for social media reaction to Kompany's winner and City's dominance.
De Bruyne the creator-in-chief
Kevin De Bruyne assisted another two goals in the win at St Mary’s, moving him onto 13 for the season.
That’s more than any other player and he now has David Silva’s club record of 15, which the Spaniard managed in the 2011/12 season, in his sights.
His ability to provide key passes and dangerous balls into the box from wide areas is unsurpassed in the English top flight right now.
Southampton pose a threat
Claude Puel’s Southampton side have impressed this season. They reached the League Cup final, beating Liverpool in the semi-final and narrowly losing to Manchester United in the final at Wembley, and currently sit ninth in the table.
They like to play open football, with full-backs who get forward at every occasion and pace in the final third.
In Ryan Bertrand, Dusan Tadic, Shane Long and Nathan Redmond, they have a vibrant side, and Manolo Gabbiadini provides a goalscoring edge.
This is perhaps City’s toughest remaining league fixture.
Aguero’s strike put the gloss on City’s performance and saw him notch his 11th goal in his last 11 games.
It takes his tally for the season to 29, remarkable given he missed seven games earlier in the campaign through suspension. He is now has 165 City goals, just 12 short of the all-time record of 177 held by Eric Brook.
A truly world-class striker who appears to be getting better.