English Premier League: Manchester City are back to winning ways

Dec 31, 2018, 10:22 IST | PA Sport

After defeats to Crystal Palace and Leicester, Manchester City beat 10-man Southampton 3-1 to reclaim second place in points table

English Premier League: Manchester City are back to winning ways
Manchester City's Sergio Aguero (right) celebrates with midfielder Bernardo Silva after scoring the third goal during the English Premier League football match against Southampton at St Mary’s Stadium yesterday. Pic/AFP

Manchester City warmed up for Thursday's pivotal Premier League battle with Liverpool by coasting past 10-man Southampton 3-1 at St Mary's. David Silva and Sergio Aguero struck for City, with James Ward-Prowse's own goal also helping Pep Guardiola's men get back to winning ways. Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg fired a fine first-half goal for Saints, only to be sent off late on for a two-footed tackle.

City hit back from defeats to Crystal Palace and Leicester with ease, reclaiming second place and cutting Liverpool's Premier League lead to seven points. The travelling City fans chanted "We'll fight to the end" in a warning to Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp to avoid any premature title expectations.

And this comfortable south-coast victory now hands the reigning champions the chance to test Liverpool's resolve when the league's top two teams meet at the Etihad Stadium on Thursday.

Hojbjerg's rifled goal had City sweating when Saints equalised at 1-1, but straight after Ward-Prowse was rightly denied a penalty, the home winger put Raheem Sterling's low cross through his own net.

Aguero's facile header had City 3-1 to the good, and that enticing title fight with Liverpool looked even more exciting come half-time. Fernandinho solidified City's shape, helping Guardiola's men take the first step towards exorcising the memory of those costly consecutive defeats. The excellent Alex McCarthy denied David Silva at point-blank range from the off, after Sterling picked Jack Stephens' pocket in the area.

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