Manchester City had no answer to Southampton on Sunday as Sadio Mane scored a hat-trick in a convincing 4-2 win at St Mary’s.
- Southampton 4 Manchester City 2
- Mane bags three goals for hosts
- Iheanacho scores brace for City
- Citizens fail to overtake Arsenal
- Saints up to seventh place
The Saints made the better start and were rewarded on 24 minutes with the opener from Shane Long before Mane doubled their lead soon afterwards.
The Citizens hit back just before the break as Kelechi Iheanacho halved the deficit, but Mane restored the hosts’ two-goal cushion early in the second half and went on to complete his hat-trick on 68 minutes.
Iheanacho pulled another one back with a superb strike on 78 minutes, although it was not enough to prevent the south-coast club from coming away with all three points as they moved up to seventh place, while City are fourth after being overtaken by Arsenal in the standings.
The visitors were on the back foot from the off as Ronald Koeman’s side made a strong start, with Mane forcing a routine save out of Joe Hart with his shot from just outside the area on two minutes.
City would create their first chance on 20 minutes through Raheem Sterling, who connected with Iheanacho’s cut-back from six yards out, but Fraser Forster was equal to the task.
But the Saints drew first blood five minutes later when Long reacted quickest to prod home Dusan Tadic’s cross from close range to open the scoring.
Manuel Pellegrini’s side barely had time to gather themselves as they went further behind three minutes later, Tadic playing in Mane to fire past Hart from inside the area on the right.
However, the Citizens managed to pull one back just before half-time in a move started and finished by Iheanacho, who beat Forster with a header from six yards out following Samir Nasri’s ball into the danger area.
The Nigerian youngster was leading the line well in the absence of Sergio Aguero and he gave Forster more work to do on 50 minutes with a shot from just inside the area that had the keeper making a low save.
But the hosts struck again seven minutes later as Mane pounced from close range on the rebound after Hart could only tip Virgil van Dijk’s header onto the crossbar.
Van Dijk almost put the game to bed on 66 minutes with an overhead kick that Hart expertly turned over the crossbar, although Mane did just that moments later to complete his hat-trick as he latched onto a through-ball from Tadic to beat Hart from a similar position to his first goal.
City still had some fight in them and Iheanacho bagged his second of the game with 12 minutes left as he collected a pass from Jesus Navas and curled the ball into the top corner of the goal from the edge of the area on the right.
There would be no spectacular comeback, though, as the Saints saw out the closing stages to claim all three points with an emphatic victory.