Manchester City recovered from their derby loss against Manchester United in a brilliant fashion as they defeated Southampton 5-2 at Etihad stadium. City’s attacking prowess was on display as Mahrez and De Bruyne scored two goals each, and Ilkay Gundogan scored his 12th goal in the league to take them 14 points clear at the top of the table.
The visitors dominated early proceedings in the first half as City surprisingly decided to let Southampton dictate the tempo. However, City proved their threat with the first attacking opportunity as Kevin De Bruyne opened the scoring in the 15th minute by lashing home a rebound after McCarthy saved Foden’s effort.
Just when City seemed to settle down in the game, Southampton were awarded a penalty in the 25th minute for a foul on Vestergaard by Laporte. James Ward-Prowse stepped up and scored the penalty to equalise for Southampton.
Both teams had a couple of decent chances at either end as McCarthy was lucky not to concede a penalty after failing to control a backpass with Foden almost stealing it, while Ward-Prowse produced a fingertip save from Ederson to keep out his effort from 30 yards.
City scored a quick-fire double in the final minutes of the half as goals from Mahrez and Gundogan ensured Guardiola’s men had a 2-goal cushion at the break. Mahrez scored City’s second by whipping his effort past McCarthy from 20 yards out, and was involved in the third as his right footed shot rattled against the post, and Gundogan reacted fastest to bundle it home for the third goal.
The goal fest continued in the second half as Mahrez scored City’s fourth in the 55th minute by curling his effort past McCarthy after Fernandinho stole possession at the middle of the pitch. However, Southampton provided an instant response by scoring a minute later through Che Adams, who slotted home his effort after Armstrong’s effort deflected onto his path.
City’s relentless attacks resulted in De Bruyne scoring his second of the night and City’s fifth in the 59th minute by producing a composed finish. Aguero and Ferran Torres missed a couple of decent chances to score late in the game.
The win takes City 14 points clear of second-placed Manchester City with 9 games to go. Although City were second best in the opening minutes of the game, their quality was evident in the remainder of the game.