Manchester City cruised to another regular Premier League win, beating Southampton 4-0 on Saturday while Erling Haaland continued his rich goalscoring form.
Joao Cancelo put the champions on track to regular wins before Phil Foden scored his fifth goal in three games. Riyad Mahrez scored three goals early in the second half before Haaland scored as usual for all four.
Southampton face the inevitable task of stopping a side that includes City who have scored 20 goals in their last five games in all competitions and, of course, Haaland, who are hunting for a fourth straight hat-trick in the league, but will only have to settle for this one way.
“The result was good, we played quite well. We struggled to break through their high pressure. We suffered a lot against them last season but today we were much better,” said City coach Pep Guardiola.
- “Some of the players weren’t at their best, but we created a lot of chances. We are solid. It was a good match.
- “Phil Foden has been playing really well for a long time. The effect of this is very good.
- “Erling Haaland had another chance. He scored a brilliant goal. It’s a great weapon for us, a big threat. I’m very satisfied
- “We will see the results of Arsenal and Liverpool, there are always good games in the Premier League.
- “It’s very important to be top of the league to go to the World Cup.”
Haaland hit the post 15 minutes into the opener before City broke the deadlock through Cancelo, who scored after a fine solo display. Foden doubled his lead in the 32nd minute when he was given too much space and made no mistake by slipping the ball past Gavin Bazunu.
Southampton went into the first half just two goals down but four minutes into the restart the gap widened as City began to take control. Rodri’s pass found Mahrez and he volleyed in for City’s 44th goal of the season – quite a feat in the first week of October.
Guardiola thwarted leading scorer Foden with the winner, although the Etihad crowd was further shocked when Haaland failed to find the net. They need not worry as his goal finally came in the 65th minute to make it his 20th of the season.
“It was a tough game, we made it easy for ourselves by scoring early and then controlling. We had a lot of chances to score but we didn’t make it. We didn’t concede a lot, it was a controlled game,” Mahrez said.
“Haaland is part of our team, he is our striker. Like any striker, if we can find him, it’s perfect because he is on fire. Otherwise, there are a lot of players and everyone can make a difference. You have to keep the momentum going.”
Southampton manager Ralf Hasenhüttel said: “The quality you face is what I expected. They changed form and today we had more trouble pushing them.
“They showed the difference between these two teams. I am not satisfied with the effort and courage we have shown. But not with the ball, we played too risky. The problems in the first half came after we lost the ball in possession.
“We took a step back, possession usually isn’t a problem. But overall we tried to stay brave and give the players something to work on.