Manchester City breezed past Southampton at the Etihad Stadium as Pep Guardiola’s side continued their fine start to the season
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Joao Cancelo put City ahead and Phil Foden doubled their lead before the break. Riyad Mahrez scored early in the second half and Erling Haaland grabbed his obligatory goal as City dominated from start to finish.
With the win they move on to 23 points for the season as they remain unbeaten and momentarily went top of the table.
Saints have now lost four on the trot and have picked up just seven points from their first nine games.
What we learned from Manchester City vs Southampton
Intensity key as City have momentum: All eyes will now be on City’s next Premier League game, their trip to Liverpool next Sunday. They are well ahead of Liverpool so far this season but their struggles at Anfield in recent seasons are well documented and Jurgen Klopp’s high-pressing style does put them off. This feels like peak City, though. They’re hungry to win the ball back, have quality on it when they do and they have so many players in form and flying. It’s hard to not predict City running away with the Premier League title this season and this game coming up at Anfield will show how just how much they’ve accelerated away from Liverpool over the summer.
Erling Haaland only scores one but opens up space for others: He hit the post early on and made some good runs and PL Fantasy team players everywhere will have been disappointed Haaland only scored once. That’s just 20 goals in his first 13 games in all competitions for City. Haaland went close on a few occasions and although his final pass through to Foden, or others, was just off at times, he opened up space for City’s other forwards to run into. Foden and De Bruyne benefitted from that and although Haaland wasn’t all over the scoreline, his impact was plentiful.
Saints can’t be judged on this defeat: Before this game there was growing pressure on Ralph Hasenhuttl amid reports he will be fired soon. It wasn’t a terrible display from Saints but this was all about damage limitation. The three defeats (by a one-goal margin) against Everton, Aston Villa and Wolves before this did the damage. Let’s see if Hasenhuttl is given the next few weeks to try and push them up the table as back-to-back games against West Ham and Bournemouth seem crucial as to whether or not he is given the time to turn this around. After almost four years in charge he’s kept Saints in the Premier League but now their new owners have spent big money in the summer on talented youngsters, they seem to be demanding more of a return.
After a very slow start Pep Guardiola made an intriguing tactical switch which helped kick-start his team. He went from the 4-3-3 system to a 3-4-2-1 as Cancelo played as a left wing-back and dominated the game. That switch created overloads which Southampton couldn’t deal with as Kyle Walker-Peters was left isolated and City were ruthless. That move to a three-man central defense gave City the extra man further up the pitch and they took full advantage of it.
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Pep Guardiola happy with display; praise for Foden, Haaland
“The result is good, we play quite good. We struggled to break their high pressing. Last season we suffered a lot against them but today we were much better. Some players were not at their best but we create a lot of chances. We were solid. It was a good game. For a long time Phil Foden is playing really good. The impact from him is great. Erling Haaland had the chances again. He scored a brilliant goal. It’s an incredible weapon for us, a big threat. I am so satisfied.” – Pep Guardiola to BBC Sport
Ralph Hasenhuttl on his future as Saints boss
“It is not my decision to make. Since I’ve come here, and it’s been nearly four years now, we have been fighting for results. The problem is not here today, it’s from other weeks where we did not get enough points. As long as I’m here [we will still fight].” – Ralph Hasenhuttl to BBC Sport
Stars of the show
Joao Cancelo: Sensational goal to get City going and oozed quality on the ball. Great cross for Haaland’s goal too.
Phil Foden: Lovely assist and goal and he is so hungry to win the ball back.
Man City travel to Copenhagen on Tuesday in the UEFA Champions League group stage and then have a massive game at Liverpool on Sunday, Oct. 16. Southampton host West Ham next Sunday.
How to watch Manchester City vs Southampton live, stream link and start time
Kick off: 10am ET, Saturday
TV Channel: Peacock
Online: Stream via Peacock Premium
Excellent footwork and finish by Joao Cancelo!
— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) October 8, 2022
City look unstoppable right now and Haaland and De Bruyne are ripping teams apart. Not to mention that Guardiola has a stable of incredible players to rotate and they look hungrier than ever to show everyone exactly how good they are. After smashing Manchester United 6-3 at home last weekend, the only concern for Guardiola is how they switched off late on to cough up a few goals. That said, City were barely in second gear at that point and could have scored 10 goals, at least, against their bitter rivals. For Southampton, well, they have the youngest squad in the Premier League and it’s showing. There have been ups and downs so far this season and they’ve come out on the wrong end of four one-goal losses in their last five. There isn’t an awful lot wrong (aside from not having a top striker) but after this game at City they need to pick up a few big wins to stop a growing tide of dissent towards Hasenhuttl. One strange fact: Saints drew home and away against Man City in the PL last season.
In-form players to keep an eye on
Basically all of City’s team is in top form but Haaland, De Bruyne, Phil Foden and Jack Grealish are all looking incredible, while Manuel Akanji has slotted in seamlessly at center back. Southampton’s best player this season has been Armel Bella-Kotchap, closely followed by Romeo Lavia (bought from Manchester City this summer) but the latter remains out injured. Joe Aribo has quietly scored a couple and is doing his best to get their attack going.
Manchester City team news, injuries, lineup
John Stones, Kyle Walker and Kalvin Phillips remain out injured, while Rodri wasn’t risked for the Manchester derby but he comes back into the starting lineup. All of that means that Ake starts at left back with Cancelo at right back with Akanji and Dias at center back. Riyad Mahrez replaces Jack Grealish in attack.
🔵 Today's City Team News 🔵
XI | Ederson, Cancelo, Akanji, Dias, Ake, Rodrigo, De Bruyne (C), Bernardo, Mahrez, Foden, Haaland
— Manchester City (@ManCity) October 8, 2022
Southampton team news, injuries, lineup
Lavia is close to a return, while Tino Livramento is stepping up his recovery from a long-term knee injury. Hasenhuttl has brought in Salisu, Perraud, Diallo and Adam Armstrong to the starting lineup as it looks like he’s done back to his preferred 4-2-2-2 formation.
🇮🇪 Bazunu in goal
🇬🇭 Salisu at the back
🏴 @CheAdams_ up front
— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) October 8, 2022