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Man City fend off Southampton comeback to cut Liverpool's lead to seven points

Pep Guardiola’s side move back up to second place thanks to goals from David Silva and Sergio Aguero.

Kompany celebrates as City move back into second place.
Kompany celebrates as City move back into second place.
Image: Adam Davy

Southampton 1-3 Manchester City

MANCHESTER CITY RETURNED to winning ways ahead of their blockbuster showdown against Premier League leaders Liverpool with a 3-1 win at Southampton.

The defending champions ceded ground to Jurgen Klopp’s side with back-to-back defeats versus Crystal Palace and Leicester City, and they once again let an early lead slip as Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg – later sent off for a reckless lunge on Fernandinho – cancelled out David Silva’s 10th-minute opener.

A James Ward-Prowse own-goal on the stroke of half time, moments after the Southampton midfielder had penalty claims rejected, and Sergio Aguero’s injury-time header steadied City nerves before the break.

Pep Guardiola’s men replace Tottenham in second and trim the deficit to the summit to seven points, while Burnley’s win over West Ham means only goal difference is keeping Southampton out of the bottom three.

Charlie Austin stole in behind the City defence, only for heavy touch to let him down, before Riyad Mahrez and Bernardo Silva had no such problems down the Southampton left as they deftly set up David Silva for an assured finish.

Mahrez and Sergio Aguero both went close to doubling City’s advantage but, after Ederson brilliantly kept out an Austin header, makeshift left-back Oleksandr Zinchenko carelessly gave away possession in the 37th minute and Hojbjerg clattered home emphatically.

Zinchenko was then fortunate to see a clumsy challenge in the box on Ward-Prowse go unpunished – the Southampton man’s disappointment compounded as he lucklessly put Raheem Sterling’s cross through his own net.

An eventful half for the Ukraine international concluded with a pinpoint cross that Aguero headed beyond Alex McCarthy’s lacklustre attempts to save.

The Southampton goalkeeper partially redeemed himself by standing up to Sterling when a slick one-two with Bernardo Silva in the 55th minute picked apart his defence.

City were again close to a fourth when Aguero turned to lash against the top of the crossbar left-footed.

Mahrez was substituted after he missed an 80th-minute one-on-one, while Hojbjerg was dismissed for his ugly challenge late on.

Burnley 2-0 West Ham

At Turf Moore, Burnley claimed a vital win in their bid to escape the Premier League relegation zone as goals from Chris Wood and Dwight McNeil saw off West Ham 2-0.

Following three successive defeats, including a 5-1 loss to Everton last time out, goalkeeper Joe Hart took the hit for Burnley’s torrid form, with Tom Heaton coming in for a first Premier League start since September 2017.

And that change paid dividends, with Burnley’s solid foundation setting the stage for Wood to open the scoring 15 minutes in before McNeil netted his first goal for the club.

Wood and Ashley Barnes wasted gilt-edged opportunities to wrap up the points, but their misses did not prove costly as the Clarets eased some of the mounting pressure on Sean Dyche.

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