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Dublin: 13 °C Tuesday 15 October, 2019

Shane Long scores but Man City get back on track with win over Saints

But City weren’t massively convincing.

Raheem Sterling, Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero - cropped
Raheem Sterling, Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero - cropped

MANCHESTER CITY GOT back to winning ways with a patchy 3-1 Premier League victory over Southampton as England midfielder Fabian Delph marked his first start for the club with a goal.

On the back of defeats to Liverpool and Juventus over the past week, City responded with a scintillating start to the Etihad Stadium contest and Kevin De Bruyne opened the scoring in the ninth minute.

Delph added a deflected second before the defensive frailties that stained the 4-1 thrashing against Liverpool seven days ago returned to unnerve Manuel Pellegrini’s team.

The injury absences of goalkeeper Joe Hart and captain Vincent Kompany were keenly felt as Southampton asked repeated questions of a ramshackle backline that was punctured when Shane Long, in for the suspended Graziano Pelle in attack, scored a 49th-minute header.

Manchester City v Southampton - Barclays Premier League - Etihad Stadium Source: Martin Rickett

Ronald Koeman’s side looked favourites to score the next goal, but Aleksandar Kolarov smashed home in the 69th minute to ease the tension among an increasingly fraught home support, who had watched star striker Sergio Aguero limp out of the action.

The win returns City to the top of the table, but only a draw in the later Saturday kick-off featuring Leicester City and Manchester United can keep them there.

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