Erling Haaland saved Manchester City’s title hopes alive with desires for both facets of half-time in his side’s 4-1 victory over Southampton at St Mary’s.
The Norway striker broke the impasse with a header forty-five minutes earlier than Jack Grealish made it two after the restart.
Haaland’s Premier League-leading thirtieth aim was once a lovely bicycle-kick finish, with the traffic solely in a position to claw one returned thru Sekou Mara. That was once rapidly cancelled out when Kevin De Bruyne drew a penalty, permitting Haaland’s replacement Julian Alvarez to share the glory as he fired in the spot-kick.
One of Haaland’s 28 desires going into Saturday’s contest got here in the reverse fixture at the Etihad Stadium in October towards a Saint’s facet, then managed through Ralph Hasenhuttl. Two managers later, and with the aspects separated using forty-one points, Ruben Selles’ guys seemed to get something commenced early on a sunny south coast nighttime when Carlos Alcaraz took possession at the proper of the vicinity; however, determined himself except a possible alternative at the long way publish as he despatched the ball throughout the face of goal.
City examined Gavin Bazunu internally the first 5 minutes, Ilkay Gundogan discovering Grealish, who compelled an appropriate shop out of the Saints shot-stopper with pressure from 15 yards out.
The site visitors were on the brink of risk when an alert Kamaldeen Sulemana intercepted De Bruyne’s quick nook internal his half and broke free with Nathan Ake in warm pursuit. The 21-year-old charged into City’s 1/2; however, he miscontrolled at the give-up of his run, permitting keeper Ederson to smother the ball.
The second is regarded to carry Saints’ spirits, however. They were quickly lowered back on the assault as Mohamed Elyounoussi directed the ball into the area, hoping to discover Alcaraz, who bent ahead, however, should no longer get his head on the cross.
Though City loved over 70 per cent of possession, the hosts did nicely to mostly shut down Haaland, who had solely taken four touches as the fit approached the 40-minute mark.
He had doubled that tally via half-time, lacking a header earlier than making one be counted as he related with De Bruyne’s go from the left and nodded his twenty-ninth purpose of the season – six greater than Southampton had together scored – previous Bazunu.
After the restart, the City ignored an early danger to double their benefit when Grealish reduced lower back to Gundogan, who drove into the region but fired simply vast of the excellent post.
But it used to be now not lengthy earlier than Grealish, who had been vivid at some point of the first period, threatened once more as he despatched a sharp strike at Bazunu, who made the preliminary low cease however ought to now not dangle on to the rebound.
That proved steeply-priced as England worldwide pounced and fired home, 10 minutes later turning company when he patiently wove into the vicinity earlier than crossing to Haaland, who completed spectacularly.
Saints ensured the site visitors would no longer head domestic with a smooth sheet when replacement Moussa Djenepo neatly kept away from two opponents and fed Mara, who despatched a low strike previous Ederson.t took City simply three minutes to repair their three-goal benefit when Kyle Walker-Peters delivered down De Bruyne, the referee pointed to the spot and Alvarez, who had come on for Haaland in the seventy-fifth minute, fired domestic to seal the victory.