Manchester City strolled to another routine victory at the Premier League, easing past Southampton 4-1 on Saturday, as Erling Haaland maintained his impressive scoring streak in the game.
Joao Cancelo put the champions on the path to a comfortable win, but Phil Foden grabbed his fifth goal in just three games. Riyad Mahrez scored three in the first half , but Haaland scored his usual goal in the fourth minute to bring it to four.
Southampton was faced with the difficult task of stopping an City team that had scored 20 goals in the last five games in every competition, including Haaland was to search for their fourth consecutive home hat-trick in the league however, they had to settle for one of them this time.
“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,” City director Pep Guardiola told the media.
“Some players weren’t in their element, but we made a lot of mistakes. We played well. This was an successful game.
“For quite a while Phil Foden is playing really great. The impact of his game is fantastic.
“Erling Haaland has the chance to score. He scored a fantastic goal. It’s an amazing weapon for us, a huge threat. I’m extremely happy.
“We will be watching the outcome of Arsenal and Liverpool and Liverpool, as always in the Premier League there are good games.
“Being close to the top of the league is important going into the World Cup.”
Haaland hit the post in the first 15 minutes of the game before City ended the deadlock with Cancelo who found the net following a superb solo run. Foden increased the lead in 32 minutes after the ball was given an excessive amount of space and he did not make a error, slamming through Gavin Bazunu.
Southampton reached halftime with only the two goals in the deficit, but just within four minutes of the start, the gap increased even more as City began to gain control. Rodri’s cross was intercepted by Mahrez and he scored to score City’s 44th goal of the campaign — an incredible feat in the opening week of the month of October.
Guardiola made sure to take goal-scorer Foden off after the game was winning, but the Etihad crowd was left stunned when Haaland did not find the goal. They shouldn’t have been concerned but the goal was scored after 65 minutes and made 20 for the season.
“It was a difficult game, we made it easy by scoring early and then we controlled. We had a lot of chances to score more but we didn’t. We didn’t concede much, it was a controlled game,” Mahrez declared.
“Haaland is part of our team, he is our striker. Like any other striker, if we can find him it’s perfect because he is on fire. If not, there are a lot of players and everyone can make a difference. We have to keep going with the momentum.”
Southampton director Ralph Hasenhuttl said: “The quality that you’re facing This is what I expected. They have changed their shape and we faced more challenges today with pressing them up high.
“They demonstrated the differences between the two teams. I’m not disappointed by the determination and courage that we showed. But not with the ball however, as we were too reckless. The issues during the first period came when we lost the ball in possession.
“We took an effort to move backwards, but possession isn’t a major issue. We tried to be brave and gave the players something to do their best at.