Premier League, Etihad Stadium
MANCHESTER CITY 341 SOUTHAMPTON
Yaya Toure's early penalty was quickly cancelled out by Rickie Lambert's almost identical strike, but two injury time goals from Samir Nasri and Edin Dzeko gave Manchester City a scarcely-deserved half-time lead over Southampton on Saturday.
Nevertheless, those strikes ensured City were able to shut down the game for much of the second half and breeze towards victory—with substitute Stevan Jovetic's late tap-in adding an extra layer of gloss to the final scoreline.
Now just one point off the top of the table with a game in hand, here are the half-time and full-time ratings for the home side at the Etihad.
|Player||HT Rating||FT Rating|
First half analysis
Joe Hart: Unable to stop Lambert's penalty—although he got close—Hart was otherwise relatively untroubled in the first half.
Pablo Zabaleta: Sloppy mistake for Southampton's penalty. Will have been relieved by his side's quick response.
Vincent Kompany: Dealt comfortably with most of Southampton's attacking forays.
Martin Demichelis: Made a very composed start, although his movement was occasionally exposed by Lallana's timed runs.
Aleksandr Kolarov: His delivery from wide areas was a regular source of danger for City.
Jesus Navas: Failed to make the most of a few attacking chances but linked well with Nasri and Silva.
Fernandinho: A silly booking for handball seemed to sum up a half where he was not at his best.
Yaya Toure: Coolly opened the scoring from the spot after three minutes, and his threaded ball laid the foundation for his side's second too.
Samir Nasri: Perhaps the most influential attacking player on the pitch for the home side, although his goal should perhaps have been ruled out for offside.
David Silva: Was another good creator for his side, albeit an offside one for Nasri's strike.
Edin Dzeko: Started the half by winning a penalty and finished it with a close-range header, the striker will have been pleased with his contribution.
Second half analysis
Joe Hart: Was virtually a spectator as City breezed to victory.
Pablo Zabaleta: Some good interplay with Navas saw his attacking contribution improve.
Vincent Kompany: Another whose workload lightened as the game went on.
Martin Demichelis: No real mistakes from the experienced Argentine.
Aleksandr Kolarov: Continued to offer an attacking threat and nearly got on the scoresheet.
Jesus Navas: Continued to link brilliantly with team-mates, and provided a great early cross for Jovetic's clincher
Fernandinho: Withdrawn at half-time for Javi Garcia, who helped shut down the game as a contest.
Yaya Toure: Was limping by the end, but was a key contributor in making the victory so comfortable.
Samir Nasri: Faded slightly in the second half, but remained an impressive performer.
David Silva: Pulled the strings all afternoon, and received a deserved reception when he was substituted with 15 minutes remaining.
Edin Dzeko: Substituted early for Negredo, although that was probably more to do with trying to get the Spaniard firing again then any reflection of the striker's display.