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Manchester City storm past Southampton

sports Updated: Apr 06, 2014 00:47 IST

AFP
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Manchester City kept up the pressure on Premier League leaders Liverpool with a 4-1 win at home to Southampton in Saturday's early kick-off match.

Victory saw City close to within a point of Liverpool with a game in hand and leapfrog Chelsea into second. The opening four goals at Eastlands all came in the first half with City's Yaya Toure and Saints' Rickie Lambert both scoring from the penalty spot before Samir Nasri and Edin Dzeko scored in stoppage-time to make it 3-1 to Manuel Pellegrini's men.

However, controversy surrounded the goal from Nasri that made it 2-1 with David Silva, who played in the French midfielder, offside when he received the ball only for referee Chris Foy and his linesmen to let play continue.

City substitute Stevan Jovetic completed the scoring nine minutes from time. Defeat was made worse for Southampton by a first-half injury suffered by Jay Rodriguez, one of their England strikers, that placed a huge question mark against his chances of making into Roy Hodgson's squad for the World Cup in Brazil.

Rodriguez landed badly after jumping to control the ball in the 26th minute and clutched his knee in agony before being carried off on a stretcher.

United on the rise
Meanwhile Juan Mata scored twice as Manchester United moved above Tottenham, who face relegation-threatened Sunderland on Monday, and into sixth place with a 4-0 win away to Newcastle.

Fresh from their morale-boosting 1-1 Champions League draw against title-holders Bayern Munich at Old Trafford on Tuesday, David Moyes's side took the lead at St James' Park courtesy of Mata's superb 39th minute free-kick that curled into the top corner.

And the Spain midfielder doubled United's lead five minutes after half-time when, after good work by Japan's Shinji Kagawa and Mexico's Javier Hernandez, he slotted home from close range.

Hernandez then made it 3-0 in the 65th minute after being played in by Kagawa and substitute Adnan Januzaj completed the scoring in the final minute of normal time.