Manchester City are inching closer to a Premier League title. They're still one point off the top, but with a game in hand and still very much in control of their own destiny after Saturday's 4-1 win over Southampton.
Southampton got off to the worst start possible, and in completely unnecessary fashion. Just two minutes into the game, Jose Fonte inexplicably stuck his leg out behind him with no intention to win the ball, appearing to intentionally trip Edin Dzeko in the box. A penalty was given and Yaya Toure buried it, putting City in control of the match instantly.
Things got even worse in the 23rd minute when Jay Rodriguez suffered a nasty non-contact injury. His right knee buckled badly when he came down from controlling a ball that was up in the air and he clutched it instantly. He had to be stretchered off -- with James Ward-Prowse replacing him -- and he was taken directly to the hospital. Roy Hodgson was in the stands to watch Rodriguez and his Southampton teammates, but it appears that his World Cup dream is over.
Southampton did get back in the match, however, in the same manner that they went behind. Pablo Zabaleta was the culprit for City, taking down Jack Cork to gift Southampton a penalty, which was converted by Rickie Lambert to tie up the match.
Sadly, for Southampton supporters, they only remained level for 10 minutes. The tables turned against them in the 45th minute on a terrible call by the assistant referee, who declared that David Silva was onside on a through ball into his feet when he was at least a full yard offside. He squared for Samir Nasri, who put City ahead. A couple of minutes later, deep into the stoppage time that was required after the long injury stoppage earlier in the half, Dzeko doubled City's lead by heading an Aleksandr Kolarov cross into the back of the net.
The Saints never gave up on a comeback, but never got particularly close to challenging Joe Hart in the second half despite some decent moves and a handful of set pieces. Stevan Jovetic put the game away for City in the 81st minute, tapping in a cross by Jesus Navas after it eluded a sea of defenders and Alvaro Negredo.
Manchester City: Hart, Kolarov, Demichelis, Kompany, Zabaleta, Garcia (Fernandinho 46'), Toure, Nasri, Silva (Jovetic 77'), Navas, Dzeko (Negredo 65')
Goals: Toure (penalty 3'), Nasri (45'), Dzeko (45'), Jovetic (81')
Southampton: Gazzaniga, Shaw, Fonte, Lovren, Chambers, Schneiderlin, Cork (Wanyama 80'), Davis (Gallagher 75'), Rodriguez (Ward-Prowse 26'), Lambert, Lallana
Goals: Lambert (penalty 37')