Manchester City strengthened their hopes of a top-four Premier League finish as a slick second-half display saw off a subdued Southampton in a game in which Nigerian international, Kelechi Iheanacho made a cameo appearance.
Injury-hit skipper Vincent Kompany headed David Silva’s left-wing corner past keeper Fraser Forster’s weak save for his first goal in 20 months.
Leroy Sane drilled in Kevin de Bruyne’s pass after a quick counter, with Sergio Aguero’s far-post volley sealing it.
Pep Guardiola’s side are now five points clear of fifth-placed Everton.
Mid-table Saints failed to create many chances against a City side well-marshalled by Kompany, Dusan Tadic blazing over with their best opportunity before the break.
Claude Puel’s side, who were bidding for three successive league wins for the first time under the Frenchman, remain in ninth place.
How would Manchester City’s season have panned out if they had had a fully-fit Kompany playing regularly? Many Blues fans would suggest their team would be much closer to leaders Chelsea.
On the evidence of his performance against Southampton it is hard to disagree.
City’s talismanic captain has made just eight appearances in another campaign limited by niggling injuries, but returned at St Mary’s with an imperious display.
While Kompany will grab the headlines for his goal, his work at the other end of the pitch – leadership, organisation and composure – is what the Blues have been lacking at times this season.
City’s defensive resilience meant keeper Claudio Bravo – trusted again in goal by Guardiola – barely had to make a save.
And it laid the platform for the visitors to cut Saints apart once Kompany had made the breakthrough, reports the BBC.