Raheem Sterling scored the winner as Manchester City returned to winning ways with a 1-0 victory over Southampton.
Pep Guardiola’s side, who started with Ferran Torres up front, were second best in the opening 45 minutes but had a bright five minutes in which they took the lead through Sterling’s first time effort from Kevin De Bruyne’s cut back.
The Saints created the better chances and Danny Ings had a strong penalty appeal when he was clattered by Ruben Dias after heading the ball wide but referee Mike Dean and VAR ruled the challenge was legal.
Ralph Hassenhutl’s side were then dealt a blow as Ings limped off before half-time with a suspected knee injury having recently returned from a similar lay-off.
The visitors dominated the second period in terms of possession but were guilty of taking too many touches in the box as their lack of cutting edge continued to be an issue with substitute Riyad Mahrez missing a sitter late on.
And they were fortunate not to concede a penalty when the ball sprung up off Sterling’s knee and onto his elbow following a corner with the referee and VAR ruling it was within the laws.
But it was City’s defending which again caught the eye, with their entire back four on top form, as they held on for their first victory since December 5th to climb to fifth place, one place below the Saints.