Southampton v Manchester City, Premier League

Jo Caldwell
January 1, 2019

Two goals in the closing moments of the first half gave Manchester City a 3-1 win at Southampton and saw them move back into second place in the Premier League, seven points behind leaders Liverpool ahead of Thursday's meeting between the two sides.

The two sides played each other four times last season, with Liverpool ending City's 22-match unbeaten start before knocking them out of the Champions League in the quarterfinals.

However, Merson is still backing Arsenal to beat Fulham tomorrow as he claims his former side are "bullies" who always beat the lesser teams so he's backing us to ease to a 3-1 victory at the Emirates on Tuesday afternoon.

Chelsea now have a five-point cushion in the race for a top-four finish and defensive reinforcements are clearly needed in January if Arsenal are to compete for a Champions League return. We know they'll be right on our tails so we keep our feet on the ground and hopefully by then we'll be celebrating.

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The last time they met, back on October 7, it finished 0-0 - and that scoreline doesn't do justice to just how poor a game it was.

"The difference [from the Palace and Leicester games] is that Raheem scores at 1-1 [or] what happens is the diving from Prowse is a penalty - you go in at half-time at 1-2 and it's a disaster, after we played 35 minutes exceptionally", Guardiola said.

"I know the distance is big, seven points, especially because they're so solid and consistent".

City striker Aguero went into the book for a foul on Matt Targett as the Southampton defender came forward, and - against the run of play - the home side were almost level when Ederson made an excellent save from Austin's header. The Frenchman's brace took his tally to four goals in three games under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

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"But Tottenham [in third] will be looking to capitalise as well because we both play each other, so both of us can't pick up full points".

Cardiff City aren't good defensively, either - they've conceded 38 goals already this season.

Liverpool come into the game having won every single one of their games in December and humiliated Arsenal 5-1 in their final game of 2018. It will be very hard, very tough, but for them as well.

"In the end for us it's not really important where we stand because we want to win games and we want to win games until the end". It was a scintillating match, and one that we'll remember as the best of the year.

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