Man City hit five past Southampton

MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM (AFP) – Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola praised his players’ powers of recovery to beat Southampton 5-2 despite being denied a blatant penalty when the game was delicately poised at 1-1.

City are now 14 points clear at the top of the Premier League as they close in on a third title in four years.

A 21-game winning run for Guardiola’s men came to an end against Manchester United recently.

But City offered the second-placed Red Devils little extra encouragement that there was a route back into the title race as Riyad Mahrez and Kevin De Bruyne both struck twice.

Guardiola, though, was still furious after video assistant referee (VAR) did not intervene when Alex McCarthy wiped out Phil Foden after overrunning the ball.

The England midfielder tried to stay on his feet to tap into an empty net, but, after the chance slipped away, VAR did not tell referee Jon Moss to review the incident.

Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne scores his side’s opening goal during the English Premier League match against Southampton at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester. PHOTO: AP

“Jon cannot see it but that the VAR is there and don’t whistle the penalty is incredible,” said Guardiola. “You know after four years I don’t (usually) talk about the referees, but this action is incredible.

“Maybe one day they will explain to us really the rule for all the players, managers.

“That’s why I am proud because in this club, I don’t know in others, what we have done in these past years we won it ourselves that’s for sure.”

City’s winning run had started against Southampton last December when the Saints were flying high and above the now champions-elect in the table.

However, Ralph Hasenhuttl’s men have taken just nine points from their last 15 games to tumble down to 14th.

The visitors made a bright start before their leaky defence began to creak when faced with City’s array of attacking talent.