Manchester City 3-1 Southampton

Match Report

Sergio Aguero grabbed a brace as Manchester City eased past Southampton 3-1 in the last-16 of the EFL Cup.

The Citizens handed a debut to youth team captain Tommy Doyle in midfield, with fellow 18-year-old Eric Garcia also called upon in a much-changed side.

After losing 9-0 at home to Leicester on Friday, the Saints made multiple changes and started out with a view of building from the back, but their deep defensive line invited pressure from the off.

Those tactics inevitably led to City dominating the ball but chances were few and far between early on. However, the deadlock was broken on 20 minutes when Nicolas Otamendi rose highest to nod home from a short corner routine.

That prompted the visitors to at least move up the field but they still struggled for possession, although the Citizens seemed happy to play within themselves.

On occasion, they did find their stride and it was 2-0 on 39 minutes. A nice break down the right found Kyle Walker, who having been tucked in for much of the half, was in space out wide and whipped a ball into Sergio Aguero who could not miss from six yards out.

With it 2-0 at the break, both Pep Guardiola and Ralph Hasenhuttl probably would have been happy to take that scoreline if offered.

Following plenty of pressure, Aguero got a second for the night on 56 minutes, cleverly staying onside before diverting Bernardo Silva’s deflected effort home to make it 3-0.

At last on 66 minutes Southampton had a shot when Sofiane Boufal carried well and saw a curling effort pushed round the post by Claudio Bravo before Shane Long headed over from the resulting header.
Jack Stephens also had a chance saved by Bravo.

Stephens went one better after 75 minutes, powering home a header from a James Ward-Prowse corner.

The game proceeded to peter out, Saints restoring some pride after their nightmare against Leicester while it was comfortable for the defending champions, who take their place in the hat for the quarter-finals.