Champions League challenge still 'far away' for Man City, accepts Guardiola

Vincent Kompany said his first goal in 20 months in Manchester City's 3-0 win at Southampton was reward for his hard work on the gruelling road back to fitness.

City had their killer second 13 minutes from time, hitting their opponents in a counter-attacking move that culminated in De Bruyne bursting clean through and squaring for Sane to roll the ball home.

The German's goal looked the knockout blow for the southerners when minutes later De Bruyne was on hand once again and, with a clever dink from the touchline, setup Aguero to head home from a yard out.

"For example, we were out of the Champions League in Monaco, we played three tough games against Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea and we did not win one game".

"When this happens I feel I'm giving something back to the fans".

Whilst the duo may be keen, City - who often look disjointed defensively without the leadership of Kompany - could look to keep the Belgian should he stay fit between now and the end of the season, with Pep Guardiola in need of reinforcements at the back.

"We scored from the set-piece".

"Sometimes when you realise you can not lose, when you feel the pressure, the real pressure because you would be so criticised, the players make a step forward", Guardiola said.

City's Yaya Toure provided the first on-target effort early in the second half but his effort posed no threat to Forster, before James Ward-Prowse curled an ambitious free kick over the angle of Claudio Bravo's goal.

Everton and Manchester United are six points further back.

The former FC Barcelona manager has not endured the same amount of success in his first season with City, as he did with his previous two clubs. Of course in that moment we came back from Barcelona, had played a lot of games in that period and we were exhausted.

City face off against Arsenal on Sunday in the FA Cup semi-final and Sane will be keen to inflict more woe on the out-of-form Gunners after finding the net against them in every game so far this season. Southampton, meanwhile, sit safely in mid-table with 40 points from 31 games.

Pep Guardiola's, 48, team are not going to win the EPL this season but he wants them to finish as high as possible. We didn't show today a good Southampton with good quality on the pitch.

  • Julie Sanders