City bounced back from Sunday’s derby defeat in style with a thrilling 5-2 victory over Southampton.
Saints came to play football and played their part in a match that was packed with goals, incidents and talking points.
Southampton started brightly, restricting City’s possession with a high press, closing down and doubling up whenever possible.
But if the intention was emulating Manchester United’s effective tactics from Sunday, the hard work was undone in City’s first attack on 14 minutes.
Ruben Dias spotted Oleks Zinchenko’s run down the left and his long ball was controlled by the Ukrainian and his low cross into the box found Phil Foden whose low shot was saved by Alex McCarthy and Kevin De Bruyne followed up with a shot that went in off the underside of the bar.
It was City’s first coherent move of the game and had taken 14 minutes, but nobody was complaining.
On the half-hour Saints keeper McCarthy appeared to bring down Foden as the youngster profited from his error but the referee wasn’t as generous this time and VAR backed him up.
Foden’s honesty may have cost him, while Vestergaard had gone down as though poleaxed – one penalty give, one not. Baffling.
Saints were playing well and Ward-Prowse again went close with a viciously dipping long range shot that Ederson did well to push over.
But if the City players felt they’d been hard done to with the penalty decisions, justice was done on 40 minutes with a Riyad Mahrez special as Che Adams played a poor pass across the pitch that Mahrez intercepted, moved to the edge of the box, dropped a shoulder, and then curled a low shot into the bottom left corner from 18 yards.
And in first-half added time, it got even better with Mahrez again wreaking havoc as he drifted into the box, twisting this way and that before stroking a low drive against the foot of the post and Ilkay Gundogan fired home the rebound to make it 3-1.
Within the first 15 minutes of the second period there had been three more goals in this pulsating match.
First Mahrez again tormented the Saints’ defence before curling a low shot home from 15 yards on 55 minutes.
Then some untidy defending allowed Che Adams to pull one back a minute later, before some excellent play by Foden allowed De Bruyne to collect the ball and ghost into the box to drill a low shot past McCarthy.
There were more chances at either end in the half-hour that remained, with bot sides unlucky not to add at least a couple of goals more to their tally.
It was that kind of evening!