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City continued their excellent form in the Premier League 2 with a comprehensive 3-0 win over third-placed Southampton.
Two strikes from Paolo Fernandes either side of half-time and a Florin Gardos own goal gave City the numerical advantage that their superior play on the evening deserved.
City kept their opponents at arms' length throughout the first half, forcing the Saints to keep moving through their constant recycling of possession.
This pressure proved too much for Southampton with 10 minutes to go until half-time as Fernandes found a space between two central defenders, cut in from the left and fired the ball across the goalkeeper into the opposite corner.
The 18-year-old doubled City's lead just a few minutes into the second half with a powerful left-footed strike, something that has become familiar to regular watchers of Simon Davies' side.
The game was out of the Saints' reach just moments later as substitute Luke Bolton drilled a cross into the box that was deflected in by Southampton defender Florin Gardos.
Fernandes came close to his hat-trick with 20 minutes to go as he weaved through the Southampton defence before being brought down for a genuine penalty shout.
It wasn't given and the Spaniard was replaced by Will Patching soon after as City saw out their fifth victory of the Premier League 2 campaign.
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City leapfrog tonight's opponents and have 17 points from eight matches in the Premier League 2.
City face Liverpool at the Academy Stadium on Friday 28 October before welcoming Barcelona on the 1 November. Visit the ticket office for information on how you can support our future.
After a long period of City possession that was designed to drag Southampton out of position, a gap appeared in the Saints defence.
Never one to pass up such an opportunity, Paolo Fernandes darted into the opening and gave City the lead.
Paolo Fernandes - The Spaniard could perhaps have laid a claim to this award in every performance so far this season.
He was at his destructive best again on Monday evening with two goals and a commanding performance that highlighted his credentials as a star of the future.
Captain Billy O'Brien remained in goal.
Confused about the format and rules of Premier League 2? Here's a handy guide to explain all the competitions our youngsters will be taking part in this season.
Having gone four matches unbeaten in the domestic competition, including an excellent victory at Tottenham Hotspur, City have put themselves in a promising position in the Premier League 2.
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