City sink Saints to maintain title charge
Controversy erupts over Samir Nasri's goal in the 4-1 win, with Southampton manager furious at failure by linesman to pick up offside play
Agence France-Presse in London
Manchester City kept up the pressure on Premier League leaders Liverpool with a 4-1 win at home to Southampton on Saturday.
Juan Mata, meanwhile, inspired Manchester United to a 4-0 victory at Newcastle, securing a 10th away win in the Premier League that belies the champions' poor home form.
The 25-year-old Spaniard scored twice, including directly from a free kick, to take his tally to three goals in his last two games.
Showing that United can cope without injured striker Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie, Javier Hernandez and substitute Adnan Januzaj added further goals in the second half.
Crystal Palace followed up last weekend's defeat of title-chasing Chelsea with a 3-0 win at Cardiff that compounded the struggling Welsh club's relegation woes. Huge Rodallega boosted Fulham's hopes of staving off relegation by scoring late to secure a 2-1 win at Aston Villa.
Hull beat Swansea 1-0 and Norwich lost 1-0 to West Brom.
The opening four goals at Eastlands all came in the first half with City's Yaya Toure and Saints' Rickie Lambert both scoring from the penalty spot before Samir Nasri and Edin Dzeko scored in stoppage time to make it 3-1 to Manuel Pellegrini's men.
Controversy surrounded Nasri's goal that made it 2-1, with David Silva, who played in the French midfielder, in an offside position when he received the ball only for referee Chris Foy and his linesmen to let play continue.
City substitute Stevan Jovetic completed the scoring.
"I haven't seen it [City's second goal] yet, but it is the referee who decides," City manager Pellegrini told Sky Sports.
"I don't think the difference between the two sides was just one goal. Southampton played very well in the first half with lots of possession. We didn't play well in the first half, but we scored three goals and had two clear chances to score. I don't remember [City goalkeeper] Joe Hart making an important save."
Defeat was made worse for Southampton by a first-half injury suffered by Jay Rodriguez, one of their England strikers, that placed a huge question mark against his chances of making Roy Hodgson's squad for this June's World Cup finals in Brazil.
"I don't know how Jay Rodriguez is. It's not looking good, but we'll be assessing it," said Saints boss Mauricio Pochettino, who was furious at the decision to let Nasri's goal stand. "This action from the linesman for the second goal killed the game. The linesman killed the game."