Manchester City strengthened their hopes of a top-four Premier League finish as a slick second-half display saw off a subdued Southampton.
Injury-hit skipper Vincent Kompany headed David Silva’s left-wing corner past keeper Fraser Forster’s weak save for his first goal in 20 months.
Leroy Sane drilled in Kevin de Bruyne’s pass after a quick counter, with Sergio Aguero’s far-post volley sealing it.
Pep Guardiola’s side are third, seven points clear of fifth-placed Everton.
Mid-table Saints failed to create many chances against a City side well marshalled by Vincent Kompany, with Dusan Tadic shooting over before the break.
Claude Puel’s side, who were attempting to win three successive league games for the first time under the Frenchman, remain in ninth place.
How would City’s season have panned out had they had a fully fit Kompany playing regularly?
Many Blues fans would suggest their team would be much closer to leaders Chelsea – and, on the evidence of his performance against Southampton, it is hard to disagree.
City’s talismanic captain has made just eight appearances in another campaign limited by niggling injuries, but returned at St Mary’s with an imperious display.
While Kompany will grab the headlines for his goal, his work at the other end of the pitch – leadership, organisation and composure – is what the Blues have been lacking at times this season.
City’s defensive resilience meant keeper Claudio Bravo – trusted again by Guardiola – barely had to make a save.
And it laid the platform for the visitors to cut Saints apart once Kompany, who marked his goal with an exuberant celebration, had made the breakthrough.
“I scored in front of the away fans and for me it was a great feeling,” the Belgian said.
“I feel like I want to give so much but I am restrained at times. I keep positive and keep going no matter what.”
In other matches, Crystal Palace played out a 2-2 with Leicester; Everton overpowered Burnley 3-1, the same result Stoke recorded against Hull
Elsewhere, Sunderland forced West Ham to a 2-2 draw as Watford ran away with a lone goal victory against Swansea.
Liverpool will seek to consolidate their position on the top-four when they confront West Brom, while Chelsea and Manchester United fight for supremacy as Chelsea play to hold onto the top spot.
Read more: BBC