Erling Haaland continued his remarkable run of goals as Manchester City climbed above Arsenal in the Premier League summit after a 4-0 win over Southampton.
City quickly took the upper hand at the Etihad Stadium as Joao Cancelo and Manchester derby hat-trick hero Phil Foden struck in the first half where a lukewarm Southampton offered little.
Riyad Mahrez stretched the advantage after the break before Haaland netted his 15th league goal, the same as Kevin De Bruyne managed when he finished as City’s top scorer in the competition last season.
Pep Guardiola’s side moved two points clear of Arsenal, who face Liverpool on Sunday, after winning their ninth consecutive home league game, scoring at least three goals in each of those matches.
Former City goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu parried a sparkling half-volley from Mahrez, while Haaland hit the left post after a through ball from Foden in a frantic start.
Cancelo broke the deadlock in the 20th minute as he passed James Ward-Prowse before drilling a left-footed shot past Bazunu, who then denied Foden on the half-hour mark.
However, there was no stopping Foden soon after as the England international delicately crushed Bazunu who rushed after De Bruyne’s pass.
Mahrez netted a third goal from Rodri’s cross shortly after half-time, before City were denied a penalty appeal for what they believed was a Mohammed Salisu pull on Haaland.
Southampton couldn’t keep Haaland quiet any longer, his new talisman converting in the bottom left corner in the 65th minute after Cancelo was reduced.
What does it mean? The city dominates as the Saints’ misfortunes continue
A 6-3 humiliation from Manchester United and a 5-0 win in Europe against Copenhagen were supported in dominant fashion by City against Southampton, with Guardiola’s side showing no signs of letting up.
While a more difficult task will follow at Anfield against Liverpool next week, City continue to sweep their opponents at will as they seek a fifth top-flight crown in the last six seasons.
Meanwhile, struggles outside Southampton persist and boss Ralph Hasenhuttl is currently under serious pressure. They are without a clean sheet in their last 19 Premier League away games – both the longest current streak in the league and their worst such streak in the competition.
De Bruyne makes history
De Bruyne has been in incredible form throughout the start of this season and picked up another assist after kicking off Foden – the ninth goal the Belgium international has scored in as many Premier League games this season.
The single through ball for Foden also marked De Bruyne’s 94th Premier League assist for City, overtaking David Silva for the most goals created for the club in the competition.
Haaland is human
Haaland came to life in England with ridiculous ease, scoring 20 goals in 13 games in all competitions and breaking numerous records along the way.
After just nine Premier League games, the striker needs just one more goal to surpass City’s top scorer of last season, De Bruyne, which is frankly astounding.
He missed a few chances here, however, and watched in disbelief when his left post-shaking shot failed to bounce into the post net.
City travel to Copenhagen to contest the Champions League on Tuesday, before the decisive clash at Liverpool arrives next Sunday, when Southampton host West Ham.