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Published: 18:00 | 1/5/16

Mane treble downs sluggish City

Super Saints cruise past much-changed opponents

Sadio Mane grabbed a hat-trick as Southampton hammered Manchester City 4-2 at St. Mary's.

The exciting attacker was clinical and exciting in equal measures as Manuel Pellegrini's much-changed side struggled to cope with the intensity of their opponents' attack.

While Mane was a fully deserved winner of the Man of the Match award, he was pushed close by City's Kelechi Iheanacho who outlined his outstanding potential with a pair of quality finishes.

In truth, the Nigerian was possibly the only City player who could be pleased with his display, as their collective lack of application at times was embarrassing.

With Pellegrini shuffling his pack ahead of the return leg of the Champions League semi-final against Real Madrid at the Bernabeau, the likes of Samir Nasri, Wilfried Bony, Eliaquim Mangala and Fabian Delph were given a chance to stake their claim for selection for the crunch match but, for the most part, they failed their audition.

Shane Long's finish at the near post from the outstanding Dusan Tadic put Ronald Koeman ahead on 25 minutes and Mane grabbed his first just three minutes later from 10 yards.

Iheanacho gave the visitors hope a minute before the break with a clinical header but Mane got his second of the game when finishing from close range after Jose Fonte's header was diverted onto the crossbar by Joe Hart.

Mane completed his hat-trick on 68 minutes when he collected Tadic's pass before coolly slotting past Hart.

Iheanacho got his 13th of the season with a delightful curled finish which gave Fraser Forster no chance.

Long, Tadic and Mane all caught the eye with superb performances and the result moves Southampton up to seventh place, just two points behind West Ham albeit having played a game more.

City meanwhile are just four points ahead of neighbours United in the battle for the final Champions League qualifying place, although they have played a game more, with West Ham a point further back.

The result and the performance were a blow ahead of the return leg in Madrid with several players also having given Pellegrini and incoming manager Pep Guardiola no reason to believe they will play a big role in the club's future.

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