Southampton, England (SportsNetwork.com) - Southampton stumbled in its first major test of the Premier League season, falling to Manchester City in a 3-0 defeat at St. Mary's on Sunday.
The Saints made a bright start to the campaign, rising to second place through 12 matches. But with the meat of the schedule on the horizon, Southampton dropped its third match of the season to remain on 26 points and fall to third place in the table.
Yaya Toure, Frank Lampard and Gael Clichy produced the goals in City's impressive victory, lifting the club to second place with 27 points.
The Citizens were denied a seemingly stonewall penalty in the ninth minute when Sergio Aguero went to ground under a rash sliding challenge from Jose Fonte at the edge of the box. Referee Mike Jones blew the whistle but shockingly issued a caution to the Argentine for simulation.
Southampton settled into the match and came close to breaking the deadlock in the 21st minute following a scramble in the City penalty area.
Graziano Pelle connected on Morgan Schneiderlin's cross but saw his effort denied by Joe Hart. The England goalkeeper then stopped Steven Davis' shot on the rebound while Dusan Tadic's follow-up was blocked and turned out for a corner.
City's best scoring chance of the opening period came at the half-hour mark when Stevan Jovetic managed to put his shot beyond Fraser Forster in the Southampton net, but Toby Alderweireld was tracking back to clear the shot off the line.
The breakthrough eventually came in just the sixth minute of the second half as Toure collected Aguero's layoff and fired a low shot toward goal that took a deflection on its way past Forster.
The Saints were granted a lifeline in the 74th minute when Eliaquim Mangala received his marching orders after committing a second bookable offense for a foul on Shane Long, but City managed to double its advantage just six minutes later as Lampard took a square pass and hammered a shot past Forster from the top of the box.
Clichy made sure of the win two minutes from time when a counter culminated with the defender taking a square pass from Aguero and placing the ball into the upper corner from close range.
Tottenham claimed a much-needed Premier League win on Sunday, defeating Everton, 2-1, at White Hart Lane to climb to seventh place in the table.
The hosts fell behind following a superb strike from Kevin Mirallas in the 15th minute, but Christian Eriksen managed to level the score six minutes later.
The two sides appeared likely to head into the halftime interval on equal footing, but Roberto Soldado chipped in with a rare goal to put Tottenham in front in the first minute of stoppage time.
It proved to be enough to grant Tottenham the win as the hosts staved off some late pressure from the Toffees to climb to 20 points on the season, three points better than Roberto Martinez's side.