Nigeria’s Kelechi Iheanacho continued to enhance his Premier League reputation with two goals for Manchester City away to Southamption, but they were not enough to save his side from a 4-2 defeat.
City had rested about eight of their starters with an eye on Wednesday’s Champions League semifinal second leg away to Real Madrid. So the the Nigerian prodigy started, with superstar Sergio Aguero on the bench.
Iheanacho’s persistence down the left flank set up Raheem Sterling early on, but the England international winger’s shot was saved by Fraser Forster in goal for Southamption. The home side then scored twice in less than four minutes in the 25th and 28 minutes through Shane Long and Sadio Mane.
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Iheanacho got one back for City just before half-time with an opportunistic header after the ball bounced off a Southampton defender.
Senegalese Mane was determined to steal the limelight from the Nigerian, getting his second from a rebound off the crossbar from a corner in the 57th minute and completing his hat-trick on the break in the 68th minute after Iheanacho was dispossessed in Southampton’s half.
But the best goal of the day came from the Nigerian with a left foot curler of top quality 10 minutes after Mane’s hat-trick, but it proved too little too late. Iheanacho now has four goals in his last two Premier League matches and has scored seven times in 24 league appearance in this his debut season.