Pep Guardiola’s side were unable to match Liverpool’s seven goal haul at Selhurst Park but Raheem Sterling first half strike proved enough to secure a key three points.
Neither side created much in a frantic opening but City’s first real attack handed Sterling the perfect chance to blast home.
Bernardo Silva’s pounced on a loose ball in midfield, he fed in Kevin De Bruyne, and the Belgian drilled cross was emphatically tucked home by Sterling.
But the Saints refused to be knocked by that setback as Danny Ings came within inches of finding an equaliser.
Theo Walcott’s pace took him away from two challenges and hang a cross into the box with Ings nodding agonisingly wide.
But the hosts intensity inevitably dropped off after the break, with Ings forced off through injury, and Ferran Torres fizzing an effort just wide.
However with just a single goal in it heading in to the final 15 minutes it was still open season on the south coast.
City defender John Stones produced an outrageous block to deny Che Adams before Alex McCarthy produced a world class stop from Ilkay Gundogan and Riyad Mahrez blazed over in added time.
Full Time at the St. Mary’s Stadium it’s Southampton Manchester City