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Saints put five past Premier League's best defence
2:56pm Tuesday 26th February 2013 in Sport
Goalkeeper Joe Hart has saluted the team-mates who have helped him make Manchester City's defence the best in the league so far this season.
City are currently second in the Barclays Premier League table, trailing leaders Manchester United by 12 points, but no-one in the division can better them in terms of the number of goals they have let in.
Roberto Mancini's side have conceded just 24 times in their 27 top-flight fixtures to date in 2012-13, six goals fewer than the next-best total.
Saints are the only side to have scored five goals against the defending champions, though.
They netted twice in a 3-2 loss on the opening day and beat City 3-1 at St Mary’s earlier this month, with Hart at fault for Steven Davis’ goal.
Liverpool have twice scored twice against City, meaning Hart has only conceded 15 goals in his other 23 top flight outings.
Plenty of credit for that must go to Hart, an ever-present in the league who saved a Frank Lampard penalty in Sunday's 2-0 win over Chelsea, while the 25-year-old himself has paid tribute to those who play in front of him.
"We are so blessed with quality defenders," England international Hart said of his club-mates.
"People forget Maicon and Micah (Richards) are out injured as well as Vincent Kompany.
"But Matija Nastasic has been a sensation. For his age (19), he is like a rock.
"Kolo (Toure) is Kolo - you know what you are going to get with him because he gives everything he's got.
"There's also Joleon Lescott waiting to come in and that's not even mentioning Zaba (Pablo Zabaleta), (Gael) Clichy or (Aleksandar) Kolarov, so I think we are really blessed when it comes to defenders."
Mancini hopes skipper Kompany will be fit to play in next Monday's league trip to Aston Villa having missed five games due to a calf problem, and has also revealed right-back Maicon faces a month on the sidelines after a knee operation.
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