Ronald Koeman's side ultimately lost 3-1 to Manuel Pellegrini's men but Benali was proud of Long's efforts while leading the line during a difficult encounter.
And he took to social media to heap praise on the Southampton striker after the match, even though the forward's contribution couldn't help the South Coast club avoid defeat:
Despite Long's efforts, Southampton drop to ninth in the Premier League and have now suffered back-to-back defeats.
It isn't ideal preparation for a Capital One Cup quarter-final against Liverpool, although it was never going to be easy traveling to the Etihad Stadium to face Manchester City.
The fact the Saints were beaten at home by Stoke City last weekend will still no doubt disappoint and victory in that game would have softened the almost inevitable blow of losing to City.
Still, even if Southampton don't achieve the desired result against Liverpool in the cup, Aston Villa visit St Mary's next week - and we all know what happened in the same fixture last season.