Manchester City 6-1 Southampton as it happened: Sensational City hit six to return to the top of the table
(Photo: OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images)

Manchester City 6-1 Southampton as it happened: Sensational City hit six to return to the top of the table

Manchester City hit six past Southampton to return to the top of the Premier League, here's the action as it happened. 

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Josh Slinger
I've been Josh Slinger and I hope you've enjoyed my coverage of this matchup. Be sure to check back with VAVEL for further coverage of every Premier League encounter. 
City now face another two home games in the next week, hosting Shakhtar Donetsk on Wednesday before welcoming the visit of Manchester United next Sunday. Southampton will treck back down the country tonight, looking ahead to hopefully putting things right vs Watford next Saturday. 
The Man of the Match award could've gone to a number of players, although Sterling seemed the best of a number of terrific players in Blue today, and deservedly received the award.
Southampton will face few tasks anywhere near as difficult as they did today, and whilst conceding six is bad enough, they'll be glad it wasn't more, as it could've been today. 
City return to the top of the league, leading Liverpool by two points following their draw at the Emirates yesterday, and few watching today will argue that they deserve to be there. Guardiola's men simply brilliant today. 
Full-time: Manchester City 6-1 Southampton.
93' The Champions look for a seventh as this time Sterling looks to add to the tally from range, a simple save for McCarthy. 
91' City hit Southampton on the counter, Sterling cuts in from the left and picks out Sane, who effortlessly fires into the bottom left corner of the net - way too easy for the Blues. 
Goal! City hit a sixth! 6-1
90' There will be three added minutes.
89' Sterling is announced as City Man of the Match on the speakers, few will argue with that choice. 
89' A chance for Foden to get in on the act as he is picked out by Sterling, although off balance is only able to fire straight at the keeper. 
87' Following discussion with Aguero over who will take the free-kick, Sane steps up and rockets the ball over the bar. 
86' Foden drives at the heart of the Saints backline, keeping the ball close under control before being brought down by Hoedt right on the edge of the box. Dangerous place to give away a free-kick.
82' A great chance for Long as the ball is played into him down the right wing, however, on the turn, he fires wide into the side netting. 
82' The visitors now make their final change, goalscorer Ings is replaced by Armstrong. 
80' Lemina picks up a knock following a challenge from Aguero, although following treatment is able to continue. 
78' A final change for City - Fernandinho is replaced by Delph. 
76' Foden turns and picks out Aguero, who strikes over the bar with his left boot. 
73' A double change for Southampton as Ward-Prowse and Redmond are replaced by Obafemi and Elyounoussi
72' A second change for City as they prepare for Wednesday night in the Champions League, this time Foden replaces David Silva.
70' A rare bit of possession for Long, who cuts in from the right and fires with his left boot, deflected wide. 
68' A first change of the game as Stones is replaced by Kompany. 
67' Fernandinho plays a ball in between the Southampton line between defence and midfield towards Aguero, who turns and picks out the overlapping Sterling before the Englishman fires low past McCarthy.
Goal! City make it five! 5-1
66' The game seems to have slipped into a slower pace now, with City allowing the away side more time in possession - most likely letting a foot off the gas due to upcoming fixtures. 
62' Terrific effort from Sane, Aguero plays the ball out to the German on the right flank, who then out of cuts inside and bends one onto the far post - very close to what could've been one of the goals of the season.
57' End to end stuff, this time City get a corner, opt to work it into the box before Stones' header floats over the bar. 
55' Another chance for the away side to pull one back. Ward-Prowse whips a corner into the near post, which is flicked on brilliantly by Ings before being expertly saved by Ederson.
53' A fantastic reverse pass by Bernardo picks out the run of Sterling, although Southampton recover and clear the ball out for a corner.
51' Southampton the better side early in this half, this time Redmond gets down the left-flank, looking to cause problems for City, however, his cross is headed clear. 
49' A long-range effort from Ward-Prowse is parried by Ederson towards  Ings, who fires it back at Ederson, who saves again. 
46' We're underway in the second-half. 
Expect Guardiola to make changes and rest players in the second 45, given there's a big week ahead for City as they face Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League on Wednesday, before the Manchester derby next Sunday. 
Aguero and Sterling have been City's standout players thus far, constantly causing problems for the Saints backline, and I doubt they're done yet. 
Woeful half for Hughes' men, being picked apart far too frequently - simply outclassed by Guardiola's men.
Half-time: Manchester City 4-1 Southampton
47' Poor from Cedric as he is muscled off the ball by Aguero whilst trying to see it out for a goal-kick, the Argentine turns and picks out Sterling who slots home just before half-time. 
Goal! its four for City! 4-1
45' There will be three additional minutes. 
42' Sterling appeals for a penalty as he is brought down by Lemina just inside the box, nothing given. 
39' Yellow card for Aguero, as like Ward-Prowse earlier in the game, is booked for kicking the ball away.
36' Crazy passage of play, the linkup between Sane, Sterling and Aguero is sensational. The three City attackers worked the ball around the box, constantly playing one-twos before Southampton finally manage to get hold of the ball and smash it clear. 
30' Ings slots the ball into the bottom right corner, as Ederson dives the wrong way. Still hope for the Saints?
Goal! Southampton pull one back! 3-1!
29' Bertrand plays a brilliant ball in behind before Ederson brings down Ings. Clear penalty.
Penalty to Southampton!
28' Southampton finally starting to get a foot on the ball, spreading it about in front of an organised City defence. 
23' Another Ward-Prowse free-kick comes in from deep, this time working it's away to Lemina who fires wide. 
21' A rare attack for Southampton, as Ward-Prowse plays a free-kick into the City box from deep, although it's easily headed away by the Blues. 
18' Terrible defending from the away side, as the unmarked Sterling picks the ball up in the box, picks out Sane who heads it down to David Silva who finishes brilliantly, slamming the ball into the roof of the net. Hughes looks stunned, game over already.
GOAL! 3-0 City!
17' It should be three! The ball is played through to Aguero, although the Argentine is unable to convert past an advancing McCarthy, who saves with his right boot.
15' Despite the two-goal lead, the home side are still completely dominant in possession. Can't remember Southampton getting a kick in the City half yet. 
12' Dominant City get another, Sterling driving down the right, dragging the away sides backline across before driving the ball low to Aguero who has a tap-in from two yards. Goal 150 in City blue for Aguero!
GOAL! City double their lead! 2-0
10' Ward-Prowse goes into the book after he fouls David Silva and kicks the ball away, preventing the home side from working it quickly.
6' City's patient possession pays off as David Silva picks out Sane who's low driven cross meets Hoedt who is only able to deflect the ball into his own net. Unfortunate start on what could be a long afternoon for the Saints.
GOAL! City take the lead! 1-0
3' City enjoying the possession early on, giving everyone a touch on the ball. Cries of 'Come on City' from the Etihad crowd.
1' The referee blows his whistle and we're underway!
In this fixture last year, Guardiola praised Redmond for his performance out wide for the Saints, he will be looking to cause City more damage today as Southampton lineup in a 4-3-3.
City may be struck with injury problems, however, there is no doubting that they are favourites for this one, and will fancy their chances of returning back to the top of the league.
Southampton starting XI: McCarthy; Soares, Stephens, Hoedt, Bertrand; Lemina, Hojbjerg, Ward-Prowse; Ings, Long, Redmond
Manchester City starting XI: Ederson; Walker, Stones, Laporte, Mendy; Fernandinho, Silva (C), Sane, Sterling, Bernardo; Aguero
Team lineups are out!
Team news will be provided here from around 14:00 GMT.
Whilst many will feel this game is a ​foregone conclusion, anyone who knows the Premier League knows that anything could happen in this one, and whilst City may be tempted to have one eye on the UEFA Champions League in the week, they’ll have to fully focus on this encounter in order to break down a resilient Southampton defence.
On both occasions that these two sides met last season, City won the game in stoppage time, including a dramatic last-gasp Gabriel Jesus strike to crown City as Centurions on the last game of the season. 
Hughes knows that this is one of the toughest tasks his side will face all season, as they travel to the champions who again sit top of the league before a ball is kicked this weekend, and is unlikely to be too bothered about setting an unwanted record if his side can get anything at all from the game. 
Should the Saints fail to score in this one, it will set an unwanted club record of six games without a goal. Hughes has commented on this, "We have been a little bit harder on them in training with the chances that they have," started the Welshman, "It's to give them an understanding that if they are putting chances away in training, then it gives them the platform to do that in a match situation. If they get a chance, we've got to take it."
Mark Hughes has no fresh injury concerns ahead of this one, with Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg back following injury.
The City boss has commented on the injury of de Bruyne, "For the fact he was out two-and-a-half months and again, we're sad for him," Guardiola said. "Nobody likes to be injured.”
Guardiola will also be without Danilo, Claudio Bravo and Nicolas Otamendi through injury, although Ilkay Gundogan could return in this one. 
The home side go into this one off the back of a Carabao Cup victory over Fulham in midweek, however, will now be missing star man Kevin de Bruyne after he picked up another injury during the game. 

 

Southampton, on the other hand, are six games without a win in the Premier League, although have also gone two games without conceding a goal.
Pep Guardiola’s men go into this one off the back of four consecutive wins, and five games without conceding - one of the in-form sides in Europe, and will be strong favourites ahead of this contest.
Hello and welcome to VAVEL UK’s live score commentary for Manchester City vs Southampton, I’m Josh Slinger and I’ll be providing updates throughout.
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