Manchester City defeated Southampton 2-1 Wednesday night at the Etihad Stadium, as a Raheem Sterling 95th minute winner gave the hosts all three points and kept them eight points ahead of the pack at the league summit of the table.
First half back and forth
Manchester City and the visiting Saints played an extremely sloppy first 15 minutes of the first half. City where uncharacteristically missing easy passes and giving up possession in the middle of the park.
The first chance at goal came from the visitors, who were only denied an opening goal in the 15th minute due to the woodwork.
Wesley Hoedt’s header off the bar not only was a missed opportunity for Southampton, but it set City on the counter attack. The Citizens had two good shots at goal saved by Fraser Forster, one by Raheem Sterling on the left, and the ensuing rebound by Gabriel Jesus on the right side of the box.
Nicolas Otamendi misses a wide open headed chance off a corner in the 20th minute, just moments after Fernandinho’s shot forced a good saved by Forster.
Southampton missed a sitter of their own with 11 minutes left in the half. Virgil Van Dijk’s headed the ball off a corner down to the foot of Maya Yoshida, but the Saints’ captain blasted what should have been an easy tap in over the bar.
Expected then unexpected
City wasted no time breaking the match open at the beginning of the second half, as the Citizens scored off an own goal deflation from a Kevin De Bruyne free kick. While the goal originally looked like one that would belong to Nicolas Otamendi, it was ruled an own goal by the match officials.
The hosts completely dominated the first 25 minutes of the second half, with any chances off another goal in the match belonging to City. Fraser Forster had to deny Gabriel Jesus on a two one one with Sergio Aguero, as well as having to save a De Bruyne shot from outside the box by De Bruyne just seconds later.
Southampton equalised out of thin air in the 75th minute when substitute Sofiane Boufal placed a perfect pass in the box to Oriol Romeu, who smashed home the equaliser past Ederson.
Sterling stars... again!
Raheem Sterling would have the last laugh though, as he sent the Etihad Stadium into pandemonium as the English midfielder placed home a 95th minute winner past a hopeless and diving Fraser Forster to give City all three points.
The celebrations by City's players and management where just of pure joy and emotion, as Pep Guardiola and his staff ran onto the field in the style of Jurgen Klopp or Antonio Conte.