Last-gasp Sterling strike extends Man City's winning run

Raheem Sterling celebrates his goal against Southampton

Raheem Sterling’s 96th-minute winner sank Southampton to give Manchester City a club-record 12th-successive Premier League victory which restores their eight-point lead at the top of the table.

Sterling had scored decisive late goals in City’s previous two wins, over Feyenoord and Huddersfield, but his third strike of the week was his most dramatic of the lot, and sparked wild celebrations from City boss Pep Guardiola and his bench.

City had taken the lead at the start of the second half when Saints defender Virgil van Dijk got the final touch on Kevin de Bruyne’s free-kick.

But it appeared Saints got their reward for a determined display when Romeu swept home Sofiane Boufal’s pull-back with 15 minutes remaining.

Sterling, who has now scored 13 goals this season, had other ideas.

He had already seen a goal disallowed for a foul on Saints keeper Fraser Forster moments earlier, but was not to be denied – cutting in from the left, exchanging passes with De Bruyne and bending the ball past Fraser Forster.

Guardiola’s side had already made the most successful start in Premier League history, with 37 points from their first 13 games.

This win saw them become the first side to reach 40 points from 14 games, and maintains the advantage of eight points over Manchester United that they had at the start of the week.

No width out left, but City find a way

Earlier this month, Guardiola said he could not play Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus together without the width of Benjamin Mendy on the left.

With Mendy a long-term absentee and Sane not fit enough to make the squad, Guardiola asked Jesus to fill in on the left against Saints, with Aguero in the middle.

David Silva, who so often sets the tempo for City’s attacks, began the game on the bench and it all left City looking less than fluid going forward.

They struggled to break down a Southampton side that put 11 men behind the ball and although they still created enough chances to keep Forster busy, many of their efforts were from distance and easily saved.

Even after Van Dijk had sliced into his own net, City rarely looked like making the game safe, with misplaced passes bringing groans of frustration from their fans.

Forster’s best save of the night saw him deny Jesus after Aguero sent him running clear but, for the third time in a week, City were grateful to Sterling for turning an unconvincing performance into a victory.

Man of the match

Raheem Sterling – City’s hero again, after being frustrated for much of the evening. His resolve and quality secured the points, as his remarkable run of form continued.

What’s next?

Manchester City play West Ham at home on Sunday (16:00 GMT KO), the first of nine games for Guardiola’s side in December.

Bournemouth host south-coast rivals Southampton earlier the same day (13:30 GMT).

More to follow.

Line-ups

Man City

  • 31Ederson
  • 2Walker
  • 4KompanyBooked at 36mins
  • 30Otamendi
  • 18Delph
  • 17De Bruyne
  • 25Fernandinho
  • 8GündoganSubstituted forBernardo Silvaat 80′minutes
  • 7Sterling
  • 10Agüero
  • 33JesusSubstituted forSilvaat 74′minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Bravo
  • 3Danilo
  • 15Mangala
  • 20Bernardo Silva
  • 21Silva
  • 35Zinchenko
  • 55Diaz

Southampton

  • 44Forster
  • 2SoaresSubstituted forMcQueenat 87′minutes
  • 3Yoshida
  • 17van Dijk
  • 6Hoedt
  • 21Bertrand
  • 23HøjbjergSubstituted forBoufalat 64′minutes
  • 14Romeu
  • 18Lemina
  • 22Redmond
  • 7LongBooked at 66minsSubstituted forAustinat 83′minutes

Substitutes

  • 8Davis
  • 10Austin
  • 11Tadic
  • 13McCarthy
  • 19Boufal
  • 20Gabbiadini
  • 38McQueen
Referee:
Paul Tierney
Attendance:
53,407

Match Stats

Home TeamMan CityAway TeamSouthampton
Possession
Home74%
Away26%
Shots
Home26
Away6
Shots on Target
Home12
Away2
Corners
Home6
Away5
Fouls
Home12
Away11

Live Text

Match ends, Manchester City 2, Southampton 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Manchester City 2, Southampton 1.

Goal!

Goal! Manchester City 2, Southampton 1. Raheem Sterling (Manchester City) right footed shot from outside the box to the top right corner. Assisted by Kevin De Bruyne.

Foul by Fernandinho (Manchester City).

Fraser Forster (Southampton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt blocked. Sergio Agüero (Manchester City) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Nicolás Otamendi.

Substitution

Substitution, Southampton. Sam McQueen replaces Cédric Soares because of an injury.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Cédric Soares (Southampton) because of an injury.

Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Cédric Soares.

Substitution

Substitution, Southampton. Charlie Austin replaces Shane Long.

Offside, Southampton. Sofiane Boufal tries a through ball, but Cédric Soares is caught offside.

Foul by Fernandinho (Manchester City).

Shane Long (Southampton) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt missed. Kyle Walker (Manchester City) right footed shot from outside the box is too high following a corner.

Substitution

Substitution, Manchester City. Bernardo Silva replaces Ilkay Gündogan.

Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Sofiane Boufal.

Fabian Delph (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Sofiane Boufal (Southampton).

Goal!

Goal! Manchester City 1, Southampton 1. Oriol Romeu (Southampton) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the top right corner. Assisted by Sofiane Boufal.

Substitution

Substitution, Manchester City. David Silva replaces Gabriel Jesus.

Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Ryan Bertrand.

Attempt blocked. Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Fernandinho.

Attempt missed. Virgil van Dijk (Southampton) header from very close range is just a bit too high. Assisted by Nathan Redmond with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Southampton. Conceded by Vincent Kompany.

Attempt blocked. Wesley Hoedt (Southampton) left footed shot from a difficult angle on the left is blocked. Assisted by Nathan Redmond.

Foul by Fernandinho (Manchester City).

Shane Long (Southampton) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt saved. Fernandinho (Manchester City) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Raheem Sterling.

Foul by Sergio Agüero (Manchester City).

Virgil van Dijk (Southampton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Booking

Shane Long (Southampton) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Nicolás Otamendi (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Shane Long (Southampton).

Substitution

Substitution, Southampton. Sofiane Boufal replaces Pierre-Emile Højbjerg.

Attempt missed. Sergio Agüero (Manchester City) header from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Kevin De Bruyne with a cross following a set piece situation.

Raheem Sterling (Manchester City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Ryan Bertrand (Southampton).

Attempt blocked. Sergio Agüero (Manchester City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Attempt blocked. Ilkay Gündogan (Manchester City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Kevin De Bruyne.

goal

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