A late Gabriel Jesus strike against Southampton on Sunday afternoon ensured Manchester City became the first Premier League team ever to break the 100-point barrier.
The Brazilian youngster struck a sumptuous chip in the fourth minute of stoppage time to see the recently-crowned champiobns claim another victory in their wondrous, record-breaking campaign.
Southampton start tremendously
Despite the victory for Pep Guardiola’s match, it was the hosts who started the better at Saint Mary’s. First, defender Jack Stephens tested Claudio Bravo with an effort before Wesley Hoedt connected solidly from a corner and struck the crossbar.
It took until mid-way through the first period for City to create their first opportunity. Danilo tried his luck from distance but the ball harmlessly bobbled wide.
Hoedt then went close yet again as he was found by Dusan Tadic but could only scuff his shot wide of the upright.
Level pegging at the break
Saints were in a confident mood as the results from the Premier League started to go their way. Oriel Romeu was urged to shoot from distance, with the ball whistling just over the crossbar.
Despite their chances, Mark Hughes’ men were not able to find the opener that they so craved and went into the break level with the champions.
City dominate second-half
Manchester City were much-improved after the interval. Kevin De Bruyne produced a teasing low cross just minutes after the restart but it evaded any sort of touch from a City body.
The chances continued to flow however. The ball fell kindly to Raheem Sterling in the box but his low drive was deflected onto the post. John Stones then went close from the resultant corner but Alex McCarthy did excellently to paw the ball away.
The Saints did carve out chances to take the lead and it was James Ward-Prowse who went the closest but his header was well-gathered by Bravo in the Citizens’ goal.
Saints test Pep’s men but it is Jesus to the rescue
With the game edging to a close, both teams pushed keenly for what would surely have turned out to be a winning goal. Tadic again provided yet more problems for the City defence as he was played through by Ward-Prowse. He jinked and turned, and looked destined to score but Fernandinho got back well on the line to clear the Serbian’s effort.
The goal did eventually come however and it was a stunning strike worthy of winning any game. De Bruyne picked out Jesus in the box with a wonderful long pass. The Brazilian kept his composure and deftly lifted the ball over the advancing McCarthy and into the net to seal maximum points for the champions.
What a stunning goal to bring to a close a scarcely-believable season for Guardiola and his men. The Citizens were not at their slick best but they did enough to edge past their hosts and claim their 32nd victory of the campaign.
Southampton defended stoutly throughout the game and they were close to becoming one of the only teams this season to halt the Citizens. In a similar theme to the majority of the season however, they were not able to hold on. They will look forward to with more optimism on a better campaign next season after remaining in the Premier League.
Elsewhere, Manchester City will be confident of continuing their trail of glory under Guardiola in 2018/19.
Southampton: McCarthy (6); Soares (6), Stephens (6), Yoshida (6), Hoedt (7), Bertrand (6); Tadic (7), Hojbjerg (5), Romeu (6), Redmond (6); Austin (6).
Manchester City: Bravo (6); Danilo (7), Stones (6), Laporte (6), Delph (7); De Bruyne (8), Fernandinho (7), Gundogan (6); Sterling (6), B. Silva (5), Sane (6).
Goals: Jesus (90+4′)
Referee: Andre Marriner
Yellow Cards: Ward-Prowse (71′), Soares (90+1′), Hojbjerg (90+1′), Jesus (90+4′)
Red Cards: N/A
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