Manchester City regained their position at the top of the Premier League with a 5-1 crushing of Southampton at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.
The Citizens blew away their opponents in a blistering opening 20 minutes. Wesley Hoedt was the unfortunate party to open the scoring in the sixth minute as he put through his own net. Sergio Aguero then punished the Saints for more slack defending as he tapped home only minutes later. David Silva continued their great start with a powerful effort from just inside of the box.
Southampton were given a fleeting lifeline as Danny Ings converted from the penalty spot after he was fouled by Ederson. However, Raheem Sterling snatched that away with a cool finish at the second attempt on the stroke of half-time. He got another midway through the second-half, with Leroy Sane polishing off the scoring late on to round off a fantastic afternoon.
Cruising within 15 minutes
It only took a few minutes for Pep Guardiola’s men to claim the lead. David Silva fed Leroy Sane down the left flank as he sprinted behind the Southampton defence. The German pulled the ball back, only for Hoedt to stick a leg out and fire the ball into the roof of his own net.
They doubled the advantage only minutes later through Aguero. Raheem Sterling did excellently to dribble into the heart of the Southampton defence and cross the ball only yards from goal. The Argentine striker was unmarked to tap home his 150th Premier League goal.
Sterling could well have had his own as he raced through once again only to be denied by a great stop from Southampton goalkeeper Alex McCarthy.
David Silva bags the third
He could do nothing about the next effort though as David Silva extended the lead even further and made sure the hosts cruised away. Sterling looped in a cross towards Sane, with the ball falling at the feet of the Spaniard. With expert precision, he smashed the ball high into the net.
Southampton did eventually get on the scoresheet through Ings. The on-loan Liverpool striker managed to get past John Stones before being taken down in the area by Ederson. Ings himself stepped up and coolly rolled the ball home.
Sterling shuts the door on Southampton
Just as the Saints were starting to get a foothold in the game, any hopes of a comeback were dashed by Sterling. Aguero did well to outmuscle Cedric Soares at the byline and cross the ball. It made it’s way to the England international and at the second attempt, he slid it under McCarthy to restore the three-goal advantage.
Guardiola’s troops did not begin the second-half with as much panache as the first and the best opportunity early on came the way of the Saints. Ings connected from a corner but Ederson got down well.
City’s first real chance after the break came from Sane as he rattled the post with a brilliant effort.
City wrap up emphatic victory
The hosts did eventually get their fifth and it was Sterling on the scoresheet again. Following fantastic play in midfield, Aguero once again played the winger through and he buried the ball into the bottom corner.
Sane wrapped up the scoring in the last minute of time as he picked his spot from the edge of the area and found the net, albeit it via a touch from McCarthy.
What a stunningly brilliant performance from City. They played some absolutely brilliant football at times and Southampton really had no answer. The hosts attack really was on form today, which showed in the opening 20 minutes of the game. Guardiola’s troops can now look forward to their clash with Shakhtar Donetsk in midweek.
Elsewhere, Mark Hughes will be bitterly disappointed with his team’s performance. At times, the Saints looked lost and really could not cope with their hosts. They did create a few chances but that will give them no solace considering the scoreline. They now sit 16th with one win ahead of next weekend’s clash with Watford.
Manchester City: Ederson (7); Mendy (7), Stones (7) (Kompany (6), 68′), Laporte (7), Walker (8); Fernandinho (7) (Delph (N/A), 79′), D. Silva (8) (Foden (6), 72′), B. Silva (7); Sane (7), Sterling (8), Aguero (8).
Southampton: McCarthy (6); Bertrand (5), Hoedt (4), Stephens (5), Cedric (5); Lemina (6), Hojbjerg (6), Ward-Prowse (5) (Elyounoussi (5), 73′); Redmond (5) (Obafemi (5), 73′), Ings (7) (Armstrong (N/A), 82′), Long (5).
Goals: Hoedt OG (6′), Aguero (12′), D. Silva (18′), Ings PEN (30′), Sterling (45+2′, 67′), Sane (90+1′)
Referee: Lee Mason
Yellow Cards: Ward-Prowse (10′), Aguero (38′)
Red Cards: N/A
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