Premier League
Man City2Southampton1

Manchester City 2-1 Southampton: Kyle Walker wins it late for champions

Kyle Walker
Kyle Walker both scored and assisted in a Premier League game for the first time in his career

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola felt his side's patience and attacking intensity were key in their win over gutsy Southampton that keeps them six points behind leaders Liverpool.

City trailed to an early James Ward-Prowse goal and did not equalise until Sergio Aguero scored with their first shot on target on 70 minutes, with Kyle Walker hitting their late winner.

"Southampton defended with 11 men in the 18-yard box so there were no spaces to attack," Guardiola said afterwards.

"We just had to be patient, putting in crosses and trying to win the second balls, but at the same time we were constantly attacking and were very aggressive in our actions.

"It was difficult after we conceded but our rhythm was high from the first minute and we had incredibly good momentum in the first half.

"In the second half we had maybe 30 or 35 minutes where we were so intense in our actions. It was not easy, but that is why we did it and could make the comeback in the end."

With Liverpool simultaneously staging a similar last-gasp rescue act to overcome Aston Villa, it was a dramatic day at the top of the table that leaves the top two as they were, a week before they meet at Anfield.

The overriding emotion on the final whistle at the Etihad Stadium was still relief at City's triumph, with the focus from the champions on securing three points rather than any potential Liverpool slip-up.

Saints came within minutes of leaving Manchester with a remarkable point, just eight days after shipping nine goals at home to Leicester, before Walker's volley gave the hosts a vital victory.

Southampton had taken an unlikely early lead when Ward-Prowse pounced on an Ederson error and they held out until Aguero hammered home Walker's cross with 20 minutes to go.

City's struggle to turn their possession into clear chances was testament to Southampton's incredible defensive display.

The visitors' resistance was only ended when Angelino's cross was not cleared and Walker buried the loose ball for his first City goal since January.

Saints give defensive masterclass

Most of Southampton's players were down on their haunches to show their dejection at the final whistle, as they were at the end of their previous league game -humiliation at the hands of the Foxes.

But this performance from Ralph Hasenhuttl's side was nothing like their meek surrender at St Mary's, with Saints putting on an impressive defensive show of determination and organisation that almost brought them some reward.

Just as they did in their defeat here in the Carabao Cup four days ago, Saints stayed deep and defended in numbers - but this time they also had a meaningful threat on the break through Nathan Redmond and Danny Ings.

They scored with their first real attack, when Emerson failed to collect Stuart Armstrong's skidding shot and Ward-Prowse was first to react to the loose ball.

From then on it was a defensive masterclass, with Saints staying narrow and packing their penalty area, sending City wide to deliver countless crosses - Aguero's equaliser came from their 46th delivery in open play.

It was only City's relentless pressure that wore them down, but it was exactly the kind of performance Hasenhuttl had asked for in the past few days.

City find a way through in the end

Walker's winner sent City boss Pep Guardiola jumping for joy, after he had spent most of the second half dashing up and down his touchline to quickly retrieve Southampton's clearances from the crowd, and urge his side forward.

Despite dominating possession, City found it difficult to create chances for most of the game - and not just because of the commitment of Southampton's players and their willingness to throw themselves into the path of every shot or cross from the home side.

When City did manage to clear a shot at goal, they were wasteful - with John Stones heading over from Ilkay Gundogan cross in the first half and Aguero doing the same from a Bernardo Silva ball soon after the break.

By then, Gabriel Jesus had joined him in the City attack, but the Brazilian's arrival initially did not make much difference in what had become a frustrating afternoon for the home side.

But on a day where Southampton's players had shown their character and resolve in defence, City did the same in front of goal to finally force their way through.

Liverpool's eventual win over Villa means City will have to wait at least another week to close the gap at the top, but this was still a vital victory for Guardiola's side, no matter how they got it.

Man of the match - Kyle Walker (Manchester City)

Kyle Walker
Southampton’s back five did superbly but it was a City defender who provided the moments that mattered, making one goal and scoring the other on his return to the team.

'We created an incredible amount of chances' - what they said

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Man City did 'everything' to win - Guardiola

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola speaking to Sky Sports: "We played incredible from the first minute until the end. We created an incredible amount of chances. We were pressured but we did it. We kept our cool and we were patient. We know we will always get chances, it was important that we stayed calm ahead.

"I told them at half-time to keep going for it, to keep attacking. It is the only way. There was no space, it was almost impossible but we did it and that is why I am delighted."

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Man City 2-1 Southampton: Saints fighting spirit gives Hasenhuttl 'hope for the future'

Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl: "To come here twice after losing 9-0 is not the easiest moment for a team but I think it was a chance to show up today, and we did, and it was really a pity that we didn't get something for the amazing work we did today.

"We had to show a reaction, we know that Tuesday was the first step and we knew we had to do it better than on Tuesday because the City team today was their first team, their A team, with all their best-performing players.

"And our squad today was unbelievably committed, and unbelievable defending, following the game-plan and investing so much in defending our net.

"It was very difficult today for City to create chances - I don't think they had a lot, only at the end was it open because we wanted the equaliser but until then I think they haven't seen a lot of chances.

"They had a lot of possession, yes sure, that is normal against this team but I think this was the only way how we could play against such an opponent. We did it in a fantastic way."

Saints' struggles v the big six continue - the stats

  • Manchester City have won each of their last six Premier League meetings with Southampton, extending their longest-ever winning run against Saints in league competition.
  • City had to wait until the 70th minute for their first shot on target in this match, which resulted in Sergio Aguero scoring - it's the longest they've had to wait for their first shot on target in a league match since December 2016 against Leicester (82nd minute).
  • Southampton are winless in their last 20 away Premier League games against 'big six' teams (D4 L16), since a 2-1 win against Spurs in May 2016.
  • Southampton have never kept a league clean sheet at the Etihad (10 games), with their last away shutout against Man City coming in the last ever match at Maine Road in May 2003 (1-0).
  • Sergio Aguero has been involved in 10 goals in his last 10 Premier League games against Southampton (six goals, four assists).
  • Man City's Sergio Aguero has scored nine goals from his 10 shots on target in the Premier League this season, with his strike today the Citizens' first effort on target in the match.
  • Since the start of last season, only Danny Ings (11) has scored more Premier League goals for Southampton than James Ward-Prowse (nine).

What next? Liverpool test is fast approaching for City

After four successive home games, and four straight wins, City head to Italy for Wednesday's Champions League game with Atalanta, knowing a win will make certain of their progress out of Group C (20:00 GMT kick-off)

Then comes a much shorter trip for their potentially pivotal Premier League clash with leaders Liverpool, at Anfield on Sunday (16:30)

Southampton also have a match against a Merseyside team on the horizon - their next league game is at home to Everton on Saturday (15:00).

Line-ups

Man City

  • 31EdersonBooked at 90mins
  • 2Walker
  • 25Fernandinho
  • 5Stones
  • 12Angelino
  • 17De Bruyne
  • 8GündoganBooked at 89mins
  • 21SilvaSubstituted forGabriel Jesusat 45'minutes
  • 20Bernardo SilvaSubstituted forFodenat 84'minutes
  • 10AgüeroSubstituted forOtamendiat 90+2'minutes
  • 7SterlingBooked at 40mins

Substitutes

  • 1Bravo
  • 9Gabriel Jesus
  • 22Mendy
  • 26Mahrez
  • 27Cancelo
  • 30Otamendi
  • 47Foden

Southampton

  • 1McCarthy
  • 43ValerySubstituted forDansoat 75'minutes
  • 35BednarekSubstituted forAdamsat 88'minutes
  • 5Stephens
  • 4Vestergaard
  • 23HøjbjergBooked at 18mins
  • 16Ward-Prowse
  • 14Romeu
  • 17Armstrong
  • 9IngsSubstituted forDjenepoat 84'minutes
  • 22Redmond

Substitutes

  • 3Yoshida
  • 7Long
  • 10Adams
  • 12Djenepo
  • 19Boufal
  • 28Gunn
  • 38Danso
Referee:
Lee Mason
Attendance:
53,922

Match Stats

Home TeamMan CityAway TeamSouthampton
Possession
Home75%
Away25%
Shots
Home26
Away3
Shots on Target
Home4
Away3
Corners
Home17
Away0
Fouls
Home11
Away10

Live Text

Match ends, Manchester City 2, Southampton 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Manchester City 2, Southampton 1.

Booking

Ederson (Manchester City) is shown the yellow card.

Raheem Sterling (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Moussa Djenepo (Southampton).

Foul by Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City).

James Ward-Prowse (Southampton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Manchester City. Nicolás Otamendi replaces Sergio Agüero.

Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Alex McCarthy.

Attempt saved. Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Kevin De Bruyne.

Booking

Ilkay Gündogan (Manchester City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Ilkay Gündogan (Manchester City).

Kevin Danso (Southampton) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Phil Foden (Manchester City).

Moussa Djenepo (Southampton) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Substitution

Substitution, Southampton. Che Adams replaces Jan Bednarek.

Goal!

Goal! Manchester City 2, Southampton 1. Kyle Walker (Manchester City) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal.

Substitution

Substitution, Southampton. Moussa Djenepo replaces Danny Ings.

Substitution

Substitution, Manchester City. Phil Foden replaces Bernardo Silva.

Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Jannik Vestergaard.

Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Kevin Danso.

Attempt blocked. Ilkay Gündogan (Manchester City) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Fernandinho.

Attempt blocked. Sergio Agüero (Manchester City) right footed shot from very close range is blocked.

Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Jack Stephens.

Attempt blocked. Sergio Agüero (Manchester City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Raheem Sterling with a cross.

Foul by Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City).

Kevin Danso (Southampton) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Attempt missed. Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Ilkay Gündogan following a set piece situation.

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

Back pass by Alex McCarthy (Southampton).

Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Alex McCarthy.

Attempt saved. Bernardo Silva (Manchester City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Raheem Sterling.

Hand ball by Raheem Sterling (Manchester City).

Substitution

Substitution, Southampton. Kevin Danso replaces Yan Valery because of an injury.

Foul by Kyle Walker (Manchester City).

Jannik Vestergaard (Southampton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Goal!

Goal! Manchester City 1, Southampton 1. Sergio Agüero (Manchester City) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Kyle Walker with a cross.

Sergio Agüero (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by James Ward-Prowse (Southampton).

Foul by Kyle Walker (Manchester City).

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Liverpool1110102591631
2Man City1181234102425
3Chelsea117222517823
4Leicester106222581720
5Arsenal114521615117
6Sheff Utd11443128416
7Bournemouth114431413116
8Brighton114341414015
9Crystal Palace104331012-215
10Man Utd113441311213
11Wolves112721414013
12West Ham113441417-313
13Tottenham103341615112
14Burnley113351418-412
15Newcastle11335917-812
16Aston Villa113261618-211
17Everton103161016-610
18Southampton112271027-178
19Norwich112181126-157
20Watford11056623-175
View full Premier League table

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