Sterling shines brightest to bag late winner- Player Ratings: Manchester City 2-1 Southampton

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Manchester City hosted Southampton at the Etihad Stadium in which looked to be a thrilling game of football, but how wrong we were.

The Blues were hoping to make it 19 wins in all competitions and facing them was a Saints side who were stuck in mid-table mediocrity and had a game-plan to sit back, and defend

Fernandinho was first to test the waters with a ferocious strike from distance that just crept wide of Fraser Forster’s goal.

The Saints then had a chance of their own as Maya Yoshida nodded on the ball to Wesley Hoedt, whose header was denied by the woodwork.

City came back to attack with numerous chances with Raheem Sterling, Gabriel Jesus, Sergio Aguero and Fernandinho all denied by Forster and Nicolas Otamendi headed over from just inside the six-yard box.

The deadlock was finally broken early in the second half when Kevin de Bruyne whipped a freekick in from the left-hand side and was helped by the foot of Virgil Van Dijk so it was looking as if it would be an own-goal, but has since been awarded to the Belgian.

Jesus was denied from close range, then De Bruyne and Fernandinho were saved from a distance, and it looked like the lead may not have been extended.

Southampton then looped in a long-ball when Sofiane Boufal brought down with a deft touch and laid it back to Oriol Romeu who struck goalwards and with the help of the bar it was 1-1.

In the dying embers of the goal, Sterling brought the ball inwards from the left, played a one-two with De Bruyne and meticulous curled the ball into the top-right corner to win the game for City and send the Etihad faithful bizerk.

After such a compelling last few minutes to extend the unbeaten run, here are the player ratings:

Ederson: 6

The Brazilian was calm as ever on the ball, and it was reflected by his smooth touch out of his box despite pressure. Relatively helpless due to for the goal conceded but on the whole didn’t have his best shot-stopping performance.

Kyle Walker: 6

Failed to offer too much offensively considering the Saint’s deep-line but wasn’t troubled defensively either.

Vincent Kompany: 6

Took one for the team for the booking where he would have been tested for pace. Intercepted well but will take time to get back to his levels off late last season and early this season.

Nicolas Otamendi: 7

Helped drive the ball forward into midfield and passed accurately which enabled us to recycle the attack against a stubborn defence.

Fabian Delph: 6.5

Got forward well to help Jesus but was relatively quiet when on the ball. However, he failed to win the aerial duel leading to their goal.

Fernandinho: 7.5

Had an excellent game, moved the ball with ease and pushed forward to test Forster numerous times.

Kevin De Bruyne: 6.5

Although he may have bagged a goal and assist, in his general play he was disposed multiple times and looked fatigued; a rest could be due on Sunday.

Ilkay Gundogan: 6

Got a deserved start and drove forward with intent but was still looked off the pace and will take time to adjust back to first-team starts.

Raheem Sterling: 8.5 (MOTM)

What a way to bag a last minute winner! Before that, his performance had been good, but he had struggled to beat Bertrand for the majority. Again, Sterling delivers late on with a match-winning goal that could prove decisive in the title race.

Sergio Aguero: 6.5

Played with intent and worked hard to press a back-five. Didn’t take his chances which could have put the game to bed.

Gabriel Jesus: 6.5

Like Aguero had his chances but it wasn’t to be his day. Suits the lone striker role much better than playing out wide.

Subs:

D. Silva: 5

Only came on for 20 minutes but failed to make an impact.

B. Silva: 5

Also failed to make an impact in short space of time

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