Sergio Aguero and Kyle Walker scored in the final 20 minutes to rescue a 2-1 home win over Southampton on Saturday at a rain-soaked Etihad Stadium.
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James Ward-Prowse scored early for Saints, who looked better fit for battle. They remain in the drop zone with 8 points.
City’s 25 points are still six points back of Liverpool, who grabbed a stoppage time winner at Aston Villa.
Three things we learned
1. Ederson not perfect: It took plenty of rain for it to happen, but Man City goalkeeper Ederson made a rare error to put his team down early. Stuart Armstrong‘s bounding shot from distance didn’t have a ton of venom, but enough to provide a rebound for a prowling James Ward-Prowse to deposit.
2. Trailing, Guardiola turns to Aguero and Jesus: The Man City mastermind rarely plays Gabriel Jesus and Sergio Aguero at the same time, but felt it was time when his side trailed at the break. Their lack of time together was evident as Aguero tried to set up Jesus in the 59th, and the Brazilian didn’t recognize the signal. Aguero, of course, got the equalizer.
3. Stout Saints make cliche count… for a while: It’s hard to beat the same team twice in a row, and Southampton will made their supporters plenty proud over 180 minutes versus the champs, minutes that followed a 9-0 home drubbing against Leicester City. The aforementioned cliche a saying often uttered in sports circles and an illogical tag we’ll have to put on City’s first 70 minutes. But there was an air of inevitability to Man City finding the winner, which came from a cross despite much success coming via standard Guardiola-inspired incisiveness.
Man of the Match: Aguero, if only for his refusal to quit after producing and missing so many chances. Notable nods to Kevin De Bruyne, Jannik Vestergaard, and Kyle Walker.
Sergio Aguero just missed heading a promising Kevin De Bruyne free kick on target in the 12th minute.
But Saints took the lead when Redmond set up Stuart Armstrong for a low drive which Ederson fumbled in the rain, allowing Ward-Prowse to knife home from in-tight.
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg conceded a second dangerous free kick to City, and this 19th minute effort from De Bruyne was blocked by the wall.
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Saints held firm against City’s controlling possession, watching Ilkay Gundogan‘s effort bound wide in the 65th as it remained 1-0 to the visitors.
Aguero couldn’t get high enough to push Bernardo Silva’s under the bar in the 67th, and was center stage to rifle a De Bruyne cross between Alex McCarthy‘s legs less than five minutes later.
Saints goalkeeper Alex McCarthy handled a pass back in his box to set up a prime chance for City, but De Bruyne curled wide of the goal.
Aguero couldn’t turn one home in the 83rd, and an ensuing corner turned into another.
Given how often you’ve seen the Argentine’s name in this recap, it was all the more surprising when Walker arrived at the back post to lash home a winner that was far from straight-forward.