Manchester City cruised to victory over a sorry Southampton side to return to the top of the Premier League.
City took just six minutes to open the scoring as Wesley Hoedt smashed an attempted clearance of Leroy Sane’s cross into his own net, before Sergio Aguero doubled their lead by tapping in Raheem Sterling’s cross.
David Silva slammed home their third from Sane’s flick-on after 18 minutes but Danny Ings did pull one back from the spot after Ederson brought him down in the area.
Sterling then netted either side of the break to complete an impressive personal performance, while Sane added a late sixth to cap off a fine afternoon for Pep Guardiola’s men.
Both of the England forward’s goals were assisted by Aguero, as the Argentine first crossed for Sterling to stroke in, before a slide-rule pass enabled the 23-year-old to finish emphatically.
Sane’s goal came deep into injury time, firing past Alex McCarthy following a lightning counter-attack with Southampton legs tiring.
Guardiola’s side have now won eight of their past nine matches across all competitions, although Ings’ penalty was the first league goal they have conceded in six games.
Liverpool had moved above City after their draw with Arsenal on Saturday evening but the Reds held on to top spot for less than 24 hours.
Meanwhile, Saints are now seven Premier League games without a victory and lie 16th.
City’s thumping win marked the 12th time that Guardiola’s side have scored five or more goals in a single Premier League game since the Spaniard arrived at the club – no other team has done so on more than six occasions in the same timeframe.
And they threatened from the off, as Southampton had already been warned of their hosts’ attacking quality several times, before Hoedt’s attempted clearance ended up in his own net.
Aguero had already spurned one good chance before he turned in Sterling’s cross for his 150th Premier League goal, after the England forward and Bernardo Silva linked up classily.
David Silva then added his side’s third in the 18th minute, his powerful volley from Sane’s flick-on leaving McCarthy helpless, but before then the Blues had seen a number of dangerous attacks break down.
The home side eased off after this early blitz, which saw them enjoy 81% of the possession in the opening 20 minutes, with a fifth straight league win over Southampton already in the bag.
Livewire Sterling shows his class
Ings’ penalty seemed to reignite the hosts’ appetite for goals, as City began to push again, in large through the excellent Sterling.
And it was the ex-Liverpool winger who netted their fourth, stroking in at the second attempt, after initially miss-controlling Aguero’s pass.
After being heavily involved in all three of their opening goals, Sterling’s effort was richly deserved.
The England man was lively throughout, and although he could have done better with several half-chances, he illustrated his clinical side by powering in his 50th goal for the club on 67 minutes.
Having earlier set up Aguero’s tap-in, Sterling again turned provider late on, as it was from his pass that Sane netted City’s sixth.
The German’s strike took his club’s goal tally to 33 after the opening 11 Premier League games, meaning they are well on their way to matching last season’s record-breaking tally of 106, although they had already netted 38 by this stage in 2017-18.
Saints blown away
Few would have given Saints much of a chance coming into this match, given the fact they were winless in their last eight visits to the Etihad prior to Sunday, and that proved to be the case.
Guardiola’s side were ruthless, punishing nearly every goalscoring opportunity in the opening stages.
And although Ings’ fifth goal of the season did provide them with a potential way back into the game, they never looked like producing any sort of comeback.
Chances were few and far between for Mark Hughes’ side, although Ings did draw a good save from Ederson after the Brazilian had fumbled a powerful James Ward-Prowse strike.
And City’s goalkeeper also had to be alert shortly after, getting down low to keep out Ings’ near-post header.
But they failed to mount a sustained period of pressure, and it was the home side that looked more likely to score throughout the second half, as the Saints’ search for a second Premier League victory of the season goes on.
Man of the match – Raheem Sterling
‘We were brilliant’ – what they said
Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling, speaking to Match of the Day: “I thought it was a great team performance, not just with the ball. We were brilliant at times today. I am grateful for the position I am in, learning and trying to get better. It is great times at the moment.”
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola, speaking to Match of the Day: “We played excellently, without and especially with the ball. We were aggressive in the final third, but we were lucky to score the goal in the last minute of the first half. The game was not over, because we concede. Southampton created more chances than most teams this season.”
Southampton boss Mark Hughes, speaking to Match of the Day: “We were poor in that opening period, you have to be resolute to keep back an outstanding City team. We were a bit lightweight and didn’t deal with one-on-one situations. Very quickly we found ourselves 3-0 down and the game was gone.”
City the traditionalists – the stats
- Manchester City are unbeaten in their past 43 Premier League games when kicking off at 3pm (W37 D6), the longest run at this specific time kick-off in the league’s history.
- Southampton are winless in nine games at the Etihad Stadium (D1 L8) since winning their very first game there in April 2004.
- Danny Ings’ penalty for Southampton was their first goal in 505 minutes of Premier League football, and ended Manchester City’s run of 630 minutes without conceding a goal in the competition.
- Sergio Aguero scored his 150th Premier League goal in his 217th appearance – only Alan Shearer (212 games) has scored 150 in fewer games in Premier League history.
- Wesley Hoedt has now scored two own goals in this season’s Premier League, more than any other player in the division.
Manchester City are back in action on Wednesday when they host Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League (20:00 GMT), before they take on Manchester United on Remembrance Sunday (11 November, 16:30).
Meanwhile, Southampton face Watford at St Mary’s on Saturday (15:00).
- 5StonesSubstituted forKompanyat 68'minutes
- 20Bernardo Silva
- 25FernandinhoSubstituted forDelphat 79'minutes
- 21SilvaSubstituted forFodenat 72'minutes
- 10AgüeroBooked at 38mins
- 33Gabriel Jesus
- 2Cédric Soares
- 16Ward-ProwseBooked at 10minsSubstituted forObafemiat 73'minutes
- 22RedmondSubstituted forElyounoussiat 73'minutes
- 9IngsSubstituted forArmstrongat 82'minutes
- Lee Mason
- Shots on Target
Match ends, Manchester City 6, Southampton 1.
Second Half ends, Manchester City 6, Southampton 1.
Attempt saved. Raheem Sterling (Manchester City) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Sergio Agüero.
Goal! Manchester City 6, Southampton 1. Leroy Sané (Manchester City) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Raheem Sterling following a fast break.
Foul by Sergio Agüero (Manchester City).
Pierre-Emile Højbjerg (Southampton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt blocked. Phil Foden (Manchester City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Raheem Sterling.
Corner, Southampton. Conceded by Vincent Kompany.
Attempt missed. Leroy Sané (Manchester City) left footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high from a direct free kick.
Phil Foden (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Wesley Hoedt (Southampton).
Attempt saved. Shane Long (Southampton) right footed shot from more than 35 yards is saved in the bottom right corner.
Attempt missed. Shane Long (Southampton) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Michael Obafemi with a cross.
Substitution, Southampton. Stuart Armstrong replaces Danny Ings.
Attempt missed. Sergio Agüero (Manchester City) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Leroy Sané.
Delay over. They are ready to continue.
Delay in match Mario Lemina (Southampton) because of an injury.
Substitution, Manchester City. Fabian Delph replaces Fernandinho.
Offside, Manchester City. Sergio Agüero tries a through ball, but Leroy Sané is caught offside.
Attempt missed. Sergio Agüero (Manchester City) left footed shot from the centre of the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Phil Foden.
Substitution, Southampton. Mohamed Elyounoussi replaces Nathan Redmond.
Substitution, Southampton. Michael Obafemi replaces James Ward-Prowse.
Attempt missed. Danny Ings (Southampton) header from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by James Ward-Prowse with a cross following a set piece situation.
Substitution, Manchester City. Phil Foden replaces David Silva.
Foul by Benjamin Mendy (Manchester City).
Nathan Redmond (Southampton) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Corner, Southampton. Conceded by Vincent Kompany.
Attempt blocked. Shane Long (Southampton) left footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by James Ward-Prowse.
Substitution, Manchester City. Vincent Kompany replaces John Stones.
Goal! Manchester City 5, Southampton 1. Raheem Sterling (Manchester City) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Sergio Agüero.
Attempt blocked. Bernardo Silva (Manchester City) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Kyle Walker.
Attempt saved. Mario Lemina (Southampton) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top left corner. Assisted by Pierre-Emile Højbjerg.
Attempt missed. Mario Lemina (Southampton) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right.
Leroy Sané (Manchester City) hits the left post with a left footed shot from outside the box. Assisted by Sergio Agüero.
Foul by Kyle Walker (Manchester City).
Nathan Redmond (Southampton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Aymeric Laporte (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Shane Long (Southampton).
Attempt missed. John Stones (Manchester City) header from the centre of the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Benjamin Mendy following a corner.
Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Mario Lemina.