Euphoric Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola lavished praise on his side after Raheem Sterling’s last-gasp winner ensured the Premier League leaders overcame Southampton and maintained their eight-point cushion at the summit.
For the third game in succession former Liverpool forward Sterling netted a late clincher, this time in the 96th minute, as City sealed a club-record 12th consecutive Premier League victory.
The game had appeared to be heading towards a draw as Oriol Romeu cancelled out fellow former Chelsea midfielder Kevin de Bruyne’s opener during the early stages of the second period.
“It was an astonishing end to the game. It means a lot,” said Guardiola. “What impresses the most is the heart with which they play. What happened in the locker room was amazing.
“You have to enjoy these situations, you never know what will happen in the future. We want to win the league but you have to celebrate when you score in the last breath like that.”
Guardiola became embroiled in an exchange of words with Southampton’s Nathan Redmond at the full-time whistle and admitted he took exception to the tactics employed by Southampton.
“I was telling Nathan Redmond how good he is at the end,” added the Spaniard. “Southampton have some super talented players and Redmond is so good one against one. But they didn’t want to play, they were time-wasting from the ninth minute.”
Romeu’s hammered effort with a quarter of an hour remaining hauled Southampton level following De Bruyne’s fizzed free-kick on 47 minutes. But Sterling settled matters as he exchanged passes with De Bruyne and curled into the top corner.