Manchester City proved on Sunday afternoon, if there was any doubt, that they are indeed still the team to beat in this season Premier League. A dazzling display over struggling Southampton accumulated in the Blues scoring on six occasions after a masterful performance at the Etihad Stadium.
City where on the front-foot right from the start and had the Saints pinned back in their own box from the minute referee Lee Mason blew the opening whistle. After an opening six minutes of breathless pressing and ball manipulation around the visiting side’s penalty area, City found their breakthrough through a Wesley Hoedt own goal.
As they did so for much of the afternoon, Southampton failed to clear their lines and City won the ball high up the pitch. Sergio Aguero was able to wriggle some space just outside of the box and slid the ball to David Silva who played a perfectly weighted pass through to the onrushing Leroy Sane who was able to feed a right footed effort past Alex McCarthy. The helpless Hoedt tried to get the ball clear of the goal-line but helplessly cannoned it into the roof of his own net.
It wasn’t long until the reigning Champions doubled their lead through Sergio Aguero. Bernardo Silva found Raheem Sterling unmarked in the box and the tricky winger who was sensational on the day was able to use his pace to get to the by-line before pulling the ball back to Aguero to tap home.
The day got a whole lot worse for Mark Hughes’ side when a sublime volley by David Silva made it 3-0 after 20 minutes. Although City where in cruise control at this stage there was a glimmer of hope for the Saints when Ederson made a clumsy foul on Danny Ings inside the penalty box. Ings calmly slotted the ball home to make it 3-1 to the home side.
In truth, this consolation goal only seemed to poke the sky blue coloured bear and City once again restored their three goal advantage on the stroke of halftime. Aguero done brilliant when dispossessing Cedric Soares in his own box and he fed a ball across to Sterling who finished well on his second attempt.
City started the second half much like the first and went on the hunt for more goal right from the off. Leroy Sane was very unlucky with a wicked effort that rasped off the outside of McCarthy’s right hand post. It was to be the man of the match Sterling who would double his tally for the day and score City’s fifth when his interplay with Aguero left him with an acute angled finish through the legs of McCarthy.
As Southampton began to get increasingly tired City began to pick through their defence at ease but it wasn’t until added time at the end of the 90 until Sane finally got the goal his performance deserved. Sterling once again went right at the heart of the Saints back four and played it to Sane, his left footed drive had just enough power to put the icing on the cake in this superb victory.
This is now the 28th time City have scored five goals or more since 2012 and Pep Guardiola will be delighted his team are finally beginning to show the form and ruthlessness that claimed them the league title and 100 point total last season.