Manchester City go in to the South Coast and win 3-1. Putting us back in second place of the Premier League.
After three defeats in four games, the last one which saw us struggle to play with anything like our usual quality, the 3-1 win marked a clear return to form and puts us right on track to compete with Liverpool ahead of Thursday’s massive game.
This was far more like the City we’ve come to expect over the past 18 months: free-flowing, creative and hard-working, a mix that overwhelmed Southampton and saw us clear and deserved winners.
Last thing to mention, the away supporters were absolutely fantastic today, good on them!
On to the reaction:
Pep Guardiola Reaction
“It was a good performance, especially in the first 30-35 minutes,” he reflected.
“3-1 is a good result. It could have been bigger but after two defeats, winning was the most important thing. The players did what they had to do – they are fantastic players.
“We gave absolutely everything. Look what happened with Oleks (after the Ukrainian was dispossessed for Southampton’s equaliser) and how he reacted as a young player.
“He didn’t hide. He was completely the opposite and went on to make an assist. He was the best player on the pitch.
“Fernandinho deserves to play for us. We know that. It’s the same with any club in the world – any team has important players and Ferna is one of them for us.
“Before 1-1, we played to score more; then they scored and the game was more equal but we carried on and scored the second goal.
“In previous games, we did everything and the first time the opponent arrived in our half they scored.
“We have to demand our people in front to finish the situation. We had four or five actions to finish… but today, had the feeling the players did absolutely everything.”
The victory also provided the perfect tonic, ahead of Thursday’s crunch top-of-the-table clash against league leaders Liverpool at the Etihad Stadium.
Guardiola admitted the encounter is a ‘must-win’ for the Blues if the Champions are to retain our crown.
“We are doing well but the other team are possibly one of the strongest in Europe,” he stated.
“Of course, it’s important to win. The distance is big but they are coming to our home. It’s almost a final for us and we want to be there as long as possible for the Premier League.
“If the guys lose two games, we are out of the Premier League; if we win one game, we are in it – but there are a lot of games.
“What a manager wants to see is for his team to come back like we have many times. That’s the most important thing.
“They did it because they are incredible guys. You don’t have to win or lose to realise that.
“It means a little bit more than three points because it’s against a team in first place in incredible form. If we want to be there, we have to win the game.”
Raheem Sterling Reaction
“It’s a massive step and what we needed to do. We had two poor games and we knew we needed to win here today to give ourselves a chance,” said Raheem.
“But we were really motivated to give ourselves a chance and that’s what we did.
“We had to bring that level that we know we can bring – we had a bit of luck but we played some great football and controlled the game which we know we can do.
“Now its down to us to keep this focus and go onto the next one. “
FULL TIME | What a 2018 we had! Let's make 2019 even better!— Manchester City (@ManCity) December 30, 2018
1-3 #SOUMCI pic.twitter.com/OQE39I0tFE
You're mad, @edersonmoraes93 (In a good way, )— Manchester City (@ManCity) December 30, 2018
We love you. #SOUMCI pic.twitter.com/gx22KXD9gz
Back to winning ways #mcfc #WeareCity pic.twitter.com/H3hW62oylh— Blue (@Simply_MCFC) December 30, 2018
City back to winning ways. Fernandinho back. Merlin back. Aguero ending the away stat. Happy New Year blues. #FightTillTheEnd ✨— Emily Brady (@EmilyJaneBrady) December 30, 2018
We are City— Etta (@IckleMrsG) December 30, 2018
From Maine Road
We are City
We are City from Maine Road
Next up is Thursday’s game with Liverpool, at home in the Etihad. See you then!