Sterling breaks Saints hearts

Raheem Sterling scored a dramatic late winner to help Manchester City beat Southampton 2-1 at the Etihad on Wednesday night and set a new club record of 12 Premier League wins in a row.

City opened the scoring thanks to Kevin De Bruyne’s driven free-kick which somehow made its way into the back of the net 77 seconds after half-time.

However, Southampton midfielder Oriol Romeu’s composed finish levelled matters 15 minutes from time, only for the home side to snatch all three points with the last kick of the game when Sterling curled home an exquisite winner.

As a result, Pep Guardiola’s side remain eight points clear of Manchester United at the top of the table, while the Saints are still in 11th place.

a man standing in front of a crowd of people watching a football ball: Getty
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City started the contest at their usual frenetic pace, although it was actually the visitors who created the first real opening of the half just before the quarter-hour mark.

Nathan Redmond’s right-wing corner was flicked on at the near post by captain Maya Yoshida, only for his central-defensive partner Wesley Hoedt to head against the bar from a few yards out.

City then immediately broke upfield and worked the ball to Sterling on the left and after the winger had cut inside and tested Fraser Forster with a low effort, the goalkeeper did well to get up and keep out Gabriel Jesus’ shot from the rebound.

However, it was the Saints who went in disappointed at the break after spurning another presentable opening 10 minutes before half-time, and again it was a corner that caused City’s back line problems.

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Virgil van Dijk rose highest to head the ball on, but Yoshida volleyed wastefully over the bar when it seemed easier to score.

And the visitors were made to pay for that miss within seconds of the second period when De Bruyne’s free kick from near the left-hand touchline was deflected past Forster by Van Dijk.

Southampton would not lie down, though, and after riding their luck on several occasions, drew level after some lovely skill in the area by substitute Sofiane Boufal, whose pull back was swept home from close range by the unmarked Romeu.

But as the game entered its sixth minute of injury time, Sterling and De Bruyne played a one-two on the edge of the area, before the England forward beat Forster with a brilliant effort into the top right-hand corner of the goal to spark jubilant scenes, his second late winner in the space of three days.

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