Manchester City’s boss Pep Guardiola has hailed his players’ persistence in their 2-1 win against a defensive Southampton side in Wednesday’s Premier League clash at the Etihad Stadium.
City looked to be heading for their second home draw of the season before Raheem Sterling scored in the 95th minute to secure their 12th consecutive win.
“It was an astonishing end to the game. It means a lot. They had 10 guys in the box, it was so complicated to attack them,” Guardiola said in his post-match reaction.
“They had chances in the first half, all the teams are better than us at set-pieces. They are stronger than us but we kept patient.
“At the end our momentum kept going, Raheem scored a fantastic goal.
“What impresses the most is the heart with which they played. 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.
“I was telling Nathan Redmond how good he is at the end. Southampton have some super talented players, Redmond is so good one against one. But they didn’t’ want to play, they were time wasting from the ninth minute. I just wanted them to play.”
Guardiola admitted he thought they would have to settle for a draw.
“It was happening 50 years ago. Their striker was marking our defensive midfielder so it was 10 men behind the ball all the time.
“I believed that we could score but to be honest I thought it was over. They defended for 90 minutes, they had a really good go against Liverpool so I wasn’t expecting them to play like that tonight.
“Raheem is a match-winner, I am so happy for him. He is special, it was an amazing goal. It is more than important, it is beautiful.”