Raheem Sterling shines as Manchester City reclaim top spot

Sherman Parsons
November 7, 2018

Pep Guardiola's Manchester City were at their ruthless best when they took on Southampton on Sunday.

Guardiola's side have now won eight of their past nine matches across all competitions, although Ings' penalty was the first league goal they have conceded in six games.

Despite his side's win, Guardiola was far from happy with City's defensive capabilities during the game.

So it's fair to say that being 3-0 down after just 18 minutes was about as bad a start as it could have been for Saints who just seemed frozen. Kevin de Bruyne and Claudio Bravo are long-term absentees while Eliaquim Mangala is not yet match-fit.

Ilkay Gundogan and Nicolas Otamendi have recovered from injury and look set to feature in the matchday squad.

Evidently not everyone in Manchester feels quite the same way, because City's crowds for Europe are generally lower than their domestic attendances, the habit of booing the Uefa anthem has not completely died away, and Guardiola has just taken part in a promotional club video aimed at encouraging supporters to feel more positive and proprietorial about European nights. We have a deep squad and we have also been together for three years.

"Every game is important, and you have to evaluate", he said.

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Manchester City host Shakhtar at the Etihad tonight with two stars returning to the squad ahead of the clash.

Manchester City have lost their last three home Champions League games, all in 2018 and all by the same scoreline - 1-2 against Basel, Liverpool and Lyon.

Meanwhile, Saints are now seven Premier League games without a victory and lie 16th. City are now top of their group but a loss or a draw could see them relinquish that position.

Shakhtar Donetsk faced 24 shots in their 0-3 defeat to Man City on MD3, the most they'd faced in a Champions League game since September 2015 against Real Madrid (26). Of course Manchester United is a big game but we can not start thinking about that until we have played Shakhtar.

One goal became two six minutes later as the division's highest scorers went through the gears, with Aguero tapping in at the back post for his landmark 150th Premier League goal following some good work from Sterling.

A win, coupled with a loss for Hoffenheim, would see City progress. Pep Guardiola can afford to make one or two changes but that doesn't seem to bother them too much and this machine will continue to roll on.

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