Pep Guardiola hails Manchester City patience after Southampton win
Man City show the spirit of champions to claim all three points
Last Updated: 03/11/19 12:25pm
Pep Guardiola hailed Manchester City's "spirit" after Kyle Walker's 86th-minute strike secured a dramatic 2-1 win over Southampton at the Etihad.
City were stunned when Saints, thrashed 9-0 by Leicester in their last league outing, grabbed an early lead through James Ward-Prowse.
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Despite near relentless pressure, the visitors repelled City time after time until Sergio Aguero finally equalised 20 minutes from time.
City had to dig deep for their victory against opponents with a point to prove, but after Walker had brought great releif to Guardiola, it was one that he claimed his side ultimately deserved.
Guardiola told Sky Sports: "We played incredible from the first minute until the end. We created an incredible amount of chances.
"We were pressured but we did it. We kept our cool and we were patient. We know we will always get chances, it was important that we stayed calm ahead.
"I told them at half-time to keep going for it, to keep attacking. It is the only way. There was no space, it was almost impossible but we did it and that is why I am delighted."
Guardiola: Football players have pride
Barring the final day of last season, this was the first time since February 27 when both Liverpool and City were playing at the same time in the Premier League.
There was little indication that the City players were too aware of Aston Villa taking the lead judging by the lack of urgency in the champions during a lacklustre opening 45 minutes.
But that all changed after the break.
Southampton's resistance was finally broken when Aguero turned in Walker's low cross in the 70th minute, and City had the three points when Alex McCarthy could not hold Angelino's cross and Walker slammed the ball home at the far post.
"Football players have pride, they did not want to live again in that position," Guardiola added on Southampton's response to last week's horror show at home to Leicester.
"It is our job to try and attack them but I knew it in the Carabao Cup. Our problem in the last two games is that one team, they suffer, and with their own pride they are not going to accept under any circumstances what happened against Leicester again.
"And after the goal we conceded it is more difficult. It's been a long time since we won a game in the last few minutes like today."
Analysis: 'City knew exactly what was going on at Villa Park'
Alan McInally told Soccer Saturday:
"Guardiola gets animated and boy was he a cat on a hot tin roof today, including falling out with Hasenhuttl and his backroom staff about keeping the ball.
"It was a brilliant Saturday, as they 100 per cent knew exactly what was going on at Villa Park and they knew exactly what it meant. City were really up against it in trying to break down a 10-man defence.
"City missed that little magician David Silva who went off with what looked like a knock. It was like the Alamo in the second half and eventually the wall started to creak. There was a huge sigh of relief from the whole stadium."