Sterling’s 13th goal of the season gave City a club-record 12th successive Premier League victory which restores their eight-point lead at the top of the table.
Sterling had scored decisive late goals in City’s previous two wins, over Feyenoord and Huddersfield, but his third strike of the week was his most dramatic of the lot, and sparked wild celebrations from City boss Pep Guardiola and his bench.
“Raheem is a match-winner, it was a fantastic goal, I am so happy for him,” Guardiola said.
“As I have said many times, he is making steps. Before he was a little bit more shy and he did not believe, but now he can do that.
“I think his team-mates give him the confidence and say ‘we trust in you’ but then you have to have the personality to do what he did in the last minute.”
Guardiola’s side had already made the most successful start in Premier League history, with 37 points from their first 13 games.
The win over Southampton saw them become the first side to reach 40 points from 14 games, and maintains the advantage of eight points over Manchester United that they had at the start of the week.
Interesting match stats
- Raheem Sterling has scored the winning goal in the 84th minute or later in four different competitive games for Manchester City this season, including in each of their last three games.
- Sterling has been directly involved in 12 goals in his last 13 competitive appearances for Manchester City (10 goals, two assists).
- City’s winning run in the Premier League is now at 12 games – the only two teams to go on a longer winning run within a single Premier League season are Chelsea (13 in 2016-17) and Arsenal (13 in 2001-02).
- Southampton have picked up just one point from their past seven Premier League visits to the Etihad Stadium.
- Since his Premier League debut for Manchester City in September 2015, Kevin De Bruyne has had a hand in 51 goals in the competition (17 goals, 34 assists), more than any other midfielder in that time.
Culled from BBC Sport.