EPL: Manchester City in cruise mode
Sterling scores brace as defending champs hammer Southampton 6-1; get to top of Premier League table
Raheem Sterling scored twice fresh from agreeing a new five-year contract with Manchester City as the champions swept aside Southampton 6-1 yesterday to return to the top of the Premier League table. Sergio Aguero, with his 150th league goal, David Silva and Leroy Sane were also on the mark as Pep Guardiola's side continued their unbeaten start to their title defence. Southampton had the minor consolation of becoming the first team in 630 minutes to score against City but the leaders' form is ominous for the rest of the division.
City are scoring at a marginally faster rate than they did while racking up a record 106 goals last season, and they made a devastating start that finished the game as a contest within 18 minutes of kick-off. Five minutes had gone when Aguero orchestrated an attack on the edge of the Southampton area, David Siva then moving the ball on to the overlapping Sane, whose cross was turned into his own goal by Saints' Wesley Hoedt. It took a further six minutes for City to double the lead, Bernardo Silva setting free Sterling on the right and the England forward selflessly squaring for Aguero to hammer in from close range.
Landmark for Aguero
It was the Argentine's 150th league goal for City, a landmark that moved him level with Michael Owen in eighth place on the Premier League's all-time goalscoring list. Southampton manager Mark Hughes, whose future has been the subject of increasing speculation following a run that has now seen him win just four of his 19 league games in charge, reacted furiously to yet more appalling defending from his side. They would pull one back after half an hour, becoming the first English team to score against City since Newcastle at the Etihad at the start of September.
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