Pep Guardiola explains why he angrily confronted Nathan Redmond before Man City snatched late win
Pep Guardiola admitted he feared his side were about to see their 11-game winning run in the Premier League come to an end against plucky Southampton - but Raheem Sterling's injury time winner maintained their eight-point lead at the top of the table.
The England forward - who netted a late clincher at Huddersfield on Sunday - curled home a superb injury-time strike for the Premier League leaders at the Etihad Stadium.
Saints had looked set to become the first team to deny City a victory since August when Oriol Romeu cancelled out Kevin De Bruyne's deflected free-kick 15 minutes from time.
But Sterling, who is developing a habit of scoring late, had other ideas with his 13th goal of the campaign securing City's 12th successive league win and a club record 19th straight in all competitions.
"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," said Guardiola.
"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 scores a fantastic goal.
"What impresses the most is the heart with which they play. 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 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."
There were unusual scenes after the final whistle with City manager Pep Guardiola shouting at Southampton's Nathan Redmond, with Guardiola explaining his excitable reaction like this.
"I was telling Nathan Redmond how good he is at the end," he added. "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."