Guardiola: Raheem Sterling is no longer 'scared'

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Hoedt's own goal gave City a sixth-minute lead, the centre-back - whose initial failed clearance brought about the move - finding his own net when attempting to keep Sane's shot out. His goal takes him behind Wayner ROONEY of Manchester United and Thierry HENRY of Arsenal for most goals for a single Premier League team.

Alvaro Morata scored twice as unbeaten Chelsea climbed to second in the Premier League with a 3-1 victory against Crystal Palace on Sunday.

City restored its three-goal cushion on the stroke of halftime with Aguero taking advantage of a mistake by Cedric Soares and crossing for Sterling to score his fifth league goal of the season.

It may be harsh to single out one Southampton defender given they were all dire, but Hoedt arguably endured the most hard outing, haplessly giving City the lead.

The Argentine is only the third player in the Premier League era to reach the goal tally for a single club.

City were rampant against Saints and all but wrapped up the game inside the opening 18 minutes.

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Again, Sterling was heavily involved, accepting Bernardo Silva's pass and putting in a cross that was a little too high for Sane but arrived for David Silva, who volleyed in at the far post.

Sterling's comments could be seen as a further sign of encouragement that he is close to agreeing a new contract with the defending champions, who are two points clear of Chelsea and Liverpool at the top of the Premier League.

Saints did get one back on the half-hour mark, with Danny Ings converting from the penalty spot after the striker was felled in the box by Ederson.

However there was never a hint that Southampton might be able to launch anything resembling a fightback and City ended the half as they had begun it - by scoring.

"The first season, he was scared".

Guardiola believes Sterling will add to his astonishing haul of 46 caps, but feels he has room to improve at the age of 23 in his bid to be rated among the world's finest players.

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