Southampton's fearless resistance wasn't broken until 70 minutes were on the clock, Sergio Aguero applying a lovely finish to Kyle Walker' drilled cross, with Walker turning finisher with three minutes to go to wrap up the points.
Kyle Walker volleyed dwelling a dramatic 87th minute victor as Manchester Metropolis warmed up for subsequent week's go to to Premier League leaders Liverpool by crucially coming from a goal all the way down to beat Southampton 2-1 on Saturday.
The reaction of Pep Guardiola on the touchline said it all.
It was the kind of gritty display of a team who are not going to give up the Premier League crown without a fight.
Manchester City have revealed their starting line-up and substitutes to play host to Ralph Hasenhuttl's struggling Southampton side this afternoon.
"In the second half we had maybe 30 or 35 minutes where we were so intense in our actions".
"They slowed down our pace down which makes it hard but we stuck to our game plan and it came out okay in the end".
Despite conceding nine goals to Leicester City last weekend, Southampton made Manchester City work for their three points with a defensive masterclass.
City put Southampton under a lot of pressure, but the visitors showed more composure at the back than they have done recently.
City's attacking play was uncharacteristically sloppy and devoid of imagination against a defence that was easily beaten 3-1 at this same stadium in the League Cup on Tuesday.
"We were concentrating on our game", said the City right-back, whose appearances in recent weeks have been restricted by illness. "There was no space, it was nearly impossible but we did it and that is why I am delighted".
City rallied and pushed and probed at the Saints box with regularity, yet their every attempt to create an opening was pushed back. We were pressured but we did it. We know we will always get chances, it was important that we stayed calm ahead.
Guardiola's City head to Italy in midweek for their Champions League fixture against Atalanta before their Premier League clash against Klopp's Liverpool.
The relief, the unburdening of all that pent-up frustration, then, was clear to see in the Manchester City manager's celebration when Kyle Walker scored a late victor to complete a dramatic fightback. Want to challenge the best English Fantasy Managers?