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Pep: Man City’s blowout win satisfying, but lots of work to be done

Man City's Leroy Sane gets on the ball in the box and fires a low shot into the goal to make it 6-1 against Southampton.

When Manchester City’s attack is humming, the side is nearly impossible the take down.

Believe it or not, that wasn’t totally the case on Sunday despite the 6-1 score line against Southampton at the Etihad Stadium.

[ RECAP: Man City 6-1 Saints ]

Man City manager Pep Guardiola was “satisfied” with the performance -- how kind of him -- but says his side needs to do a lot of work to be more “stable,” especially when they start facing Champions League knockout round opposition.

From Goal’s Sammy Lee:

“I like to have that feeling that we have won 6-1, we are top of the table, we are satisfied again with the performance and how they fought until the last minute, but at the same time I have the feeling that we have improve in many many situations to be a stable team.”

Believe it or not, 6-1 aside, there’s plenty to admire from Guardiola’s sense of perspective. City scored on six of their seven shots on target, which certainly won’t always be the case, and Saints did manage their fair share of attempts. He won’t like the way his side conceded with a through ball springing Danny Ings on Ederson.

And the lead atop the table is just two points heading into a week with a Champions League visit from Shakhtar Donetsk and City’s home Manchester Derby. From the BBC:

“It is not decisive. It is important to be there than below but the distance of two or three points is nothing. We saw Arsenal yesterday and how good they did against Liverpool. Tottenham too, away at Wolves. United are always there. It is a tough league but it is important we are stable. It is most important that we don’t have regrets.”

Those regrets are feelings like Arsenal and Liverpool have after dropping points on Saturday, something City’s done against Liverpool and Wolves. The big win is nice, but we’ll see what lineup Guardiola uses Wednesday ahead of next week’s derby.

One other late arriving quote from Guardiola, who was asked about Raheem Sterling’s success in his system. The English attacker has been in very good form, and played one of the best matches of his career in the win.

“I would like him to be happy to play for Man City not for me. We will not always play together. He is confident and aggressive with the ball. He has a desire to score. He is more mature now than he was when we first met at the club. He believes more in himself. Hopefully he can be more ambitious and think he can improve. He is 23 and he can be a better player.”

That last part is the same thing Guardiola said, in a sense, about Sergio Aguero when the pair were first united at City. It’s scary to think that Sterling may just be scratching the surface of his ability.

Follow @NicholasMendola