Saints suffered late heartbreak as they were denied a famous result at Manchester City.

Despite having to defend for most of the match it appeared as if an upset might be on the cards as they kept City at bay for almost an hour after James Ward-Prowse had given Saints a surprise lead on 13 minutes.

Having lost their previous Premier League game 9-0 to Leicester few gave Saints a chance but they showed great commitment to hang on until goals from Sergio Aguero – his third against Saints in five days following a brace in the Carabao Cup game on Tuesday night – and Kyle Walker’s strike four minutes from time left Saints with nothing but pride to show for their efforts.

Man City showed their intent from the off as Sergio Aguero headed wide from Angelino’s left wing cross after just a minute of play.

But against the run of play it was Saints who stunned the Etihad and took the lead on 13 minutes.

Nathan Redmond cut the ball back to the edge of the area to Stuart Armstrong whose first time shot did not seem all that threatening as it was straight at Ederson.

However, the City keeper made a total mess of trying to claim it low down as the ball skied towards him off the slick surface and it rebounded off his body to Ward-Prowse who was alert to the possibility and reacted quickest to turn home from close range.

City responded by doubling down the pressure on Saints who often found themselves making desperate but committed blocks with ten men inside their own area.

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg survived an appeal for handball just outside the Saints box which City felt would have resulted in a second yellow card but referee Lee Mason felt that the fact his arm was down and not far from his body meant it was not a punishable offence.

It was just wave after wave of City attack as Saints continued to somehow cling on as the sheer numbers Hasenhuttl’s men got behind the ball continued to provide enough of a barrier.

John Stones won a header from a corner but under pressure from Alex McCarthy put over the bar.

Saints launched a rare counterattack a minute before the break which ended with Danny Ings getting in a shot on target from 20 yards. It was again at Ederson who this time fielded it.

Saints made it to the break with their lead intact with Man City having had 72 per cent possession and 14 shots – but none on target.

City made a half time change with Gabriel Jesus coming on for David Silva.

It didn’t really disrupt the flow of the game as City continued to enjoy nearly all of the ball with Saints defending deep and making it hard for their opponents to create a proper chance.

Pep Guardiola was becoming increasingly animated on the side of the pitch, even dashing down the touchline to grab the ball to try and get his team to take a quick throw-in and get on the attack again.

It was getting ever more desperate and City had heads in hands again on 65 minutes as Ilkay Gundogan’s shot was deflected wide by another brave block from Ward-Prowse.

City fashioned a golden chance, one of their first of the match despite their intense pressure, two minutes later as Bernardo Silva’s left wing cross found Aguero unmarked six yards out but he headed over the bar.

Eventually though the pressure told as City equalised on 70 minutes.

Kevin De Bruyne found Kyle Walker on the overlap on the right and he just kept it in play to fire in a cutback that found Aguero, again unmarked and this time eight yards out with the ball at his feet.

On this occasion he made no mistake with a low first time right footed shot that went down the middle and through the legs of McCarthy to make it 1-1.

Yan Valery was forced off injured meaning Kevin Danso was thrown on for the final 15 minutes as Saints battled to try and collect a point.

The pressure was relentless and of even greater intensity from City and McCarthy had to parry over Bernando Silva’s shot to keep it level.

De Bruyne was the next to go close with a shot from an indirect free kick after McCarthy had picked up a Jan Bednarek back pass before Aguero hit a shot on the turn that deflected just wide of the near post.

There was no reprieve though as Saints hearts were broken with four minutes remaining.

Angelino stood up a cross from the left by-line that McCarthy came for but only flapped at. It fell to Walker who slid in to volley home.

Suddenly it was Saints throwing everything forward and City defending with Moussa Djenepo and Che Adams trying to make an impact off the bench.

City nearly added another in stoppage time as Jesus was played in one on one on the counter attack but McCarthy saved with his legs.

It didn’t matter though as City saw out the time to send Saints home with some pride restored but no points.