Daily Echo:

Saints finally ended their long run without a goal but it was scant consolation as they were hammered by Manchester City.

The game was over as a contest before it had barely begun as Saints conceded three goals in the space of 12 minutes early in the first half at the Etihad Stadium.

Danny Ings converted a penalty to end the record equalling run of five consecutive top flight matches without a goal for Saints but even as City took their foot of the gas they still scored three more times to seal a comfortable 6-1 victory.

The early signs were ominous for Saints as City pinned them back on the edge of their own box and caused them numerous problems.

It didn’t take long for the pressure to pay off either as City took the lead after just six minutes.

Saints had several chances to clear from the edge of their box but failed to take them. It led to David Silva sliding the ball into the path of Leroy Sane bursting past Cedric Soares. He centred with pace into the heart of the six yard box where Wesley Hoedt put the ball into his own net with Raheem Sterling waiting behind, albeit in an offside position.

It got worse as City doubled their lead on 12 minutes.

It was all so easy as well as a simple series of passes found Bernardo Silva in space on the right and he fed the ball into Sterling.

The England attacker picked his way between the Saints defence and played the ball into the danger zone from the right by-line for the on running Sergio Aguero to finish from close range.

Only a save from the right foot of Alex McCarthy prevented Aguero getting another five minutes later after he was slipped in behind one-on-one.

However, it was 3-0 on 18 minutes.

More slick passing from City down the right saw Sterling stand up a cross that wasn’t cleared and broke to David Silva at the far post and his wicked half volley rocketed into the near top corner.

Saints had their first shot on 23 minutes as Mario Lemina stretched to reach the ball in the area but it went well wide.

Saints did get one back and finally ended their barren spell on the half hour mark.

Ryan Bertrand’s ball down the left wing saw Danny Ings chasing into the area. Ederson charged off his line and made a rash and needless attempt to claim the ball and brought down the Saints striker to concede a penalty.

Ings stepped up and calmly sent the keeper the wrong way to make it 3-1.

City had penalty appeals of their own turned down as Sterling went down in the area under pressure from Lemina but referee Lee Mason waved them away.

Sterling made sure in first half stoppage time as Aguero robbed Cedric of the ball as he tried to see it behind and cut back from the left by-line.

Sterling’s first effort was a total mishit and the ball just sat in front of him, but his second attempt was a low drive past McCarthy to make it 4-1 at the break.

Saints probably should have got themselves another four minutes after the restart as Ederson spilled a long range shot from James Ward-Prowse but he recovered to save the follow-up effort at the feet of Ings.

They came close again on 55 minutes as Ings’ flicked header from a Ward-Prowse corner took a deflection and was saved by Ederson.

Leroy Sane came close at the other end as his vicious deflected effort struck the outside of the post.

After a lacklustre start to the second half City did eventually get a fifth on 67 minutes as Aguero fed Sterling who buried his right footed shot low across goal and into the far corner.

Late sub, 18-year-old Michael Obafemi, used his pace to create a chance for Shane Long to break his long scoring duck but he could only find the side netting.

City finished off the punishment in stoppage time as they broke forward and McCarthy failed to keep out Sane’s shot from just inside the area to leave Saints with a long journey home after a chastening defeat.