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.
City were stunned when Saints, thrashed 9-0 by Leicester in their last league outing, grabbed an early lead through James Ward-Prowse.
When the ball went out of the play in the dying minutes of the game, the City manager immediately pounced upon the stray ball, thrusting it into Kitzbichler's hands as quickly as he could manage, as if to sarcastically say "You want the ball?" They are top quality players, they are fast players, it was our job to try and beat Southampton and we did.
"This is one of the best teams in the world".
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"And after the goal we conceded it is more hard".
City had 76 per cent possession and a total of 26 shots at goal, but only four of those were on target, all of them after the break.
It should have been nothing more than a routine save for Ederson but the Brazilian fumbled the ball, allowing the alert Ward-Prowse to respond first and hook the ball past the stranded keeper.
With his team finally ahead, City boss Guardiola vented at what he felt were time-wasting ploys from the Southampton bench when their team had been leading.
The Austrian left empty-handed but will be happy with the spirit shown by his side, both in this match and Tuesday's 3-1 defeat, given the difficulty of the task they faced in the wake of Friday's loss.
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Those that I know who have worked with him and coached him, they rave about his talent and his play-making ability". If Gordon can help them in any way, the receiver's words about the journey beginning may have some merit.
"The squad was unbelievably committed, unbelievable defending, investing so much in defending our net", Hasenhuttl said.
"It was very hard today for Manchester City to create chances". It was the only way we could play against this opponent. So it was important to come out and show a reaction.
Kyle Walker struck a late victor as champions Manchester City came from behind to snatch a hard-fought win over Southampton in the Premier League.
Vestergaard said, "It's a tough result considering how long we were in the lead".
"We did everything we could and in the end our intensity, and our players, paid off", Guardiola told BBC Sport.
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