Manchester City vs Southampton did not go as expected, as Pep Guardiola’s reigning champions were held at home by a spirited Saints outfit.
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After controversially calling for more fans to turn up the Etihad Stadium for this game, they did but Guardiola’s side were second-best for large chunks. Ralph Hasenhuttl’s Southampton were well-drilled and dangerous on the break as they were awarded a penalty kick in the second half but VAR overturned it.
The draw means that City are now three points off Liverpool at the top of the table, as they’ve won three of their first five games of the season.
However, they had just one shot on target against Southampton. As for the Saints they have drawn four of their first five games and after being handed a tough start to the season with their schedule, they will take that return.
Manchester City vs Southampton final score, stats
Manchester City 0-0 Southampton
Goals scored: 0
Shots: Manchester City 16, Southampton 10
Shots on target: Manchester City 1, Southampton 2
Possession: Manchester City 64, Southampton 36
Three things we learned from Manchester City vs Southampton
1. Guardiola puts pressure on himself: After his midweek comments asking for City’s fans to turn up for the game against Southampton, Guardiola put himself under a lot of pressure. His team played like they were feeling the pressure. City never got going and although Saints defended well, this was more about City lacking urgency. Perhaps the expectation levels of the crowd piled a little extra pressure on them? Whatever you think about their attendance figures, it was just such a bizarre thing for Guardiola to say, and then not back down on. It is all so unnecessary.
2. Well-organized Saints just lack cutting edge: Make no mistake about it, Southampton were the better team away at Manchester City. Had they been a bit calmer in the final third they could have grabbed a famous win at the Etihad. Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side are well-drilled and look much better defensively this season. They also have greater depth on the bench and if Adam Armstrong, Armando Broja or Che Adams can get going in attack, they will cause problems for plenty of teams. After a tough run of fixtures to start the season, Saints will be full of confidence they can turn these draws into wins soon enough.
3. VAR calls even out: After a penalty kick was given against Kyle Walker and the Man City defender was sent off, it looked like the right call from referee Jon Moss on the pitch. However, VAR told him to have a look at the pitch-side monitor and he changed his mind. It was a 50/50 call and looked a little harsh on Southampton. Similarly, Raheem Sterling seemed to have won it late on for City but VAR was used to rule out his goal for offside after the flag went up. Both could have gone either way, so it was probably fair that neither team benefitted in the end.
Man of the Match: Tino Livramento – Kept Jack Grealish quiet, and the 18-year-old is a threat in attack. What a find the Chelsea academy product has been for Southampton at right back. A special shout to Oriol Romeu who was superb in midfield too.
Early on it was a pretty even game as Southampton looked dangerous on the counter. Ilkay Gunodgan almost got on the end of a Raheem Sterling ball, but Tino Livramento defended well.
Gundogan then headed over at the back post after a fine cross from Kyle Walker as City started to warm up.
Jack Grealish played in Sterling but his curled effort flew just wide, then Bernardo Silva just couldn’t get on the end of a Gabriel Jesus cross.
Jan Bednarek then made a brave block as Southampton held firm, while Mohammed Salisu replaced the injured Jack Stephens before the break.
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Southampton started the second half well, just like the first half, as City struggled to get going.
Che Adams dragged a shot wide as Southampton continued to be brave against Man City. Nathan Ake nodded a corner wide and then Southampton thought they had won a penalty kick and Kyle Walker had been sent off.
Walker lost the ball and Adam Armstrong surged through on goal, but Walker put his leg across and Armstrong went down. Referee Jon Moss initially gave a penalty kick and sent Walker off but after using VAR and looking at the pitch-side monitor, he changed his mind.
Kevin de Bruyne, Phil Foden and Riyad Mahrez all came off the bench late on to try and get City the win, but it was Armstrong who had two shots after some slick Southampton’s move.
De Bruyne had a good chance to win it as he combined with Grealish, but Southampton once again blocked the effort. Sterling then cut inside and had his effort blocked by Mohammed Salisu and from the resulting corner chaos ensued.
Raheem Sterling looked to have won it for City but his goal was ruled out for offside by VAR after Alex McCarthy did superbly to deny Phil Foden, as Southampton breathed a huge sigh of relief and held on for a great point.