Pep Guardiola shared his reaction to Manchester City drawing 0-0 against Southampton, the crowd at the Etihad Stadium and more, and it’s safe to say he wasn’t best pleased.
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After controversially calling for more fans to turn up the Etihad Stadium for this game, the fans did their part.
Manchester City’s players didn’t.
“Always when the game is not good I feel bad for them,” Guardiola said when asked about the fans not being treated to a win. “They come to see a show, to see a game and when it doesn’t happen I feel a bit guilty because we didn’t play good.”
The manager of the reigning Premier League champions said it was a ‘fair result’ and his side struggled with mental tiredness. He also gave a steely glare when asked about the atmosphere as almost 53,000 fans turned up…
Pep Guardiola saw his side dominated for large chunks of the game, as Ralph Hasenhuttl’s Southampton were well-drilled and dangerous on the break as they were awarded a penalty kick in the second half, as well as Kyle Walker being sent off, but VAR overturned the decision. City had just one shot on target in the game, which is very rare for them.
With Pep Guardiola under pressure for his comments about fans not turning up the game against RB Leipzig in midweek, there is a little pressure building on him now.
Pep Guardiola reaction after Manchester City held by Southampton
The Manchester City boss is here, and he has his hands on his hips. That says it all.
“We draw a game against a good opponent that defended really well and have good quality players in the middle. It was a tight game. We were not comfortable in our build up. We lost more balls than usual and created a feeling that we were not good. That is why we struggled. We have to look at ourselves and what we have to do. The opponents is always there. The question is we knew after the Champions League this opponent is tough. We have to do it better,” Guardiola said.
Guardiola said he didn’t see the penalty incident for Southampton and the red card given to Kyle Walker, which were both taken away by VAR. He also said he didn’t see the VAR call to deny Raheem Sterling a late winner for being offside.
Guardiola praises Southampton, talks about fans at Etihad
In fairness, Pep is full of praise for Southampton and he calls Oriol Romeu one of the best central midfielders in the Premier League.
Pep Guardiola was asked by the BBC about the atmosphere at the Etihad: “It was great, as always.” Okay. That’s that, then.
He adds: “We didn’t win because the balls forward were not good. They had four or five in the box, they were there. That is not the reason. It is because we didn’t do our process with the back four and Fernandinho. Those five players have to bring the ball forward for the others.
“Today we didn’t have the freshness in our mind. I wouldn’t say in our legs, in our mind. It is a pity. They had four or five chances and didn’t shoot much. We were there and could not be more clinical in the final third. You can be set back and counter attack or you can be direct. Our process is to pass the ball from defence through midfield to the wingers. In that process you move all together. It was difficult, the opponent was good.”
Phil Foden was disappointed, but philosophical on the draw
Speaking to the BBC, the England playmaker revealed that City weren’t happy with the result.
“You can’t win them all and they can’t be as easy as previous games, winning 5-0. We are a bit disappointed, but these games come and you just have to deal with it and go again,” Foden said.
Was he relieved that Southampton didn’t win a penalty kick?
“Definitely on the sideline it was a big relief that the decision got changed. It gave us that little boost after with the crowd behind us. It’s a shame we couldn’t go on and win it. A lot of the team did [think we won it] and on another day the goal [from Sterling] counts and we win… We have to give [Southampton] credit. They made it really difficult. We didn’t find space like we usually do. It is something to work on when we play tough opponents again.”
Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl is a proud man
After watching his side cause Man City plenty of problems, Saints have now drawn four of their first five games this season.
That may not sound great, but they’ve drawn away at Man City and Newcastle, plus at home against Man United and West Ham, plus lost late on away at Everton on the opening day.
Not a bad start to the season for the Saints.
“I’m very proud,” Hasenhuttl told Southampton’s official channel. “We had a very, very good week. Everybody in the club and everybody in the team was really working hard this week and I must say we deserved to get something here today, as tactically it was a world-class performance.
“It was the best game since I’ve been here tactically. We changed a lot of times the shape and we didn’t give a lot of chances so you have to do something right otherwise it wouldn’t work. All the work we invested this week was for this point and it feels good. We have tried a lot this season and everything seems to work at the moment because I have a mentality in this team that is willing to learn, is open minded and this is a joy to work with.”
🗣 "I'm proud of what I've seen today."
Ralph Hasenhüttl expresses his delight with Southampton fighting for a "deserved" point against Man City pic.twitter.com/6jrfIvBBao
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) September 18, 2021
Southampton captain James Ward-Prowse spoke to the BBC about the decision to overturn the penalty kick for Southampton and red card for Kyle Walker
“It was a strange one for me that it can go from a red card and penalty to absolutely nothing. Surely there has got to be something in between,” Ward-Prowse said.
“What was more important in that moment and when De Bruyne came on, you could feel the energy lift inside the place but we remained calm and stuck to the game plan. That could have been a big turning point for them but we used it to our advantage – stayed cool and stayed calm and saw the game through.”
Ward-Prowse and his Southampton teammate Adam Armstrong, who was brought down for the penalty kick was was originally given, both saluted the brave approach of the team as Saints went for it at Man City.