Manchester City faced a minor hiccup on Saturday as they were forced to settle for a 1-1 draw against Southampton. City’s latest trip to St.Mary’s Stadium was expected to be another one-sided affair for them, however, after 90 minutes of intense football, the Saints managed to stage a spirited performance in front of their home crowd, grabbing a vital point against the defending champions.
Manchester City slip at the start; Saints take an early lead
Guardiola’s men have been known for their ability to dominate sides from the very start of the game. Yet the actual scenario at the St.Mary’s Stadium was completely different for the visiting City side as they witnessed the Saints breaking the deadlock within seven minutes of the game after full-back Kyle Walker-Peters slotted a beautiful volley past Ederson to make it 1-0 for his side.
After being a goal down, the Cityzens started stitching proper attacking chances at their final third. Both Joao Cancelo and Raheem Sterling came close to scoring for their side but were unable to do so due to some flabby finishing.
Laporte responds on behalf of Manchester City; Southampton manage to resist the ‘City’ wave
Southampton would have been pleased with their efforts in the first 45 minutes. Bagging three points against City was still far from reality for the hosts as they had another solid half coming their way.
Guardiola’s troops responded with a firm start in the second half. Rodri came close to scoring as he saw his shot smack the post and go over the top. Moments later, it was Aymeric Laporte who stepped for the Sky Blues to provide a much-required equalizer. The Spanish international was given a neat cross by Kevin De Bruyne, which was later smashed back into the Southampton net, hence canceling out the thin deficit.
After Laporte’s goal, the search for the winning goal was on as City was spotted swarming the Saint’s backline. The end result, however, did not come in favor of the visitors after they failed in their hunt to breach the Southampton defense for the second time of the night.
With the full-time whistle, Guardiola’s side was left with no choice but to accept only one point from this fixture.
Game Verdict: Probably, the only glaring positive for the Cityzens was their ability to fight back from a backward position. A point away from home might still just be an average result for the table-toppers, considering the fact that they were on the brink of losing all three points at this crucial juncture of the league.