Ralph Hassehüttl’s Southampton side held Premier League champions, Manchester City to a barren draw in the presence of an unhappy Manchester City fans.
After an impressive UEFA Champions League outing in midweek, it was a very different Manchester City side laboured for a goalless draw against a winless Saints who have now gone four league matches without a win, drawing all of their last four for the first time since 2002.
Ralph Hasenhüttl surprisingly reverted to his more adventurous 4-2-2-2 formation after his team’s defensive display against West Ham last week, and in the opening 20 minutes, the away side was able to contain Manchester City’s passing game.
However, as the half wore on, the Saints’ defence began to face the force of an attacking outfit that had scored 21 goals in their previous four home games, with İlkay Gündoğan spurning a good chance by heading over, and £100m-man Jack Grealish continuously testing the mettle of teenage right-back Tino Livramento.
Southampton’s resistance held on, ensuring that City failed to register a shot on target in the first half of a home game for just the fourth time since the start of the 2016/17 season.
Inexplicably, Pep Guardiola’s men started the second half worse than they had the first, consistently losing possession in dangerous areas.
City’s nervy moments came in the 60 minutes when Kyle Walker bundled down Saints’ Adam Armstrong in the penalty box. It took the VAR to overrule Jon Moss’ penalty decision which was a soothing balm to the Cityzens.
Kevin De Bruyne, Phi Foden and Riyad Mahrez came on later-on for the Champions in an attempt to find the winner but it was a rebound from Foden that Sterling was able slot in, with the excitement of scoring City’s winning goal only for the goal to be chalked off for a conspicuous offside the English international found himself before scoring.
Southampton with the draw are still on the hunt for their first win in four matches and will face Bruno Lage’s Wolverhampton Wanderers next weekend at the St. Mary’s stadium.
This article was most recently revised and updated 1 month ago