Manchester City went through the most 'Typical City' of performances on Sunday afternoon, falling to a narrow 1-0 defeat to Ralph Hasenhuttl's Southampton, despite registering 26 shots at goal, and maintaining 76% of ball possession across the 90 minutes.
Pep Guardiola's side failed to recover after sloppily conceding early on, but, to the Saints’ credit, they defended excellently throughout the match and standout performances from Stephens and McCarthy ensured that City returned to Manchester empty-handed.
Here's how we rated the players...
Ederson – 7.5
Caught off his line for Che Adam’s opening goal, however, Ederson could not have predicted Zinchenko’s naivety in possession. Ederson did brilliantly to deny Adams a second after adeptly reacting to a rare Garcia mistake, and later made several impressive saves to deny Southampton from increasing their lead.
Joao Cancelo – 7
One of City’s better performers in the first half, the Portuguese impressed going forward and drove at the opposition well, however, Cancelo was occasionally unconvincing in possession and often looked suspect defensively.
Aymeric Laporte – 7
Had a shaky start but improved greatly as the game progressed. Laporte was mostly solid in defence and bizarrely looked to be City’s most likely source for a goal as the game developed.
Eric Garcia – 6.5
The youngster was excellent in possession and played the ball well out of defence, whilst coping well with Southampton’s pressing. Garcia almost gifted Adams a brace after under-hitting a pass to Ederson, however, the Brazilian came to the rescue.
Oleksandr Zinchenko – 4.5
No surprises that the Ukrainian was at fault for Adam’s opener after cheaply conceding possession and Zinchenko gave the ball away several more times throughout the game. Zinchenko improved greatly in the second half, however, his mistake early in the match ultimately cost City the game.
Fernandinho – 5.5
‘Dinho didn’t have the greatest game, with the veteran looking unconvincing defensively, and uncharacteristically poor in possession. The Brazilian will surely be disappointed by his performance, especially considering that he has been consistently reliable throughout the campaign.
David Silva (C) – 8
Dictated the tempo and was easily City’s best player on the pitch. Silva’s influence grew throughout the game, and the Spaniard almost scored with a rare headed shot midway through the first half and had a couple of other efforts denied by McCarthy and Southampton’s defensive wall.
Bernardo Silva – 6.5
Bernardo’s movement and link-up play were often great, although his final ball was often lacking.
Raheem Sterling – 7
Sterling again played well; his off-the-ball movement was typically great whilst his link-up play was commendable. The Englishman was substituted just before the hour mark, possibly due to the volume of minutes Sterling has played compared to his teammates.
Gabriel Jesus – 6
Linked-up well in the final third but once again looked off the mark. Jesus was again ineffective in front of goal and appears to lack confidence. With Aguero potentially out for the season, Guardiola will be desperate for Jesus to rediscover his goalscoring form, especially with important FA Cup and Champions League fixtures on the horizon.
Riyad Mahrez – 6.5
Mahrez once again looked threatening, however, he failed to pierce Southampton’s ardent defence during his time on the pitch. Mahrez was substituted before the hour, perhaps with upcoming fixtures in mind.
Kevin De Bruyne – 6
Did not have the desired impact after being introduced to try and salvage the game. De Bruyne had the opportunity to equalise the game with a last-gasp free-kick but the Belgian failed to beat the wall.
Phil Foden – 5.5
Played for over 30 minutes but was disappointingly ineffective.
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