Sunday 23 October 2016

Man City vs Southampton: Man City back on top as Saints draw raises doubts

Manchester City returned to the top of the Premier League with a 1-1 draw at home to Southampton on Sunday, although the performance again raised question marks over the title credentials of Pep Guardiola’s team after a fifth consecutive game without a victory.

Kelechi Iheanacho’s eighth goal in his last 11 league games cancelled out Nathan Redmond’s first-half opener for Southampton, which owed much to an extraordinary mistrake by City defender John Stones.

City, after winning their first 10 games under Spanish coach Guardiola, have suffered a major dip in form.

Guardiola had spoken passionately in the wake of the midweek 4-0 defeat at former club Barcelona about his desire to stick to his footballing philosophy.

Those beliefs, however, must have been sorely tested in a first half in which his side failed to test Fraser Forster in the Southampton goal and fell behind to the visitors.

The Saints went ahead in the 27th minute following a disastrous back pass from England centre-half Stones, who nonchalantly laid the ball back into the City penalty area despite the presence of Redmond.

The forward retained his composure, beating Vincent Kompany to the ball and rounding Claudio Bravo before converting into the open net.

Following Bravo’s costly defensive slip in the midweek Champions League tie, it was another blow to Guardiola and a handful of home supporters booed the team off at the interval.

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