Southampton 0 Manchester City 1 – Sterling strikes as City back to winning ways
2020-21 English Premier League report: Southampton vs. Manchester City – Saturday, 19 December 2020
Southampton 0 Manchester City 1 – St. Mary’s stadium
After back-to-back draws against Manchester United and minions West Bromwich, Pep Guardiola’s men returned to winning ways as they overcame a determined Southampton away at St. Mary’s stadium on Saturday.
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City did not take long to stamp their authority on the game after a bright start from the hosts. Raheem Sterling’s goal in the 16th minute came from a signature City move with Kevin De Bruyne motoring down the right flank and cutting back from the line for the English forward to sweep in past keeper Alex McCarthy.
The Saints looked energetic in spurts but could not carry on the impetus post the interval as they lost Danny Ings to a pulled hamstring just four minutes before the break.
Theo Walcott looked a constant threat on the right threat as Ralph Hasenhuttl’s Saints looked to unsettle City with six outfield players pressuring the rival back four.
The best chance for an equalizer fell to Che Adams from a Walcott cross but the former’s header deflected off City defender John Stones and spun inches wide of the post. The hosts’ attack was dealt a blow as Ings, who has seven goals to his credit so far in the ongoing season, had to leave the field injured in the 41st minute and replaced by an inexperienced 21-year old Nathan Tella.
Guardiola’s outfit came out strongly in the second-half and nearly doubled their lead when Ferran Torres dashed down the right flank and let one loose but his shot was off target as it sped across the goal.
Bernardo Silva missed an opportunity to score from a lovely de Bruyne delivery as he lost control and his weak effort trickled into McCarthy’s grasp. Riyad Mahrez coming in as substitute in the 72nd blasted an easy chance over after some deft work from Bernardo Silva.
McCarthy kept his side’s hopes of salvaging a draw alive with a fine save from Ilkay Gundogan’s curled shot as Hasenhuttl introduced Nathan Redmond on the stroke of the hour to force a positive result.
The Saints forward was active from the moment he came in but was unable to convert a golden chance he found inside the rival box as he connected thin air in his attempt to shoot from a very inviting position.
Guardiola, workmanlike approach to the game built around defensive unity paid off once again as City held on Sterling’s winner and mustered three valuable points.
Southampton starting Xi playing in a 4-4-2 formation: McCarthy (goal), Walker-Peters, Bednarek, Vestergaard, Bertrand, Walcott, Djenepo, Ward-Prowse, Romeu, Ings, Adams
Subs: Tella, Redmond, N’Lundulu
Man City starting Xi playing in a 4-2-3-1 formation: Ederson (goal), Walker, Cancelo, Dias, Stones, Gundogan, Rodri, De Bruyne, Bernardo, Sterling, Torres
Man of the match: Kevin De Bruyne
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