Sigh, that was a rough one fellow Citizens. Another pair of dropped points in the Premier League with Manchester City trudging their way to a 1-1 draw with Southampton on Sunday afternoon. There was a lot of last season in the performance this weekend from City, and that’s definitely not a good thing.
Last weekend City lined up in a nearly identical formation with some different players in different roles, but ended up with the same final scoreline. Oh my, how different those two performances were though. Last weekend against Everton we created a lot but just couldn't bury the chances, two penalties included. This weekend it was nearly the opposite of that. Toothless and meandering are decent terms to describe the attack from City and considering the amount of attackers on the pitch, that was inexcusable.
City were able to turn it on for the final twenty minutes or so, but why that level of effort no urgency wasn't there from the beginning is mind boggling. The biggest problem City had Sunday was in that formation City needed to be turned on for the whole 90+ minutes and one mistake led to Southampton’s goal.
Once they were down, City needed to really push on and they started to, until John Stones had his equalizing goal disallowed. After that, City was quite listless until after halftime when Kevin De Bruyne was removed for Kelechi Iheanacho. It seems the Belgian may have suffered an injury early in the first half, so that might explain his tough performance. Iheanacho added something to City’s attack that just wasn't there before and got his deserved equalizer, but even with the Nigerian chances were still few and far between.
Below are our player ratings for the match, be sure to comment with your City man of the match below!
Claudio Bravo: 6.5
The Chilean had a fairly quiet afternoon. There was nothing he could really do on the turnover that led to Southampton’s goal. Thankfully after a night to forgot Wednesday, Bravo came back and had a solid, mistake-free performance on Sunday.
John Stones: 5.0
It’s difficult to be harsh on Stones here as his performance was actually quite good, but his one mistake led to City dropping two points. The young Englishman has been so good this season and if my memory serves, this was Stones' first big mistake of the season. Considering how much he’s been leaned on this year that’s important.
Vincent Kompany: 6.5
Did he do it? Did Kompany actually make it through a game without hurting himself? Thank God, although he didn’t play the ninety, Kompany played and played well for the majority of the game. Some might say he stood still on the Stones turnover, but time will help that partnership get better. The important thing here is the captain played and made it through unscathed.
Aleksander Kolarov: 6.5
It’s very clear why Pep prefers the Serbian defender to his French counterpart in Gael Clichy. A large part of City’s strategy was Kolarov with the long switch to either Raheem Sterling or Leroy Sané. These passes were at times wonderful and sometimes woeful. That’s the risk you take. In defense, no high-profile mistakes and Kolarov was mostly solid.
The Brazilian had one os his better games in a while on Sunday. His long ball to Sané that led to City’s goal was absolutely top class. Whether he was tasked with mopping up the midfield's turnovers or even deputizing in the back line once Kompany came off, Fernandinho was excellent.
Ilkay Gundogan: 6.5
The German midfielder played an alright game against Southampton. Nothing really sticks out in terms of spectacular, which is what he might have to be if Kevin De Bruyne is out any extended period of time. Towards the end when City were trying to press for a winner, Gundogan played well with Raheem Sterling through the middle, probably his best part of the game.
David Silva: 6.5
This wasn't the best overall performance from City’s magician. Choked for space and room Silva was able to dribble around and found space, but his final ball seemed lacking at times. Any prolonged absence from De Bruyne means Silva and the rest of City’s midfield are going to have to step up as soon as possible.
Kevin De Bruyne: 6.0
This one’s tough because it is now clear De Bruyne suffered a knock very early in the first half and tried to gut it out and continue playing. Something wasn't right though and the Belgian’s movement looked woeful at times, forcing Silva into a position he didn’t plan on occupying before the game started. His delivery for Stones' offside goal was excellent, but the knock clearly hindered his running.
Leroy Sané: 7.5
City’s other new German player played his best in a City shirt in his young career. Whether it was on the right or left, Sané was wonderful using his pace, skills, and passing to unlock Southampton’s defense at times. Also got a very deserved assist on Kelechi’s goal.
Raheem Sterling: 8.0 (City Man of the Match)
The Englishman earned my City MOTM almost purely for his final 30 minutes on the pitch. When City were trying to win the game, it seemed Sterling was the only player trying to do so. Starting the game on the left, Sterling seemed too far away from the action. Moving to the right in the second half and finally more central in the final minutes, Sterling looked his best.
Sergio Agüero: 6.5
One of the Argentine’s worst games this season. There’s been other games where Agüero didn’t get on the scoresheet, but he looked far from his usual threatening self in this one. This is the kind of game in the past we’ve seen Agüero carry City to three points, but even the talisman looked out of sorts on Sunday.
Kelechi Iheanacho: 7.0
Another substitute performance, another big goal for Iheanacho. The Nigerian is going to be great for City and it’s only a matter of time before he starts forcing his way into more and more starting lineups.
Jesus Navas: 6.0
Did Jesus Navas play right-back? Not really his normal position, and in reality the Spaniard got more forward as a right winger, but any ball he played had “Jesus Navas played this” written all over it.
Came on super late so no real time to mark. Have to wonder why the Spaniard didnt feature earlier however.
That’s our player ratings. City haven't won in five games in all competitions and perhaps most concerning is that City haven't led a game since their last win. Two more chances this week to end this winless streak: a midweek Manchester derby in the EFL Cup and a weekend trip to West Bromwich Albion will hopefully see City start to put more notches in their win column.