Here are three things we learned from the contentious match:
1 - The City players have to make the most out of squad rotation
Without their essential playmakers, the Citizens challenged Huddersfield but lacked the utmost quality.
David Wagner achieved a certain degree of his intended upset by forcing the draw with Pep Guardiola’s side. Even with widespread changes to the squad, the Blues’ starting XI surely had the potential to act decisively against a less experienced Championship squad.
Some of the Terries' best looks at Claudio Bravo’s goal came from clumsy errors from the City back line. If the Sky Blues wish to achieve their most vaunted objectives, the lack of coordination and confidence with new players on the pitch will have to change.
2 - Promising Signs
Fernandinho demonstrated further flexibility and then sank back into his more regular role with greater success. John Stones appeared to recognize the imminent challenge of Huddersfield and helped Claudio Bravo keep City in the match. Nicolas Otamendi operated with similar dedication. Pablo Zabaleta gave another passionate performance to the club with a sense of leadership that exhibited his familiarity with Cup matches.
Some of these players will serve the squad well when figures get dense in the near future. While the Blues didn’t manage to overcome the Championship side, there were elements of the rotation that will be noted by the club as they prepare for Champions League challenges and seek to maintain a place in the top four of England.
3 - There’s a lot to do
With Vincent Kompany’s injury, Sergio Agüero’s frustration, Aleksandar Kolarov’s fumbles, and other woes crashing the City camp this past week, along with Gabriel Jesus’ injury, the Sky Blues have to keep simple focus on building off their recent form.
Since the Tottenham Hotspur draw, Guardiola’s men have shaken off their mid-season woes with a strong dose of speed and better coordination throughout the team, but they stuttered a bit this weekend. Although it might have been expected, a win would have done much to reflect the ultimate depth of City’s squad.
As it appears now, Leroy Sané and Raheem Sterling have to dominate the wings with the triangular combination of Yaya Touré, De Bruyne, and David Silva in support.
While the players mentioned above are capable of more than enough for City’s success, there has to be widespread confidence and execution. Strength in both boxes still eludes the Blues at vital moments.
Tuesday night’s match against AS Monaco will set a tone for the near future. The Blues will surely send out a strong lineup in the Champions League fixture but will lack the confidence of a win against Huddersfield.
They will have to be at their absolute best up and down the pitch as the most elite players realign to ensure that the club will advance into the next round of Europe’s most elite competition.