Guardiola lists three reasons why Man City struggled against Southampton

Samuel Bannister
Pep Guardiola during Manchester City v Southampton

Pep Guardiola outlined the numerous reasons for Manchester City failing to unlock the game against Southampton in their 0-0 draw.

City failed to score at the Etihad Stadium for the first time since March as they were held to a stalemate by Southampton on Saturday. In fact, it was a result their opponents deserved. City will thus have to get back to the drawing board.

Five games into the Premier League season, they have three wins, one defeat and this draw. There is time for them to build more momentum as they did last season, but they are still finding their feet even after scoring six in the Champions League in midweek.

This time, they couldn’t get past Southampton and Guardiola explained afterwards why that was the case.

He told Match of the Day: “We struggled with our build up. It was not precise, not good.

“We lost more balls than usual, and we were not very comfortable connecting with the players up front.

“We had chances. But a draw was a fair result. We tried to win but we couldn’t do it.”

Southampton may even have won the game after being awarded a penalty in an incident that saw Kyle Walker sent off. However, after a VAR check, both of those decisions were overturned.

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Guardiola was not drawn into the debate on either that decision or that which saw Raheem Sterling’s late goal for City ruled out for offside.

The ex-Barcelona boss said: “I didn’t see either of them, the penalty or the disallowed goal. I don’t have VAR in my dugout. It was given by VAR, so it isn’t a penalty.”

A crowd of more than 53,000 was in attendance after Guardiola made a plea for more fans to come to their games after the midweek win over RB Leipzig.

It prompted some backlash but the fans were clearly behind him and the team, leading to him praising the atmosphere.

He confirmed: “It was great, as always.”

Hasenhuttl happy with Southampton tactical performance

Ralph Hasenhuttl holding up three fingers

For Southampton, it was a fourth draw of the season already after just five games. This one left a different taste to some others, though, for Ralph Hasenhuttl.

The Saints boss was pleased with their flexibility throughout a game he feels they could have won.

He told Match of the Day: “It was a very demanding game today. This is what we expected.

“Tactically I must say it was one of the best games since I arrived at this club; the guys did an amazing job. We changed the shape four times in the game and I’m proud of what my team did today. We had chances to win it.

“The final ball in and around the box, the final finish was not there.

“You use a lot of energy playing against these opponents, but they had massive problems with our 4-4-2 today. We had many high balls in their half.

“You cannot say we did a bad job today. A draw today feels like a win.”

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