Manchester City fell victim to a 2-0 loss away at Southampton and consequently ended Pep Guardiola’s streak of never losing a domestic cup quarter-final. It was expected that City would bring the momentum from the Chelsea fixture only a few days ago but today was not their day.
Following a comfortable win against Chelsea on Sunday, Guardiola still started a slightly weaker side due to the Manchester derby on the horizon.
Stefan Ortega remained in the eleven, Joao Cancelo came in at right back as Kyle Walker played in the centre-half role due to John Stones not being fully fit, and Aymeric Laporte remained as well as Sergio Gomez. Kalvin Phillips got his first start in a City shirt since coming back from injury and lack of fitness and was joined in midfield by club captain Ilkay Gundogan and Phil Foden. The attack saw Jack Grealish on the left and Cole Palmer on the right, with World Cup champion Julian Alvarez starting up top once again.
It was a shaky start for City as they gifted Southampton with a heap of chances in the opening 10 minutes. Ortega came to the rescue on more than one occasion to keep his side level.
The first chance of the game came from a counter-attack for City. Foden won the ball from Mohammed Salisu, which allowed Palmer to run down the wing; the 20-year-old passed it into Gundogan, who shot just wide of the far post.
Southampton attacker Sekou Mara had a great opportunity to give the home side the lead in the 20th minute as he took a great touch in the box, but his volley went just over the bar.
Mara got Southampton’s deserved goal in the 22nd minute as the 20-year-old scored his first goal for the Saints with a cross from Lyanco, which the former struck on the half-volley to beat Ortega at his near post. It came after both sides failed to retain possession, and Southampton capitalised on a lacklustre City side.
Moussa Djenepo doubled the Saints’ lead after a 25-yard strike caught Ortega off his line and stunned the City defence.
City had an appalling first half and were dominated by Southampton for most of it.
Going into the second half, Guardiola made three immediate changes, with Walker, Palmer and Gomez coming off for Manuel Akanji, Kevin De Bruyne and Nathan Ake.
City were more of an organised outfit going out into the second half as they were dominating possession, and an early chance came in the 46th minute, with Alvarez putting a first-time shot wide of the far post from the edge of the box.
However, City did not seem to pose any sustained threat to the home side; therefore, Guardiola brought on Erling Haaland in the 56th minute in hope that the in-form striker could get City back into the gist of the game.
Rodri replaced Phillips in a like-for-like substitution, with the England man failing to impress on his opportunity to shine in holding midfield.
Even after the five changes, City still struggled to dominate like they usually would, as they were unable to register a shot on target. Meanwhile, the majority of Southampton’s chances looked promising.
Southampton nearly made it three after Che Adams scored a tap-in, but he was ruled offside.
The rest of the game was full of misplaced passes, weak challenges and no determination to get back in the game. Haaland could not get into the game, and De Bruyne was not his usual self.
City did not register a shot on target.
Man of the Match
Man of the Match has to go to Southampton player Moussa Djenepo. He scored a well-taken goal from range and completed 100% of his passes and the majority of his duels; great performance against a City side that were horrendous for 90 minutes.
Ortega - 2
Cancelo - 1
Walker - 2
Laporte - 2
Gomez - 0
Phillips - 1
Gundogan - 2
Palmer - 1
Grealish - 2
Alvarez - 2
Foden - 2
Subs: Ake - 2, De Bruyne - 1, Akanji - 1, Haaland - 2, Rodri - 3
Written by: @CharlieTate02
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