Manchester City Home Lost 1 – 3
Ralph Hasenhűttl is only the latest foreign coach to be sent into a panic by a holiday schedule that this year gave four games in twelve days (five in fifteen, including the Cup), and he won’t be the last. Game three brought reigning Champions Manchester City to St. Mary’s and Ralph chose the moment to make six unlikely changes, including a debut for Kayne Ramsey – it seemed defeatist, and that’s just how the afternoon ended up, but had a couple first half incidents turned out differently. Firstly Austin managed to find himself with acres of space and only Ederson between him and goal but an awful touch let the keeper save easily, and within no time it was 0-1; some rather ordinary defending let Bernardo Silva cross for David Silva to sweep the ball home. The visitors were taking notable liberties at the back, including a particularly audacious series of passes that eventually led to a chance for Mahrez, but they were to pay for a lack of respect for their opponents when Højbjerg robbed Zinchenko and ran on to smash the ball home. Then, with the interval approaching, Ward-Prowse went down in the penalty area under pressure from Zinchenko; any sort of challenge from behind usually leads to a spot kick, but referee Tierney would not have been impressed by the extent of any contact, and again the incident was almost immediately followed by a City goal; Ward-Prowse was still involved, his unfortunate touch on Sterling’s cross being enough for him to be the latest to expose McCarthy’s shortcomings at the near post. In fact the game was beyond Saints by the time the half time whistle came as Bednarek was nowhere near close enough to his man to prevent Agűero heading past McCarthy, who went down like a sack of coal. The home keeper had earlier made some good saves, and he was the only one to see any sort of activity during a second half stroll for City, with Agűero hitting the bar and Saints finishing a man short following a straight red card for Højbjerg – he won’t have need to complain about a crowded fixture list.
LSSC Man of the Match: Kayne Ramsey. Well it was going to be Højbjerg until his 85th minute dismissal, so why not the youngest player? Not the first Ramsey to play at full back for Southampton, of course, the last being knighted for services to football. No pressure there then.