Manchester City Away Lost 4 – 0
We always like to travel hopefully, don’t we? But there are some fixtures where any sort of positive result just doesn’t seem possible, and the best thing to do is enjoy the day for what it is… or just don’t go. Those who travelled to Manchester City had obviously ruled out the latter option, but some ignored the alternative as well, with increasingly vocal calls for the manager’s head vying with gallows humour support for the team come the end. I do get that it would have been nice to see Saints taking the game to our free-scoring opponents, but the most likely outcome with that approach would surely have been an even heavier defeat: the stat which showed zero shots on target is understandable; of those off target, only Stuart Armstrong’s first half volley made MotD’s edit, two were from late substitute Elyounoussi and were safely ignored by Ederson – heaven knows when the other two came. As it was, the team at least emerged with their dignity intact by restricting City to below five goals for the first time in October – even if they had to be thankful for some profligate first half home finishing. Mahrez was the chief culprit but more surprising was a miss by Haaland who contrived to hit he inside of the post from a ‘sitter’ that he struck so well that he ball went along the line before going safely out beyond the opposite upright. Of course the good fortune couldn’t last and wing back Cancelo was causing problems way before he opened the scoring with a fine goal that Saints couldn’t really do much about. A problem right flank was opened up again for the second, scored by Foden. When Canselo crossed for Mahrez to hit his far post 47th minute volley with more control than previously, things threatened to go pear-shaped. City did indeed go on to grab a fourth that we couldn’t do anything about, Haaland‘s inevitable strike, and they still had a quarter of the game to play, but successive home substitutions with unfeasibly high squad numbers helped us out. Ralph’s post-match comments might not have helped his situation, and neither would have the observations of one of MotD’s more idiotic analysts who could no better than highlighting some occasions when a hard working team got it wrong.
Three LSSC Man of the Match candidates to choose from:
22. Mohammed Salisu, who seems to alternate between looking a very accomplished defender, or being something of a joke. This was one of his better days.
31. Gavin Bazunu. The under-fire keeper made some good saves but his best moments (in this game, and in his season so far) were the couple of occasions when he showed commendable speed off his line to dive at Haaland’s feet. Of course it helped that City’s approach was too pure than to try him out at his near post.
37. Armel Bella-Kotchap. If we’re limited to selecting a defender, he has to be in the frame