City earned a valuable point in a tricky away trip to Southampton on Saturday. After taking an early lead, City were pegged back by a well drilled Southampton side resulting in a one all draw. Manuel Pellegrini said after the game, “It is a good point. I don’t feel like we lost two points. In all the other games away I felt like we deserved more but here this was the result that both teams deserved” which summed up the afternoon nicely. Here is a closer look at the player performances.
Costel Pantilimon – 6
Could not do anything about Southamton’s equaliser such was the quality of Osvaldo’s strike and generally performed well. His distribution lets him down at times. Has not really done anything wrong in his appearances this season so it would be a surprise if he wasn’t included for the Arsenal match next weekend.
Pablo Zabaleta – 6
Solid performance again from Zaba, without ever offering too much going forward. Rarely, if ever, lets us down, but still not quite hitting the incredible heights of last season.
Vincent Kompany – 6
Made a few crucial last ditch clearances as City absorbed a lot of Southampton pressure, but was uncharacteristically caught out a couple of times. Got turned inside out for Osvaldo’s goal but his presence alone clearly benefits the team. Expect his performance levels to increase as he continues to regain match fitness.
Martin Demichelis – 5
A performance to forget for Demichelis. He looked uncomfortable throughout and found it difficult to cope with the pace of the Southampton attack. His lack of pace is a concern sometimes, even if his reading of the game is often very good. Put City on the back foot with a few wayward passes out of defence. With Lescott waiting in the wings after hitting some good form recently, it will be interesting to see whether Pellegrini persists with Demichelis for the crucial match with Arsenal next weekend.
Aleksandar Kolarov – 7
Kept his place after a decent performance against West Brom in midweek and seemed to continue that form against Southampton. Got an assist for City’s goal and got forward well to support counter attacks. A much improved player from last season. He’ll never be the world-class left-back City need to dominate at home and abroad, but for now it’s good to see him improving his performances.
Fernandinho – 8
Was kept busy all afternoon as City were outnumbered in midfield for the majority of the match. He never wavered, though, thanks to his incredible engine. Keeps things simple when needed, but also has a great range of passing which can launch attacks quickly. City do not have another player like him and his performances this season have made him almost irreplaceable.
Yaya Toure – 7
Didn’t impose himself quite as forcefully as he often does, and City were lacking in midfield as a result. We need Yaya at his best in the coming weeks, with Arsenal and Liverpool visiting the Etihad this month.
Samir Nasri – 7
Some moments of class but squandered an excellent chance to restore City’s lead. Some of his touches and runs were excellent, but he also gave up possession more than he has been in recent weeks. Appeared frustrated and gave away a few cheap freekicks.
James Milner – 6
Stopped an almost certain goal in the first half with a great last ditch clearance. Typically industrious but removed in the second half as City struggled to get a foothold in the game. He needs to improve when given chances if he wants to stake a case for a more regular spot in the side.
Alvaro Negredo – 6
Failed to reach the heights of his recent performances as nothing seemed to fall for him. Showed plenty of desire and got stuck in to the Southampton defence, but no surprise to see him replaced by Navas in the second half so that City could increase their influence in midfield.
Sergio Aguero – 7
Another expertly taken goal but missed an easier chance to make it 2-0 early in the first half. Always appeared dangerous when City did get forward but this was a game in which City defended more than they attacked. His pace will always cause sides problems, but lacked the cutting edge he’s shown throughout this season.
Jesus Navas – 5
Didn’t offer the impetus he often does from the bench.
Javi Garcia – 6
Did okay and passed neatly, but didn’t change the midfield considerably.
Edin Dzeko – 5
Didn’t bring any kind of threat.
Written by Robert Toole and Rob Pollard