EPL

Manchester City 0-0 Southampton: Champions held after Walker and Sterling VAR drama

By Sports Desk September 18, 2021

Manchester City scraped a controversial goalless draw at home to Southampton on Saturday at the end of a difficult week for manager Pep Guardiola.

The Premier League champions were far less impressive against Saints than they had been in beating RB Leipzig 6-3 in midweek – a victory that was overshadowed by Guardiola's post-match comments.

The Catalan coach upset fans by appearing to question the attendance for another big home triumph, urging "all our people to come" for a clash against "so, so dangerous" Southampton.

Guardiola later insisted his comments about fans had been misinterpreted, but Southampton certainly lived up to his pre-match lofty billing and were left disappointed to head home with only a point after a second-half penalty awarded against Kyle Walker was overturned – albeit Raheem Sterling also had a late goal struck off.

Chances were few and far between up until the penalty incident, although Che Adams dragged wide as pressure built on the City goal.

It appeared as though Southampton would have a huge opportunity to win at the Etihad Stadium for the first time since 2004 when Walker barged Adam Armstrong to the ground and was shown a red card on the hour mark.

But referee Jon Moss was called to the pitchside monitor and ruled in City's favour, giving Walker an unlikely reprieve.

City were well supported throughout – despite the empty seats clearly visible in the stands – but could not capitalise on their narrow escape, even with Kevin De Bruyne, Riyad Mahrez and Phil Foden introduced from the bench.

Sterling did appear to have stolen victory as he turned in the rebound when Alex McCarthy got down to Foden's 90th-minute header, yet another VAR review found the England forward just offside.

Related items

  • Giannis becomes Milwaukee's winningest player as Bucks cruise past Bulls Giannis becomes Milwaukee's winningest player as Bucks cruise past Bulls

    Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 46 points as he became the player with the most wins in the Milwaukee Bucks' history on Friday, with the Chicago Bulls beaten 113-97 at United Center.

    For Milwaukee coach Doc Rivers, however, the focus is squarely on preparing for the postseason as the Bucks eye their third NBA Championship.

    Antetokounmpo surpassed the 40-point mark for the eighth time this season, also adding 16 rebounds and six assists, as the Bucks recorded their fifth straight victory.

    The win was the 489th of Antetokounmpo's Bucks career including both regular-season and playoff games, taking the two-time NBA MVP clear of Sidney Moncrief as the winningest player in franchise history.

    "Everybody has to be on the same page, and I feel like the last couple of games, we're doing that and that's why our defense has taken a step," Antetokounmpo said after the win. 

    "Hopefully, we can keep it up. Right now, it's just about trust. We've just got to trust one another. That's it, win or lose, we have to have the same trust."

    For coach Rivers, who has led the team to an 8-7 run since replacing Adrian Griffin in January, all that matters is ensuring Milwaukee are ready for the postseason.

    "We're winning games, but for us, it's not about that right now," Rivers said. "Our whole key is getting ready. That's the first thing I told the players. 

    "We still have work to do, we're still pushing, we've got to get better. It's nicer to get wins than to lose, but we're not where we want to be yet."

    Milwaukee, who sit third in the Eastern Conference with a 40-21 record, are back in action against the 38-20 Los Angeles Clippers on Monday. 

    They then embark on a four-game California road stretch on Wednesday, when they face the Golden State Warriors at Chase Center. 

  • Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s admiration of City ‘a complete honour’ says Pep Guardiola Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s admiration of City ‘a complete honour’ says Pep Guardiola

    Pep Guardiola has thanked Sir Jim Ratcliffe for ‘helping him do his job’ by stating his admiration for Manchester City.

    New Manchester United co-owner Ratcliffe recently spoke of his ambition to knock neighbours City, and another of their rivals in Liverpool, “off their perch”.

    Yet in doing so he conceded United had fallen well behind both of those clubs and admitted much could be learned from their success.

    He even went as far as to say City’s 4-0 demolition of Real Madrid in last season’s Champions League semi-finals was “the best quality of football I’ve ever seen”.

    Guardiola says such compliments are a source of pride and feed his continuing desire for success.

    The City manager, whose side host United on Sunday, said: “I just say thank you so much.

    “Sometimes they are more than the titles, the compliments of the personalities that make this country, like Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s comments. It is a complete honour for us.

    “One can produce emotions and feelings for the players and our rivals. That helps to do our job. Thank you so much on behalf of all of us.

    “But I am sure tomorrow they will try, one way or another, to inoculate the Man Utd players with the best performance to try to beat us.”

    This weekend’s derby could be a key encounter for champions City in their bid to win a fourth successive Premier League title.

    Considering their recent superiority over their neighbours, and United’s inconsistency this season, City are expected to come out on top but Guardiola is wary of the pitfalls of the fixture.

    He said: “Do you remember when United went to Anfield this season? Last season it was 7-0.

    “Remember the comments? How many goal are Liverpool going to score? It would be easy for Liverpool.

    “What was the result? Liverpool didn’t win.

    “It is United. The past is the past. Tomorrow it is 11 players with pride, with a manager – we cannot deny how good he has done in the past in Amsterdam – trying to do his best.

    “In different situations, with City in the position of United, I know my players would behave at Old Trafford with pride and the best character. It is going to happen to United on Sunday.

    “It will be a tough game, another final for us. I know how difficult it will be.

    “It has been more difficult here than at Old Trafford in our period together. We lost more (derby) games here than Old Trafford. We have to perform really well to do it.”

  • Man Utd can learn from Man City but we must do things our own way – Erik ten Hag Man Utd can learn from Man City but we must do things our own way – Erik ten Hag

    Manchester United can learn from Manchester City’s success but will not try to copy their methods, according to manager Erik Ten Hag.

    United head to the Etihad Stadium on Sunday for the Manchester derby once again a long way adrift of their neighbours in the Premier League.

    A restructuring of United’s football hierarchy is under way following the investment made by Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s Ineos Group, with their first move to bring in Omar Berrada from City as chief executive.

    Ten Hag said: “I think you can always learn from opponents who are successful and you have to do it if you want to go to high levels but, at the same time, we have to do it in a United way.

    “This is a different club with a different environment, with a different DNA. But you pick up things that can be successful and you integrate it in your own model.”

    Ratcliffe wasted no time setting out his ambitions for United, arguing they can knock City and Liverpool “off their perch” in three years.

    United went into the weekend sitting 15 points below City and 16 adrift of Liverpool but Ten Hag insists he welcomes Ratcliffe setting public targets.

    “It helps,” said the Dutchman. “We have to show ambition. We want to be the best and that is what United stands for. But, at the same time, we know also where we are now.

    “We also have seen that there are moments where we go toe-to-toe. That’s the belief we have as a team. We have to pick up these moments and we have to prove it in every game. I think we are able to with this squad we have.”

    United have lost five of their last six matches against City, including a 6-3 defeat at the Etihad last season and a 3-0 home loss in October.

    “At this moment I have a lot of respect for them but not the respect that we think we can’t win this game,” said Ten Hag.

    “On the contrary, we will show we can win this game. In the (FA) Cup final, we showed we were very close. Also first half at Old Trafford in the home game before that crazy VAR moment changes the game completely.

    “The second half we didn’t play well and they played very well, so don’t let them come into the game, that is I think what we have to take with us for Sunday.”

    Ahead of the last derby, City boss Pep Guardiola said Liverpool rather than United were his side’s biggest rivals, and Ten Hag added: “The last decade, that is the way it went.

    “I think it’s a fair assessment. But we can’t accept this as a club. We have to bounce back. As Sir Jim says, we have to show ambition, we want to be the number one. I think that’s a good ambition.”

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.