Guardiola: City were ‘excellent’ defensively against Saints

Pep Guardiola was pleased with how Man City played defensively in their 1-0 at St Mary’s against Southampton.

It proved to be a very tight game at St Mary’s. Man City went 1-0 in front in the 16th minute through Raheem Sterling. A great move was finished off by the Englishman after he was set up by Kevin De Bruyne.

Southampton finished the first half well, but they did not quite do enough to forge an all-important equaliser.

F365 SAYS: City do what needs doing against undaunted Southampton

The second half followed a similar trend, with each team having chances to score. City were not at their scintillating best, but they saw out the game to pick up an impressive victory on the road.

This is Man City’s first win in three games. Prior to this one, they had drawn back to back games against Manchester United and West Brom.

Guardiola’s men are now just one point behind Southampton, and they remain eight points off of Liverpool.

Speaking with Amazon Prime Video post-match, as cited by BBC Sport, Guardiola praised his side’s defensive work against Southampton:

“We had the momentum in the second half, but we couldn’t score and we nearly suffered.

“They put a lot of players inside; they provoke you to be narrow. It’s difficult. They don’t allow you to be compact, that’s why they are so good. That’s why they’re creating problems.

“They have the best free-kick taker I have seen in my life in [James] Ward-Prowse. Their position in the table, Ralph [Hasenhuttl] is doing an excellent job.

“It’s a good result for us, it will help us a lot going into our EFL Cup game.

“Defensively we were excellent. Last season we struggled a lot. Ruben [Dias] has helped us a lot. John [Stones] the last few games has been exceptional.

“We continue to play more and more to create more chances.

“I’m jealous of Southampton, they can have supporters, we cannot. Everyone can agree we’d love to have fans back. But we have to be alert. We have to be careful.”

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