Man City 0-0 Southampton: Champions frustrated despite VAR reprieve


anchester City lost ground in the early stages of the Premier League title race as they were held to a goalless draw by Southampton.

Things might have been worse for Pep Guardiola’s side had VAR not overturned referee Jon Moss’ decision to award Southampton a second-half penalty and send off defender Kyle Walker.

Statistically City dominated but lacked their normal cutting edge, perhaps underling Guardiola’s point in midweek that his players would go into the Saturday encounter tired after their Champions League exertions.

Raheem Sterling thought he had snatched victory with a last-gasp strike but the flag was raised for offside and VAR confirmed the decision.

Guardiola had issued a rallying cry to fans after Wednesday’s remarkable 6-3 victory over Leipzig, which took their goal tally in their last three home games to 16, and the supporters responded by producing a vibrant atmosphere.

Yet it was not enough for the champions, despite the hosts controlling most of the possession and creating the better chances. Clear-cut opportunities were at a premium as City failed to muster a shot on target in the first half.

Sterling, making his first Premier League start since the opening day of the season, started in the centre-forward position with Gabriel Jesus on the right.

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The pair combined well at times but, with a stubborn Southampton blunting their threat, it was not a surprise to see them switch positions in the second period.

As well as being resilient, Saints were also positive on the break but they were unable to seriously trouble Ederson in an even start to the contest.

City eventually began to assert a measure of control and Sterling played Ilkay Gundogan in on goal with a nice ball but Alex McCarthy was quick to deal with the danger.

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