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Southampton 0-1 Manchester City: 5 Talking Points as Cityzens climb up to 5th | Premier League 2020-21 

Manchester City beat Southampton 1-0
Manchester City beat Southampton 1-0
Ume Elvis
ANALYST
Modified 20 Dec 2020, 01:55 IST
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A first-half strike by Raheem Sterling was enough to give Manchester City a 1-0 victory over Southampton to send the Cityzens to fifth in the 2020-21 Premier League table..

The last time both sides met in the Premier League in July, a wonder goal by Che Adams saw the Saints pick up a 1-0 win despite being thoroughly outplayed by the Cityzens .

Pep Guardiola would have been wary of a repeat performance on his return to St Mary's, especially with the presence of fans in the stands, but Raheem Sterling did well to calm early nerves.

Some great link-up play between Bernardo Silva and Kevin de Bruyne saw the Belgian lay the ball for Sterling on a platter, and the England international made no mistake from 18 yards out.

That was just reward for the visitors who made a bright start. However, Southampton slowly got into the game and ended the first half on the ascendancy, with James Ward Prowse's delivery and Jannik Vestegaard's threat from set-pieces causing problems for Manchester City goalkeeper Ederson.

Former Arsenal star Theo Walcott was also bright on the wings, but Ralph Hasanhuttl suffered a blow when star striker Danny Ings was substituted in the 41st minute with a hamstring problem.

The second half saw Manchester City up the ante but despite having the lion's share of possession, the visitors struggled to create enough chances and also failed to take the presentable opportunities they created.

As the clock wound down, Guardiola's side resorted to delay tactics that saw Manchester City's goalkeeper Ederson booked for time wasting.

Eventually, City held on for the win that saw them move up to fifth in the standings. On that note, let us take a look at five talking points from the fixture.

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#5 Manchester City stutter their way to a much-needed victory

Manchester City fought hard for the victory.
Manchester City fought hard for the victory.

Manchester City came into this game on the back of a disappointing 1-1 draw with West Brom, a result that was compounded when Liverpool snatched a last-gasp winner against Tottenham Hotspur later that night.

Liverpool once again laid down the gauntlet with a 7-0 demolition of Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park, a result that saw the defending champions move 11 points clear of Manchester City, having played two games more.

Anything other than a win for the Mancunians would have put a serious dent in their quest to reclaim the Premier League title, but they ultimately got the job done.

Even though Manchester City lacked their usual fluency, Pep Guardiola would be satisfied with the three points in his kitty.

The win sees City cut their deficit to Liverpool to eight points with a game in hand. Although theystill have some catching up to do, a win against one of the in-form teams was a step in the right direction.


#4 Danny Ings' injury cause for concern for Southampton

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Danny Ings suffered an injury against Manchester City.
Danny Ings suffered an injury against Manchester City.

Danny Ings has found a new lease of life since signing for Southampton in 2018, with his form seeing him earn a recall on the international scene.

He had a record-breaking campaign last season, scoring 25 goals in all competitions for the Saints. Ings has started the current campaign brightly with five goals and two assists in his first seven league games before getting sidleined due to an injury.

Danny Ings marked his return to the Southampton squad with a goal in his side's 2-1 win over Brighton, but injury struck again in the game against Manchester City.

Although the severity of Ings' injury is unknown, Southampton fans would hope that it is a minor muscle problem, as Ings is a key player for his side.

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Published 20 Dec 2020, 01:55 IST
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