A damp day in East Manchester saw the Citizens shrug off a 2 game skid to take a 3-1 victory over Southampton at the Etihad. A couple of penalty appeals (one apiece to each team) were ignored by the ref, and both teams gave it their all in the attack.
So the talking points from the win of City are
Returning after a near 2 month injury layoff, Sergio Aguero may have just injured himself again when he landed awkwardly around the 64th minute, and was limping to the dugout. When he is fit, without a doubt he is the most lethal striker in the Premier League, but City really miss him during his lengthy injury spells especially during crunch matches.
The club and it’s fans will be hopeful that it’s just a minor knock that can be quickly shaken off. Especially, with the likes of Sterling and de Bruyne on the wings, he is the best to pounce on such chances.
Silva, who is a central midfielder, flanked by Raheem Sterling and Kevin de Bruyne, has the ability to form a creative and pacey attack that is able to supply the striker from either the wings or from the centre of the field. It is also possible they would be able to finish the opportunities themselves. Silva, who already has 7 assists to his name this season, can once again propel the Citizens forward.
Kolarov, while a defender by trade, is pretty good at set pieces. He is the designated free-kick and corner taker for the team and it can be seen through the accuracy of some of his set pieces. But, today he showed that given the chance, he can be a lethal finisher in front of goal in open play. His goal, which was the 3rd for City was a pinpoint strike from a de Bruyne cross. He also managed to test the Saint’s keeper, which very nearly led to an early City goal.
Otamendi was back in the Premier League after missing the thrashing against Liverpool. He gave some much needed spine in the centre of defence, being the more vital of the 2 centre backs. However, given the number of shots Southampton had against City, there is a need for the defence to better handle the opposition. With Kompany on, City are a much more stable team, and they will need him if Hart might be set for a longer spell on the sidelines. Atleast Otamendi’s inclusion has mitigated the damage.
The Saints were the high flying team last year, surpassing all expectations to finish 7th with a healthy tally of 60 points. It was their defence that really helped them last season, and so far their sloppy defending could see them slide down the table.
Yoshida was responsible for giving up the ball to Sterling that allowed de Bruyne to score the opener, and when Kolarov scored, he had ample time to choose his shot. Koeman really needs to work on his backline if the Saints are to establish themselves as an upper-half premier league side.