Manchester City advanced to the next round of the Carabao Cup by securing a comprehensive 3-1 win over Southampton.
The defending champions of England were in total control of the game right from the start. Southampton’s plan to employ a 5-3-2 and defend in deep blocks looked promising. But, given the pressure City put during the first phase of the game, it was only a matter of time before Nicolas Otamendi scored the opener in the 20th minute.
The Argentine’s goal opened the floodgates and what followed was a complete assault, with the hosts notably retaining 77% of possession. Sergio Aguero scored a brace to add more gloss to the scoreline. But, Southampton looked dangerous during the final phase of the game, and they even managed to pull one back through Jack Stephens. However, it was too little too late as the game ended 3-1.
Here are Pep Guardiola’s men rated in their comfortable win over the Saints.
Claudio Bravo 6
Had nothing to do all evening apart from making an easy save from Stephens’ header. He could have done nothing to stop the goal, however.
Kyle Walker 8
Walker was a vital cog in the first half as Manchester City dominated Southampton, especially from the right flank. His combination play with Riyad Mahrez made it easier for the hosts to circulate possession. The ex-Tottenham star also made a couple of excellent runs into the byline and provided some dangerous crosses, one of which arrived straight at the path of Aguero for a tap-in.
Nicolas Otamendi 9
Showed incredible character and his leadership was important as Guardiola had made nine changes this evening. Otamendi looked commendable right from the beginning, and his build-up play was superb. Not to mention, he was the one who opened the floodgates by scoring the opener with a thumping header.
Eric Garcia 7
Complemented the efforts of Otamendi at the back. The youngster had nothing much to do, but he did look clumsy and nervous when Southampton pushed forward late in the game.
A mixed performance from the new signing, who pretty much lost sight of the ball due to Man City’s zonal defending from set-pieces as they eventually conceded the Stephens’ goal. But, he was quite effective going forward, though few of his deliveries were questionable.
Bernardo Silva 7.5
He is undoubtedly returning to his old groove as the Portuguese notably provided the ball that led to the first goal. Aside from that, he helped Man City dominate the play and circulate possession, just outside Southampton’s penalty area.
Tommy Doyle 9
Showed incredible composure and skill to dictate the tempo of the game. The youngster truly impressed the onlookers with his excellent passing while he also made a couple of great tackles. His contribution in midfield helped Man City prevent Southampton from causing any difficulties in the middle third. An awesome debut!
Phil Foden 7.5
Looked menacing whenever he was on the ball and made some darting runs across the backline. His combination with Gabriel Jesus on the far side was decent. But, he was entirely overshadowed by the performance of Doyle this evening.
Riyad Mahrez 9
Mahrez was one of the most dangerous players on the pitch as he was involved in almost every attacking moment from Manchester City. Should have used up his chances more wisely if he had hoped to find the back of the net this evening. But, it was an excellent display nonetheless.
Sergio Aguero 8
Aguero once again showcased his brilliance by scoring two well-taken goals. However, he was not as involved as the other players around him, though that’s the very point of being an opportunistic striker.
Gabriel Jesus 7.5
Adapted well to his role on the left flank and create many scoring opportunities for his side. But one would argue that the Brazilian might have been more influential from a central area of the pitch.
Joao Cancelo 7
Replaced Walker a few minutes after the hour mark and helped Man City retain the same intensity going forward. He did, however, have to deal with a couple of attacks from the visitors, which looked quite threatening.
John Stones N/A
A late replacement for Angelino as City looked to preserve their two goal lead and avoid any late miracle from the visitors.
Adrian Bernabe N/A
The youngster came on for Jesus with just three minutes left on the clock.
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