Super-sub Iheanacho spares City’s blushes

Manchester City saw their winless streak extended to five matches after playing to a disappointing 1-1 draw with a gritty Southampton side at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.

  • Manchester City 1 Southampton 1
  • Redmond fires Saints in front
  • Stones equaliser ruled out for offside
  • HT substitute Iheanacho levels matters
  • Saints hold firm to claim a point

Match summary

The Citizens went into the half-time break trailing, with Nathan Redmond firing the Saint ahead after pouncing on John Stones' no-look back-pass in the 27th minute.

Half-time substitute Kelechi Iheanacho restored parity ten minutes into the second half, but the hosts were unable to push on grab the winner as the Saints held firm in the closing stages of the contest to claim a share of the spoils.

Full report

The encounter started at a cautious tempo, with the Citizens enjoying the lion's share of possession without causing the Saints any real problems.

In fact, the first chance of note only arrived in the 20th minute, Southampton midfielder Jordy Clasie firing high and wide from the right-hand side of the box after being teed up by Redmond.

That missed chance should have served as a big warning for the Citizens, who had welcomed skipper Vincent Kompany back to the starting line-up for the first time this season following a lengthy injury lay-off.

However, they were again caught napping in the 27th minute, as John Stones played a no-look pass to Kompany, who did not expect the pass. And, as Kompany pushed up, ahead of Stones' attempted pass, Redmond stole in behind the defensive line and skipped past the challenge of goalkeeper Claudio Bravo before firing into an empty net.

Having been at fault for Southampton's goal, Stones was keen to make amends and very nearly levelled matters a few minutes later when he swept home at the back post. However, the goal was ruled out, with Sergio Aguero adjudged to have been in an offside position in the build-up to the goal.

City continued to press for the equaliser, but they were found wanting in front of goal, with Ilkay Gundogan, Aguero and Raheem Sterling all failing to hit the target with their respective efforts.

In response to a lacklustre first-half showing, Citizens manager Pep Guardiola opted to withdraw talismanic midfielder Kevin de Bruyne at half-time, with youngster Iheanacho taking his place.

And the Nigerian's introduction had the desired effect, as he latched onto a neat pass from Leroy Sane before placing the ball in the right-hand corner from inside the area.

The goal gave the hosts a visible lift, and they redoubled their efforts as they went in search of a the winning goal.

However, they found it tough going against a committed Saints defence, while they were also guilty of showing a wasteful touch in front of goal.

Aleksandar Kolarov, Gundogan, David Silva failed to find a way past Fraser Forster in the Southampton goal, while Charlie Austin and Steven Davis briefly threatened to fire the Saints back in front.

The hosts created a handful of opportunities to snatch all three points as the match drew to a close, but Aguero squandered two chances, while Fernandinho fired over from outside the box in the first minute of injury-time.