Published on December 1st, 2014 | by Daniel Cheeseman0
Southampton 0-3 Manchester City | The City Nitty Gritty
“Keep calm and carry on”
City showed us why they are the current Premier League champions today. The way they reacted to several incidents throughout the game was truly admirable, and it sums up how much they’ve improved in the past couple of weeks.
The Blues started off the game very brightly and with a quick tempo, with Samir Nasri, Yaya Toure, Fernandinho and Sergio Aguero all instrumental in the attack (as they were all match), but their mental strength was tested early on when Sergio Aguero was wrongly booked for simulation by Mike Jones.
I believe that that incident was the major turning point in the game, as we could have easily lost our focus at that point and given the momentum to Southampton, but the professionalism of the team really showed by the way they kept calm and carried on playing as they were.
The team continued to create several chances after that, with Yaya Toure, Sergio Aguero and Stevan Jovetic all coming close to scoring, and we ended the first half very positively.
I noticed that the team re-emerged from the tunnel a lot quicker than they normally do, which made me believe that they were keen to hit the ground running in the second half. That theory was confirmed just a few minutes later,as Sergio Aguero found Yaya Toure unmarked on the edge of the box – who then smashed the ball home in typical Yaya fashion.
From that point on City were in total control, and for the first time in the match St Mary’s stadium was quiet – which gave the players even more confidence.
I can’t remember the Saints creating many, if any, clear cut chances in the second half. While that was partly down to the fact that they weren’t playing well, you cannot deny that City were immense in defence – hey, I might use that as a blog title some time!
However, their next mental test came when Eliaquim Mangala was sent off for a reckless challenge at a crucial point in the game. While you could argue that he had no choice but to bring down Shane Long after Yaya’s mistake, I still think that he wouldn’t have remained on the pitch anyway, as he was a liability all throughout the match.
The next 5 or 10 minutes after that incident was another massive test on City’s mental strength, as the game could have easily turned on it’s head at that point, but the Blues reacted like Bayern Munich did last week and made the most of the quality they still had on the pitch.
We also got to see another side of Aguero today, as he showed us that he is more than just a goalscorer by the way that he assisted both Yaya Toure and Gael Clichy’s goals spectacularly. It just goes to show that when a player of his standards is on top form, they never seem to put a foot wrong, and they even start to help out the rest of the team in ways you wouldn’t particularly expect them to!
I know that I’ve probably exhausted this phrase by now, but I think that the way in which City kept calm and carried on when Vincent Kompany went off injured in the dying embers of the game, was just as important as the other two incidents I mentioned.
Even though we were 3-0 up at that point, as we all know anything can happen in football, and it was only last season that we watched Liverpool let a 3-0 lead slip against Crystal Palace when everyone thought the game was won, so the way in which we saw the game out in the last few minutes was very important.
In summary, I was very proud to be a Blue today because of the way the team performed, and I think it helped that many of our big players stepped up knowing that Chelsea had dropped points against Sunderland.
Let’s hope that we capitalize on this good run of form while it lasts and close the gap even further before the new year!