Man City deserved Carabao Cup loss to Southampton

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola delivered a scathing assessment of his side’s performance after they exited the League Cup in a dismal 2-0 defeat at Southampton on Wednesday.

The competition has long been a domain dominated by City, who have won the Cup on six occasions since 2014, but for the second time in as many seasons they were knocked out before the semi-finals.

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For only the third time in Pep Guardiola’s tenure as City boss, and the first time since 2018, his side failed to even manage a shot on target.

“That’s the reason why we weren’t good,” he told Sky Sports when asked about that statistic.

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Southampton struck twice before the half-hour mark and defended well to limit City’s opportunities going forward despite just 28% of possession.

Guardiola was blunt in his analysis of his side’s performance, telling BBC Radio 5 Live: “The better team won. We didn’t play well, we didn’t play well at the start. There are many games you can’t start well and win and we didn’t.

“When you’re not prepared to play this game, you come one inch late and don’t score a goal. If you’re prepared, you score the goal.

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“Today was a bad night, the opponent was better so we have to congratulate them. To win games you have to earn it and tonight we didn’t.”

Guardiola named a strong side with Joao Cancelo, Jack Grealish, Ilkay Gundogan and Kalvin Phillips among the starters, but apart from an early shot that was dragged wide by midfielder Gundogan, they made little impression on the game.

Guardiola’s sentiments were echoed by Gundogan, who was disappointed with his side’s performance.

“It’s definitely not what we wanted,” the German told Sky Sports.

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“We were hoping to go through in the Carabao Cup, but with that [performance] there was no chance. It wasn’t enough of us.

“With the ball we made a lot of mistakes, missed a lot of passes, gave them the ball too easily and that resulted in the two goals.

“Today we were not good enough to create chances, not good enough to score a goal. The mixture of the performance of all the teams gives this result.”

City will need to improve for their next game on Saturday, a Premier League derby away to neighbors Manchester United, who have won their last eight competitive games.


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