It was yet another disappointing and damaging defeat for Pep Guardiola and Manchester City as they drew 1-1 with relegation candidates West Bromwich Albion.
City went up 1-0 through Ilkay Gundogan before Ruben Dias’ own goal put the visitors level before the break.
City was unable to find a winner as West Brom held on for a valuable point however that didn’t stop them from sacking manager Slaven Bilic and hiring survival specialist Sam Allardyce on an 18-month contract.
It’s just two wins in their last six games for Manchester City who wallow in ninth place as the gap between them and the league leaders Liverpool now stands at eight points.
Out of the top four sides in the league City have faced, they’ve failed to win; drawing against Liverpool and losing against both Tottenham Hotspur and Leicester City, both losses were more than a two-goal margin.
There have been enough games this season to make an accurate judgment on Manchester City and it’s not a positive one for Pep Guardiola.
The hierarchy at City might regret giving Pep his two-year contract extension because right now, he is not validating the trust they have in him.
This could realistically be Pep’s last season should he not win either the Premier League or UEFA Champions League and that possibility will cast serious doubts on Guardiola’s managerial legacy.
Another negative defeat could be on the horizon for City as they face an in-form Southampton who has my vote as performers of the season if that was an actual award.
A Turnaround for Southhampton
It wasn’t too long ago that Southampton was on the back of a record 9-0 defeat at the hands of Leicester City (yes, I’ll stop referencing this) and Ralph Hassenhuttl looked certain to be sacked.
Since then, he led Southampton to an 11th placed finish, their highest league finish since the 2016/17 season, and has masterminded them to third place this season after 13 games.
After starting the season with two losses, including a 5-2 home loss to Tottenham Hotspur, Southampton have lost one of their last 11 games, winning seven.
Even without top scorer Danny Ings for a number of weeks due to injury, the Saints continued earning results as they rightly sit in the Champions League places in December.
I don’t know whether my subsequent prediction for the game is either my educated guess or just blind faith in Manchester City, but I think they get back to winning ways against Southampton with Sergio Aguero on the scoresheet, should he start.
Manchester City lost the last meeting between both sides 1-0 after Project Restart.
Odds on a Southampton home win open at +600. Odds on a Man City win open at -225. Odds on a draw between the two sides open at +350.