Southampton Player Ratings: Manchester City (A)
Southampton’s place in the Premier League next season was confirmed on Sunday despite their cruel, late defeat against Manchester City.
The Saints headed into the game three points ahead of Swansea City, with a 10-goal swing required for the pair to swap places and subsequently land Mark Hughes’ side in the relegation zone on the final day of the season.
Swansea succumbed to a 2-1 defeat at home to Stoke City, however, whilst Saints were harshly beaten late on by Pep Guardiola’s champions.
Southampton’s encounter with City was a cagey one in large parts, with the visitors enjoying large spells of possession throughout but failing to truly penetrate a strong back-line from Saints.
Wesley Hoedt came closest for Saints in the first-half as his header ricocheted off the crossbar.
Gabriel Jesus netted the decisive goal in the game and it came in the dying moments. The young Brazilian forward latched on to Kevin De Bruyne’s impressive lobbed through ball to delicately place the ball above Alex McCarthy and into the net.
City reached the 100-point mark on the day and consigned Saints to another defeat. However, Hughes’ men won’t mind all that much, as they look ahead to another season of Premier League football.
Here are our player ratings for Southampton following their 1-0 defeat.
Alex McCarthy - 8
Commanded his area well and made some good saves. It’s a shame that his efforts weren’t rewarded with what would have been a well-deserved clean sheet.
Cedric Soares - 7
Cedric got forward well and defended astutely, keeping the ever-dangerous Leroy Sane at bay.
Jack Stephens - 7
Stephens displayed the necessary composure throughout and defended well.
Maya Yoshida - 7
Made some important blocks and timed his challenges well.
Wesley Hoedt - 7
Hoedt was one of the Saints’ best players in the first-half and defended imperiously. He was slightly more shaky in the second-half and many of his clearances were questionably unnecessary, but he had a strong game.
Ryan Bertrand - 7
A relatively quiet game for Bertrand but he made a tremendous block to deflect Raheem Sterling’s goal-bound shot on to the post.
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg - 8
Hojbjerg had a really good game. He pressed relentlessly, organised his teammates off the ball and was strong in the tackle.
Oriol Romeu - 8
Romeu had an excellent first-half and was steady in the second-half. His pass selection was improved and he played with composure throughout.
Dusan Tadic - 7
Tadic was always on the lookout for an incisive through ball but no such opportunity presented itself. He aimed to create when he could and was lively throughout.
He celebrated Saints’ safety in typical fashion following the match…
Nathan Redmond - 6
Redmond tried to probe City’s defence and was positive, but his final ball lacked. He was rather anonymous in large periods.
Charlie Austin - 6
Austin worked hard for the team but was generally ineffective.
James Ward-Prowse – 5: Didn’t do a great deal. He limited Saints’ counter-attacks down the right wing due to his lack of pace.
Shane Long – 6: Worked hard and gave Saints an outlet in the second-half, but didn’t offer anything in front of goal.
Sam McQueen – N/A: Wasn’t on for long enough to give a fair mark.