Sunday 17 December 2017

Kompany confident that City's form on road will turn a corner

Southampton 1 Manchester City 1

Vincent Kompany
Vincent Kompany

Jamie Holland

Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany is not overly concerned by his side's poor away form, insisting the latest hiccup, a draw at Southampton, is actually a decent result for the title hopefuls.

City have been thoroughly impressive at home since Manuel Pellegrini's summer arrival, winning all seven of their matches at the Etihad Stadium and scoring 29 goals in the process.

However, their form on the road is another matter entirely and hopes of back-to-back away wins for the first time this term went up in smoke on Saturday.

Southampton ended a three-match losing streak, which means City have now failed to win six of their eight league matches on the road – a stark statistic, but one Kompany is philosophical about.

"I thought we started really well," said the City captain. "Afterwards Southampton were in the game and were actually in control. In the end, it was hard-fought and I think any team could have won.

"We will look at this and think that we did not get beaten; it was a tough game, so wasn't a bad result."

In truth, City were fortunate to avoid defeat on the English south coast after a start that suggested they could run amok. Sergio Aguero swept home his 11th goal in 10 Premier League matches after just 10 minutes and Aleksandar Kolarov nodded just wide moments later.

Aguero also wasted a gilt-edged chance midway through the first half – something City were made to rue as Southampton's high pressing and possession game made life difficult, with Dani Osvaldo's outrageous equaliser ensuring a share of the spoils.

"Every team should be disappointed if they don't manage to maintain a result," Kompany said. "But it is a very good Southampton team and many teams will lose points here. It did feel like we were playing a top side, so if we manage to win the next game then ultimately we will be happy with the draw."

That next league match pits them against leaders Arsenal, although they first face the little matter of a Champions League trip to holders Bayern Munich in midweek.

For Saints, the long road to Newcastle awaits on the back of a morale-boosting point for Mauricio Pochettino's injury-hit side. Seven first-team players were unavailable against City, although Saints proved their strength in numbers with an impressive performance.

"Despite that run, we still had that belief," Jay Rodriguez said. "We showed that against Manchester City, which is great for us but we need to keep improving and keep working hard.

"We feel that we have a strong squad. Obviously we have a few injuries and that is something we don't like, but you get on with it.

"We still keep playing the way we want to play. Everyone knows that and that showed today."

One of the players brought into the starting line-up on Saturday was club record signing Osvaldo – a move which reaped impressive rewards as the Italy international put Kompany on his backside, cut back and then curled home the leveller.

"He has got a great finish on him," Rodriguez said. "He shows it in training and proved that he can do it in a game.

"He is really good and obviously showed it there. He is an unbelievable talent and a great person as well. It is always nice to work off him and will hopefully help me improve."

Irish Independent

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