Manchester City are back at the top of the Premier League despite failing to win any of their last five games in all competitions.
Pep Guardiola was hoping his side could bounce back from a 4-0 thumping at the hands of Barcelona in midweek by beating Southampton, but they were held to a 1-1 draw by Claude Puel’s men.
The summer’s marquee signing, John Stones, produced a dreadful back pass leading to the Saints’ goal, put away by Nathan Redmond, but City also missed a host of chances and only salvaged a point thanks to Kelechi Iheanacho’s strike in the second half.
City definitely don’t look like champions right now, even if they are flying high in the table. It’s understandable if Guardiola is growing a little concerned, but it still seemed rather alarming when the City squad didn’t emerge from the dressing room for almost an hour after the game.
Reporters were left waiting to speak to the Sky Blues’ boss, prompting suggestions he had been holding something of an inquest.
However, as it happened, the former Barca manager had a much more jovial explanation, as per Sky Sports:
“The red wine was good and I took a little bit longer,” he joked.
“We were together, we spoke, but nothing special. We speak about what is the situation.”
That may simply be an attempt to downplay the situation, though no serious damage has been done to City’s title chances. Arsenal and Spurs only drew on Saturday, while Manchester United look miles off the pace after humiliation at Chelsea.
Somehow, City are still in pole position, but if it’s to stay that way, they can’t afford to go many more games without a win.