Fo­cus now, City urged

Cit­i­zens need cool heads, Kelechi ad­vised

The Star (Kenya) - - Sports International - BY ANDY HAMP­SON /

Kelechi Iheana­cho feels Manchester City just need to keep their “fo­cus” af­ter another frus­trat­ing re­sult.

City, who be­gan the sea­son with 10 successive wins, have now gone five games with­out vic­tory af­ter be­ing held to a 1-1 draw by Southamp­ton at the Eti­had Sta­dium on Sun­day.

Given that City re­main top of the Pre­mier League, al­beit only on goal dif­fer­ence, it is hardly a cri­sis but the team are cer­tainly ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a wob­ble.

Iheana­cho, who came off the bench to score the equaliser against Saints, said: ‘Teams drop points in the Pre­mier League, we dropped points as well. That is a foot­ball game, you don’t know what is go­ing to hap­pen when you play.

“Ev­ery­one ex­pects high for our team but we are hu­man be­ings as well. We are foot­ballers, we can make mis­takes and we can lose games. We just keep mov­ing, keep our heads straight and fo­cus on the next games.”

City’s se­quence in­cludes three Pre­mier League games and equals the long­est win­less run of man­ager Pep Guardi­ola’s ca­reer.

With mem­o­ries of last Wed­nes­day’s 4-0 thrash­ing at Barcelona still fresh in the mind, City were slug­gish in the first half.

They failed to reg­is­ter a shot on tar­get as Southamp­ton suc­cess­fully re­stricted them and they were pun­ished when a poor pass by John Stones was seized upon by Nathan Red­mond for the 27th-minute opener. Af­ter all the crit­i­cism of Clau­dio Bravo’s send­ing off at the Nou Camp for his blun­dered at­tempt to play out from the back, it was another er­ror which brought Guardi­ola’s tac­tics into ques­tion.

Stones did have an equaliser dis­al­lowed for off­side against Ser­gio Aguero but it was only af­ter the half-time in­tro­duc­tion of Iheana­cho, for the in­jured Kevin De Bruyne, that City be­gan to carry greater threat.

Iheana­cho grabbed the lev­eller af­ter 55 min­utes but City could not force a win­ner.

Iheana­cho, 20, said: “It wasn’t our best but I still think we played well and de­served to win. But it is a game of foot­ball.”

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