Positive: Second half control
The first 15 minutes of the second half were played almost exactly how Enzo Maresca would have hoped, with composure in possession and excellent ball retention frustrating Southampton into a lack of belief following Ndidi’s goal on half time. Once afforded gaps in midfield due to Saints pushing for a goal, Maresca’s philosophy comes into its own.
Negative: Silly yellow cards
This was another fixture in which both Harry Winks and Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall picked up a caution, with both midfield men sitting on three yellow cards already. The latter was carded for a foul in an area where it wasn’t necessary to bring down his opponent, and with those two players so crucial to the system and already on three yellows for the campaign, a ban at some point throughout the season appears to be as likely as potentially harmful.
Positive: Excellent squad depth
Understandably, when a side takes the lead so early on, the game state is different to the vast majority of predicted scenarios, with Vardy’s opener leading to Southampton changing tack and leaving more space in midfield. This highlighted the strength in quality across the City match day squad, allowing Maresca to deal with anything thrown at his side as the match set-up evolved.