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Sloppy Man City get the Carabao Cup shock they deserve as Southampton punish Guardiola's squad rotation

5:02 PM EST 1/11/23
Mara Southampton Manchester City Carabao Cup 2022-23
Southampton dumped Manchester City out of the Carabao Cup quarter-finals on Wednesday with an impressive 2-0 win at St Mary's.
  • Saints forced early Man City mistakes
  • Scored twice in first 28 minutes
  • Held on for 2-0 win

TELL ME MORE: Southampton preyed upon several sloppy Manchester City players who don't often start in the Premier League but were deployed by Pep Guardiola in the name of squad rotation. Right-back Sergio Gomez gave away possession to ignite the piece of play that created to Sekou Mara's opener. Goalkeeper Stefan Ortega's poor positioning, meanwhile, let Moussa Djenepo loop the Saints' second goal over his head from distance.

In a fruitless attempt to spark a turnaround, Guardiola brought on veterans Kevin De Bruyne, Nathan Ake and Manuel Akanji at half-time, and then Erling Haaland and Rodri deeper into the match. It was not enough to overcome the dreadful start, though.

THE MVP: Southampton's right side was brilliant from front to back. Lyanco and Djenepo combined for four successful tackles, three interceptions and two goal involvements. But Mara stood above the rest, the 20-year-old's first goal since joining the Saints last summer providing the platform for a famous win. He took it so well, sweeping a first-time shot from a Lyanco cross past Ortega.

THE BIG LOSER: Guardiola would like to be able to trust his depth considering the amount Manchester City spend in the transfer market, but his second-choice players largely failed to impress on Wednesday. If a half-time hook is any indication, he'll be especially furious with Gomez for giving the ball away before Southampton's first goal. Julian Alvarez also struggled and missed a big second-half chance when he couldn't quite reach a low cross.


WHAT NEXT? Part of the reason Guardiola chose to rotate his squad against Southampton is Arsenal's five-point advantage atop the Premier League table ahead of City's weekend showdown with Manchester United. The manager knows Manchester City can't afford many more slip-ups, and he wanted his stars to be fresh to face the Red Devils in a must-win derby on Saturday.