Southampton produced a superb performance against Manchester City on Saturday as they held Pep Guardiola’s side to a 0-0 draw at the Etihad Stadium.
The Saints have now drawn four straight games in the Premier League, having picked up a point apiece against Manchester United, Newcastle and West Ham heading into the weekend. This is after they lost 3-1 to Everton on the opening day of the season, with Ralph Hasenhuttl making his side hard to beat since.
Despite the positive result yesterday, one player who struggled to make his mark on the game for the Saints in Manchester was Che Adams.
The Southampton forward was selected up front alongside Adam Armstrong after missing out against West Ham but failed to stake his claim for a place in the starting XI next weekend. He struggled offensively and in general play as he was unable to make his mark on the match.
Going forward, Adams did not make an impact. As per SofaScore, he had one shot (which was off target) and created one chance in 68 minutes, whilst attempting zero crosses, long passes or dribbles. This shows that he did not provide enough quality to test the Manchester City defence, with Ederson untroubled by the Scotland international throughout the match.
His general play was also concerning. As per SofaScore, he lost 69% of his duels on the pitch, losing eight of his 10 aerial battles and one of his three duels on the ground. He also had just 20 touches of the ball, less than half of goalkeeper Alex McCarthy’s 41, and lost possession nine times from those 20 touches.
This shows that he was not strong enough physicality to win his 50-50s against Manchester City defenders and also that he was not secure in possession of the ball. He was unable to provide a reliable outlet up front for the Saints, which meant that they were not able to build upon the clean sheet the back four was able to preserve.
It will be interesting to see who Hasenhuttl selects up front against Wolves in the Premier League next weekend after this disappointing performance from Adams. He let the Austrian down, but he may be given some slack given that it was against the reigning champions, with a Carabao Cup clash against Sheffield United potentially giving him an opportunity to redeem himself in midweek.