Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl has revealed he took inspiration from Man City's win over RB Leipzig when planning his side's game plan for Saturday's game.
The Saints came to the Etihad Stadium and completely nullified City's attack, restricting them to just one shot on target in the goalless draw. The visitors were unlucky not to get more from the game after they were awarded a penalty and Kyle Walker was sent off, only for the referee to bizarrely reverse both decisions after consulting with VAR.
Speaking after the draw, via HampshireLive, Hasenhuttl revealed the preparation that went into the game and expressed his pride at the players for their performances.
"We had plenty of plans. We needed plenty of plans because it does not take long for Pep to find decisions to go through you," Hasenhuttl explained.
"We did it so well during the first half. 4-2-2-2 was the shape and when we did that perfectly, it works against Pep fantastically because he wants to play football. It's tough against any team that tries to play through.
"We had the perfect week. City had a game on Wednesday against a team who play very similar to how we do. I do not want to say that we did it better than Leipzig but we used their game to show them what was wrong and what was working, and then it was easy for us to adapt.
"We know that we can play this shape perfectly but you can't do it for ninety minutes, they can kill you, so we changed and has Oriol [Romeu] defending deeper as a centre-back. This was a risky solution," he said while laughing.
"The plan was to bring on Salisu or Romeu and then play with three centre-backs but [the Stephens injury stopped that]. This was Oriol's first time in this position. He was good, I think.
"You need to have a good game against the ball but you also have to been good with the ball and we were calm in some moments, very calm, and you need to have this. We've worked very hard on this.
"The only thing missing was the final punch around their box. Even besides the penalty, we had moments where we could have killed them and this is what we are missing at the moment.
"We knew we had to get the front players to pressure them because Manchester City do this perfectly. When they have time, they always find the right pass. When you are brave in this area, it is tough for them. That's why they did not have any big chances, to be honest."
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