Manchester City held by Southampton as Martin Odegaard leads Arsenal to victory

Premier League champions play out goalless draw at Etihad while Gunners make it successive wins thanks to Odegaard's free-kick

Premier League champions Manchester City were held to a goalless draw by Southampton at the Etihad on Saturday in a match dominated by two VAR incidents.

Southampton were given a golden opportunity to take the lead on the hour when referee Jonathan Moss awarded the visitors a penalty and issued City full-back Kyle Walker a red card for bundling over Adam Armstrong in the area. However, both decisions were overturned after VAR intervention and once Moss viewed the replays.

“I thought it was a penalty, but VAR can see it better than us,” Armstrong said.

City then thought they had snatched victory in the 90th-minute when Raheem Sterling followed in Phil Foden's header which was clawed off the line by Saints goalkeeper Alex McCarthy, but the England forward was ruled offside - again after consultation with VAR.

In the end, a draw was a fair result after a match lacking in clear-cut chances. City, who had scored 10 goals in their last two home league games, only managed one shot on target and that came in the 90th-minute.

“We struggled with build-up, not precise, not good,” City manager Pep Guardiola said. “We lost more balls than usual. We had the feeling we weren't comfortable taking the ball. We couldn’t make contact with people up front, but we had chances and at the end, a draw is a fair result.”

Southampton have now drawn four matches in a row and are still seeking their first win of the season.

“We wanted to come here and be brave,” Southampton captain James Ward-Prowse said. “We have gone toe to toe with them before and they are not used to playing teams that press high, get after them and have a go. We had great week in terms of preparation and that preparation paid off. We got a really good, hard-fought point against a great team.”

In Saturday's other games, Norwich remain pointless after losing 3-1 at home to fellow promoted side Watford, while Brentford claimed their first ever Premier League away win by beating Wolves 2-0 at Molineux in the early kick-off despite having Shandon Baptiste sent off midway through the second half.

Arsenal made it successive wins after edging Burnley 1-0 at Turf Moor thanks to Martin Odegaard's free-kick in the first half.

“When we got the free-kick I immediately went to the ball. It was a big moment and a nice moment to see it go in,” Odegaard said after earning a second win of the season for Arsenal who lost their opening three games.

“I believe in this team. Even though we lost some games in the beginning, I’m not too surprised we’ve got some points now.”

Updated: September 18th 2021, 5:02 PM
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