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firing blanks Pep Guardiola's appeal for fan support fails to inspire his side as they flop at the Etihad Stadium


Man City manager Pep Guardiola. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Man City manager Pep Guardiola. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Man City manager Pep Guardiola. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Pep Guardiola's bizarre call for more support from the club's fans backfired as Manchester City turned in a limp performance in a 0--0 draw against Southampton.

Guardiola had issued a rallying cry to fans after Wednesday’s remarkable 6-3 victory over Leipzig, which took their goal tally in their last three home games to 16, and the supporters responded by producing a vibrant atmosphere.

Yet there was a flat feeling around the stadium and in City's side as they drew blanks against Southampton and could have lost the game after contentious VAR calls.

Guardiola’s side might even have felt relieved to claim a point after referee Jon Moss overturned decisions to award Southampton a penalty and send Kyle Walker off in the second half.

Statistically City dominated but lacked their normal cutting edge, perhaps underling Guardiola’s point in midweek that his players would go into the Saturday encounter tired after their Champions League exertions.

Raheem Sterling thought he had snatched victory with a last-gasp strike but the flag was raised for offside and VAR confirmed the decision.

"We struggled with our build up. It was not precise, not good," said Guardiola.

"We lost more balls than usual, and we were not very comfortable connecting with the players up front. We had chances, but a draw was a fair result. We tried to win but we couldn't do it."

Asked to give his verdict on the crucial VAR decisions, Guardiola added: "I didn't see either of them; the penalty or the disallowed goal. I don't have VAR in my dugout. It was given by VAR, so it isn't a penalty."

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