The Athletic’s Dan Sheldon has revealed how Ralph Hasenhuttl got the ‘blueprint’ to help Southampton claim a point away at Manchester City.
The Saints were good value for their o-o draw at the Etihad Stadium over the weekend. And, had it not been for a controversially overturned penalty and red card decision, Hasenhuttl’s men could well have come away with all three points.
While speaking on the Total Saints podcast, Sheldon explained that the Southampton manager was paying ‘close attention’ to City’s recent 6-3 Champions League win against his former side RB Leipzig – and spoke with the German club in preparation for his own league match.
He said: “Ralph didn’t really hide the fact that he was obviously paying close attention to it, [the Leipzig match] they’re his former employers, and he obviously saw a blueprint and was speaking to his former colleagues within the club over the week and after the City game to get a feeling, and I guess, some analysis or whatever.
“And he came to the Etihad with a clear plan. And I think that was so obvious, and that, for me, I know VAR will always get the headlines, but I think the whole penalty thing actually detracts from how good Southampton were.”
TIF Thoughts on Ralph Hasenhuttl and Southampton…
His former side didn’t manage to beat City in the European tie but did manage to score three goals in a thrilling encounter.
His old club’s willingness to get forward perhaps inspired the Austrian to play a little more offensively, and this almost paid off when Adam Armstrong burst into the penalty box and drew a foul from Kyle Walker.
Do you think Southampton should have had a penalty against Man City?
Ultimately, however, the referee’s call was overturned and so the game ended all square at 0-0. The Saints now have four points from their first five league games of the new season – losing once and drawing the other four.