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MEN: Write City off at your peril

What the MEDIA says finished

What the MEDIA says finished

The media world believe City's recent blip is over, after the Blues returned to the top of the Premier League table.

Following two successive defeats, the Blues bounced back with a 3-1 win over Southampton and although many suggest there is still room for improvement, fans and journalists were impressed by the reaction of Manuel Pellegrini's men.

The Guardian's Richard Jolly reflected: "Emphatic in attack, if brittle in defence, a team with a solitary goal in their previous three outings struck three times.

"If a 13th win in 15 home league games rendered this the same old City, a first league victory in November was nonetheless fashioned by newcomers.

"Summer signings starred. Raheem Sterling emerged from a personal slump to make the opener. Kevin De Bruyne had endured the longest barren run of his time at the Etihad Stadium, his previous four games yielding neither a goal nor an assist, but the he broke the deadlock and created Aleksandar Kolarov’s clincher."

Tim Daniels of Bleacher Report wrote: "Although Manchester City didn't play their most complete match and nearly let the Saints fight back for a point, they capitalized when it mattered most to get the victory. Their form must continue to improve if they want to capture some trophies by season's end, though."

Gary Lim of the New Paper agreed: "City showed why it will take more than a couple of losses to derail their Premiership title charge.

"With an arrogant display of stylish, attacking football, they blitzed Southampton at the Etihad Stadium to claim a 3-1 victory."

Stuart Brennan believes the performance proved a warning to those quick to criticise the Blues. He stated in his column for the Manchester Evening News: "Some people write off Manchester City way too easily – and this powerful performance was a salutory lesson to them.

"After the shambolic surrender to Liverpool, and a strength-sapping trip to defeat at Juventus, the Blues needed to show their character.

"And with key dressing room characters like Joe Hart and Vincent Kompany missing, that was never going to be easy.

"But the Blues hit the straps from the off, showing the kind of pace and purpose that made them so formidable earlier in the season – and were soon two up through Kevin de Bruyne and Fabian Delph.

"Even when Saints threatened to burst back into the game, there was no sense of panic and Aleks Kolarov put the finishing touch to a great team goal.

"That made it a goal and two assists for De Bruyne, back to somewhere near his ebullient best.

"And with David Silva coming on for the last 15 minutes, things can only get better!"

Meanwhile, opposition manager Ronald Koeman felt his side were responsible for their defeat. Speaking to Sky Sports, he lamented first-half errors.

"It was a very hard start in the game," he said. "If you're making those kind of mistakes against City, you know you lose the game.

"We made them strong in the first part of the game because we lost so many balls in our building-up from back. You can't win if you play at that level.

"At least in the second half we played good football; kept the ball much more than in first 20 minutes. We had a big chance for Dusan Tadic to score and make it 2-2, and these are the key moments to get something out of the game.

"We had good ball possession, and that has to be one of our strengths, but the first 20 minutes it was very poor and then you make them dangerous. It was not City, it was by ourselves."

In other news, there's praise for Sterling in the Daily Mail as compatriot Ryan Bertrand told press the City star should be considered amongst the world's elite.

The Southampton defender enthused: "He is up there with the Barcelona three of Messi, Suarez and Neymar, who are not just great attacking players but whose ability to win the ball back is one of the best parts of their game.

"Raheem does not mind helping out defensively. That is the sort of thing you associate with the great players in the world game.

"If he can add more goals, Raheem could be at the level of a Barcelona player."

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