Kompany scores as Manchester City climb to third with Southampton victory

Despite spending heavily in recent seasons, City's title aspirations have been hampered by an inability to build a consistent, reliable central defensive partnership in Kompany's absence.

City are now embroiled in a battle to secure a top-four finish and Champions League football for next season.

Not that the Spaniard is in a mood for complacency.

Monaco have since take a 3-2 first-leg away lead from Borussia Dortmund in the quarter-finals and when asked where City were in comparison to the teams challenging in the Champions League, Guardiola did not mince his words.

Despite being the late kick-off on Saturday evening, City still play before rivals Manchester United, who take on league leaders Chelsea on Sunday afternoon.

One player who continues to suffer criticism, however, is goalkeeper Claudio Bravo.

The Chile worldwide quit Barcelona last summer but his dodgy form has seen him lose his outright No.1 status, with Pep Guardiola admitting he now has no preference between him and Willy Caballero.

The Argentine was dropped for the young Brazilian earlier in the season, but was drafted back into the first team after the 20-year-old picked up a metatarsal injury.

Southampton find themselves four points out of 8 place with two games in-hand of West Brom.

With Pep Guardiola recently conceding that the title is now out of City's reach, confirming what many of us knew a couple of months back, all focus is now on winning the FA Cup and nailing down a spot in the division's top four.

"They have very good midfielders, all the strikers are so fast, they play the wingers inside".

The injury-plagued Kompany has made just seven appearances so far this season, and celebrated passionately in front of the travelling fans. In 10 days we play the real final against United so that is why it was so important to win. "We showed we could make good opportunities against this team but it was not sufficient and it was hard for us".

When asked if Aguero's attitude has improved, Guardiola replied: "It was always good, from the beginning - I said that many times".

"He's playing the last games as a right-back because Bacary was injured and Pablo was two or three weeks with no training sessions".

  • Stacy Allen