In focus: Kevin De Bruyne
Manchester City’s creative mastermind had a frustrating afternoon against hard-working Southampton.
Kevin De Bruyne began the afternoon hoping to become the fastest man in Premier League history to reach double figures for assists in a season.
But it was not to be as Gabriel Jesus was denied from close range after Kyle Walker’s 86th minute goal saw Manchester City come from behind to beat Southampton 2-1.
Here the PA news agency takes a look at De Bruyne’s afternoon.
De Bruyne had nine assists in his first 10 league games of the season and was looking to beat Cesc Fabregas and Mesut Ozil, who needed 12 games to reach double figures 2014/15 and 2015/16 respectively.
The Belgian twice set up David Silva just before the half-hour mark, but his team-mate saw both efforts changed down as Southampton got men behind the ball.
The best chance came in the last minute as De Bruyne charged forward and slipped the ball through to Jesus, but Alex McCarthy was quickly off his line to deny the Brazilian.
De Bruyne had three chances to get on the scoresheet himself.
The best of them came from an indirect free-kick inside the box after McCarthy handled a backpass with a little over 10 minutes to go. The shot got through the crowds but went narrowly wide.
In the first half, the ball fell to De Bruyne on the edge of the Southampton box after 11 minutes, but his driven shot could not find its way through the banks of defenders.
Eight minutes later the Belgian lined up a free-kick just outside the box – but hit it into the wall.
On a day when Southampton defended bravely and in numbers for 90 minutes, City endured a frustrating afternoon as countless passes and shots were blocked or deflected – and that applied to De Bruyne as much as anyone.
He might have won it with his shot following the late indirect free-kick but instead joined the celebrations when Walker turned in Angelino’s late cross.
Although Jesus could not give him the assist he wanted late on, De Bruyne remains on course to challenge Thierry Henry’s record of 20 for a full season.