Manchester City 2-1 Southampton: Three key players

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 29: Cedric Soares of Southampton attempts to get past Raheem Sterling of Manchester City during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Southampton at Etihad Stadium on November 29, 2017 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 29: Cedric Soares of Southampton attempts to get past Raheem Sterling of Manchester City during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Southampton at Etihad Stadium on November 29, 2017 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images) /
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MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 29: Oriol Romeu of Southampton celebrates after scoring his sides first goal during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Southampton at Etihad Stadium on November 29, 2017 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 29: Oriol Romeu of Southampton celebrates after scoring his sides first goal during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Southampton at Etihad Stadium on November 29, 2017 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images) /

Oriol Romeu

Fresh off a one-game suspension, the Spaniard did not miss a beat. He was the heart of a hard-working midfield with Mario Lemina and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg at his side, which routinely flustered the City attack.

As the center of three midfielders, the importance of his role cannot be overlooked. Defensively Southampton were incredibly organized against an opponent that held 74% of possession. The discipline and lead-by-example attitude Romeu possesses was clearly a strength that resonated throughout the team.

However, few would have predicted his key contribution would come on the attacking end with a 75th minute goal.

After Wesley Hoedt and Maya Yoshida had come so close in the first half, it was Romeu who would take his chance.

A lot of credit must go to Sofiane Boufal, for pulling the ball out of the air, and cutting it back to Romeu.  However, the goal was a great first time finish, from a pass with pace, in a massive moment.