Calvin Phillips’ debut as a starting pitcher ended badly.
Manchester City lost 0-2 to Southampton in the quarterfinals of the English Football League Cup (EFL Cup) in the 2022-23 season held at St. Mary’s Stadium in Southampton, England on the 12th at 5 am (Korean time). As a result, Manchester City were eliminated in the quarterfinals and failed to advance to the semifinals.
Man City started the rotation. Jack Grealish, Julian Alvarez and Cole Palmer led the offense. Phil Foden, Phillips and Ilkay Gundogan were in charge of the midfield. Sergio Gomes, Aymeric Laporte, Kyle Walker and João Cancelo built the defensive line. The goal was held by Stefan Ortega.
He led the game, but failed to attempt a meaningful attack. Man City recorded a whopping 73% of the ball possession in this game, and in fact spent most of the game time with the ball, but failed to score. Despite trying to shoot five times, there was also the humiliation of not recording a single effective shot. On the other hand, all four shots allowed by Southampton were on target, and two of them were conceded.
Phillips also watched the team’s defeat without performing much. Despite being in a position where he has to play an important role in Pep Guardiola’s tactics, such as protecting the defensive line in front of the defense and setting the direction of the pass, Phillips disappointed the fans with his performance that was quite disappointing compared to Rodri, his competitor for the same position. Eventually, Phillips was replaced by Rodri in the 18th minute of the second half, a relatively early time.
It was even more regrettable because it was a long-awaited debut match. Phillips joined Manchester City from Leeds United before the start of the season. However, he soon suffered a shoulder injury and was on the operating table. At the end of last year, he participated in the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar and was expected to be able to return to Man City as well, but he became overweight during the vacation and was shunned by manager Guardiola. And finally, the opportunity came before Southampton, where the rotation had to be started.
Phillips didn’t capitalize on the opportunity that came his way. England’s “Manchester Evening News” gave Phillips a rating of 4, saying, “Philips seemed to be in a panic in his eagerly anticipated first start, in possession of the ball. He lacked the determination like Rodri.”