1. It was only the second point we’d gained away from home in 2017, and the clean sheet that went with a heroic, if occasionally hard to watch stalemate at Southampton was a pleasant bonus. Praise for City’s performance and general attitude has been bountiful over the weekend; displays of a similar grittiness over three remaining matches will surely be sufficient to get us over the line.
2. And, of course, the clean sheet was preserved by Eldin Jakupović’s superlative penalty save in injury time. It was no fluke save; the ball wasn’t poorly hit or placed but aiming true for the bottom corner. Our ever-watchable custodian of the leather not only guessed right, but got his frame right down to the ball and managed to get enough palm on it to force it conclusively from danger with zero hope of a rebound chance for the kicker, or any other Southampton player.
3. Interestingly, Jakupović told the telly afterwards that he’d researched Southampton’s penalty taker. Dušan Tadić last took one in January and aimed it, successfully, for the same corner as he tried at the weekend against City. We perhaps underestimate the tactical preparation that goalkeepers, good ones, put in prior to a match and if Jakupović had theory on his side in choosing the way he went, then it bestows upon him even bigger hero status than would have been afforded on someone who had ‘merely’ taken a lucky guess.
4. City’s play in the first half sparkled, and we looked as good as at any time under our new manager. It was a half of sustained domination of both ball and territory, forcing a very capable side onto the back foot for long spells. If there’s one criticism, it’s that we didn’t convert it into a goal (or more), and parity at the interval was less than we deserved for the pattern of play but created a real feeling that an opportunity may have been missed.
5. The second half more faithfully resembled our away day agonies this season, with a presumably sternly-bollocked Southampton upping their game and City not always coping perfectly with it. Nonetheless, if the first half was a mixture of pleasure at the play and frustration at the scoreline, the second was a reversal; dismayed at being outplayed but great satisfaction at holding on for a point. And given our nightmarish run on the road, it really was a fine point.
6. With Swansea gaining an unexpected (just as our point at Old Trafford was) draw at Manchester United, the share of the spoils in Hampshire becomes more crucial. With one game fewer to play, the gap remains the same. And we have a relegated, clueless, self-loathing, acrimony-filled club next, at our fortress of a stadium where nobody else has won since Bucks Fizz kicked continental backsides at Eurovision, or thereabouts.
7. And we all know what that means… or could mean. If anyone is going to make sure that the inopportune motto Typical City doesn’t occur on Saturday afternoon, it’s Marco Silva, surely? Last time we were this nervous before Sunderland at home, it was for an FA Cup quarter final, and that turned out okay. Nevertheless, by the time they clock in at the Circle, this Sunderland side might be irritatingly free of pressure (the kind of change in form that mightily offends loyal supporters whose lives are shattered by relegations) and everyone with a role to play for City, on and off the pitch, needs to be on their guard.
8. For the second weekend in succession, the timings may aid City. Again, Swansea will kick-off after City, and if we can overcome Sunderland, they’ll begin their 5.30pm match at home to Everton a daunting five points adrift. Of course, anything but victory over David Moyes’ rabble, and Swansea will know that a win of their own would put City back in the bottom three – but Marco Silva is sure to emphasise the opportunity that exists.
9. It really has come to something when an investigation is being launched into Hull City AFC, and the response of most supporters is to be glad about it. Then again, it comes to something when the owners of said club implement something as morally bankrupt, counterproductive and vindictive as the intentional pricing out of the next generation of City fans, then ask someone to release a poorly-written statement pretending that they aren’t.
10. Well, they are, and congratulations to the Hull City Supporters’ Trust, who’ve successfully persuaded the Premier League to investigate the repugnant, rule-breaking conduct of one of its own members. All we’d ask the Premier League to remember is this: we’d be delighted for City to be found guilty and ordered to stop being so thoroughly obnoxious, but could they ensure that any punishment is levelled solely at the abysmal family that’s running the club, and not the club itself? Having had to suffer the Allams, it’d be wrong to then suffer further consequences of having had to suffer them in the first place.