Manchester City slumped to a surprising goalless draw with Southampton on Saturday as they dropped points for the second time this season.
In truth, Pep Guardiola's toothless side never looked like scoring as they struggled to create any clear-cut chances in front of their home fans.
Southampton had a penalty controversially overturned by VAR while Raheem Sterling's late strike was chalked off for an offside.
So, while the on pitch action failed to deliver, eye inevitably turned to the stands to see if the Manchester City faithful had heeded Guardiola's call for greater attendance at the game.
Following their drubbing of RB Leipzig during the week, in which herds of empty seats could be seen across the stadium, the City boss called on the fans to come out in their droves for the Southampton clash.
"I'd like more people to come on Saturday, we need the people," Guardiola began in a post match interview.
"I invite all our people to come Saturday, 3 pm, to watch the game."
The comments went down like a lead balloon among the fans, who were quick to criticise Pep for his comments.
Attendances at the Etihad Stadium have long been a running meme among opposing fans, who often poke fun at the fact that City constantly struggle to fill their stadium to the rafters.
The club itself has, on numerous occasions, tried their best to combat that narrative, but their latest move has perhaps done more damage than good.
After a tweet began doing the rounds showing a bizarre new feature in the match day programme for the Southampton match, opposing fans were quick to jump on the banter bandwagon.
The feature bizarrely compares some City attendance statistics with those of the Saints, a club that boasts a much smaller stadium.
For many, this just looked like another failed attempt at attendance propaganda from the Sky Blues, and the responses were far from kind.
While you can see what they were trying to do, it is probably time City accept they will always be the butt of the joke when it comes to empty seats in the stadium.
However, if they are able to replicate their form from last season and get their hands on yet more silverware, does it really matter that the stadium isn't full?
(Credit: The Football Terrace)News Now - Sport News