Manchester City have produced a brilliant second half performance to beat Aston Villa in the Premier League.
Citymove back up to second in the Premier League after Leicester’s win yesterday, and temporarily close the gap to Liverpool to three points ahead of their clash with Tottenham tomorrow.
Pep GuardiolanamedJohn Stonesin defense alongside Fernandinho, with Gabriel Jesus preferred to Sergio Aguero upfront. A poor first half saw Aston Villa threaten on the break, but City stamped their authority on proceedings 20 seconds after the half-time break asRaheem Sterlingconverted Jesus’ knockdown.
Kevin de Bruyne scored a controversial second, with confusion surrounding whether Sterling was in an offside position as the ball traveling past him and into the goal. There was no doubt about the third, though, as Ilkay Gundogan fired home expertly before Fernandinho was sent off late on.
Follow below for all the post-match reaction.
Video: Final verdict from the Etihad
Aguero and Jesus partnership?
They finished the game together.
Guardiola’s view on the title race
Ever the dramatic answer from the manager:
Smith unhappy at VAR decision
Guardiola picks out Sterling performance after poor first half
Pep Guardiola spoke to BT Sport after the game, and praised his side’s second half performance – but picked out Raheem Sterling for his showing from the first minute.
“It helps a lot we scored in the first minute of the second half. The second half was our game. We played 45 minutes, we didn’t play 90.
“We spoke to eachother. After the first half we corrected something, sometimes it happened but the second half was good.
“It’s not about the patience, Raheem was so aggressive but he was the only one. We need more players, more determination. Of course it helped in the second half that we scored the goal. ”
On the Fernandinho red card:
“Sometimes when you have a lot of problems in one position more problems come in the same position. Is it what it is. It happenedd with Phil Foden last game in the Champions League, the youngest one. and the oldest one happens again Football is about taking the right decisions in the right moment, but it can happen.
On the second goal:
I don’t know. Hopefully VAR spends five minutes for choosing which player scores a goal, not to disallow it.
Goalscorer under review
BT Sport have spent ten minutes trying to determine whether David Silva got a touch on Kevin de Bruyne’s goal. Whether he did or didn’t, it’s definitely not a clear and obvious call.
To add to the confusion, they say the Premier League have said the goalscorer is under review.
WATCH: Gundogan seals the win
Man City player ratings vs Aston Villa
De Bruyne’s verdict on ‘his’ goal
This is what Kevin de Bruyne said over City’s second goal.
He told BT Sport:
“David said he touched it so I’ve no idea.”
On City’s performance, he said:
“I think we had some difficulties today coming out maybe a little bit lack of intensity, the rhythm wasn’t really there, but even then in the first half we had a couple of chances when we could have gone in front.
“I think the second half started really well with Raz ‘goal and after we had a good performance.
“In the first-half they had a couple of counter attacks and we didn’t cope with it all the time really well but it’s going to happen, we played on Tuesday, they had the whole week so sometimes they’re a little bit fresher but I think in the end we deserved to win. ”
“We’re just doing our job, it’s such a long competition we answered really well after the international break and won three in a row so we need to keep it going.
“You guys say the same whatever’s happening and whoever gets injured. It’s part of the game, obviously we have a lot of injuries but I think we’ve been coping with it very well and it’s part of the game. It’s not nice because you want everybody to be there but it is what it is. “
Why De Bruyne goal was given
The Premier League match center gives this explanation over the award of City’s second goal:
“Manchester City’s second goal was given because there as no definitive angle or view for the VAR officia l to show that David Silva had touched the ball.
“When Kevin de Bruyne strikes it the check was made whether Raheem Sterling was offside and he was shown to be onside.”
That’s not what De Bruyne says, though …
FT – City 3-0 Villa(KEY EVENT)
Another win secured
City made hard work of it in the first half, but three unanswered goals after the break secures the three points.
They’re back up to second, with Liverpool facing Spurs tomorrow. The gap is three points until then.
90 4 ‘- City 3-0 Villa
Villa so close!
Ederson produces a big block one-on-one, with the rebound sent onto the post and back into the arms of the City goalkeeper. Let off.
90 2 ‘- City 3-0 Villa()
A Villa mix-up at the back sees Jesus try to chip the stranded keeper, but it bounces back off the bar.
90 ‘- City 3-0 Villa
Stones back on
Hopefully that won’t be a major issue.
Phil Foden does well to win a corner and relieve the pressure as four minutes are added.
88 ‘- City 3-0 Villa
Just after Fernandinho is sent off, John Stones is down and requires medical treatement.
Typical, just as the center-back situation starts to improve.
86 ‘- City 3-0 VillaKE Y EVENT
Fernandinho sent off
It’s a second booking for bringing down Nakamba as he looked to break.
86 ‘- City 3-0 Villa
Foden denied again
This is a better effort from Foden.
He takes the ball from Bernardo who looks for the one-two, but Foden checks back and shoots low towards the near post.
Once again, Heaton is there.
83 ‘- City 3-0 Villa
Foden takes aim
City knock the ball around on the edge of the area until Phil Foden has enough and curls a shot goalwards. Heaton gets down well.
Meanwhile, Jack Grealish is replaced for Villa, with El Ghazi coming on. Grealish, on a booking, had just made a late tackle so it’s a sensible change from Dean Smith.
80 ‘- City 3-0 Villa
Gundogan earns a booking
Ilkay Gundogan’s not even trying to be subtle here. He lunges in from behind and the referee has no hesitation in bringing out the yellow card.
75 ‘- City 3-0 Villa
Foden comes on
Kevin de Bruyne’s work is done, Phil Foden replaces him.
Raheem Sterling is withdrawn for Sergio Aguero.
72 ‘- City 3-0 Villa
Benjamin Mendy is given a rest, and Angelino is on.
71 ‘ – City 3-0 Villa
De Bruyne’s goal?
It looks like Kevin de Bruyne has been awarded City’s second.
If David Silva didn’t get a touch on the cross, then Raheem Sterling will have been onside when the ball was played, explaining VAR’s decision.
69 ” – City 3-0 VillaKEY EVENT
Lovely finish from Gundogan.
City have about three golden opportunities to score, but the ball falls to Gundogan on the penalty spot and he scissor kicks past Heaton on the line.
67 ‘- City 2-0 Villa
The goal stands
A lengthy review awards City the goal.
Raheem Sterling could have been in the view of the goalkeeper but VAR say he’s fine.
64 ‘- City 2-0 Villa(KEY EVENT) ************************ ()
City double their lead!
It’s David Silva!
Kevin de Bruyne shapes up a cross, David Silva flicks it on and Raheem Sterling does well to avoid a touch from an offside position.
VAR are checking whether Sterling is interfering.
62 ‘- City 1-0 Villa(KEY EVENT) ************************
58 ‘- City 1-0 Villa
Luiz heads at Ederson
Douglas Luiz ends a short period of Villa pressure with a header straight at Ederson.