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Man City 2-0 Aston Villa: City go top after hard-earned victory

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Emil Martinez denies Bernardo Silva
Bernardo was denied by Martinez in the fourth minute – he finally broke the deadlock with City’s 25th attempt at goal

Late goals from Bernardo Silva and Ilkay Gundogan ended Aston Villa’s resistance as Manchester City moved top of the Premier League for the first time this season, for a few hours at least, with a hard-earned victory.

Pep Guardiola’s side will be knocked off the summit later on Wednesday if Manchester United beat Fulham, but the determination they showed to claim their sixth successive league win underlined that they are here to stay in this title race.

Villa’s first team, playing their first game since New Year’s Day because of a coronavirus outbreak at the club, showed no after-effects of their 19-day hiatus and produced a dogged defensive display.

They held out until the 79th minute, when Rodri controversially stole the ball off Tyrone Mings and fed Bernardo, who brilliantly fired into the top corner from the edge of the box.

Rodri was offside before he returned to an onside position to challenge Mings and Villa manager Dean Smith was sent off for his protests.

It meant he was not there to see Gundogan make sure of the points from the spot soon afterwards after Matty Cash handled a Gabriel Jesus header, in what was a far more straightforward decision for referee Jon Moss.

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Manchester City

  1. Squad number9Player nameGabriel Jesus
  2. Squad number11Player nameZinchenko
  3. Squad number26Player nameMahrez

Aston Villa

  1. Squad number26Player nameMartínez

  2. Squad number2Player nameCash

  3. Squad number4Player nameKonsa

  4. Squad number5Player nameMings

  5. Squad number18Player nameTargett

  6. Squad number6Player nameDouglas Luiz

  7. Squad number7Player nameMcGinn

  8. Squad number15Player nameTraoré

  9. Squad number20Player nameBarkley

  10. Squad number10Player nameGrealish

  11. Squad number11Player nameWatkins

  1. Squad number3Player nameTaylor

  2. Squad number21Player nameEl Ghazi

  3. Squad number41Player nameRamsey

Line-ups

Man City

Formation 4-3-3

  • 31Ederson
  • 2WalkerSubstituted forZinchenkoat 28′minutes
  • 5Stones
  • 3Rúben Dias
  • 27Cancelo
  • 17De BruyneSubstituted forGabriel Jesusat 59′minutes
  • 16Rodri
  • 8Gündogan
  • 7SterlingSubstituted forMahrezat 72′minutes
  • 20Bernardo Silva
  • 47Foden

Substitutes

  • 9Gabriel Jesus
  • 11Zinchenko
  • 13Steffen
  • 21Torres
  • 22Mendy
  • 25Fernandinho
  • 26Mahrez
  • 50García
  • 82Bernabé

Aston Villa

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 26Martínez
  • 2Cash
  • 4Konsa
  • 5Mings
  • 18TargettSubstituted forTaylorat 75′minutesBooked at 86mins
  • 6Douglas Luiz
  • 7McGinnBooked at 67mins
  • 15TraoréSubstituted forEl Ghaziat 68′minutes
  • 20BarkleySubstituted forRamseyat 68′minutes
  • 10Grealish
  • 11Watkins

Substitutes

  • 1Heaton
  • 3Taylor
  • 19Nakamba
  • 21El Ghazi
  • 22Engels
  • 24Guilbert
  • 27El Mohamady
  • 39Davis
  • 41Ramsey

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