Aston Villa player ratings gallery vs Man City: Two score 3/10 in 3-1 defeat but two earn 7/10
Aston Villa player ratings from their 3-1 defeat to Manchester City in the Premier League, including three 3/10s but two 7s.
Aston Villa suffered a second straight Premier League defeat on Sunday afternoon as Manchester City swept Unai Emery’s aside by three goals to one. Clinical finishes from Rodri, Ilkay Gundogan and Riyad Mahrez helped the hosts to a vital victory to celebrate Pep Guardiola’s 250th league game in charge. As is the case with many teams that visit the Etihad Stadium, Villa never really got going and it was painful for traveling supporters to watch their side fail miserably at passing out from the back.
City started as they meant to go on, taking a very early lead with their first opportunity of the game. Defensive midfielder Rodri netted his second goal of the season, getting right across the near post and firing in a powerful header from an inswinging Mahrez corner. Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez couldn’t get across quick enough to stop Rodri, who had been left completely unmarked.
The home side continued to press on, hoping to extend their lead before half time. Former Villa favourite Jack Grealish curled an effort from just inside the penalty area before the half-hour mark but Martinez made a brilliant stop to tip the ball wide of the post. Kevin De Bruyne had gone on a mazing run forward, nutmegging one and knocking the ball past two others.
Around 10 minutes later, City did get their goal with some brilliant work from Erling Haaland. The Norwegian exploded with pace to run on to a deflected De Bruyne pass and then turned provider to hold up the play and find Gundogan at the far post. Looking as if he was going to cut onto his left, Haaland cut back onto his right and fired a low cross to the German, who passed it into an open net.
Things got even worse for Villa before the break as Guardiola’s side won a penalty to make it three goals to nil. Grealish was nudged over by a Jacob Ramsey challenge but the winger was definitely looking for it as he went down dramatically. Following a heated debate at the penalty spot about who should take it, Mahrez was the man who was handed the responsibility and the Algerian sent Martinez the wrong way.
The second period started better for the Lions as they looked more comfortable playing out from the back but they were still struggling going forward. That was until, at least, City became the architects of their own downfall when Bernardo Silva was dispossessed easily by Douglas Luiz in midfield. The Brazilian was awake to the situation as he played a brilliant through ball to Ollie Watkins, who placed the ball under Ederson and into the far corner.
Although causing a bit of tension around the Etihad by closing the scoreline, Watkins’ goal on his 100th Villa appearance ended up being merely a consolation as the Cityzens held on for a 3-1 victory. Emery’s team can take some positives from a great improvement in the second half but they will be disappointed that the match was effectively over by half time. Here are our Villa player ratings. See below.