Aston Villa player ratings vs Man City: Three score 9/10 and countless 8s in famous victory

Player ratings and match report from Aston Villa vs Manchester City in the Premier League.

Aston Villa recorded a famous 1-0 victory over Premier League champions Manchester City on Wednesday evening, equalling a 120-year-old club record of 14 successive top-flight victories on home soil. Unai Emery got the better of Pep Guardiola for the first time in his managerial career, with the three points rather splendidly landing on the 15th anniversary of the pair's first-ever meeting. Leon Bailey's 74th-minute deflected strike was the statistical difference on the night but it was a team effort, with not one member of the home side falling below Emery's sky-high standards. Villa's win sees them leapfrog City and up into third place, four points off leaders Arsenal.

The hosts set the tone from the off as they started tremendously, stunning City with a spell of sustained possession and three decent opportunities within just the opening seven minutes. Lucas Digne had the first as he tried his luck at catching out Ederson at his near post but saw his shot sail into the side netting. Bailey then stung the gloves of the City goalkeeper with a low and driven shot, nearly making the most of a John McGinn through ball. The unlikely Pau Torres also got in on the action as he forced a save with a curled effort towards the far post.

City weathered the storm and Ederson's opposite number was soon called into action as Erling Haaland was denied twice within the space of just 10 seconds by Emiliano Martinez. The first was a decent dive from a low strike and then the second stop – which was particularly sublime – was a header from blank range. To round off an exhilarating opening 20 minutes, Bailey pulled the trigger from around 25 yards and very nearly caught out Ederson as the ball dipped with power, but it was tipped over.

Approaching half time, the intricate chance creation turned to caginess as both teams battled for limited space in a mightily tight midfield. Emery's decision to start Youri Tielemans was proving to be a genius move as Villa having an extra man in the centre of the park lightened the load on Boubacar Kamara and Douglas Luiz, while McGinn and Bailey were able to create problems on the half-turn. There was a brief moment when the hosts thought they'd taken the lead as Luiz headed in from a Digne cross but the ball went out of play. It was tight but there was no conclusive evidence to suggest it had stayed on the correct side of the line.

It was a slow start to the second period but Villa clicked into another gear when the clock went beyond the hour mark, restricting City to their defensive third for a good seven or eight minutes. The rise in tempo from Emery's men was impressive and it so nearly paid off as McGinn went agonisingly close to opening the scoring with one of the best chances of the game. The Scotsman created space for himself with a clever chop inside but was unable to find the net, guiding the ball just wide of the post with an attempted pass into the far corner.

Everyone expected Villa's energy to drop off but the likes of Bailey, Tielemans and McGinn simply wouldn't let up. The relentless and continuous pressure finally paid off in the 74th minute as Bailey finally broke the deadlock after some superb skill on the edge of the area. The winger, who was a surprise starter ahead of Moussa Diaby on the night, broke free of John Stones with a clever flick inside before firing into the top right-hand corner. The shot took a deflection off Ruben Dias, giving Ederson no chance. Villa Park roared into pure pandemonium.

Luiz had a glorious chance to make it two to the good a few minutes later as he followed up a blocked Ollie Watkins shot and tried to fire in from two yards out, but Ederson got across expertly to make the stop. The Villans' number six had yet another near miss in the 86th minute as he saw a 20-yard shot cannon back off the woodwork, sparking exasperation around the stadium. The power on the strike beat Ederson but the post denied the Villans a two-goal cushion. Much to the relief of Emery and the Villa Park faithful, City were unable to create too much from that point on as a resilient home side sat in to defend a famous victory. Here are our player ratings.

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