Steven Gerrard looking at ‘big positive’ despite defeat in Manchester

The manager shared optimism despite defeat

Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard was largely positive following defeat to Manchester City, despite his side throwing away a two goal lead across a chaotic five-minute spell.

Villa found themselves in dreamland after Matty Cash and Philippe Coutinho had given them a two goal advantage but a brace from substitute Ilkay Gundogan either side of a well taken Rodri goal turned the game on it’s head and handed City their sixth Premier League title.

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Aston Villa's English head coach Steven Gerrard gestures on the touchline during the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and Aston Villa at the Etihad Stadium

Up until that first Gundogan strike, Villa’s gameplan had worked down to a tee. They had frustrated the home side and left visible and verbal frustration among both players and supporters.

But the goal changed everything and whilst Gerrard was left ruing his side’s inability to once again compete for a full 90 minutes, he was proud with how his team battled against one of the ‘best teams in football.’

“I think we did everything ever so well up until the 70th minute,” the manager said.

“The gameplan was working for three quarters of the game and slightly disappointed that we didn’t play a little bit more football at 2-0 to rest and stay with the ball, we decided to go into a protective shell to try and hang on and survive rather than really opening from our goalkeeper and trying to play.

“Obviously really disappointed that we had it in our hands for 70 minutes in terms of the result - we wanted a big result here, we wanted to really make it difficult for City and I think we did that for large parts of the game but against the best teams you’ve got to do it for 90 minutes.

“I think we showed it (offensive threat) today against a top opposition.

“We showed it against Liverpool the other week by taking the lead, we know we’ve got really dangerous players.

“I thought we carried a real threat with us today for large parts of the game, Ollie has had another real big chance in the first-half one versus one and in the second-half he’s had another big chance. To have them chances here away at Man City, one of the hardest places to come in football - not in the Premier League - in football, that is a big positive.

“I think we showed bravery for big parts of the game on the transition but if we want to take this journey where we want to take it, we have to obviously improve from a defensive point of view.

“But for 70 minutes, we held our own on the pitch in terms of our shape and how we look - I thought we were fantastic for large parts but we just couldn’t hold that out for 90 minutes it was only 70.”

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