Manchester City 0 Aston Villa 1: City slump to an alarming defeat

Manchester City slumped to a 1-nil defeat to Aston Villa at Villa Park overnight. It was a well-deserved win for Unai Emery’s side who dominated the treble winners for the majority of the game. The scoreline didn’t reflect the home side’s dominance as they leapt City into third in the Premier League table. The defeat left the champions in fourth place 6 points behind league leaders Arsenal.

For Manchester City, the game left plenty of questions. It was clear as the game wore on that Pep Guardiola’s side looked tired and the midfield was soundly beaten. It makes it 4 Premier League games without a win for the champions as their poor run of results continued.

First half:

The game kicked off with the Villa Park crowd up for the occasion. The home team began the brighter of the two sides. Their first chance fell the way of Leon Bailey who forced Ederson into a smart save in the sixth minute.

City’s keeper then made an even better save moments later as he tipped Pau Torres goal-bound effort over the bar.

The champions then sparked to life in the 11th minute with Erling Haaland denied twice by Villa keeper Emiliano Martinez. Haaland’s first effort came after he was played through by Julian Alvarez, and moments later after the ball was recycled his header from a Phil Foden cross was saved by the Argentinian keeper. It was a remarkable piece of goalkeeping from the Villa shot-stopper.

After the Haaland chances the home side dominated the game. Ederson was again called into action in the 23rd minute to deny a Leon Bailey strike from outside the box.

Unai Emery’s side upped the ante after that as they forced City back and their pressing didn’t allow Peo Guardiola’s side time to breathe.

Former Manchester City midfielder Douglas Luiz had the ball in the back of the net just before halftime but his header was ruled out as the ball went out before Lucas Digne could cross the ball.

The game went into halftime at nil-all with Aston Villa the dominant team and plenty to ponder for Pep Guardiola and his side.

Second half:

Pep Guardiola shifted Bernardo Silva from the right wing into central midfield for the second half. Rico Lewis slotted in on the right as City attempted to get some control in midfield.

Guardiola’s tactical changes had the desired effect as his side dominated possession for the first 10 minutes of the second half. They were still struggling to create chances as on the hour mark Villa began to again dominate the contest.

Aston Villa captain John McGinn fired wide on the hour mark after being played through by the lively Leon Bailey.

With the City midfield being overwhelmed Guardiola brought on Mateo Kovacic and Matheus Nunes for Rico Lewis and Julian Alvarez in the 68th minute to attempt to gain some control in midfield. He also bought Oscar Bobb on for Phil Foden in the 73rd minute to try and spark his side to life.

But it was Aston Villa who took the lead in the 74th minute through a deflected strike by Leon Bailey. The speedy winger got himself to the edge of the box and his strike deflected off Ruben Dias past Ederson to give the hosts a deserved lead. It was no less than the hosts deserved after they had dominated the majority of the game.

In truth, Aston Villa looked more likely to double their lead than City equalise in the final moments. Douglas Luiz had an effort smartly saved by Ederson in the 78th minute. The Brazilian also hit the bar in the 87th minute.

Manchester City offered nothing in the final stages as the final whistle blew and it was a well-deserved victory for the hosts.


The game will leave plenty to ponder for Pep Guardiola. It was clear that his side was thoroughly outplayed by Villa and the scoreline didn’t reflect their dominance.

City’s midfield was well beaten as Rodri’s loss was felt by the champions. Too many players appear underdone and sorely out of form. Ederson was by far the best City player of the night which highlighted how badly the treble winners were outplayed.

City are next in action on Sunday as they face Luton Town at Kenilworth Road. Guardiola will be hoping for a quick turnaround in his side’s fortunes.

Tags Aston Villa Douglas Luiz Emiliano Martinez English Premier League Erling Haaland John McGinn Julian Alvarez Leon Bailey Manchester City Mateo Kovacic Matheus Nunes Oscar Bobb Pau Torres Pep Guardiola Phil Foden Rico Lewis Rodri Unai Emery Villa Park