Aston Villa 1-2 Manchester City: 5 Talking Points as 10-man City return to winning ways | Premier League 2020-21

Aston Villa vs Manchester City - Premier League
Aston Villa vs Manchester City - Premier League
Harsh Pillai
Modified 22 Apr 2021
Top 5 / Top 10

Manchester City returned to winning ways with a come-from-behind 2-1 win at Aston Villa to go 11 points clear at the top of the 2020-21 Premier League.

After a disappointing loss to Leeds United and another against Chelsea in the FA Cup semi-final, Manchester City travelled to Birmingham to take on Aston Villa.

The visitors opened the scoring on the night when Ollie Watkins set up John McGinn for a comfortable tap-in inside the first two minutes of the game. However, Manchester City responded in the 22nd minute, courtesy a fabulous strike from Phil Foden, to restore parity at Villa Park.

After a beautiful build-up, Bernardo Silva made a cut-back from the right-wing to Foden, and the 19-year-old placed the ball into the net with his weaker foot.

It was one-way traffic after that, as Manchester City dominated possession and took the lead in the 40th minute. Once again, it was Silva who sent in a looping cross into the box, and Rodri rose highest to head home.

Manchester City were reduced to ten men on the cusp of half-time but hung on to take all three points on the night.

On that note, let's take a look at the five talking points from this game.

#1 Manchester City show character and resilience

Aston Villa vs Manchester City - Premier League
Aston Villa vs Manchester City - Premier League

Just before the first-half whistle, a prolonged VAR check for a foul by John Stones on Jacob Ramsey saw the English centre-back sent off.

On review, the clip showed that Stones went in with his boot up, which meant there was a risk of a knee injury to the opposition player. The red card was awarded and Manchester City were down to ten men just before the half-time whistle.

However, that didn't bring Aston Villa into the game. Aymeric Laporte was introduced as Manchester City looked to frustrate, tire and eventually kill Villa's hopes of restoring parity.

Manchester City dropped to a 4-4-1 shape without the ball, which meant the hosts had fewer attempts on goal in the second half. Villa's numerical superiority lasted only 12 minutes into the second half, as Matty Cash was shown a second yellow card for a silly foul on Phil Foden.

Nevertheless, Manchester City displayed character and resilience to hold their citadel intact and claim all three points.

#2 Phil Foden impresses for Manchester City

When was the last time Phil Foden had a bad game? The 21-year-old has set the league alight with his consistent displays every week.

The Englishman was yet again on target for Manchester City, inspiring an impressive comeback against Aston Villa, a team who had not dropped a single point in the league this season after leading.

After his tremendous strike against Borrusia Dortmund in the quarter-finals secured Manchester City their first Champions League semi-final in five years, Phil Foden returned to domestic duties and outshone a physical Aston Villa team in the middle of the park.

No player has scored more goals in all competitions before turning 21 for Pep Guardiola's team than Phil Foden, who'll now savour the prospect of winning his maiden Champions League title.

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Published 22 Apr 2021
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