Manchester City 4-0 Aston Villa – Match Review

Manchester City 4-0 Aston Villa – Match Review
Mar 5, 2016

Featured Manchester City

Comfortable. That’s one word to describe a brilliant performance by Manchester City in a game that not many people expected anything other than a win for the Sky Blues. Four goals all in the second-half allowed City to take advantage of the 2-2 draw between Arsenal and Tottenham prior to kick-off at the Etihad. 

It all seemed business as usual when Lee Mason’s whistle blew to signal full-time, but looking back at the game, several issues can be plucked out of from the performance – especially from the first-half. A real lack of urgency, quick tempo and clinical finishing in front of goal sent City to the dressing room at half-time with a 0-0 scoreline. Only three real chances were created which, against the side who are inevitably going to be relegated, is simply not good enough. The biggest chance fell to Wilfried Bony, who failed to slot home after an inch-perfect cross from Gaël Clichy left the Ivorian with what should have been a simple side-footed finish into the Villa net.

Two moments of brilliance from Sergio Agüero shortly followed – one of which came as a result of some stunning one-touch passing between the Argentine and his strike partner Bony. After a neat lay-off from Wilfried Bony found Sergio Agüero, his angle had narrowed and left him with one option – a left-footed shot that failed to test Villa goalkeeper Brad Guzan. Another chance for City should have given them the lead again, as Sergio Agüero calmly cut inside onto his unfavoured left foot just outside of the 6-yard box, before seeing his shot blocked and sneaking over the Villa crossbar.

Aston Villa on the other hand were limited to very few chances as you may expect (especially for a side who set up with a five man defence). Alan Hutton seemed the only real threat for the Villains, as his overlapping runs from right-back caught out City on several occasions, but the lack of support from his fellow team mates ensured that City’s defence continued to be untested.

Into the second-half and City came out with a lot more intent and a real desire to go in search of the win; and it only took three minutes after the break for them to open the scoring. A powerful run into the box by Sergio Agüero allowed him to cut the ball back to David Silva. The Spaniard then kept his cool to combine with Yaya Touré who neatly slotted the ball past Brad Guzan. City then doubled their lead just a few minutes later following a misunderstanding between the Villa goalkeeper and former City defender Micah Richards. A low cross into the box that should have been easily collected by Guzan was instead, fortunately for City, cleared straight into the body of Agüero by a sliding Richards. The Argentine was completely unaware of the ball striking his body, but it was his striker instinct that put him into the goalscoring position. 2-0 and the game seemed beyond the reach of Aston Villa just five minutes into the second-half.

David Silva was the provider once again as City grabbed their third goal of the game. A neat combination of passes between Silva and Agüero preceded a beautifully weighted ball over the top of the Villa defence and straight into the path of the Argentine striker. After controlling the ball with his chest invitingly towards goal, Agüero took the shot on the half-volley hard and low past a helpless Brad Guzan. The final nail in the coffin you would’ve thought, but when City are in the mood, a real demolition job is never too far away.

The pain got even worse for Aston Villa as substitute Raheem Sterling joined the party. Following a burst of pace from Jesús Navas down the left hand-side, his low cross wasn’t cut out by any of the Villa defenders and it fell to Sterling at the back post, who had the easiest of tap-ins to add a fourth goal. Six minutes later and it was another substitute who made an impact on the game. Kelechi Iheanacho neatly cut the ball back onto his favoured left foot before having his feet swiped from beneath him, giving City a penalty. However, it wasn’t to be as Sergio Agüero missed the chance to grab his hat-trick after seeing his penalty strike the outside of the post.

And that was that. Four goals in quick succession in the second-half kept Manchester City in the Premier League title chasing pack. An all round successful day out for the Sky Blues of Manchester, from Raheem Sterling’s confidence boosting goal to City youth academy product Manu Garica getting a run out for his Premier League début. Next up for City, it’s a tough away trip to Carrow Road in the Premier League, as the chase for top spot continues.

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