Match Coverage

City 4-0 Aston Villa: match report and goals

And so we bid farewell to Aston Villa, her story is one of riches to rags. Once a confident beauty of the Premier League that flirted with the division’s most handsome members, Villa now drunkenly staggers from game to game with smudged eyeliner and purple bruises staining her face.

Stamped on, slapped and smacked around by its owners, Aston Villa face life in the Championship next season. Mathematics have not yet confirmed this – Villa still have 27 points left to play for – but a continuation of the lack of desire shown by Rémi Garde’s side on Saturday afternoon will soon seal their fate. They conceded their 55th goal of the campaign in a 4-0 loss to Manchester City and their players seem to have packed it in already.

It’s difficult not to feel a little sympathy for this historic top-flight club, but when your team is in desperate need of points too, commiseration can do one. So that’s all I’ve got for Villa this evening. Cheers for the three points and good luck in the Championship. Just make sure you take care of Micah.

The three points were somewhat guaranteed even before kick off. After all, Villa have collected just six points away from home all season and haven’t beaten us in the league at our place since 2007. Nevertheless, Wilfried Bony did his best to pile more misery on top of what’s been an incredibly naff week with a series of poor touches and missed sitters in the first half. One of those unconverted chances involved a terrific ball from Clichy that put Bony within four yards of Guzan’s net, but the Ivorian could only fire wide (good try, mate). It was a predictably bumbling display from the striker who I was so eager to see join and am now so eager to see leave this squad and it’s obvious that only his fee, his age and his wage are keeping him above Kelechi Iheanacho in the pecking order.

Fortunately, he had a strike partner. Even on his quieter days, Sergio Agüero is capable of brilliance and showed some excellent control to cushion Fernandinho’s lobbed pass inside Villa’s penalty area. His left footed effort was saved well by Guzan, but Sergio was getting into dangerous positions. And the American stopper was on hand once again just moments later to deny a fierce half volley from the Argentine – the painful memories of that stalemate at Villa Park back in November began giggling down my ears.

Agüero and Bony aren’t the partnership we thought they’d be. One is a predator, always on the move and stalking his prey; the other is a scavenger, a player who relies on the more skilled hunter for his food. That kind of relationship can work between players of similar abilities, but the pair are on completely different wavelengths and Sergio isn’t the type to go out of his way to make sure his buddy is getting his fair share of the feast.

Tiring of Bony’s incompetence, Sergio looked towards David Silva for some inspiration in the second half. One can imagine a conversation resembling the one between Jack, Kyle and the demon in Tenacious Ds ‘Tribute’ music video between the couple and Manuel Pellegrini at half time:

Pellegrini: “Play the best football you possibly can, or I’ll eat your souls.”

Well Sergio and David, they looked at each other, and they each said “OK”. And they played the first thing that came to their heads, just so happened to be, the best move of the game, it was the best move of the game! Yes, just 10 minutes after Yaya Touré had given us with lead with a strike into the corner and Agüero had doubled it when Micah’s attempted clearance cannoned in off the 27-year-old, Sergio and Silva combined for the best goal of the day. In a simply glorious rendition of the classic one-two, Silva aimed a cushioned volley into the path of his mate who controlled and fired into the near corner.

With Sergio and Dave now running the show, Bony had been thrown into the shadows. On came Sterling in his place and shortly after came our fourth as Sterling tapped in Navas’s cross. The 21-year-old who endured a rough time on his return to Anfield on Wednesday was involved in what could have been our fifth as his ball found Iheanacho who was brought down by Ashley Westwood in the penalty area. Agüero, though, was denied his hat-trick by the post.

And with the game won, Manu García was handed his Premier League debut capping off an all-round good day at the office. I wont be signing off with a summary of the Premier League table and what results today could mean for the us because not talking about the title is now the done thing among City fans.

Let’s just enjoy the win and see what happens, eh?


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