Late goals from Bernardo Silva and Ilkay Gundogan ended Aston Villa’s resistance as Manchester City moved top of the Premier League for the first time this season, for a few hours at least, with a hard-earned victory.
Pep Guardiola’s side will be knocked off the summit later on Wednesday if Manchester United beat Fulham, but the determination they showed to claim their sixth successive league win underlined that they are here to stay in this title race.
Villa’s first team, playing their first game since New Year’s Day because of a coronavirus outbreak at the club, showed no after-effects of their 19-day hiatus and produced a dogged defensive display.
They held out until the 79th minute, when Rodri controversially stole the ball off Tyrone Mings and fed Bernardo, who brilliantly fired into the top corner from the edge of the box.
Rodri was offside before he returned to an onside position to challenge Mings and Villa manager Dean Smith was sent off for his protests.
It meant he was not there to see Gundogan make sure of the points from the spot soon afterwards after Matty Cash handled a Gabriel Jesus header, in what was a far more straightforward decision for referee Jon Moss.
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- 2WalkerSubstituted forZinchenkoat 28′minutes
- 3Rúben Dias
- 17De BruyneSubstituted forGabriel Jesusat 59′minutes
- 7SterlingSubstituted forMahrezat 72′minutes
- 20Bernardo Silva
- 9Gabriel Jesus
- 18TargettSubstituted forTaylorat 75′minutesBooked at 86mins
- 6Douglas Luiz
- 7McGinnBooked at 67mins
- 15TraoréSubstituted forEl Ghaziat 68′minutes
- 20BarkleySubstituted forRamseyat 68′minutes
- 21El Ghazi
- 27El Mohamady
- Jonathan Moss
Match ends, Manchester City 2, Aston Villa 0.
Second Half ends, Manchester City 2, Aston Villa 0.
John Stones (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Jack Grealish (Aston Villa).
Foul by Rodrigo (Manchester City).
Douglas Luiz (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Goal! Manchester City 2, Aston Villa 0. Ilkay Gündogan (Manchester City) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the centre of the goal.
Penalty conceded by Matthew Cash (Aston Villa) with a hand ball in the penalty area.
Attempt missed. Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City) header from the left side of the six yard box misses to the right. Assisted by Riyad Mahrez with a cross.
Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Emiliano Martínez.
Attempt saved. João Cancelo (Manchester City) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Bernardo Silva.
Neil Taylor (Aston Villa) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Bernardo Silva (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Neil Taylor (Aston Villa).
Foul by Bernardo Silva (Manchester City).
Jack Grealish (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Goal! Manchester City 1, Aston Villa 0. Bernardo Silva (Manchester City) left footed shot from outside the box to the top left corner. Assisted by Rodrigo.
Foul by Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City).
Douglas Luiz (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Matthew Cash.