After a confidence building victory against the Citizens in the League Cup this young Villa team may have been forgiven for dreaming of three points, particularly after their sharp attacking display against City rivals, United. Indeed, after 41 minutes of stout defending, with the half time whistle looming, Aston Villa might have felt that they were in with a chance. Not so.
A scramble in the box allowed David Silva to stick the ball into the top left corner, just before half time, sending Villa into the dressing room feeling that their hard work had been undone. A look at the records would have told them that defending from deep and conceding the majority of possession against the reigning champions, a team who have taken 86 of the last 90 points available at home was a tough ask. Only a world class defence with an exemplary record could have any hope of sucking it up for 90 minutes. Villa are a long way from such an asset.
Villa did manage to show a little of their counter attacking prowess mid way through he first half when Agbonlahor was able to break with power down the left, though Christian Benteke’s inevitable header was saved acrobatically by England International, Joe Hart.
Any chance of Aston Villa getting back into the game was dashed when City were awarded an innocuous penalty, the linesman judging Andreas Weimann to have handled at the near post having led with his arm when no real contact was made. Villa surrounded the official but to no avail. Sergio Aguero promptly dispatched the penalty to the left of Villa keeper Guzan.
Aston Villa, heads down, were guilty of beginning to capitulate and could find no answer to the high line, possession play that pegged them back into the last third of the field. Even the introduction of the trojan Holman and wide man Albrighton could not stem the flow. Man City did not have to wait long for their third though. A David Silva in swinging corner led to the award of yet another penalty after Barry Bannan handled on the ground. Tevez was quick to take the ball and wasted no time in putting the ball passed Guzan once again. 3-0 City.
City’s fourth then came two minutes later after another attack from City. Sergio Aguero shot from a tight angle at the edge of the six yard box, the ball finding its way into the net. The flood gates had now opened, raising questions about the character and integrity of this young side and their ability to stem the flow of City attacks. They managed to do so for just six minute. Carlos Tevez capitalised on Villa’s sinking spirits with a goal from close range, the Argentine tucking the ball neatly into the bottom right hand corner.
Jordan Bowery came on for Benteke, who was mercifully removed from the field, giving Bowery his first taste of the Premier League. It will be one he might want to forget. He will have no doubt seen a rampant City, who, for their 59% possession and 21 shots on goal, certainly looked more than deserving of a win against a very poor Villa side who conceded only to capitulate. The score line did not flatter City and could well have been heavier.
Undoubtedly, poor decision making from the Referee and his assistants will leave Aston Villa feeling aggrieved though their can be no excuse for the manner of their capitulation and the ease with which Man City swept this young Villa team aside. With Reading winning and Southampton looking to push on, Aston Villa will now be looking nervously over their Claret and Blue shoulders as Arsene Wenger’s hot streak Arsenal prepare to come to town.
Man of The Match: Lowton
Room for Improvement: Bannan