Sunday, June 4, 2023

Manchester City 3-1 Aston Villa: What Were The Main Talking Points City Slash Arsenal’s Premier League Buffer?

Tom Dunstan in Editorial, English Premier League 13 Feb 2023

Embed from Getty Images

Putting on what was a real first-half romp at the Etihad on Sunday afternoon, Manchester City cruised their way to a 3-1 romp against Aston Villa.

Knowing that they had to make an immediate return to winning ways, Pep Guardiola’s side breezed to a 3-0 half-time lead as Rodri, Ilkay Gundogan and Riyad Mahrez put on a remarkable early flurry.

While Villa’s Ollie Watkins might have bagged his third Premier League strike in as many appearances as the England international slotted home on the hour mark, Sunday’s guests had little to cheer about.

With the defending champions now sat just three points adrift of Arsenal and facing a crucial showdown when they travel to north London on Wednesday night, Guardiola certainly got the response he was demanding.

Extending on their Etihad romp and handing Aston Villa back-to-back Premier League defeats for the first time since returning from the World Cup break, we have taken a look at the main talking points from Sunday’s battle at the Etihad.

City extend on their Etihad romp

Coming under real scrutiny last weekend following their shock 1-0 loss away at Tottenham, Manchester City knew that they had plenty of eyes on them ahead of Sunday’s return to the Etihad.

However, watching Arsenal eventually settle for a hugely controversial 1-1 draw at home against Brentford on Saturday afternoon, Guardiola’s side were handed yet another chance to capitalise.

While the defending Premier League champions might have missed out on a golden opportunity in the capital last weekend, Guardiola’s superstars were not going to be caught cold twice.

Eventually breezing past what could have been a potential banana skin after their first-half romp here, Man City have only continued on what has been a stellar purple patch on home soil.

Along with extending on their FA Cup adventure last month as they claimed a gritty 1-0 victory against the Gunners, Sunday’s hosts have lost just one of their previous 18 straight Premier League appearances at the Etihad.

With that run stemming all the way back over the past 12 months, Guardiola will know how important their home form will be if they’re to defend their domestic crown come May.

Haaland draws another blank

While Manchester City might have run rampant during the firs-half on Sunday afternoon, some fans around the Etihad might have been concerned to witness Erling Haaland draw another blank.

Although the former Borussia Dortmund ace might have spurned one golden chance during the first-half as he blazed over from inside the box, Haaland failed to cause many issues here.

Despite breaking a string of Premier League records since arriving in England’s top-flight last summer, the 22-year-old has now failed to find the net in each of his last three domestic appearances across all formats.

While Haaland might be cruising towards this season’s Golden Boot and already notching eight Premier League strikes more than any other player, there has been some questions as to whether Guardiola is getting the best out of his attacking talisman.

Nevertheless, although the Norwegian superstar might be seeking some fluidity since opening the New Year, there is no doubt that Haaland has a crucial role to play if City are to defend their top-flight crown in 2023.

A tough week for Villa

Suffering a real collapse on home soil last weekend as they eventually slumped to an action-packed 4-2 loss at home against Leicester, Aston Villa traveled to the Etihad on Sunday night knowing they faced a huge challenge.

Blown away in the blue half of Manchester and heading in for the half-time break already 3-0 down, it has been Unai Emery’s toughest week since taking charge in the Midlands back in October.

Suffering back-to-back Premier League defeats for the first time since appointing the one-time Arsenal boss, Emery will have somewhat of a recent headache over his side’s issues at the back.

Now shipping seven strikes in their consecutive top-flight losses over the past week, Villa have recorded just a single clean sheet from any of their last six domestic appearances across all competitions.

Shockingly crashing out of the FA Cup on January 8th as they slumped to an infamous 2-1 defeat against League Two outfit Stevenage, Emery’s side are now seeking some stability.

Almost sat in Premier League limbo, things don’t get any easier for Villa as they will be next seen when Arsenal visits town next weekend.

Match Report

Manchester City: Ederson, Walker, Dias, Laporte, Rodri, Silva, Mahrez, De Bruyne, Gundogan, Grealish, Haaland

Subs: Ake, Alvarez, Foden, Akanji

Aston Villa: Martinez, Young, Konsa, Chambers, Digne, Buendia, Luiz, Kamara, Ramsey, Bailey, Watkins

Subs: Coutinho, Duran, Moreno, McGinn, Cash

Goals: Manchester City: Rodri (4′), Gundogan (39′), Mahrez (45+1′) – Aston Villa: Watkins (61′)

Yellow Cards: Manchester City: Dias – Aston Villa: Digne, Konsa

Red Cards: N/A

Referee: Robert Jones


Tom Dunstan

Formerly of The Independent, Tom has spent the past six years as one of our senior writers and betting experts. Alongside working with numerous publications from across the globe, Tom also graduated from the University of Falmouth in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Digital Media.
Spending almost the past decade working in countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada, he has also spent time featuring in sports radio. Tom can be followed on Instagram - @iamtomdunstan



Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Live Scores


Betting Guide Advertisement


Become a Writer
More More
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x