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28 September 2013
• Villa Park, Birmingham
Referee: M. Jones
• Attendance: 34063
K. El Ahmadi 51'
L. Bacuna 73'
A. Weimann 75'
Y. Touré 45'
E. Džeko 56'
That concludes our live-text coverage of this one, we hope you enjoyed - we know we did! Until next time, take care.
A fantastic result for Aston Villa - and a horrible one for City, who are yet to win an away match. Phew, what a game! This is why we love football and this is why we love the Premier League.
City dominated, took the lead twice and hardly allowed their opponents any room to breathe. Yet, somehow, Villa scored three brilliant counterattacking goals - and the rest was history.
Words can barely describe what has just happened at Villa Park as the home side steal three valuable points against supposed title contenders Manchester City.
THEY THINK IT'S ALL OVER AND IT IS! Amazing win for Aston Villa!
90' + 5'
Kolarov heads wide at the near post!! Is that as close as City can get?
90' + 4'
Ninety seconds remain!
90' + 3'
Luna sends a low cross into the area and Nastasic is forced to clear! The home side are really stepping into their own here.
90' + 2'
Libor Kozak's first telling contribution of the day is to win a free kick against Toure to use up even more time!
90' + 1'
There will be FIVE minutes of added time!
Into injury time we go...
It is desperate, heroic defending and, now, Villa have a free kick in their own half that will no doubt allow them to slow things down and use up some valuable time.
City push forward but the advances of Toure, Kolarov and Jovetic are to no avail as the home defence smash anything in their path clear of danger.
The visitors look no closer to drawing level as Fernandinho concedes a free kick in the middle of the park.
Funny old game... City have absolutely dominated this afternoon's game. Yet they have fallen victim to three classic counterattacking goals. Is time running out for them here?
It is the away side's turn to look disconsolate. Their body language is indicative of a beaten team.
Kolarov attempts to bypass Bacuna on the left-hand side but ends up running the ball out for a goal kick.
Seven minutes left and the clock is ticking here. Suddenly, the prospect of ending today at the top of the table looks impossible for the visitors. What is it with Pellegrini and away games?
Their first real late push sees them win a throw-in, from which Toure sets up Stevan Jovetic - but the ex-Fiorentina man's shot is blocked by Villa hero Vlaar. An unconvincing finish but a brave challenge.
Just 10 minutes left here but, in truth, City look shellshocked. Even if they grab an equaliser, it will hardly compensate for letting in three poor goals. Realistically, the visitors need two here. But is there enough time? And do they have enough firepower?
Jordan Nathaniel Bowery
The fact that Guzan got an assist for that Weimann goal tells you everything you need to know about Villa and their lightning quick approach. What a day for the Midlands: West Brom lead Manchester United and Villa lead here. Can they hold out until full-time?
Not for the first time this season, Pellegrini's side have been found wanting away from home. And not for the first time, they are 3-2 down away from home.
Assist Bradley Guzan
Goal Andreas Weimann
GOAL!! Weimann!! Unbelievable scenes as Villa complete a stunning turnaround. It is, somehow, 3-2 to the home side but you have to wonder how! What a quick move as Weimann catches Matija Nastasic out and pokes home to give the hosts the lead. They have hardly been competitive all game and yet they lead. Football, eh?
Goal Leandro Bacuna
GOALLLL!!! Bacuna! Talk about making the most of what they have had: Leandro Bacuna, with a free kick from outside the area, has been more accurate with one chance than City have with more than ten! What a strike, what a goal. Villa, amazingly, back on level terms!
The set-piece is dealt with, though, and Villa are able to break, winning a free kick nine yards outside the City penalty area. They have not had many opportunities but they have made the most of the few they have had...
The visitors are really pushing for a third here as Kolarov advances into the area and forces a corner.
Offside! Villa can pause for breath as a City attack is halted abruptly by the linesman's flag.
The introduction of Jesus Navas makes an instant impact as the Spaniard sends a sublime through ball to Negredo, although the striker is unable to convert.
Rare chance for Villa! It comes from a set-piece as a reasonably threatening delivery is sent into the box and Vlaar is able to connect with it on the volley. However, the end result is a tame effort that Hart is perfectly able to deal with.
Jesús Navas González
Toure has been outstanding once again for the away side this afternoon. City really did complete one of the Premier League's best ever signings when they recruited the Ivorian from Barcelona.
Dzeko! Defended well! The Bosnian was seconds away from pulling the trigger for what surely would have been 3-1 but Bacuna came from nowhere to heroically keep his side in the contest. A third is looking likely, though..
Encouraging energy from Weimann and Delph comes to nothing as Vincent Kompany effortlessly deals with the danger.
No - not for now, at least, as the City defence clear calmly.
A rare venture forward from Villa now. Can the home side grab another unexpected equaliser?
Despite Pellegrini's summer spending, it is currently City's old guard that are flying the flag for their side. The likes of Dzeko, Nasri, Toure, Zabaleta, Milner and Kolarov have been heavily influential today. Fernandinho and Negredo have failed to make a similar impact, however.
Yellow Card Yacouba Sylla
Believe it or not, this might be City's first away win of the season. They now have a free kick on the edge of the area after a clumsy challenge from Sylla.
Nasri whips the ball in at pace but an unmarked Dzeko cannot convert his second of the game as his header goes out for a goal kick.
SAVE! Guzan saves from Negredo as the away side look to close the game out!
Assist Samir Nasri
Goal Edin Dzeko
GOAL! Dzeko! City's lead is restored - and perhaps this is the true indication of how Pellegrini's men will react. How unlucky for the hosts, who only just began to really believe in themselves. After typically fluent build-up play, it was an easy finish for Dzeko. 2-1.
Joe Hart, who has not had much to do today, collects the ball with relief as Clark fails to keep control of the ball due to the pace at which it came into his possession.
Yellow Card Samir Nasri
If you were wondering how the visitors would react, Nasri has provided a hint: petulantly. The Frenchman is booked for kicking out at Bacuna and, now, Villa have a corner..
City have cause to feel aggrieved, however, as replays suggest that El Ahmadi may have been offside when he received the ball from a cross into the area. Intriguing.
Assist Leandro Bacuna
Goal K. El Ahmadi
GOAL! El Ahmadi! Where on earth did that come from!? As City's possession figures almost went beyond the 70 per cent mark, Villa launched a rare move into the away penalty area and, suddenly, El Ahmadi found himself with the ball in the box and thumped a low finish into the back of the net! Game on?
More danger signs for the hosts now as a clever through ball almost releases three different players for City! The pass is overhit, though, and slips into Villa's grasp.
There is big incentive for a City win this afternoon, with three points meaning Pellegrini's side will leapfrog Tottenham on goal difference and move to the top of the Premier League.
This has been a terrible restart from the home side. Toure's strike on the stroke of half-time remains the difference between the two teams but if Villa carry on in similar fashion, that gap looks set to widen.
CHANCE! Sylla plays a shocking backpass to Guzan, almost gifting the ball to Negredo with the goal at his mercy! Luckily for the hosts, the American is able to clear - but only just.
Manchester City kick us off for the second half! There have been no changes for either side at the break.
The second half will be upon us shortly.
Is there any way back for Villa? Or has Toure simply opened the floodgates for the visitors? Stay with us to find out!
The visitors may have been worried by the profligacy of their forwards but, now that they have the lead, their only concern will be killing the game off. Villa have almost been non-existent from an attacking perspective but one can sympathise with Lambert and the injury crisis he is currently having to cope with.
Manchester City had been piling the pressure on Aston Villa all half but Paul Lambert's men had defended admirably for 44 minutes or so. But in stepped Yaya Toure and their defence was no more.
HALF-TIME! And that's that! Pellegrini's side just about achieve what they had been pursuing all half and go into the break a goal to the good.
Goal Yaya Touré
GOAL! Toure! A simple finish from the Ivorian - but he will not care. Initially, the powerful midfielder surged forward and unleashed a strike from distance that was deflected for a corner. From that resultant set-piece, Toure tapped home from seven yards. Villa's resistance is broken.
Yet still no goals for either side, which will suit Lambert a lot more than it will his opposite number.
But Pellegrini's men get the ball back and pile forward once again, with Nathan Baker being forced to clear for yet another corner - and then once again. That is an astonishing seven corner kicks for Manchester City now.
Nasri's ball is cleared by Luna, however, before Andi Weimann attempts to break for the home side.
Free kick to City in a dangerous position now, with several blue shirts forward.
Ron Vlaar exemplifies the Villa solidity with a superb block against Milner's pass, before Ciaran Clark clears a great Kolarov ball over the bar for a corner. Pressure rising once again from the visitors, although the hosts look more than equal to it.
The City pressure has died down now as the home defence looks more certain and authoritative in the face of attacking trickery from the likes of Toure, Nasri and Zabaleta.
EMBARRASSING! Fernandinho tries to thread a pass through to Milner but it rolls off for a goal kick. Hardy Samba Soccer from the Brazilian.
Lambert moves to the edge of his technical area to bark some orders to his players. At 0-0, it is so far, so good for the home side. But a goal could change things dramatically.
Bacuna weathers the storm! The Dutch winger is able to advance forward and have a shot at goal. It is not a good strike - but Villa will be pleased to force a pause for breath for their defenders nonetheless.
Are Pellegrini's men going to open their account any time soon?
CHANCE! Once again, the visitors knock on the door as Milner and Toure combine to feed Zabaleta in the area, before the Argentina plays a sumptuous ball into Negredo. The Villa defence are just able to intercept, however, and clear the danger.
Either way, it is all City at the minute...
DENIED! Pablo Zabaleta surges into the Villa penalty area and is brought down by Luna! But the referee waves away City's penalty appeals.
POOR EFFORT! A promising attack for the visitors ends with Dzeko skying a hopeless shot several rows into the stands. Anti-climactic.
The visitors bring every one of their players back to defend this one - but they are not needed as Karim El Ahmadi's 30-yard free kick sails over the bar.
Villa now have a free kick in a dangerous position!
Kolarov is on hand to surge down the left-hand side for the away team once more and Bacuna has no option but to clear for City's third corner of the day. The danger is initially cleared from the set-piece, before another cross is whipped in and Dzeko is given offside. Not the most potent of attacks from the visitors.
Possession alone does not win football matches but, if it did, the visitors would have this one in the bag already. Nevertheless, the figures will suit Villa's style, as well. 0-0 20 minutes in here.
Milner unleashes a shot from distance from the ensuing corner but it is blocked and City have to backtrack somewhat. Until, that is, a strike from Dzeko that just skims the crossbar.
City when yet another corner after intricate work from Fernandinho and Dzeko, although the set-piece itself could have quite easily been avoided.
Villa's counterattacking nature helps ensure a speedy pace to the game as well, however, despite the absence of star striker Christian Benteke, who is out injured for a month.
The away side are doing very well to put the hosts under pressure here, with every loose ball and mishit pass being pounced on with the utmost speed.
From the resultant set-piece, Negredo heads just over!
Kolarov and Milner now combine to win City a corner, as a sense of foreboding sweeps across Villa Park. Can the visitors break the deadlock?
End-to-end football here as the hosts almost counterattack from the corner that was initiated from a City counterattack...
JUST WIDE! But not for Villa. What a counterattack from the visitors, who broke with Toure and Nasri once again and it was the Frenchman who ended up taking a shot at goal, only for a deflection to take it out for a corner.
First corner of the game! It is won by the home side - and Luna specifically, who has recovered from his earlier injury worry.
Edin Dzeko comes close to troubling Villa stopper Brad Guzan as his short-range finish prompts a save from the American. The home fans are in good voice at the moment, however, although City have gradually taken control of possession.
Samir Nasri and Yaya Toure now exchange short passes, before Kolarov once again gets involved. However, Nasri is then played through but the Frenchman is given offside.
Luna now finds himself down injured, although it is unclear how bad the problem is. An even start so far.
Villa attack down the left after contributions from Antonio Luna and Yacouba Sylla but City defend the danger well and counter with a move of their own down the left-hand side, with Aleksander Kolarov breaking and whipping a cross into the box. James Milner is unable to connect with the ball properly, however, and off the ball goes for a goal kick.
After a few opening exchanges, it is the home side who are retaining the majority of possession - though there has not been anything of note quite yet.
We're off at Villa Park!
Kick-off is just minutes away so prepare yourselves for a rollercoaster ride. Can the hosts triumph against Manuel Pellegrini's side as they did against Arsenal on the opening day of the season? Or will City's multi-millionaires run Villa ragged? Stay tuned for all the action.
And the visitors, who are aiming to keep up the pace at the top of the Premier League, are lining up like this: Hart; Kompany (C), Zabaleta, Kolarov, Nastasic; Milner, Nasri, Fernandinho, Toure; Negredo, Dzeko. Substitutes: Pantilimon, Richards, Lescott, Clichy, Garcia, Navas, Jovetic.
If Paul Lambert's side are to continue their winning run, these are the players that will do it: Guzan; Baker, Vlaar (C), Clark, Bacuna; El Ahmadi, Luna, Delph, Sylla, Weimann; Kozak. Substitutes: Steer, Bennett, Lowton, Albrighton, Tonev, Helenius, Bowery.
Today's game at Villa Park comes on the back of wins for both sides last weekend, after Villa ended a run of three defeats by beating Norwich and City hammered Manchester United 4-1 last Sunday.
Good afternoon and welcome to live play-by-play commentary of Aston Villa against Manchester City in the Premier League! I'm your host Tim Poole and I'll be guiding you the proceedings today, so sit back, get comfortable and enjoy the show.
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