FULL-TIME!!!! City are top of the table thanks to a hatrick from Mario Balotelli and a header from Joleon Lescott. Aston Villa were not at the races today and were second best in every department. Roberto Mancini's men may only be top of the table for a few hours as Manchester United play this evening and will go back to the top if they avoid defeat.
Blue Moon rings around Eastlands now as City close in on the top of the table.
Yellow Card James Milner
The board shows their will be three minutes of added time, as Mancini's name rings around the stadium.
Plenty of glum faces in the Villa section of the crowd, which match the dour looks of Houllier and his assistand Gary McAllister. The pressure is building on those two with every poor result.
Lichaj breaks free from the City defence and hits a shot goalwards, but Hart stands tall and beats the ball away.
Villa win a free-kick right on the edge of the City box thanks to the fast feet of Nathan Delfouneso. Third time lucky for Stewart Downing as he strikes the free-kick but the ball flies high and wide.
Just under 10 minutes left at Eastlands...
Substitution Nigel Reo-Coker Robert Pires
Nigel Reo-Coker is replaced by Robert Pires.
Villa win a corner to huge ironic cheers. The ball is played short to Fabian Delph who stings Joe Harts' fingers at the near post. Another corner to the visitors which is eventually cleared.
Substitution Nigel De Jong Wayne Bridge
Nigel De Jong is replaced by Wayne Bridge.
Nothing of note happening at Eastlands. |City are seeing this one out with consumate ease.
A cross is delivered into the box by Adam Johnson and is cleared only as far as Pablo Zabaleta, who fires a shot over the bar from just inside the area.
Yellow Card Eric Lichaj
Adam Johnson flies past Lichaj but the defender blocks the England winger off and goes into the book for his trouble.
James Milner wins a corner on the left. Johnson swings in the corner and Kompany flicks the ball on to the far post where Jo fires a volley over the bar.
Everything is quite flate on the pitch at the moment with Ciy four goals to the good. but the home fans are in the good voice as they cheer their side to the top of the table.
Substitution Yaya Touré Jo
Yaya Toure is replaced by Jo for the home side.
Complete cruise control for City at the moment.
Substitution David Silva James Milner
David Silva, who has been superb for City this afternoon, is given the rest of the afternoon off after being replaced by James Milner.
Substitution Barry Bannan Fabian Delph
Substitution Marc Albrighton Nathan Delfouneso
Assist Adam Johnson
Penalty Goal Mario Balotelli
BALOTELLI SEALS HIS HATRICK!!!!! The Italian striker cooly slots the ball past Friedel for his second penalty of the afternoon and third goal of the game.Before that Adam Johnson was fouled in the box by Marc Albrighton and it was a definate penalty.
PENALTY TO CITY!!!!!!
The ball is headed clear from the Villa box only as far as Patrick Vieira who hits a rasping shot goalwards but Friedel is mor than a match for it and beats it away for a corner. Resultant corner is cleared.
City starting to get their rhythm back but things a fairly quiet at the start of the second half at Eastlands.
As was the case towards the end of the first-half Villa are having plenty of the ball but they are not threatening Joe Hart's goal.
Villa have the first chance of the second half as Downing hits a 25-yard free-kick over the bar.
Villa get the second-half underway...
HALF-TIME AT THE CITY OF MANCHESTER STADIUM!!!! Roberto Mancini will be delighted with his side at the break after they steamed into the lead thanks to a brace form Balotelli and a header from Lescott. They have been in cruise control against a Villa side void of any ideas. in truth they have been woeful. Join after the interval to see if Villa can forge an unlikely way back into the match or whether City can stay on course for top spot in the premier league for the first time since 1981.
One minute of added time at the end of the first-half.
Villa go close to getting a goal back through Marc Albrighton as he dances past two City defenders on the left edge of the box and fires a shot towards goal. Joe Hart then spills the shot and Reo-Coker reacts quickly and gets a shot in on goal but Lescott gets back and clears off the line.
Villa seeing more of the ball as we approach half-time but there is not much penetration coming from the visitors. No chances to report at Eastlands.
Villa create their best opening so far as Warnock charges down the left and swings in a cross but Abonglahor is isolated and the City defence clears the danger easily. That has been Villa's problem all afternoon as the front man has been ploughing a lone furrow up fron on his own.
Lovely move from City as Toure plays the ball into Balotellie who then lays it off to Silva who shoots tamely at Brad Freidel. But it doesn't matter too much as Balotelli was just offside. free-kick to Villa.
City are toying with Villa at the moment and David Silva is a big part of that. The tricky winger takes a shot which is deflected and the ball just flies past the right hand post.
David Silva picks up the ball on the right hand side and cuts inside towards the edge of the Villa box. The Spain international unleashes a fierce shot which is blocked by James Collins and deflects over the bar for a corner. The corner is cleared from danger.
Assist David Silva
Goal Mario Balotelli
3-0 TO CITY!!! FANTASTIC GOAL SCORED BY BALOTELLI!!!! A wonderful team move ends in a tap in for Mario Balotelli's second of the afternoon. David Silva is instrumental in the move and it is his give and go with Yaya Toure and stunning footwork which forces a save from Brad Friedel low down to his left but Balotelli is on hand to tap in the rebound. This is a stroll for the home side and Villa need to wake up quickly if they are to avoid further humiliation.
Villa are trying to put a spell of possession together but are struggling at Eastlands. It is all a bit of a stroll for the home side at the moment. 2-0 to City and the home side are heading to the top of the table as it stands.
Now it's Stephen Warnock's turn to feel a strong challenge as Micah Richards piles into the Villa left-back and gives away a free kick.
Yellow Card Stephen Warnock
Stephen Warnock puts in a tough challenge on winer Adam Johnson and the referee doesn't like it. Warnock is the first name to go into the book.
City are thoroughly enjoying their afternoon so far and are knocking the ball around nicely. They are getting David Silva on the ball as often as they can and the Spanish star is pulling the strings in midfield. Villa haven't turned up yet and need to do more if they are to get back into this game.
Adam Johnson puts in an unfair challenge Stiliyan Petrov gives away a free kick in a dangerous area. How Villa need something to et themselves back in the game. Stewart Downing stands over the ball and strikes it goalwards but it only troubles the fans behind the goal. Poor poor effort.
Assist Adam Johnson
Goal Joleon Lescott
AND IT'S 2-0 TO CITY!!!! The home fans are in raptures as Lescott heads home from Adam Johnson's corner. It's a slightly contreversial goal as the header is cleared of the line but referee Michael Oliver looks at his assistant and awards the goal. The Villa players are not happy but it looks like the ref has got the decision right. Fantastic start for Roberto Mancini and his side but a this is a nightmare for Gerard Houllier and Villa.
As things stand City are top of the league and they really look in the mood this afternoon.
Penalty Goal Mario Balotelli
1-0 CITY!!! BALOTELLI SCORES HIS FIRST HOME PREMIER LEAGUE GOAL!!! The Italian striker picks himself up and cooly slots his penalty past Brad Freidel and into the right side of the net. Great penalty from the enigmatic striker. Great start for City.
PENALTY TO MAN CITY!!! City still dominating the ball and the first time they really threaten the goal they get a spot kick. David Silva feeds a through ball through to Mario Balotelli, who is fouled by Eric Lichaj in the box. The ref has no option but to point to the spot.
City having more of the ball in the opening stages and the home side are stringing together a good spell of passes as Villa get men behind the ball. Could be a sign of things to come this afternoon as the visitors look to pack the midfield and hit Mancini's men on the break.
Bright start from both sides as Kompany ppunts a ball up field and after a few deflections falls into the path of Mario Balotelli but the Italian striker is just offside.
City get us underway at Eastlands....
The teams are out on the pitch and we are not far away from kick-off.
And here is the Villa line-up: Aston Villa: Friedel; Lichaj, Collins, Cuellar, Warnock; Albrighton, Reo-Coker, Petrov, Downing, Bannan; Agbonlahor. Subs: Guzan, Pires, Delfouneso, Delph, Clark, Hogg, Herd.
Here is the City line-up: Man City: Hart; Richards, Kompany, Lescott, Zabaleta; Toure Yaya, De Jong, Vieira; Adam Johnson, Balotelli, Silva. Subs: Given, Bridge, Milner, Boateng, Barry, Jo, Tevez.
Hello and welcome to Goal.com's live text commentary of Manchester City vs Aston Villa in the Premier League. City will be hoping to go top of the league and will do that, if only for a few hours, if they beat Gerard Houllier's out of form Villa.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed