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January 22, 2011
• Villa Park, Birmingham
Referee: H. Webb
• Attendance: 37315
90' + 3'
Well Villa have certainly dented City's title ambitions here. Darren Bent's goal will grab the headlines but Dunne and Collins were the key to Villa's victory. The stats say City deserved something but they failed to create clear cut chances on a frustrating night for Mancini. For Houllier and his new multi-million pound striker this is a big night. Thanks for following, have a good evening.
90' + 3'
90' + 2'
Boateng tries to feed Tevez on the edge of the box but Dunne is in to clear it first time.
90' + 1'
Agbonlahor is fouled by Boateng in the left hand corner of the City half. Precious seconds delayed here for Villa.
Three minutes of added time at Villa Park.
Dunne misses a cross in the air for once, but Collins clears it behind his defensive partner. Those two have been immense today.
Villa come close this time!!! Bent holds the ball up well, feeds Albrighton who yet again beats Kolarov down the right, and fires a great low cross into the near post which almost reaches Ashley Young but Kompany covers well.
OOOOOOH!! Unbelievable stuff! How are City not level? Kolarov races onto a free ball on the edge of the box and smashes it goalwards but it deflects off Collins and then Cuellar and somehow rebounds out.
OOOOOOOOOOOH!! City come close again!!! Dzeko should do better when he beats Cuellar at the far post to head Johnson's cross wide of goal.
OOOOOOOOH!! CITY HIT THE POST!!! De Jong fires a low shot in from the box which is partially blocked by Clark and deflects onto the post and out.
Villa are being forced further back, though Albrighton does whip a low cross into the City box which is cleared by Toure with Bent lurking.
City try to muster yet another attack, but Tevez attempted pass to Dzeko in the box is weak and Dunne hoofs it upfield.
OOOOOOOOOOH!! How long can Villa hold on? Fantastic defending from Collins denies Tevez after Dzeko feeds Johnson who gets to the by-line and pulls it back to the Argentine whose first-time shot is blocked by Collins.
Villa break forward on a rare attack. Bent feeds Downing on the edge of the box and he hits a shot goalwards but straight at Hart who holds well.
Tevez is angry with himself as he mishits a regulation pass to Boateng straight out of play. Not been his night tonight.
Dunne is up to head the City corner clear once again. It drops to Adam Johnson who hits a low shot which is dragged far wide of goal.
Cuellar blocks a Dzeko shot, and City have yet another corner.
Another foray forward from City eventually culminates in Kolarov firing a low shot wide from 30 yards out.
Adam Johnson finds an inch of space on the edge of the box but fires a low effort well wide of Friedel's goal.
Darren Bent starting to look more isolated as the game wears on, and his frustration is evident as he fouls Kolo Toure and concedes a freekick.
All City again as they put together a 25 pass move which culminates in Dzeko whipping a delicious cross into the box which just evades the advancing Yaya Toure. Villa hanging on a bit now.
City look dangerous as Silva pings a lovely pass out to Tevez who is taking on Cuellar, but the Spaniard keeps his eye on the ball and puts in a fine sliding challenge.
Yellow Card Aleksandar Kolarov
Albrighton does very well again, beating De Jong down the right before being checked by Kolarov. Blatant foul and a deserved yellow for the full back.
City clear the corner, but only partially as Villa work the ball well out to Albrighton who then whips a lovely cross which Kompany does very well to clear at the near post.
OOOOOOOOOOO! Young drops his shoulder and escapes De Jong and fires a low shot in from 30 yards out which Hart tips behind at his near post.
Villa clear the corner at the near post through Collins.
City win the ball back and break down the other end through Dzeko who beats two Villa defenders with a drop of the shoulder and his low cross is hit behind by Dunne for a corner.
Joe Hart almost makes a hash of a routine clearance by firing it straight to Albrighton but Boateng does well to knock it out for a throw.
OOOOOOOH!! City starting to look dangerous again. Boateng fires a good low shot in from 25 yards out which swerves late and almost catches out Friedel who can only palm it out for a defender to clear.
Roberto Mancini is unhappy with referee Howard Webb after he penalises Carlos Tevez for a push in the back of James Collins as the Villa man won a header. It looked pretty clear cut in fairness.
Yaya Toure gives the ball away again, this time to Albrighton. The winger charges upfield, beating two City men, but is eventually crowded out.
Boos from the home fans as Gareth Barry comes off and Adam Johnson is introduced.
Good spell for Villa here, keeping the ball in the City half though they've rarely looked like troubling the away defence.
Villa are starting to press higher up the field, perhaps to relieve some possession and Bent wins a throw-in for his side deep in the City half after pressurising Toure. Meanwhile Adam Johnson is being readied by Mancini.
Slightly disjointed period of possesson from both teams as they both fail to take control of the ball in midfield.
Yaya Toure hits a shot which deflects behind for a corner. Kolarov takes and finds Dzeko who heads wide when decently positioned, though he was well tracked by Dunne.
Silva pings a lovely pass out to Dzeko who is unmarked midway through the Villa half, but he is well covered by Villa defenders as he heads towards goal and Collins blocks his attempted shot.
City looking brighter already, Silva takes on Dunne on the edge of the box and is eased off the ball in slightly forceful fashion. But as Silva tumbles Howard Webb waves away the appeals and Villa clear.
De Jong clips a ball out to Tevez who is running into the box but at a wide angle from goal and he attempts a hopelessly optimistic shot from the angle which skews horribly wide for a goalkick.
Villa get us underway for the second half!
Team's are out for the second half and we'll be underway shortly.
45' + 2'
HALF TIME!! Bent's goal has Villa 1-0 up at half time, though City have had the better of the play. Both sides will have to step it up in the second half. Back in fifteen!
45' + 1'
Villa win a freekick midway through the City half when Petrov is fouled. Downing steps up..............and his low shot is well held by Hart.
OOOOOOOOOH!! Ashley Young hits a terrific low first time shot goalwards which is well held by Hart after an Albrighton cross is partially cleared by Kolo Toure. Great technique from the England man to control that shot and get it on target.
City continuing to pass the ball better than Villa who are starting to gift possession to the away side with alarming regularity. But little signs of attacking chances so far as Villa clear yet again through Dunne.
Kolarov attempts a shot from 30 yards out but it is blocked by Cuellar and Friedel claims.
A rare foray forward from Villa with Agbonlahor taking on Toure, but his cross is poor and Kompany clears easily.
City getting a succession of corners after Boateng's cross is headed behind by Dunne. Silva whips the first one which is cleared behind for another corner, then Barry steps up but his is equally poor and Villa clear. But it's all City here now.
Villa clear the corner from Kolarov easily. Then as City try to recycle the ball into the box through Boateng, Villa win the ball back but Albrighton brings down De Jong for a freekick midway through the Villa half.
Kolarov has been marauding forward well all game, wins a corner off Cuellar after another surging run.
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOH!! Great effort from Barry, who has been booed non-stop today. Boateng whips a lovely cross into the area which is met by the midfielder whose header drifts agonisingly wide of the far post with Friedel beaten.
Villa win a corner, which is partially cleared by Kompany. Albrighton picks it up, whips in a cross which is met by Dunne but his tame header is easily held by Hart.
City starting to see far more of the ball as Villa are dropping deep, but the pressure is relieved when Young wins the ball off Barry and then is tripped by Tevez as he looked to break.
Almost a lovely move from City, who finally commit men forward in numbers. Toure spins Petrov easily, brings it into the Villa half, and feeds Kolarov down the left. He tries a first time cross into the area but overhits it with men waiting and Villa have a goalkick.
Young almost slides a lovely throughpass for Bent, but just overhits his pass and Hart claims easily.
City work a decent position but Yaya Toure hopelessly misplaces his cross which goes straight out for a goalkick. His team-mate David Silva shot him a bit of a glare after that, the Spaniard has been starved of the ball thus far.
Villa are defending well, particularly Dunne and Collins who are both defending aggressively, but fairly, against Dzeko and Tevez.
Yaya Toure gifts possession to Villa with a loose pass to Cuellar who gallops 60 yards down field but his cross is too high for Bent and Hart claims easily.
Villa whip a freekick to the backpost where Dunne is competing with Dzeko, but the striker beats him in the air. The ball comes to Albrighton who beats Kolarov easily but his cross is poor and goes straight out for a goal kick.
City are playing the better football but not creating anything with it, while Villa are sitting a touch deeper after the goal and looking to hit on the break.
Yellow Card Ciaran Clark
Ciaran Clark picks up a booking for a nasty challenge on Dzeko, his second in the first 25 minutes, which is late and catches the striker on the ankle.
Kolarov whips it in, and Dzeko tries twice to force the ball goalwards, but Villa's defenders twice block well and then Collins smashes it clear.
Kolarov whips the corner into the near post and Kompany rises highest but his header is tipped over by Friedel for another corner.
City win a corner after Collins sloppily heads a Kolarov driven cross behind.
Villa Park is certainly livelier now-the Villa fans delighted by Bent's strike. Incidentally Bent has now scored on his debut for three teams after also scoring on debut for Charlton and Sunderland.
Assist Ashley Young
Goal Darren Bent
Goal for the £24 million man on his debut!!! Great start for Darren Bent!! City give the ball away and Ashley Young picks it up, and whips a dream of a cross/shot which is heading into the far corner. Hart parries it out but only to the waiting Bent who smashes it past him. 1-0 Villa!!
GOAL FOR VILLA!! BENT SCORES!!
Tevez misses an absolute sitter! Kolarov smashes a wonderful corner into the box and Tevez 2 yards misses the ball completely.
OOOOOOOOOOOOH WHAT A MISS!!!
Game's hit a lull. Little goal-mouth action just plenty of possession in midfield, though City win a corner after Dzeko knocks it off Dunne.
Kolarov whips it in, it is partially cleared to Kolo Toure who smashes the ball high over the Villa bar.
City's turn to start building some momentum, Kolarov winning a corner off Cuellar.
Kolarov steps up...........and whips it well wide of the far post. Disappointing delivery there, neither an effort on goal or a cross into a crowded area.
Danger signs for Villa now, Ciaran Clark slides in late on Carlos Tevez in the right corner of the Villa half-level with the penalty box. Freekick to the away team in a dangerous position.
Villa building some decent momentum now, but City's defence are being watchful and intercepting any attempted passes into the box.
Villa win a freekick on the halfway line and Downing pumps it into the City box but Hart claims easily.
Ashley Young wins a freekick off Kompany midway through the City half, just down the right. He takes it himself and whips in a lovely cross to the back post where Dunne rises highest but can only head it over the bar for a goal kick.
Lots of possession in midfield, but little sign of attacking intent so far. Both teams just settling in and testing each other out in the early stages.
City fans are in good voice singing Roberto Mancini's name and their team have started purposefully by passing the ball well around the pitch and dominating the early running.
We're off at Villa Park!!
The team's are coming out of the tunnel and the atmosphere is certainly building up at Villa Park.
Given the vagaries of the Premier League fixture list, these two teams played only 25 days ago in the reverse fixture at Eastlands. City emerged as 4-0 winners that day in a result which really kick started their recent hot streak.
Could be interesting to see how Villa's midfield will line-up especially against the strength of Barry, De Jong and Toure in central midfield. While Richard Dunne will be keen to impress his former team after his acrimonious departure last season.
So the headlines from the team news are that it's Aston Villa's new £24 million striker vs Manchester City's £27 million striker in this evening kickoff at Villa Park and a win for City could send them up to second place in the Premier League while a win for Villa could move them away from the relegation zone.
Meanwhile Manchester City are lined up: Hart, Boateng, Toure, Kompany, Kolarov, De Jong, Barry, Silva, Toure Yaya, Tevez, Dzeko. Subs: Given, Zabaleta, Milner, Adam Johnson, Lescott, Vieira, Jo.
First up it's the team news. Aston Villa are lined up: Friedel, Cuellar, Collins, Dunne, Clark, Albrighton, Petrov, Downing, Agbonlahor, Ashley Young, Bent. Subs: Marshall, Pires, Delfouneso, Reo-Coker, Bannan, Herd, Baker.
Welcome to Goal.com's live commentary of tonight's Premier League match between Aston Villa and Manchester City. My name's Alex Stamp and I'll be talking you through all the action live from Villa Park.
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