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October 15, 2011
• Etihad Stadium, Manchester
Referee: A. Taylor
• Attendance: 47019
The likes of Nasri, Aguero and Dzeko were not needed today as impressive performances from Balotelli and Johnson meant they were able to record a comfortable win against Villa today.
Mancini will be happy that his side were able to capitalise on Manchester United's dropped points at Anfield to send them top of the league.
And that is full-time, Man CIty have run riot today without really hitting top gear. Villa put up a valiant effort in the first half but the class of Mancini's men shone through.
90' + 1'
Hutton manages to get the run on Lescott and get on the end of a long ball, but his first touch is appalling and he puts it out for a goal kick.
Kompany makes a surging run down the centre of the park, he looses the ball but it is collected by Silva he plays him in to continue his run. He unleashes a shot from the edge of the box, but it is without venom and the ball rolls well wide.
Silva makes a run into the box after a clever flick from Hargreaves, but finds no support so has to take a shot which is easily collected by Given.
Villa come close again as a header from about 20 yards out is looped over the defence as Bent runs in behind, all he needs is a touch but Hart is out quickly to stop the danger man from getting that touch.
Yellow Card Barry Bannan
Bannan recieves a silly yellow after he kicked the ball away in frustration when the ref awarded De Jong a freekick after the Scot bought him down.
Silva comes close to number five, overlaping Johnson inside the box he recieves the ball at a tight angle on the right of the goal, but he manages to get a lot of curl on the ball and it is not far away from creeping inside the far post.
That has to end any little hope Villa had of trying to get something out of the fixture. City look resigned to pass it round the middle of the park. Chants of "boring, boring City" from the Villa fans are unlikely to provoke the players at this point in the match.
Assist Gareth Barry
Goal James Milner
4-1!!! Spectacular goal from Milner. The midfielder is teed up on the edge of the box in acres of space, and curls the ball in to the top right hand corner. Given could do nothing about it and just watches it float into his net. Milner refuses to celebrate the goal against his former club.
Aston Villa are looking for a way into the Man City box but find very little options. Johnson wins the ball and is bought down as he looked to start a counter attack.
Assist Charles N'Zogbia
Goal Stephen Warnock
Goal!! Warnock makes up for his earlier mistake to get back a goal. Agbonlahor's second attempt at a cross fails to be picked up by any the players he was aiming for, but bobbles out to Warnock at the back post. The left back fires a shot into the roof of the net, giving Hart no chance.
The corner is floated in and Given, Richards and Balotelli all challenge for the ball. The result being all three in a pile on the floor. Balotelli landed on the keepers stomach and the keeper shows red stud marks which were left as a result.
Man City attack down the left wing, Clichy overlaps Milner 18 yards from the byline and is fed with a good ball but his cross his blocked by Dunne who got back well.
Yellow Card Gareth Barry
Villa on the attack now, they look a bit frantic but are managing to make good progress down pitch. A cross field ball aiming for bent is intercepted and Man City slow the game down after Milner wins a free kick.
This could be embarrassing for Villa, Man City have a real urgency about them. Whatever Mancini said at the break seems to have worked.
Assist Adam Johnson
Goal Vincent Kompany
Goal!!! Kompany makes it 3 from the corner. Johnson's swinging corner is met by the defender who makes a good run to the near post heading across the face of goal and past Given.
Man City look rejuvinated by the second goal and are peppering the Aston Villa defence, a badly hit Barry shot deflects behind for a corner.
Assist Yaya Touré
Goal Adam Johnson
Goal!!! 2-0. Johnson capitalises on a mistake by Warnock as he misses with an attempted clearance, the English winger picks up the ball on the right hand side of the box and cooly slots the ball into the bottom left hand corner of Given's goal.
Man City get the second half underway.
Man City deserve the lead at the break, seeing a lot more of the ball than VIlla. Although the visiting side have had some good chances, Mancini will want another goal soon just to get some breathing space.
The Referee blows for half time.
Warnock swings in a deep freekick from the middle of the Man City half. Bent rises well to get a head on it, but struggles to direct it and it sails over the bar.
Warnock finds space just outside the box and fires a shot straight at Hart, that may have troubled the keeper if it was anywhere else.
Delph and De Jong both slide into a 50-50 challenge and clash on the floor, both players get up straight away walking off any little knocks they got.
Assist Micah Richards
Goal Mario Balotelli
Goal!!!!! Balotelli, scores with an overhead kick yards from goal. A corner is poorly dealt with by Aston Villa and the ball hits Richards on the chest setting up the Italian for the acrobatic effort.
Balotelli curls in a shot from the left wing, not much power but it bounces in front on Given which makes life difficult for the keeper who manages to get contact on the ball and push it away to safety.
As Man City press again, Richards tries to get goal side of Bent in the Aston Villa box, he looses control of the ball and goes down looking for a penalty but Bent made no contact with the defender.
Aston Villa deal with Johnson's delivery with ease.
Balotelli and Yaya Toure play a good 1 2down the right wing. Balotelli runs the ball to the line looking to run towards goal but Warnock does puts the ball out for a corner with a perfectly timed challenge.
De Jong all over the back of Ireland 20 yards into the Man City half, they take the free-kick short, passing it to the wing, but the cross is straight down the throat of Hart.
Yaya Toure storms down the right wing and cuts the ball back to Balotelli on the edge of the box, whose tame shot is heading wide when Milner tries to get a touch on it, but cannot stop it going wide.
Agbonlahor does brilliantly to out strength Richards and finds himself through on goal, but Hart makes himself big and gets in the way of the shot. The ball bounces to Ireland but Lescott manages to put the ball over.
A ball is fizzed across the Man City box by Hutton but no one seems to be awake to the threat, it rolls to Agbonlahor who struggles to get a shot away and it deflects off of the defender and away to safety.
A very slow start to the match so far, both teams struggling to hold on to possession in the middle, every other pass is being intercepted.
Man City take the ball to Villa, who have 10 men behind the ball as Johnson cuts in to float a ball in from the right hand corner of the box, but Dunne clears.
And Aston Villa get us under way at the Etihad Stadium.
Both teams are unbeaten so far this season, will Aston Villa be able to hold out against Man City's big guns in order to maintain this run? I'm not sure they can, Given will be key today.
Man City choosing to rest both Nasri and Silva today is a curious move from Mancini, the play makers have created 11 goals between them this season.
Aston Villa's starting XI: Given, Hutton, Dunne, Clark, Warnock, Ireland, Petrov, Agbonlahor, Heskey, Bent, Delph. Subs: Guzan, N'Zogbia, Albrighton, Cuellar, Bannan, Weimann, Herd.
Manchester City's starting XI: Hart, Richards, Kompany, Clichy, De Jong, Barry, Johnson, Y Toure, Milner, Balotelli. Subs: Pantilimon, K Toure, Kolarov, Hargreaves, Silva, Nasri, Dzeko.
Hello, and welcome to Goal.com's coverage of the Premier League match between Manchester City and Aston Villa.
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