Manchester City keep pace with Chelsea after edging Aston Villa in Gerrard's 1st defeat

Manchester City keep pace with Chelsea after edging Aston Villa in Gerrard's 1st defeat

  • City scored two first-half goals that proved enough to see out Villa
  • Ruben Dias and Bernardo Silva were on the score sheet for Pep Guardiola’s side, who remain a point behind leaders Chelsea
  • The moment of the game was Silva’s goal, which was a thing of beauty
  • This was Steven Gerrard’s first defeat since taking charge at Villa Park

Bernardo Silva scored one of the goals of the season as Manchester City kept up pace with Liverpool and Chelsea with a narrow 2-1 win over Aston Villa.

Manchester City
Two first-half goals were enough for Manchester City to see off Aston Villa. Photo by Shaun Botterill.
Source: Getty Images

City went 2-0 up in the first half but Olie Watkins could only half the deficit as Steven Gerrard suffered his first defeat as Aston Villa manager.

Prior to the game, Guardiola had hinted his side might struggle in the coming weeks as he was facing a ‘player emergency’.

But despite concern over an avalanche of games in the December period, class is something City definitely have and they showed it through Ruben Dias, who curled in the opener from the edge of the box in the 27th minute.

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It was then Bernardo Silva’s turn to impress, and the Portuguese playmaker exhibited outrageous composure and skill with a side-foot volley to the roof of the net after a ball from Gabriel Jesus.

Villa, who have been playing some neat football under Steven Gerrard, replied almost immediately after the restart as Ollie Watkins found the net from a neatly-worked corner routine.

Notably, Aston Villa seemed to lose their plot after the injury to the impactful Leon Bailley after 30 minutes.

The closest the Villains went to levelling the game was when 18-year-old Carney Chukwuemeka’s effort was kept out by Ederson.

Jack Grealish, a former Villa man, could only make a cameo for his first appearance since November 3, but his impact was not necessarily needed as City had already done the damage in the first half.

Liverpool, Chelsea also claim three points

In the other games, Liverpool was too good for Everton in the Merseyside derby as Rafa Benitez's winless run stretched to eight games.

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Mo Salah struck twice, whole Jordan Henderson's opener and Diogo Jota's goal late in the second half proved enough for Jurgen Klopp's men to see off their city rivals.

Chelsea also won their game, albeit through intense struggle, against a very organised Watford side.

Source: Sports Brief News