Aston Villa vs. Manchester City – Erling Haaland scored his 10th goal in six games but Aston Villa stopped Manchester City from going top of the Premier League as they battled to a 1-1 draw.
Leon Bailey fired home emphatically in the 74th minute to claim a hard-earned point that eased the pressure on boss Steven Gerrard.
Haaland headed to Villa Park buoyed by back-to-back hat-tricks against Crystal Palace and Nottingham Forest, but he and his City team-mates were unable to register a shot on target during the first-half
The breakthrough arrived five minutes after halftime, with Haaland volleying home a simple finish at the back post after Kevin De Bruyne delivered a stunning cross from the right flank, although Bailey had the final word on the end of Jacob Ramsey’s cutback.
Aston Villa vs. Man City final score
MCI — Erling Haaland (Kevin De Bruyne) — 50th min.
AVL — Leon Bailey (Jacob Ramsey) — 74th min.
Kyle Walker burst into the Villa box in the fourth minute but slashed wastefully wide. Surprisingly, the right-back’s effort reminded City’s best opening when the half-time whistle blew.
Guardiola’s men played their better football in the spell after half-time, with De Bruyne’s moment of magic leaving Haaland to do the rest and wheel away in already very familiar celebration in front of the travelling fans.
De Bruyne was City’s standout performer and fired a dipping free-kick against the crossbar after Tyrone Mings fouled Haaland before combining with the goalscorer to fire wide in the 71st minute.
Haaland swivelled to draw a sharp save from Emiliano Martinez, meaning the equaliser came against the run of play as Jacob Ramsey scooted down the left channel and picked out Bailey for a riotous first-time finish.
Coutinho controversy as trigger-happy officials deny Villa
Speaking after the match, Gerrard conceded he had opted for pragmatism out of necessity. But he sent on his main flair player and perhaps he should have been the matchwinner. Coutinho has a history of scoring against City and sent a 25-yard strike flying home via the underside of the crossbar. Referee Simon Hooper had already blown his whistle because an offside flag went up, so the goal could not stand. Replays showed there was no offside.
In reality, even without a whistle, it was hard to envisage either a City making an effective challenge on Coutinho or Ederson getting near the shot. Because the whistle had gone, the hands of the VAR were tied. Delayed offside flags have become a real pet peeve of fans over recent years, but this incident showed why they happen. Gerrard has every right to feel aggrieved.
Walker not up to midfield speed
You chart a perilous course by questioning Guardiola’s left-field tactics. Remember everyone who decried all that playing out from the back and high defensive lines during his first trophy-less season in England? Most of the time, his flights of fancy handsomely work out.
However, the sight of Walker tucking into midfield frequently this season has started to look a little too jarring. Since joining from Tottenham, Walker has shown unexpected versatility and prowess on the ball when tacking inside to form a back three. He is so much more than the flying full-back of his youth. But he does not have the aptitude for his current task that Joao Cancelo does on the other flank.
His 74.4% passing accuracy in the Villa half was lower than any City outfield player bar Haaland. There are arguments for someone playing that role in terms of team structure but, right now, Walker looks an uneasy fit and it has resulted in a tricky spell for one of the most consistent performers of Guardiola’s reign.
Brilliant De Bruyne just comes up short
There would probably have been some grudging admiration from Gerrard in the Villa dugout when he saw one midfielder threaten to take over the contest. One of the consequences of Walker’s internal positioning was it opened up space on the right for De Bruyne to deliver his magnificent assist. Between Haaland’s opener and Bailey’s equaliser, the Belgian maestro ran the show, although he really should have made it 2-0. That chance came after he popped up off the left, much to the bemusement of the Villa defence. He created a game-high six chances over the course of the contest and remains the main reason Haaland is going to fill his boots.
Aston Villa vs. Manchester live updates, highlights from the Premier League:
Fulltime: In a fitting conclusion, given how boldly Villa approached the closing stages of that game, the hosts are in possession when the final whistle goes. City will be frustrated to drop points on a weekend when Liverpool did likewise, especially considering the clutch of chances that went begging immediately before Bailey’s equaliser. In truth, Guardiola’s men were never able to regain that momentum during a rousing conclusion at Villa Park.
90th minute+3: Now Villa have a chance to win it! Watkins gets around the outside of Stones and only a fine challenge from Ake prevents Coutinho from turning home.
90th minute+1: We’re into four minutes of stoppage time and it starts with Martinez saving brilliantly from Foden.
88th minute: Howling miss from Mahrez… who should be pleased to see an offside against Gundogan in the build-up.
87th minute: Sloppy form Watkins and Rodri gets to line one up. The midfielder, who scored so vitally on the final day of last season, arrows his shot just wide.
86th minute: It’s taken a while for City to regain their composure, but here Haaland, exchanging passes with Foden. It’s snuffed out.
80th minute: Coutinho clatters one home via the crossbar but the whistle has already gone for offside. Ake replaces Walker.
79th minute: Ramsey gets down the City right again but Dias blocks his cutback this time. Villa Park is rocking.
78th minute: Villa keeper Martinez needs treatment and looks like he might be in a bit of trouble. It looks like a quad injury, he’s going to try and keep going. Meanwhile, Ake is stripped and ready to come on for City.
74th minute: GOOOAAALLLL!!!! Bailey!!!
Villa had been on the ropes, but that’s a fine finish for a stunning equaliser. Ramsey drives at the right-hand side of the City defence and Bailey crashes home a first-time finish left footed.
71st minute: Villa can’t get a read on De Bruyne at the moment. He’s popping up early where, this time joining a City attack from the left. Haaland turns provider for the Belgian maestro, who crashes just past the post. Guardiola will be wondering how his team have not extended their lead over the past few minutes, as Mahrez replaces Silva.
68th minute: Space opens up for De Bruyne, who feeds Haaland. On his weaker right foot, the Norway superstar forces Martinez to save tumbling to his left. It’s starting to look a bit like Villa’s earlier exertions are catching up with them.
67th minute: De Bruyne hits the bar! That’s a sumptuous dipping effort. Martinez was a spectator.
66th minute: On comes Coutinho, who has a bit of a habit of scoring against City. He’s replaced McGinn and would like the look of free-kick in the D, although City have that particular pleasure after Konsa brings down Haaland.
64th minute: Haaland comes deep and combines with Silva. He gets the ball back in the box and swivels to shoot. That’s a fine save from Martinez. A could of follow-up crosses don’t quite find City’s number nine.
61st minute: The De Bruyne-Silva combination down the Villa left again. They win a corner of Mings. The ball falls to Stones but he can’t get his shot off. Coutinho, Buendia and Ings are all warming up.
59th minute: Ederson punches a cross to the edge of the box and Bailey slashes wide. That one is more of a half-chance for Villa but a good response to going behind.
58th minute: Big chance for Villa. Ramsey snaffles possession in midfield and feeds Watkins. They’re two-on-one! Watkins gives a return pass to the midfielder but Ramsey’s touch is heavy and Ederson is out to knock the ball away.
54th minute: Foden goes looking for Haaland this time but the cross is too far ahead of him and the offside flag goes up.
50th minute: GOAAALLL!!!!! Haaland!
There he is! De Bruyne sends in a searching cross from the right after exchanging passes with Silva. The delivery is dreamy. Martinez can’t get anywhere near it and Haaland can’t miss as he volleys in at the backpost.
48th minute: Sunday League vibes. The ball’s gone flat. Walker tells the ref and gets a new one.
46th minute: We’re back underway. No changes to add to Villa’s enforced first-half switch between Cash and Young.
Halftime: So far, so good for Gerrard. Villa have really grown into this game, with the early chance that fell to Walker still the best City have enjoyed. Villa’s compact midfield is a puzzle Guardiola will try to solve during the interval.
44th minute: Luiz tries to thread a ball to Watkins and Dias makes an important interception. It’s been a decent 10 minutes or so for the hosts.
40th minute: Ederson and Walker give De Bruyne the ball where he wants it. There’s the through-ball for Haaland but Mings stands firm and wins that battle.
39th minute: Konsa gets up above Ederson from the corner but is penalised for a foul.
38th minute: Villa go close. Young hares back to dispossess De Bruyne and Gerrard’s side launch a counter-attack of their own. Watkins stands up Stones and the City centre-back slides in to make a vital challenge, deflecting the ball behind.
36th minute: De Bruyne sends a bouncing ball towards Haaland and it’s another one that Martinez can easily collect. The temptation is obvious, but City might just be rushing passes into the striker now as Villa approach halftime with the deadlock still intact.
34th minute: He won’t have enjoyed that, however, as Martinez and Konsa over-play under pressure from De Bruyne and Haaland. Konsa lumps it out for a throw.
32nd minute: Now Martinez pouches a raking ball from Walker. Gerrard will be pretty pleased with this so far.
30th minute: Cancelo fizzes a pass from halfway looking to release Haaland but Martinez is alert to the threat and claims just inside his box.
29th minute: The Villa Park faithful aren’t happy as Rodri gets a handful of Ramsey’s shirt. The home side continued their attack as advantage was played but there’s no punishment for the Spain midfielder.
27th minute: Villa deal with the initial ball in and then Cancelo looks for Foden at the back post but punts it out for a goalkick.
26th minute: Oof, that was a long period of City possession for Cash to endure. He’s off now and Young and his teammates have a corner to defend.
22nd minute: Silva commits a fairly crude foul on Digne but it’s Villa’s other full-back, Cash, who appears to be in trouble injury-wise.Young is ramping up his warmups on the touchline and the 37-year-old veteran is about to come on.
20th minute: Villa half clear from an attack that was launched by a sweeping Ederson pass out to Walker. Cancelo has a deflected behind. The corner also picks out the Portugal full-back, whose volley into the turf is blocked.
14th minute: Chance! De Bruyne curls one of those De Bruyne crosses into the box and Villa’s final day tormentor Gundogan is agonisingly close to getting on the end of it.
12th minute: Sky Sports have just flashed up the latest passing stats: Villa 14-118 City (!).
11th minute: Rodri clips a delightful first-time ball into the box but Foden’s touch uncharacteristically lets him down. Guardiola’s side look like they’re starting to move through the gears and they have a corner.
9th minute: Ohhh, close. Villa are trying to close up those spaces between the lines where City do so much damage, but De Bruyne finds some room to manoeuvre and smashes just past the post from 20 yards.
8th minute: Scratch that, he was just standing in the centre circle then. More as well get it…
7th minute: Worth pointing out that Walker enjoyed that chance because he’s operating as a more conventional full-back so far. During the opening weeks of the season, the England international has generally tucked into midfield with mixed results.
4th minute: Lovely move from City. Haaland drops in and acts as a massive wall in a wall pass with Silva. He slots in Walker, who takes his time and blazes wide of the near post. Probably not the player Guardiola would have wanted that chance to fall to, in all fairness.
3rd minute: Ederson saunters out to a long ball forward, then plays a sand wedge of a pass out for a throw. Even the most laid-back goalkeeper in the Premier League has to tune in a bit.
1st minute: Villa look to press City high from kickoff and that was a sniff of a chance as Dias just deflected a left-wing cross away from Watkins.
2 mins from kickoff: The teams are out. Villa in their traditional claret and blue, City in their fluorescent third kit that looks like it’s been run over by a truck.
10 mins from kickoff: We won’t get to see City’s latest arrival today. Manuel Akanji, who signed from Borussia Dortmund this week, is absent due to the birth of his baby son. Congratulations!
20 mins from kickoff: Jan Bednarek could also come into play to try and thwart Haaland and the City attack.He’s on the Villa bench after completing a deadline day loan move from Southampton. Fellow new arrival Leandro Dendoncker is out with tonsillitis.
35 mins from kickoff: Feels like a big afternoon for Tyrone Mings. The England international was stripped of Villa’s captaincy and dropped at the start of the season. He’s back in the side now, but was culpable for Arsenal’s winner in midweek. A big performance against the man of the moment would be a handy way to flip the script.
55 mins from kickoff: And here’s how Villa line up. The discussion around Steven Gerrard’s selections often revolves around whether Philippe Coutinho or Emiliano Buendia will start. The answer today is neither. They’re both on the bench.
1 hour from kickoff: The teams are in. Julian Alvarez has to be content with a place on the bench after his midweek brace for City, who also have former Villa hero Jack Grealish and Nathan Ake back among the substitutes after some time on the sidelines. Guardiola resists any temptation to rest Haaland ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League trip to Sevilla
1 hr 20 mins from kickoff: While City had to turn to Gundogan’s goalscoring expertise from midfield in the previous encounter, they now have a monster marksman striking fear into the division. Erling Haaland’s hat-tricks against Crystal Palace and Nottingham Forest mean he has nine goals in his first five Premier League games — a competition record.
1 hr 40 mins from kickoff: There’s plenty on the line today for both teams, but it’s safe to say the stakes are not as high as the previous time they met. When Philippe Coutinho put Villa 2-0 up at the Etihad Stadium on the final day of last season, it looked like Pep Guardiola’s side were about to surrender their title to Liverpool. Of course, pair of goals from Ilkay Gundogan either side of a precision finish from Rodri turned the whole picture upside down in one of the great finishes to a Premier League season.
“We had this City team extremely worried for 76/77 minutes. We know we can hurt this team, and I’m really looking forward to the game,” Steven Gerrard said at his pre-match news conference. Of course, if we’re splitting hairs, there’s been a certain new addition since then.
2 hours from kickoff: Hello and welcome to The Sporting News’ live coverage of Aston Villa against Manchester City at Villa Park.
Aston Villa vs. Man City lineups
Douglas Luiz came off the bench to briefly pull Villa level at Arsenal and remains at Villa Park despite the Gunners’ deadline day interest in him. The Brazil midfielder was once on City’s books and expect him to return to the starting XI to reinforce central areas.
Aston Villa projected starting lineup (4-3-2-1, right to left): Martinez (GK) — Cash, Konsa, Mings, Digne — Kamara, Luiz, McGinn — Ramsey, Bailey — Watkins.
Julian Alvarez marked his full Premier League debut with a brace in the 6-0 midweek demolition of Nottingham Forest but drops to the bench as a rested Kevin De Bruyne returns.
Man City starting lineup (4-3-3, right to left): Ederson (GK) — Walker, Stones, Dias, Cancelo — De Bruyne, Rodri, Gundogan — Silva, Haaland, Foden.
How to watch Man City vs. Aston Villa
|Date||Saturday, September 3||Saturday, September 3||Saturday, September 3||Sunday, September 4|
|Time||17:30 BST||12:30 ET||12:30 ET||03:30 AEST|
|TV channel||Sky Sports Premier League||USA Network/Universo||—||—|
|Streaming||Sky Sports website, SkyGo||FuboTV||FuboTV||Optus Sports|
UK: Sky Sports will show the action on Sky Sports Premier League. Subscribers can stream via either the SkyGo app or the Sky Sports website.
USA: Fans can tune in to the USA Network or Universo in the United States, with FuboTV streaming
Canada: FuboTV is also your destination for Villa vs. City in Canada.
Australia: Optus Sport is the place to go for Premier League fans in Australia.