Manchester City got back to winning ways with a hard fought 2-1 win at Villa Park on Wednesday evening to make it ten consecutive Premier League away wins.
Pep Guardiola’s side secured all three points and are now just eight points away from mathematically securing this year’s Premier League title.
Aston Villa opened the scoring within just 21 seconds from the kick-off, thanks to a quick free-kick from Tyrone Mings and finished off by John McGinn.
The Blues got back into the game courtesy of a sumptuous move - starting with Ederson’s long ball over to Oleksandr Zinchenko deep into Aston Villa’s half, which after a few quick and precise passes was thumped into the back of the net by Phil Foden. That goal was quickly followed up by another, when Rodri flicked in a Bernardo Silva cross.
John Stones got himself a red card late into the first half - meaning the Englishman will now miss the Carabao Cup final - but the Blues pushed through the game with great control and ultimately got the job done on the pitch after a bad week off it.
Here’s how we rated the players after that performance...
Ederson – 7
Couldn’t have done much better against McGinn’s strike from close range. Provided a brilliant ball further up the pitch which eventually led to Manchester City’s first goal in the game. Overall, a good outing for the Brazilian apart from a missed clean sheet.
Kyle Walker – 8
A strong game on the right for the Englishman. Solid in both parts of the pitch, keeping danger away from his goal and putting in sharp crosses at the other end. A good run of games for the right-back, owing to his reliable defensive displays of late.
John Stones – 4
Disappointing evening for him. Was at fault for not clearing the ball which ultimately led to Villa’s opening goal and a rash challenge was enough to get the red card out of Peter Bankes’ pocket - meaning he will now be unavailable for the Carabao Cup Final on Sunday. Overall, just not his day.
READ MORE: Leaked 2021/2022 Man City home kit
Ruben Dias – 8
Good day at the office for the Portuguese international. He started off the evening with captain-like encouragement in the warm-up and continued throughout the game. Was left vulnerable leading up to Villa’s goal in a 1v1 but it could have gone either way.
Oleksandr Zinchenko – 8
He is showing everyone exactly why Pep trusts him so much. He has cemented his position in City’s team with brilliant performances like today. Getting better defensively by the day but his main strength comes with his control further up the pitch. Has also improved his crossing ability, putting in a few teasing balls today.
Bernardo Silva – 9.5
A wonderful performance from Bubblegum - assisting both of City's goals. Phenomenal work rate until the very end as always and has assisted in three consecutive games now.
Rodrigo – 9
Made amazing recoveries in the midfield and helped City retain the ball. An assertive header from Bernardo’s lofted ball got him his first goal from open-play of the season and putting his side into the lead.
Ilkay Gundogan – 8.5
Was the mature figure further up the pitch in the absence of Kevin De Bruyne. Balanced very well between attack and defence, and showed amazing link-up play with Zinchenko and Foden to keep the ball moving.
Riyad Mahrez – 8.5
Brilliance on the right wing from the Algerian. Always threatening the Villa defence with his fancy footwork and menacing moves.
Gabriel Jesus – 6
Had a fairly quiet game, was active on the left and tried to put in a shift at times. Was subbed off at half-time in exchange for Aymeric Laporte due to the red card.
Phil Foden – 10 (MOTM)
This lad just keeps getting better by the day. Opened the scoring with a wonderful finish to draw his side level. A menacing performance full of exquisite dribbles and pirouette’s, attracting all sorts of tackles from the opposition.
Has matured incredibly and is now leading his team from the front with immense responsibility. Invited a tackle in his own half which led to Matty Cash’s red card.
Aymeric Laporte – 8
Was brought on in the second half after Stones’ red card. Clean game from there on, sniffing out danger and partnering Dias nicely. Has played well in recent weeks and is making a strong case for his position after performances like today.
Fernandinho – N/A
No real time to mark.
You can follow Sangam on Twitter here: @sangamdesaii
Follow us on Twitter for live updates: @City_Xtra