Premier League
Man City4Aston Villa0

Manchester City 4-0 Aston Villa

Manchester City took a giant stride towards their second Premier League title in three years as a second-half rout of Aston Villa moved them top of the table with one game left to play.

City had spent only 11 days at the summit all season, but now lead Liverpool by two points with a far superior goal difference heading into Sunday's final round of matches.

They effectively need a point at home to West Ham, while Liverpool will host Newcastle knowing their hopes of a first championship in 24 years are looking unlikely.

City could not breach Villa's stubborn defence for more than an hour, but two goals from Edin Dzeko and one from Stevan Jovetic secured the victory before Yaya Toure rounded off the scoring with a spectacular run and finish for his side's 100th league goal of a remarkable campaign.

Exactly three weeks on from the draw against Sunderland that derailed City's title bid and deflated their fans, the atmosphere and belief around Etihad Stadium was transformed.

Liverpool's defeat by Chelsea and draw at Crystal Palace on Monday handed Manuel Pellegrini's side the initiative and following a low key start - not helped by torrential rain and a sparsely populated stadium caused by heavy traffic outside - they piled forward for an opening goal.

Aleksandar Kolarov and Toure were denied by Brad Guzan before David Silva failed to connect with a cross from close range as Villa at times deployed all 11 men behind the ball.

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Manchester City can talk about title - Manuel Pellegrini

City were missing the cutting edge of Sergio Aguero, sidelined by a groin injury, and the visitors repelled waves of pressure before using their pace to occasionally threaten on the counter-attack.

Lone-striker Jordan Bowery wasted a fine chance when he volleyed wide from Ryan Bertrand's cross and an effort by Andreas Weimann, one-on-one with Pablo Zabaleta, was deflected wide.

City and Pellegrini looked calm, but there was anxiety in the stands after a Silva shot was blocked and Samir Nasri volleyed wide when it seemed certain he would convert James Milner's cross.

The second half started much as the first ended and the frustration around the ground - a result of City's profligacy and perceived time-wasting from Villa - continued to grow as the rain returned.

Race for the Premier League title
LiverpoolMan City
Sun 11 May: Newcastle (h)Sun 11 May: West Ham (h)
Need to win and rely on Manchester City losing.Know a draw will be enough to secure the title due to their goal difference being 13 goals better than Liverpool's.

But Pellegrini signalled his intent by replacing a midfielder with a forward - Jovetic coming on for Milner - and the move paid off spectacularly as Villa failed to cope with City's re-jigged formation.

Jovetic took a position alongside Dzeko up front and that sucked Villa back and in, allowing Silva space to find Zabaleta racing up from right-back. The Argentine crossed low for Dzeko to convert.

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Lambert proud of Villa effort

City's wild celebrations showed how crucial that strike could prove and their relief soon turned into pure joy when a carbon copy move between Silva and Zabaleta led to a Nasri shot being saved and Dzeko tapping in the rebound.

There was a scare when Weimann headed against the crossbar, but Jovetic curled home to wrap up the points and Toure applied the final flourish by running from his own half, outpacing several defenders and slotting emphatically past Guzan to put City within touching distance of trophy.

For reaction from Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini see here.

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert: "I thought we did fantastic. I am really proud of the team and the nerves were starting to set in.

"I didn't think it was easy for them, I couldn't be prouder of my own team.

"They are in the driving seat but you never know on the last day of the season."

Line-ups

Man City

  • 1Hart
  • 5Zabaleta
  • 13Kolarov
  • 42Y Touré
  • 4Kompany
  • 26Demichelis
  • 7MilnerSubstituted forJoveticat 60'minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 14Javi García
  • 10DzekoSubstituted forNegredoat 86'minutes
  • 21SilvaSubstituted forFernandinhoat 76'minutes
  • 8Nasri

Substitutes

  • 2Richards
  • 6Lescott
  • 9Negredo
  • 22Clichy
  • 25Fernandinho
  • 30Pantilimon
  • 35Jovetic

Aston Villa

  • 1Guzan
  • 34Lowton
  • 23BertrandSubstituted forGrealishat 88'minutes
  • 6ClarkBooked at 74minsSubstituted forRobinsonat 79'minutes
  • 2Baker
  • 4Vlaar
  • 8El Ahmadi
  • 15Westwood
  • 21BowerySubstituted forBacunaat 59'minutes
  • 10Weimann
  • 16DelphBooked at 56mins

Substitutes

  • 7Bacuna
  • 13Steer
  • 18Sylla
  • 24Tonev
  • 29Holt
  • 37Robinson
  • 40Grealish
Referee:
Michael Oliver
Attendance:
47,023

Match Stats

Home TeamMan CityAway TeamAston Villa
Possession
Home73%
Away27%
Shots
Home18
Away5
Shots on Target
Home9
Away0
Corners
Home7
Away2
Fouls
Home8
Away9

Live Text

Match ends, Manchester City 4, Aston Villa 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Manchester City 4, Aston Villa 0.

Goal!

Goal! Manchester City 4, Aston Villa 0. Yaya Touré (Manchester City) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Aleksandar Kolarov following a fast break.
Attempt blocked. Fabian Delph (Aston Villa) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Jack Grealish.
Foul by Javi García (Manchester City).
Callum Robinson (Aston Villa) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Hand ball by Samir Nasri (Manchester City).

Booking

Stevan Jovetic (Manchester City) is shown the yellow card for excessive celebration.

Goal!

Goal! Manchester City 3, Aston Villa 0. Stevan Jovetic (Manchester City) right footed shot from outside the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Yaya Touré.
Foul by Stevan Jovetic (Manchester City).
Matthew Lowton (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Aston Villa. Jack Grealish replaces Ryan Bertrand.

Substitution

Substitution, Manchester City. Álvaro Negredo replaces Edin Dzeko.
Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Aleksandar Kolarov.
Andreas Weimann (Aston Villa) hits the bar with a header from very close range. Assisted by Callum Robinson with a headed pass following a set piece situation.
Foul by Martín Demichelis (Manchester City).
Callum Robinson (Aston Villa) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Fernandinho (Manchester City) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Karim El Ahmadi (Aston Villa).

Substitution

Substitution, Aston Villa. Callum Robinson replaces Ciaran Clark.
Attempt saved. Stevan Jovetic (Manchester City) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Samir Nasri.

Substitution

Substitution, Manchester City. Fernandinho replaces David Silva.
Aleksandar Kolarov (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Leandro Bacuna (Aston Villa).
Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Ron Vlaar.
Attempt blocked. Yaya Touré (Manchester City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Booking

Ciaran Clark (Aston Villa) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Stevan Jovetic (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Ciaran Clark (Aston Villa).

Goal!

Goal! Manchester City 2, Aston Villa 0. Edin Dzeko (Manchester City) left footed shot from very close range to the bottom right corner.
Attempt saved. Samir Nasri (Manchester City) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Pablo Zabaleta.
Aleksandar Kolarov (Manchester City) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Leandro Bacuna (Aston Villa).
Foul by Stevan Jovetic (Manchester City).
Fabian Delph (Aston Villa) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Goal!

Goal! Manchester City 1, Aston Villa 0. Edin Dzeko (Manchester City) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Pablo Zabaleta.
Attempt missed. Edin Dzeko (Manchester City) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Pablo Zabaleta with a cross.

Substitution

Substitution, Manchester City. Stevan Jovetic replaces James Milner.

Substitution

Substitution, Aston Villa. Leandro Bacuna replaces Jordan Bowery.
Edin Dzeko (Manchester City) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Andreas Weimann (Aston Villa).
Attempt saved. Aleksandar Kolarov (Manchester City) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top right corner.

Booking

Fabian Delph (Aston Villa) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
David Silva (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Fabian Delph (Aston Villa).
James Milner (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Jordan Bowery (Aston Villa).
Attempt saved. Vincent Kompany (Manchester City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by David Silva with a headed pass.
Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Ron Vlaar.
Foul by Yaya Touré (Manchester City).
Karim El Ahmadi (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Yaya Touré (Manchester City) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Ciaran Clark (Aston Villa).

Second Half

Second Half begins Manchester City 0, Aston Villa 0.

Half Time

First Half ends, Manchester City 0, Aston Villa 0.
Attempt missed. Samir Nasri (Manchester City) right footed shot from very close range is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by James Milner with a cross.
Delay over. They are ready to continue.
Delay in match Nathan Baker (Aston Villa) because of an injury.
Attempt blocked. David Silva (Manchester City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Pablo Zabaleta.
Offside, Manchester City. Yaya Touré tries a through ball, but Edin Dzeko is caught offside.
Attempt blocked. Ron Vlaar (Aston Villa) right footed shot from more than 35 yards is blocked. Assisted by Fabian Delph.
goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLGDPts
1Man City3726566383
2Liverpool3725665081
3Chelsea3724764379
4Arsenal3723772576
5Everton3720982069
6Tottenham3720611166
7Man Utd37196122163
8Southampton37151012855
9Newcastle3715418-1549
10Stoke37121114-847
11Crystal Palace3713519-1544
12West Ham3711719-940
13Swansea3710918-239
14Sunderland3710819-1738
15Aston Villa3710819-1938
16Hull3710720-1337
17West Brom3771515-1536
18Norwich378920-3233
19Fulham379424-4531
20Cardiff377921-4130
View full Premier League table

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