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Aston Villa vs Manchester City at Villa Park

Villa Park Referee : Peter Bankes
21st April 2021 8:15 PM (BST)
  • 1 Aston Villa

    • ‘1' John McGinn
  • 2 Manchester City

    • ‘22' Phil Foden
    • ‘40' Rodri


Commentary By



That’s the end of our live coverage this evening. You can check out all the match reaction and stats below.

A professional performance saw us move three points closer to the Premier League champions and we now need three wins to be crowned champions.

Next up it’s a big one as we face Tottenham Hotspur in the Carabao Cup final on Sunday. Kick-off is at 16:30 (UK) and our live coverage will begin around two hours before.

Enjoy the rest of your week, Blues!


Guardiola on Stones' red card

"I was there, it was late but the intention was absolutely not. With VAR I can imagine it’s difficult to interpret but John arrived late. It was a tough moment for us, a real tough moment because there were a lot of minutes at 10v11 so the way we reacted was so good."


Fernandinho on John Stones

"I feel sorry for him, to miss the cup final. This was a tough game fighting for the title, not easy for any player but we're behind him, supporting him. 

"He’s showed his quality and positive energy. He’s helped us in different situations this season, scoring goals, defending well, keeping the ball, you can name so many ways he’s helped us this season. We will miss him on Sunday but I am pleased for him overall because he’s been one of the best players so far for us this season."


Pep Guardiola - Losing would have been dangerous

"Losing today would’ve been dangerous for sure as United are in top form, winning a lot of games. For the way we have done this season so far, we deserve to have this advantage in our hands. Depending just on yourself in last five games is a good boost, good credit. We know exactly what we need, to play like today. How incredible they were in the warm up in the locker room. The team are committed and after our two defeats we knew how important it was and of course progression for the final and the Champions League game."


Pep Guardiola - We played really well

The boss has arrived for his post-match press conference:

"It wasn’t the best start that I dreamed of, but we recovered not just the two goals but the way we played.  We played really well. We did it with personality and after 10v11 is so tough, but maybe these were the best minutes. And at 10v10 we controlled it better, we didn’t concede one chance."

Stay tuned for more reaction.


John McGinn - City a nightmare

Big praise from the Villa midfielder: 

"It was just my feeling on the pitch but that was the best 90 minutes I have seen [from an opposition team]. It was a nightmare to be perfectly honest." 


Match stats 🔢

🔹 City have won each of our last 10 Premier League away games, becoming the first team to win 10 in a row on the road in the competition on more than one occasion (won 11 in a row between May-December 2017)

🔹City won a Premier League game having conceded the first goal for the first time since December 2019 versus Leicester (3-1), ending a run of 10 games without a win when conceding first (D3 L7).

🔹 Bernardo Silva has provided more Premier League assists in 2021 than any other player so far in this period (6). That’s twice as many as the Portuguese assisted throughout 2020 in the top-flight (3).

🔹 Only Kevin De Bruyne (24) has been directly involved in more goals in all competitions for City this season than Phil Foden (23 - 14 goals, 9 assists).

🔹 No player has scored more goals in all competitions before turning 21 for Pep Guardiola than Manchester City’s Phil Foden (29 - level with Bojan).


Fernandinho - Foden was awesome

Impossible to not be impressed with Phil Foden tonight and he's got the skipper's approval:

"I have known him about five years now, since he was a little boy. He has shown his quality, no doubt about that. He is really mature now. Today he scored and he was awesome as well. I am so pleased and happy for him. He is a nice boy and deserves the best."


Richard Dunne - Never any danger

There will have been a few nerves when John Stones was sent off, but Dunney says City's second half performance ensured the win was never in doubt!

"They came out full of energy to press and put pressure and Cash made two challenges for the red to even the game up. Villa would have thought City had 12 men. The fluidity of how City played was amazing to watch and there was never any danger. It’s all about getting over the line and they showed it again today in a difficult situation."


Paul Dickov - Massive win

"It’s a massive win. Five left eight points needed. We played it down after the two defeats. Tonight it was imperative to win. We came out dominated and it was a professional performance."

A good job, well done!


Full-time: Aston Villa 1-2 City

Job done as we take another step towards the Premier League title with a professional job at Villa Park.

McGinn's first minute opener gave the home side a great start, but Foden and Rodrigo seal the points as Guardiola's men fought back.


Not happy

Gundogan goes down under a challenge from Luiz as he receives Bernardo's throw in deep in the Villa half.

The German's not happy, Tyrone Mings isn't happy and... neither is the ref, who orders the throw to be retaken after what looked like some stern words for the two players.

Not sure what that was about!



Bernardo might feel he should have done better there.

Mahrez squares it to him on the edge of the area, but he doesn't catch his left-foot shot cleanly and it sails over the bar.

He had the time and space to pick his spot, but it doesn't come off for the midfielder...



Oh that was a golden opportunity for City to kill the game, but Konza shows brilliant awareness to thwart the danger.

Mahrez is played in down the right and he fires a low first time ball across the face of goal for Foden at the far post, but Konza gets back and turns it behind before youngster can meet it.

Would have been a certain goal.



That's brilliant from Kyle Walker.

Villa work the ball into City territory, with Watkins trying to fire it out to Davis on the left.

It's a loose which the striker races to keep in play, but Walker comes storming over, gets in front of him and flicks it away to start a City attack.

Excellent work.


What next?

A couple of half chances aside, it's been relatively quiet in the last 15 minutes or so.

That will City suit, no doubt, but will we face a late Villa onslaught?



Ilkay Gundogan goes close with a 20-yard free-kick.

It's just to the right of Martinez's goal and the German gets it up over the wall, but he can't get it to drop in time and the Villa keeper watches as it sails clear of the bar.

Not a bad effort, but Martinez didn't look too concerned.



Riyad Mahrez sees a shot blocked as he goes drives inside the Villa area.

The Algerian carved that yard of space but he drills his shot into Tyrone Mings. 



A bit of a let off for City as Davis glances a header wide of the goal.

The centre-forward left his man with a dart to the front post on a corner, but he couldn't direct it goalwards.



Walker sees his cross turn behind after Bernardo and Mahrez combine to slip him in.

The resulting corner is played to Zinchenko on the edge of the area. It's on his favoured left foot and he has time and space, but the Ukrainian's effort is well off target.


Free-kick to free-kick

Targett fires a free-kick into the box from deep on the left, but City win a free-kick of their own after Konza leads with his arm in his challenge with Laporte.

Thankfully, the Frenchman is OK!


Sending off - Matty Cash

Our 10-man disadvantage doesn't last long as Cash receives a second yellow card.

The Villa man won't have any complaints as he scythes Foden on the touchline after the youngster had nipped in to steal the ball. 

That certainly changes things!


Keep ball

A sign of things to come?

City win a free-kick in a promising area - about 30 yards from goal to the left of the goal - and send men forward.

But Foden elects to go short and City are soon knocking it about midfield, before Zinchenko is played in down the left.

His cross comes to nothing, but it's a sign Guardiola's men will look to manage the one man deficit by starving the opponents of the ball.



A slight scare for City in the first minute of the second half.

John McGinn slices a cross in from the left, which Ederson appears to tell Kyle Walker to leave.

Keinan Davis comes racing in to steal the ball, but the Brazilian gets his body in and sends the striker to the floor. There are half-hearted appeals for a penalty from the home side, but the referee is unmoved.



Richard Dunne - City won't take risks with 10 men

"I think when Villa prepared their dream would be 1-0 up and defend. Now the situation changes they need to come out and play at some stage, maybe with 20 mins to go. I expect City to have the ball and not take risks."


Paul Dickov - Foden outstanding

"Phil Foden outstanding again. Great play from Bernardo, the goal is harder than it looks a great finish from Phil."


Half-time: Aston Villa 1-2 City

A half that had it all comes to an end.

After being stunned by Villa's first minute opener, City looked in control and were good value for the lead, but John Stones red card has rocked us on the stroke of half-time.


Red card - John Stones

From joy to despair. John Stones has been dismissed for a foul on Jacob Ramsey.

The City centre-back came racing across and caught the Villa man as the home side tried to break and, after a lengthy VAR check, Stones is shown his marching orders.


GOAL! RODRIGO Aston Villa 1-2 City

The Spaniard heads us in front!

Bernardo Silva checks inside onto his left foot and curls a teasing ball in, which the midfielder flicks backwards and past Martinez!


Phil Foden - what a joy to watch. This lad really has it all - incredible talent and he just takes games by the scruff of the neck. We are so lucky to have him


BBC Sport's Mark Lawrenson predicts...


Manchester City need a maximum of four wins from their final six games to secure their third Premier League title in four seasons, and Lawro thinks they will get one of them tonight.

He's going for a 3-0 City victory while Soccer AM legend Tubes feels it will be a bit closer, but still backs Pep Guardiola's side to win 2-1. "City have had the title wrapped up for a while now," Tubes added.


Dickov on WNRH:

 "We need a fast start, control the game and play with a better tempo than the weekend. Press them high, get possession. Villa will defend deep so we need runners in behind to stretch them more. "


Dickov on KDB absence

"Impossible to replace. The one man who has stepped up is Gundogan, taking games, scoring goals and getting assists and I expect it again. In the period when he was out we didn’t miss him and Gundogan was the catalyst of that. When you are a top player you don’t want your best player, missing you want to be the best player and that is the mindset they have got. " 


More stats...


City are aiming for a 10th successive Premier League away victory. It would make us the first team to achieve the feat more than once, having won 11 in a row between May-December 2017.

City are on a club record run of 16 consecutive away victories in all competitions and are unbeaten in 19 on the road (neutral venues don't count) 

City lost the previous league match, against Leeds, but haven't suffered consecutive defeats since December 2018.

City require 11 points from their final six matches to guarantee a fifth Premier League title.

City have won 14 successive Premier League fixtures on Wednesdays, the best run on a specific day other than Saturday in the competition's history.



  Some nuggets for you ahead of kick-off...

Villa have lost half of their 16 league fixtures in 2021 and only won once in the last six attempts.

Villa have lost eight of their past 10 league games against the league leaders. The exceptions were a 1-0 win against Chelsea in 2014 and a goalless draw with Manchester City in 2015.

Villa have earned 24 points in away games this season, compared to 20 at home. Villa haven't ended a top-flight season with fewer points at home than away since 2012-13.

Emiliano Martinez still needs one clean sheet to match Brad Friedel's Villa Premier League record of 15 in a season, set in 2009-10.

Ollie Watkins could score in three consecutive Premier League appearances for the first time.


25 minutes or so to kick-off at Villa Park. Ilkay Gundogan takes the armband and will look to rediscover his scoring touch with what is likely to be a more advanced role. Phil Foden will have a huge part to play tonight - it's not must-win but it's somewhere close to it


Spurs are also playing this evening and are drawing 1-1 with Southampton. Harry Kane isn't in the squad but interim boss Ryan Mason says he's confident he'll be fit for Sunday's Carabao Cup final


Former Villa star Dunney on WNRH...

"In terms of who I support it's City. I enjoyed four years at Villa but this is home. City need to bounce back from the weekend, for Villa they have been off form since Grealish has been out. It’s a big game for both teams, it has the makings of an exciting match.

Paul Dickov adds: "This team always bounces back .They have a winning mentality about them. We can extend the lead to 11 points and this team doesn't like losing. We saw it after Leeds, I fully expect them to bounce back tonight."

Fingers crossed!


We're Not Really Here

Tonight's show has Richard Dunne and Paul Dickov as guests, with Cel Spellman presenting - show kicks off in about 10 mins...


We'll have the team news for you in 20 minutes - which XI will Pep goa for? We know KDB is side-lined for tonight - Jack Grealish still missing for Villa, too...


But before that, we have a top of the table FA WSL clash between City and Chelsea where there is a distinct feeling that winner takes all tonight.



We are aiming for a 10th successive Premier League away victory. 

It would make us the first team to achieve the feat more than once, having won 11 in a row between May-December 2017. 


WNRH details

We're Not Really Here will begin at 19:15 and provides you with a City-focused build-up to our Premier League clash, and is available to view on all of our digital platforms.

We will head back to the studio at half-time to take a look at the first 45 minutes, before returning at the full-time whistle for a full-post match reaction from our special guests.

And there'll also be a special edition of We're Not Really here previewing our WSL game at home to Chelsea. That one gets under way at 17:45.

Join us right here!

Other games that day

  • Tottenham Hotspur2
  • Leicester City0
    West Bromwich Albion0

As it stood

P GD Pts
2 Manchester United 32 +29 66
3 Leicester City 31 +18 56
4 Chelsea 32 +19 55
5 West Ham United 32 +11 55
6 Tottenham Hotspur 33 +18 53
7 Liverpool 32 +16 53
8 Everton 31 +3 49
9 Arsenal 32 +8 46
10 Leeds United 32 0 46
11 Aston Villa 31 +9 44
12 Wolverhampton Wanderers 32 -9 41
13 Crystal Palace 31 -19 38
14 Southampton 32 -18 36
15 Newcastle United 32 -18 35
16 Brighton and Hove Albion 32 -5 34
17 Burnley 32 -19 33
18 Fulham 33 -18 27
19 West Bromwich Albion 31 -31 24
20 Sheffield United 32 -39 14
Link To Full Table