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Aston Villa vs Manchester City at Villa Park

Villa Park Referee : Mike Dean
1st December 2021 8:15 PM (GMT)
  • 1 Aston Villa

    • ‘47' Ollie Watkins
  • 2 Manchester City

    • ‘27' Rúben Dias
    • ‘43' Bernardo Silva


Commentary By David Clayton


OK folks, that's a wrap - reaction from Pep, Ruben Dias and highlights still to come. We'll be back two hours before our game at Watford on Saturday - until then, thanks for joining us and see you soon!


Pep reaction


"We came here against an incredible team with quality and top players and the way we played in the first half and even the second was magnificent.

"We conceded in the first minute of the second and it's so difficult but we played with huge personality a really good game.

"Bernardo?  He’s the best at the moment. He was the best too when we got 98 points."


Steven Gerrard reaction

"We showed too much respect at the start, but we really made a game of it and pushed City all the way. 

"The early goal was exactly what we wanted but to a man, I can't ask for any more."

"City at times were a level above and at times it was a bit of an education for us,"



If you didn't catch the game on Amazon Prime, our Full Match Replay will be on from midnight, along with brief and extended action.


How did our Matchday Live guests do?

This is what Shaun Wright-Phillips and  Shay Given said pre-game:

 SHAY PREDICTION: "I believe City will win the game tonight. The team is still so strong. It’s going to be close as Gerrard has done a great job so far. I’ll go 2-1 win for City.."

SWP PREDICTION: "It will be tough, I’m going 2-0 City." 


Ruben Dias: 'This is who we are'

Big win?

"Yeah, definitely, very important away game against a team on fire with two wins in a row. Very important for us to pick up the three points. Everyone fought a lot. 

Ever scored from that distance before?

"I have, I have, but it was a special goal for me! "

Quality performance under pressure?

"That’s who we are, that’s what our team is made of. Big shout-out to everyone because to come here and play like this is a demonstration of how we handle things, that’s everyone included."


With Chelsea and Liverpool winning, we could not afford to drop points. The top three are pulling away like thoroughbreds on a racetrack Long, long way to go though


It was tough after the break, Villa pushed hard after that early goal but we dug in and considering all the injuries we have, this was a huge win. Well done lads!!


It is so scrappy now - get a feeling there will be at least one big chance in his game but not sure who for? City win a free-kick 25 yards out as we enter minute 90 


"The atmosphere at Villa Park is incredible at the moment, with both sets of supporters doing all they can to keep the players going late on. Both sides have given everything, but if City can hold on to our lead, this could be a massive three points in the season. We've really had to dig in. It also looks like Jack Grealish is getting ready to make an appearance from the bench."

George Kelsey 


"City are back on top again after that spell of pressure from the hosts, with Gabriel Jesus going close with a clever turn inside the area only for the finish to let him down. At the other end, Nathan Ake and Ruben Dias are keeping a close eye on Ollie Watkins, who a couple of times now has been beaten to a ball into his feet by our defensive duo. Around 20 to go, but still plenty to play for! 

George Kelsey



Cancelo finds Bernardo on the left, his cross is taken down by Jesus who then spins around but hits it too early and it flies over. Would have been special


Play stopped while Matt Targett receives treatment after falling awkwardly following an aerial challenge with Cancelo - nothing sinister, just an honest challenge by both


"That early goal has got the hosts going again - they're doing everything they can to make life difficult for City by constantly pressing high up the pitch. That can be risky though - as we saw with our second goal just before the break. Jack Grealish, Phil Foden and Cole Palmer are all warming up in front of us, could we see one of them make an appearance soon? "

George Kelsey


It was a good goal in all honesty, a first-time volley from a corner that went in off the post. It takes a special goal to beat Ederson and he's had two in a row now with Lanzini's at the weekend as well


Same again, Blues

There is no need to change a thing - if anything we can win by a bigger margin if we do the same again. We just need to make sure we don't give Villa a sniff because this big crowd would become very important for the hone side if they did get one back


Bernardo never took his eye off the ball as it came across and the control and direction of his shot means he intended it to go where it went. The technique? Breath-taking. 


Half-time: Villa 0-2 City

Superb from an injury-hit City team. Still work to do but so much to be proud about from this talented group of players.


"Wow. What a counter that was. You could see the pitch open up as soon as Fernandinho picked his head up and saw Gabriel Jesus' run in behind. The City fans have been serenading Bernardo Silva ever since the ball hit the back of the net - just rewards for another tireless display from the midfielder."

George Kelsey



Bernardo with a worldy!!!!

Wow, wow, wow. Gabriel Jesus flights a cross in from the right as City counter and Bernardo watches it al the way before hitting a volley into the top left corner from 20 yards



Liverpool 2-1 up at Everton and Chelsea being held 1-1 by Watford. Southampton and Leicester are drawing 2-2 and West Ham are 1-0 up against Brighton


The officials not giving us much in the way or borderline decisions so far but Ferna wins a free0kick on the right and Cancelo starts play again


"Just what the doctor ordered! Ruben Dias' effort takes a slight deflection off Matt Targett on its way to the bottom corner which might have caught Villa stopper Emi Martinez slightly off guard, but that won't bother City in the slightest! Fully deserved based on how we've started this game. An absolute cracker at Villa Park so far."

George Kelsey at Villa Park



Ruben Dias!!!!

Where did that come from? Superb again from Sterling who jinks down the left, cuts the ball back but it looks to have missed his target - but it makes its way to the edge of the box where Dias swings a left-foot shot that curls past Martinez into the bottom right corner. Great strike!


Sorry, but that's ridiculous - brilliant challenges from Fernandinho then Rodrigo clear the threat - but Douglas Luiz then holds onto Rodrigo as he is trying to counter and Mike Dean doesn't even speak to Luiz. Yellow card ALL day long


"A really important block there from Nathan Ake to prevent Ollie Watkins from a tap-in. This has been a brilliant game so far with an electric atmosphere. City still enjoying most of the play, but Aston Villa are looking dangerous when they come forward." 

George Kelsey


20 minutes in and all square - the chances will come if we keep the pressure on but Villa have shown enough to suggest they will cause one or two problems


Typically, Villa's first attack could have ended in a goal but City scramble the danger away - that's the caveat of lots of possession - it has to count.


View from Villa Park

"Ten minutes in and, bar that timely block from Zinchenko, it's been all City. We've been zipping the ball around brilliantly, with the fans in full voice from the off. Our width is dragging the Villa defence all over the place and, when the hosts do regain possession, Rodrigo and Fernandinho in particular are on the loose ball in a flash. A strong start so far... "

George Kelsey


Great run by Jesus who wriggles past two challenges in the box before seeing his shot blocked - then Martinez palms Rodrigo's shot over the bar for a corner


Almost time

Atmosphere is building nicely and the two teams will be out shortly. With a very different back four, it is going to be interesting this evening - Villa will look at the players that are missing, but the ones that are playing will give them plenty to think about!


View from Villa Park

"Jack Grealish and Phil Foden have just had a game of crossbar challenge in the warm-up. It wouldn't normally be much to write home about, but they're doing it around 40 yards from goal... and it's on the volley. As near-impossible as that sounds, you won't be surprised to hear they've both managed it! Both sides are now going back down the tunnel to prepare for kick-off." 

George Kelsey


SWP on Grealish

"I’d love to see him get on today and I hope he gets a good reception from the crowd. He was there from six or seven years old coming from their Academy. He loves Villa and it will be a big night for him. It should be a thankful reception in the least." 


Nathan Ake's pre-match thoughts

"He’s a big miss - he’s one of the best players in the world so you obviously miss him. But we have a good enough squad to do well today."

"You just have to focus on ourselves and stay fit to be able to perform at a high level all the time - that’s what we’re trying to do."

"He’s a nice lad and a top player too so he brings a lot of quality to the team. He’s a very good addition to the team. He speaks with everyone in the dressing room and is a nice guy."

"We’ve been playing really well, with players coming in and out and keeping up the consistency, and we have to do that again tonight."


Our man at Villa Park...

"The corner of City supporters is filling up nicely here at Villa Park with kick-off around 30 minutes away. Local lads James McAtee and Phil Foden have been testing their touch with some sharp passing to get warmed up, while Jack Grealish was greeted by a resounding round of applause from the City fans and a fair chunk of the home support too. We're looking sharp in the warm-ups, so here's hoping for a fast start as we aim for a sixth successive victory!"  

George Kelsey


Matchday Live

SWP ON TEAM NEWS: "Even with the changes, it’s still a very strong City team. We know what way they will play and that will never change. I’m really looking forward to the game." 


Busy night

Six Premier League games tonight - what will the Premier League table look like in a couple of hours? Our nearest rivals, Chelsea and Liverpool, are both away as well, to Watford and Everton respectively....


Mozzer tipping City....

Former City captain Andy Morrison in this month's City Magazine...

"Villa have a new manager and that might give them a bit of lift. Jack Grealish is going back to Villa Park for the first time but I honestly can't see past a win for us by a couple of goals at least."

Mozzer’s prediction: Aston Villa v City 1-3


Here some expert predictions for you - first off, Mark Lawrenson on BBC Sport...


"Manchester City go to Villa Park after a very good week that has seen them beat Everton, Paris St-Germain and West Ham - and all without Kevin de Bruyne, Phil Foden or Jack Grealish, who have all been ill or injured.

"If Grealish and Foden are back, I'd be more confident of a City victory. Without them, Villa might nick something, especially because their tails are up at the moment. 1-1."


Jack's back

Here's what Villa boss Steven Gerrard has said about local lad Jack Grealish coming back to his boyhood club for the first time...


"I don't think we will be distracted by it because we've got such a big task to focus on.

"Jack very much deserves a warm welcome and I have no doubt he'll get that. "This is his club and it will be when his career is over, because he was here as a little boy and he has come through the academy.

"The club have benefited a lot from what Jack has given and we very much wish him well moving forward for the remainder of his career. Obviously not for 90 minutes tomorrow.

"He's very much got everyone's respect and love here. I'm new to it, but I'll certainly pay my respects as well and wish him well."


So, three changes - Ferna, Ake, Zinchenko in, Walker, Laporte and Gundogan all miss out completely. Walker and Gundogan's absence is a surprise, but good to see Jack Grealish and Phil Foden bolstering a very inexperienced subs bench


How we line-up tonight:

Ederson, Cancelo, Zinchenko, Dias, Ake, Rodrigo, Fernandinho (c), Bernardo, Sterling, Jesus, Mahrez

Subs: Steffen, Carson, Grealish, Foden, Mbete, Palmer, McAtee, Lavia, Wilson-Esbrand 


We will be up against a Steve Gerrard side for the first time tonight - he's had a solid start with wins in his first two games against Brighton and Palace, so expect a pumped up Villa side and a noisy Villa Park tonight


We'll have team news for you in just over half-an-hour. We were without Jack Grealish, Phil Foden and Kevin De Bruyne at the weekend so it will be interesting to see if any of that trio make it tonight - though it certainly sounded at Pep's pre-match press conference that Kevin will need more time to recover from the draining effects of COVID


Matchday Live

Remember that Alistair Mann will provide commentary throughout the 90 minutes right here from kick-off.

For those with push notifications turned on, you'll get alerted as soon as the teams are announced and goals go in.  

And our Matchday Live show features special guests Shay Given and Shaun Wright-Phillips will begin just before 19:15 (UK).


Before we begin, it is December 1st today so hands up who put their Christmas tree up today? The image here is of our family tree making it's way back to sunny Cheshire. We'll deal with the roots later...


Still a couple of hours until we get underway, but we'll have plenty of pre-match build up for you, including our popular Matchday Live show at 19:15 in good old UK time. Just under an hour from now...

Aston Villa v City


Welcome to the Matchday Centre for Manchester City's Premier League away game against Aston Villa.

Kick-off is at 20:15 (UK) on Wednesday 1 December and we will have live updates right here from two hours before the match gets under way. 

Pep Guardiola's men will be looking to record a sixth consecutive victory as we travel to Villa Park to face a home side who have been resurgent under new boss Steven Gerrard, winning both of their previous two games.

And, it could be a memorable night for Ederson, who needs one more clean sheet to reach 100 for the Club. 

Join us for matchday to follow all the action!

Other games that day

  • Everton1
  • West Ham United1
    Brighton and Hove Albion1
  • Southampton2
    Leicester City2
  • Watford1
  • Wolverhampton Wanderers0
  • Burnley0
    Tottenham Hotspur0

As it stood

P GD Pts
1 Chelsea 14 +27 33
3 Liverpool 14 +31 31
4 West Ham United 14 +8 24
5 Arsenal 13 -2 23
6 Wolverhampton Wanderers 14 0 21
7 Brighton and Hove Albion 14 -2 19
8 Leicester City 14 -3 19
9 Tottenham Hotspur 12 -6 19
10 Manchester United 13 -1 18
11 Brentford 13 0 16
12 Crystal Palace 14 -1 16
13 Aston Villa 14 -4 16
14 Everton 14 -7 15
15 Leeds United 14 -7 15
16 Southampton 14 -7 15
17 Watford 14 -7 13
18 Burnley 13 -6 10
19 Norwich City 14 -20 10
20 Newcastle United 14 -14 7
Link To Full Table