Premier League

Aston Villa 1-0 Man City: Leon Bailey’s deflected shot gives Unai Emery his first victory over Pep Guardiola, as Villa move up to third place.

Report and free match highlights as Aston Villa leapfrogged Manchester City into third place with an unexpectedly impressive performance at Villa Park against Pep Guardiola's team. Leon Bailey's late winner reflected Unai Emery's in-form side's outstanding performance.

Aston Villa scored a deserved 1-0 win over Manchester City at Villa Park, moving them over the reigning champions into third place.

The goal came late in the game to keep Unai Emery’s side’s pristine home record and mirrored their better effort throughout the game against an unusually quiet City. Pep Guardiola’s team has now gone four Premier League games without a win.

Erling Haaland had two chances in the first half, but City never seemed comfortable, despite the absence of Rodri. They slide to fourth in the table, six points behind Arsenal. Based on this research, they may also need to be concerned about Villa.

Player ratings

Aston Villa: Martinez (8), Carlos (8), Konsa (9), Torres (9), Digne (7), McGinn (9), Tielemans (8), Kamara (8), Luiz (8), Bailey (9), Watkins (7).

Subs used: Diaby (n/a), Ramsey (n/a), Duran (n/a), Moreno (n/a).

Man City: Ederson (8), Walker (6), Dias (5), Akanji (6), Gvardiol (5), Stones (5), Lewis (5), Silva (5), Foden (5), Haaland (5), Alvarez (6).

Subs used: Kovacic (6), Nunes (6), Bobb (6).

Player of the match: Leon Bailey.

How Villa defeated City

From the start, Villa went for City, with Lucas Digne hitting the side-netting then Bailey racing through and forcing a low save from Ederson before Pau Torres’ curled shot on the angle required an even greater save from the Brazilian. The crowd was cheering Villa on.

At the other end, Haaland had two chances in quick succession that were both saved by the outstanding Emiliano Martinez. However, those were City’s only two shots in a tense first half. Villa had a total of 13 of their own.

News about the team

  • Unai Emery made only one change at Aston Villa, replacing Boubacar Kamara with Nicolo Zaniolo.
  • John Stones replaced the suspended Rodri, and Jeremy Doku was injured, so Rico Lewis came in.

On his return to the starting lineup, John Stones battled in midfield with Rico Lewis, as they were outnumbered by the home squad. The energy was high, and there was almost a reward late in the half, only for Douglas Luiz to have his goal ruled off.

Nothing was incorrect with his header, but Digne had let the ball run out of play before crossing. A half-time lead would have been justified, and the Villa fans stood to applaud. No doubt proud, but expect a backlash after the break.

City did had a tiny advantage at the start of the second half, but Villa battled back. Bailey pounced on Bernardo Silva’s sloppy pass and released John McGinn, who seemed set to score but placed his shot wide of the far post.

Bailey was unstoppable. After tormenting Josko Gvardiol for much of the evening, he ran away from him again before cutting inside and watching his right-footed shot deflect off Ruben Dias’ foot and past the helpless Ederson. Take off from Villa Park.

They persisted. That was what made their performance so amazing. It was unrelenting. Douglas Luiz nearly turned in a second from close range, but the onrushing Ederson saved him. City’s standout player was the goalkeeper.

Even he couldn’t compete with his countryman’s next effort, a beautiful curled shot that came back off the post. As it turned out, Emery’s first win as a manager over Guardiola did not require a second goal. City has issues. Villa is overjoyed.

FPL stats – Aston Villa 1-0 Man City

  • Goals: Bailey
  • Assists: Tielemans
  • Bonus points: Martinez (3), Konsa (2), Bailey (1)

Guardiola: Right now, we’re battling.

Rodri’s absence will be heavily scrutinized, given that City are unbeaten in 43 games when he is on the field. Because of his evident importance, their last five defeats have all occurred while he has been absent.

Guardiola understands how much he needs him more than anybody else, but he refuses to use it as an excuse. “With Rodri, we couldn’t beat Liverpool or Tottenham,” he remarked, referring to the previous draws. “Of course he is significant. But it’s my duty to figure out how to do it.”

That was never going to happen against Villa. “The superior team triumphed,” he said. “Aston Villa were superior to us.” We struggled to make some progress, and when they defended with a medium block, we couldn’t locate the minutes behind.

“It was quite challenging because they are extremely physical and had complete control over many elements.” That is why they are up there, playing good football, while we are not. It is my duty, my responsibility, to find a way out of this circumstance.

“Because we were able to discover a way to win games over many years together, and now we’re suffering.” To stay in the league, we need to shift the dynamic by winning as quickly as possible against Luton Town and Crystal Palace.”How?” “I’ll think about it.”

Stats show Villa’s incredible victory.

Unai Emery, the manager of Aston Villa, won his first game against Pep Guardiola, the manager of Manchester City, in his 14th attempt. Guardiola was the manager he has faced the most times in his career without winning (13 games – D4 L9).
Villa won possession in the final third 13 times against City, the most by an opponent against City in a Premier League game during Guardiola’s tenure.
Manchester City only tried two attempts in this game, both of which came in the 11th minute. It’s the fewest shots ever attempted by a Guardiola squad in a match in one of Europe’s top five leagues, while Aston Villa’s 22 was the joint-most faced by a Guardiola team in the same time frame (this is his 535th such game).

What comes next?

Aston Villa will be live on Sky Sports this weekend as they host Arsenal on Saturday Night Football; kick-off 5.30pm. They then play their final Europa Conference League fixture away to Zrinjskl on Thursday, kick-off 5.45pm.

Man City will also be live on Sky Sports on Super Sunday as they travel to Luton, kick-off 2pm. They will then play their final Champions League group game against Crvena Zvezda on Wednesday, kick-off 5.45pm.

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Aston Villa 1 – 0 Man City.

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