Goals from Yaya Touré, Raheem Sterling and a Sergio Agüero brace helped restore some much-needed confidence after a forgettable defeat in midweek at Anfield.
Ahead of kick-off, this fixture was billed as a mismatch. In all honesty, it really was. In spite of Manchester City’s troubling inconsistency in the league this term, they’re still in with a shout of winning the Premier League crown come May. Saturday’s vistors, Aston Villa, have the unenvious task of trying to remain in the top flight. Nine points from safety, having only won three league games all season, things look bleak from Remi Garde’s perspective.
So they made the trip to the blue half of Manchester, not expecting much. At the half-time interval, they would’ve been quietly surprised that they were still in with a chance of getting an encouraging result out of the game.
Guzan forced into string of important saves
Admittedly, there were not on top, instead far from it. Brad Guzan was forced into an excellent fingertip save to deny Sergio Agüero from close-range after 11 minutes, before the returning Wilfried Bony missed a golden opportunity to break the deadlock just minutes later after a sumptuous cross by Gael Clichy.
Agüero came close again before a scrappy piece of play almost resulted in a shock opener courtesy of Jordan Ayew – Joe Hart had other ideas, with a sharp diving stop to his left.
Touré starts the rout – Agüero completes brace soon after
The deadlock was broken just two minutes after the restart, at the end of a well-worked move. David Silva the provider, Yaya Touré the goalscorer, simply rolling his effort into the bottom corner.
Aguero doubled the lead with a fortunate deflection – but there was nothing fortunate about his second goal. In the 60th minute, he weaved past Idrissa Gueye before performing a neat scoop pass into space for Silva. The return pass was a deft flick over the top of Villa’s backline, splitting it within an instant – allowing the Argentine to volley home at the near post.
Raheem gets himself in on the act too
It was soon damage limitation for the visitors, and it was virtually a training session from then-on. Jesús Navas’ low cross in the area was poorly dealt with by the opposing backline, and Raheem Sterling was on hand to make it a fantastic four.
Aguero had the chance to seal his 7th City hat-trick, but rattled the post with his penalty after Kelechi Iheanacho was brought down in the area. Despite this, City’s mood was unchanged – they were unfortunate not to make it five, but ran out deserved winners against a Villa side doomed at the bottom of the Premier League spectrum.