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Silva stunner as Man City beat Villa

Published on: 01 December 2021

Bernardo Silva has scored four goals in his past seven Premier League appearances

Bernardo Silva scored one of the goals of the season to help Manchester City beat Aston Villa and inflict Steven Gerrard's first Premier League defeat as a manager.

It was a fourth league win in a row for Pep Guardiola's side, one that keeps them second in the table, one point behind leaders Chelsea.

Silva showed world-class technique to side-foot volley Gabriel Jesus' dropping cross into the roof of the net from just inside the area, after City ripped their hosts open with a rapid break.

That sublime strike doubled the visitors' advantage before half-time, with Ruben Dias the unlikely source of their opener when he curled into the bottom corner from the edge of the box.

Villa have renewed resolve since Gerrard's arrival though, and Ollie Watkins replied immediately after the interval with a neat strike from a well-worked corner routine.

But the hosts were unable to find a leveller and Gerrard, having won his opening two games in charge, dropped points for the first time in the Villa dugout.

Jack Grealish was brought on as a late substitute to make his first return to Villa Park since a £100m summer move, greeted by a mixture of boos and applause from the home crowd that once adored him.

    Reaction to Wednesday's Premier League gamesGet all the latest Aston Villa news hereGo straight to all the best Man City content

Depleted City show their qualityRuben Dias scored his first Premier League goal for Manchester City since February

City boss Guardiola said before his side's trip to Villa Park they were facing a player "emergency", but there was still an abundance of talent available to the Spaniard.

Top of the pile right now is Silva, the mesmerising Portuguese playmaker who made an astonishing piece of technique look outrageously simple.

Dias' opener was reward for City's early dominance and Guardiola could not help but smile when Silva nonchalantly volleyed in a second before the break.

The diminutive midfielder had time to bring Jesus' delivery down, but instead caressed it first time beyond Emiliano Martinez to finish off a lightning counter-attack that started in City's own box seconds earlier.

The hosts' early approach was to soak up City pressure and hit them on the break, but the loss of Leon Bailey to a muscle injury after half an hour impacted that plan.

Villa have lost all six of the previous games in which they trailed at half-time in the Premier League this season, but whatever Gerrard's interval message was worked almost immediately.

They took the game to the champions, with Watkins steering in Douglas Luiz's corner within two minutes of the restart, much to the watching Prince William's delight.

That roused the Villa Park faithful and 18-year-old Carney Chukwuemeka went close to levelling, only to be denied by City goalkeeper Ederson.

Villa had rolled out the claret and blue carpet for returning hero Grealish beforehand, with Gerrard saying he would be welcomed back and the club tweeting "thank you for the memories".

He had to settle for a short cameo, having not played since 3 November for City, but the England international's return will help to ease Guardiola's injury concerns.

The victory also brought up Guardiola's 150th win in the Premier League with Manchester City, and he has reached that landmark in 204 games - faster than any other manager in the competition.

Player of the match

Bernardo SilvaBernardo Silva

with an average of 7.64

    Aston VillaAston VillaAston VillaMan CityManchester CityManchester City

Aston VillaAvgSquad number11Player nameWatkinsAverage rating

6.61

Squad number7Player nameMcGinnAverage rating

6.51

Squad number33Player nameChukwuemekaAverage rating

6.04

Squad number6Player nameDouglas LuizAverage rating

5.94

Squad number1Player nameMartínezAverage rating

5.92

Squad number2Player nameCashAverage rating

5.89

Squad number19Player nameNakambaAverage rating

5.86

Squad number5Player nameMingsAverage rating

5.78

Squad number4Player nameKonsaAverage rating

5.76

Squad number8Player nameSansonAverage rating

5.65

Squad number18Player nameYoungAverage rating

5.62

Squad number3Player nameTargettAverage rating

5.53

Squad number10Player nameBuendíaAverage rating

5.48

Squad number31Player nameBaileyAverage rating

5.19

Manchester CityAvgSquad number20Player nameBernardo SilvaAverage rating

7.64

Squad number3Player nameRúben DiasAverage rating

6.99

Squad number26Player nameMahrezAverage rating

6.73

Squad number27Player nameJoão CanceloAverage rating

6.71

Squad number9Player nameGabriel JesusAverage rating

6.60

Squad number31Player nameEdersonAverage rating

6.56

Squad number16Player nameRodriAverage rating

6.48

Squad number11Player nameZinchenkoAverage rating

6.47

Squad number6Player nameAkéAverage rating

6.42

Squad number25Player nameFernandinhoAverage rating

6.39

Squad number7Player nameSterlingAverage rating

6.15

Squad number10Player nameGrealishAverage rating

5.81

    Line-upsMatch StatsLive Text

Line-upsAston Villa

Formation 4-3-3

1Martínez2Cash4Konsa5Mings3Targett7McGinn19Nakamba6Douglas Luiz31Bailey11Watkins10Buendía

    1Martínez2Cash4Konsa5Mings3TargettSubstituted forChukwuemekaat 67'minutes7McGinn19NakambaSubstituted forSansonat 77'minutes6Douglas Luiz31BaileySubstituted forYoungat 31'minutes11Watkins10Buendía

Substitutes

    8Sanson12Steer16Tuanzebe18Young21El Ghazi30Hause33Chukwuemeka39Davis41J Ramsey

Man City

Formation 4-3-3

31Ederson27Cancelo3Rúben Dias6Aké11Zinchenko16Rodri25Fernandinho20Bernardo Silva26Mahrez9Gabriel Jesus7Sterling

    31Ederson27Cancelo3Rúben Dias6Aké11Zinchenko16Rodri25Fernandinho20Bernardo Silva26Mahrez9Gabriel JesusSubstituted forGrealishat 87'minutes7Sterling

Substitutes

    10Grealish13Steffen33Carson47Foden79Mbete80Palmer87McAtee90Lavia97Wilson-Esbrand

Referee:Mike DeanAttendance:41,400Match StatsHome TeamAston VillaAway TeamMan CityPossessionHome35%Away65%ShotsHome9Away17Shots on TargetHome3Away7CornersHome4Away11FoulsHome8Away12Live TextPost update

Match ends, Aston Villa 1, Manchester City 2.

90'+5'Full Time

Second Half ends, Aston Villa 1, Manchester City 2.

90'+1'Post update

Foul by Rodri (Manchester City).

90'+1'Post update

John McGinn (Aston Villa) wins a free kick on the right wing.

90'Post update

Attempt saved. Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

89'Post update

Bernardo Silva (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

89'Post update

Foul by Morgan Sanson (Aston Villa).

87'Substitution

Substitution, Manchester City. Jack Grealish replaces Gabriel Jesus.

87'Post update

Attempt missed. Tyrone Mings (Aston Villa) header from the left side of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Douglas Luiz following a set piece situation.

86'Post update

Foul by Raheem Sterling (Manchester City).

86'Post update

John McGinn (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

85'Post update

Attempt missed. Tyrone Mings (Aston Villa) header from the left side of the box misses to the left. Assisted by John McGinn following a set piece situation.

85'Post update

Foul by Fernandinho (Manchester City).

85'Post update

Morgan Sanson (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

83'Post update

Hand ball by Rodri (Manchester City).

77'Substitution

Substitution, Aston Villa. Morgan Sanson replaces Marvelous Nakamba.

77'Post update

Ederson (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

77'Post update

Foul by Tyrone Mings (Aston Villa).

75'Post update

Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Ederson.

75'Post update

Attempt saved. Carney Chukwuemeka (Aston Villa) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Emiliano Buendía with a through ball.

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Source: bbc.com

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