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Match Report and Player Ratings: Manchester City 4-1 Aston Villa (Premier League)



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Phil Foden scored a third hat-trick of his career as Manchester City grabbed a vital three points as they continue to push Arsenal and Liverpool for the Premier League title.

Tonight’s win against Aston Villa leaves City tied on points with Liverpool, and just one point behind Arsenal – who defeated Luton Town earlier on Wednesday night. Despite being thoroughly outplayed in the reverse fixture, Manchester City came to play in the rematch.

The away fixture featured a Manchester City side that looked timid and often lacked intensity and concentration. The opposite would be said of the Sky Blues’ performance this week. Pep Guardiola’s side took control from the start using Jack Grealish and Jeremy Doku to spread the pitch.

Rodri grabbed the first goal in the 11th minute when he got on the end of a Doku cut-back. It was an excellent team goal started by Phil Foden, who played Doku through, before the Belgian drove towards the by-line to set-up the opening goal. 

Despite Manchester City’s strong start and early lead, Aston Villa responded immediately and had a point blank effort saved by Stefan Ortega in one of the first attacks. However, it was ruled offside. But it was a warning of things to come, and the equaliser came in the 20th minute with an excellent tight-angle finish from Jhon Duran.

It was a well-worked goal on the counter, started when Julian Alvarez lost the ball on the edge of the box. Villa immediately launched themselves forward, Akanji pushed inside to try and win the ball at midfield, leaving the entire right side of the pitch open for Duran to slip behind and score.

Manchester City secured the lead once again prior to the half-time interval. Phil Foden was brought down with a cynical tackle from Douglas Luiz, who escaped a second yellow, with the Englishman splitting the wall to score from the direct free-kick.

Aston Villa’s last opportunity to keep the match competitive came in the 54th minute, when a Douglas Luiz-inspired counter-attack effort forced Stefan Ortega to make a strong save. With Villa unable to equalise, City continued to push their opposition deeper and deeper into their own box, which set up Phil Foden’s second. 

Rodri beat his man off the dribble and cut the ball back to the centre of the pitch and towarsd Phil Foden making a late run. The 23-year-old took his shot first time and left the keeper standing still. An excellent finish to secure a two-goal lead and marked the beginning of the end for Villa on the night.

The ultimate dagger came just seven minutes later when Phil Foden grabbed his hat-trick. It came against the run of play just seconds after the Stockport-born midfielder felt he was fouled after the losing possession. Manchester City won the ball back immediately, making its way back to Foden who turned and fired a world class effort from outside of the box. 

Here are our Player Ratings from Manchester City’s win over Aston Villa as the Premier League champions got back to winning ways!

Player Ratings

Stefan Ortega – 7.5

Made a few key saves and was great in distribution. Can’t fault him for an excellent finish from Aston Villa’s Duran.

Rico Lewis – 7.5

Continues to be a metronome when fitting into midfield, needs to improve his finishing but has still looked so smooth despite limited game time this season.

Manuel Akanji – 7.5

Was great on the ball like always but was very poor for Aston Villa’s goal. Will be forgotten because of Phil Foden’s hat trick but those lapses in concentration could cost Manchester City.

Ruben Dias – 8

Was excellent at stopping so many counters before they could even hatch for Aston Villa. Continues to be the backbone of the defence. 

Josko Gvardiol – 7.5

Wasn’t needed to be on the ball as much as he was against Arsenal, but still continues to look more and more comfortable with each passing opportunity.

Rodri – 9.5

What more needs to be said about the best midfielder in the world and future Ballon D’or winner?! He barely put a foot wrong all night, had an excellent finish and assisted Phil Foden’s second. Looked absolutely gassed by the 60th minute and deserves a rest.

Bernardo Silva – 7.5

Wasn’t on the ball as much as you’d expect but still created a few chances and was excellent one the press as well. Solid performance as always. 

Phil Foden – 10 (MOTM)

Yet another Player of the Season performance by Phil Foden. Will be the first of many.

Jeremy Doku – 8

Another performance where the Belgian continues to improve. Final ball was still shaky at times but the cutback to Rodri was inch perfect. 

Jack Grealish – 8

Despite playing his boyhood club, Grealish battled through the boos of his former fans for an excellent controlled performance. He was a little more aggressive than usual and the result was one of his better games of the season.

Julian Alvarez – 7

Another iffy performance from the Argentine. While he didn’t have a ton of service to work with, he couldn’t capitalise on his major chance and lost the ball quite a few times. Weirdly didn’t look as intense in the press either.


Matheus Nunes – 6.5

Mateo Kovacic – 6.5

Sergio Gomez – 6.5

Oscar Bobb – 6.5