Manchester City 4-0 Aston Villa: Sergio Aguero nets double in City stroll
By Lewis Jones
Last Updated: 06/03/16 11:00am
Manchester City broke their run of three straight Premier League defeats with a convincing 4-0 victory over Aston Villa on Saturday.
Manuel Pellegrini's side have slipped off the pace in the title race but goals from Yaya Toure, Raheem Sterling and a double from Sergio Aguero moved them to within 10 points of league leaders Leicester City.
Aguero could also afford to spurn a penalty as he missed out on a hat-trick against a Villa side that mustered just two shots on goal and had 28 per cent possession.
The result means Villa plunge closer to relegation from the Premier League with Remi Garde's side now nine points from safety.
Wilfried Bony was handed his first start of 2016 as he partnered Aguero in attack as Pellegrini made three changes to his team that limped to a 3-0 defeat at Liverpool on Wednesday.
The pattern of the game was clear from the outset. Manchester City attacked, Aston Villa sat back.
Garde's team had 11 men behind the ball for large parts as City enjoyed 77 per cent possession in the first half, although they rarely looked capable of breaking through Villa's deep backline.
Aguero had an effort from eight yards tipped over from Brad Guzan on 10 minutes while Bony really should have buried a Gael Clichy cross four minutes later.
Villa mustered their first shot on goal on 26 minutes but it so nearly gave them an unlikely lead as Joe Hart had to be very alert to palm away a snappy Jordan Ayew effort.
The home fans were becoming a little frustrated with their side but any fears of a further Premier League slip-up were put to bed within three minutes of the restart.
Toure finished off a move instigated by Aguero with a cool finish that deflected past Guzan off Micah Richards.
The returning Richards, who played 179 games for City, was in the thick of the action again two minutes later as Aguero punished his mistake to make it 2-0.
A ball in behind the centre-back put him in all sorts of trouble and his sliding clearance came off Aguero and straight into the net.
The Argentine striker sensed blood and trebled City's lead on 60 minutes as Villa's defending descended into a farce.
Aguero sprung into life and played a fantastic one-two with Silva. With Richards standing and watching, Aguero raced past him and smashed the ball into the bottom corner.
Sterling replaced Bony on 62 minutes and took just four minutes to get on the scoresheet.
Jesus Navas raced away down the right and squared the ball across the box for Sterling to tap home from close range. The Villa defence just stood and watched.
Ciaran Clark fouled substitute Kelechi Iheanacho in the penalty area on 72 minutes but Aguero missed his chance for a treble by curling the effort from 12 yards against the post.
Soccer Saturday verdict - Matt Le Tissier
"There was a vast gulf between the two sides. Villa threatened once in the first half, had one shot, when they actually threw enough men forward to make a difference. But there was nothing else in that first half, it was literally attack versus defence and how it was 0-0 at half-time I'm not quite sure.
"You knew once the first goal went in there'd be a landslide. It came on 48 minutes and 18 minutes later it was 4-0 and it was game over. In the big games this season Man City haven't been doing it - that's the key test for them. I wouldn't rule them out of the title race just yet."
Manchester City: Hart (7), Sagna (7), Kompany (7), Otamendi (7), Clichy (7), Toure (7), Fernandinho (7), Navas (7), Silva (7), Bony (5), Aguero (8)
Subs: M.Garcia (6), Sterling (7), Iheanacho (7)
Aston Villa: Guzan (6), Lescott (6), Richards (4), Clark (5), Veretout (5), Hutton (6), Cissokho (5), Westwood (5), Gueye (5), Agbonlahor (5), Ayew (6)
Subs: Bacuna (6), Sinclair (6), Gestede (6)
Man of the match: Sergio Aguero