(Football news) Over the course of the ninety minutes, Unai Emery’s rabble-rousing army huffed and puffered, but they would presumably be left cursing a series of wasted opportunities, until a fortunate Leon Bailey goal propelled the Lions to an incredible victory in the West Midlands.
Due to ongoing weariness, Pep Guardiola was allowed to use John Stones once again for Villa, while Jeremy Doku was not included in the starting lineup for a Man City without Rodri.
Similar to when Rodri was suspended earlier in the season, City struggled to exert control in the first ten minutes of the match as Ederson was forced to make saves by Torres and Bailey.
But a minor defensive blunder by Martinez and Carlos set the Citizens on fire, if only momentarily. In the eleventh minute, the former had to deny Haaland twice in quick succession, keeping him out low at his near post before slamming across his goal to stop his back-post header from nestling in.
However, Villa continued to pose a threat, as Ederson had to watch out to tip Bailey’s attempt to dip over the bar in the 22nd minute. Bailey and Konsa then both cleared the woodwork just after the half-hour mark.
The first goal of the match was a header from former Citizens player Douglas Luiz in the 45th minute, but Lucas Digne’s pass was called out for offside. The champions, who had faced 13 shots in the first half, were eager for halftime to arrive.
The 13 efforts Villa made in the first half of a league match were the most any Guardiola team had ever faced, and normal service quickly returned following a brief period of promise from Man City following the resumption.
John McGinn was about to score the game’s first goal, but Ederson’s crucial touch in the 64th minute stopped him. However, a clever deflection in the 73rd minute gave Villa their well-deserved lead.
Bailey’s effort from the edge of the box glanced off Ruben Dias’s toe and went past a stranded Ederson after the flamboyant player cleverly got the ball on the half turn to elude the press and went into the infield.