Villa turn the match on its head, but Manchester City flip it once again

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In perhaps the most unexpected news of the day — more surprising, even, than Fulham equalizing against Cardiff — Aston Villa have pulled one back early in the second half, making it 1-1 against Manchester City.

Just before the halftime whistle, a defensive scramble resulted in the ball falling perfectly for Yaya Toure. The Ivorian reacted quickly, flicking it on and through the legs of Villa keeper Brad Guzan. Paul Lambert’s ultra-defensive setup had succeeded for just 45 minutes, but with the hosts now chasing the game, it was clear adjustments would have to be made.

Lambert made no changes to his side, but it seemed that Leandro Bacuna and Antonio Luna were given more freedom to run forward. It was Bacuna who got himself into a dangerous position, challenging two City defenders just outside the area. A short pass slipped between the defenders, whose arms immediately went up. No flag was shown, however, as Karim El Ahmadi put one past Joe Hart.

But the hosts were only able to retain the balance for five minutes. Again, it was a corner that proved fateful to the Villa, with Edin Dzeko given the chance to put a free header past Guzan. It remains to be seen whether Aston Villa will ever be able to work out the correct balance between attacking and defending.