Leon Bailey’s late goal gave Aston Villa a surprise point as Manchester City’s finish was a bit off in a 1-1 draw with Manchester City at Villa Park on Saturday, giving Villa boss Steven Gerrard an on-field sigh of relief.
Erling Haaland scored his 10th goal in six Premier League games, this one assisted by Kevin De Bruyne, to give Man City the lead but City drops points for the second time this season.
At four wins and two draws, City is one point behind Arsenal before the Gunners meet Manchester United.
Villa, meanwhile, had lost four times in five games and now collects a fourth point and will finish the weekend outside the bottom three on goal differential.
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What we learned from Aston Villa vs Manchester City
Villa shows well: The goal came out of nothing, and so, in a sense, did the performance. Steven Gerrard has been ready to credit his team’s effort in their losing run, preferring to put the onus on the club’s mistakes instead. There were a lot fewer of the latter on Saturday, as Emiliano Martinez and Tyrone Mings kept the defending unit as compact as possible and ready to counter attack. In truth, Villa will feel aggrieved to not have gone up 2-1 on Philippe Coutinho’s offside goal that wasn’t, but it’s impossible to know whether City would’ve reacted differently to the Brazilian’s post-whistle shot from distance.
[ VIDEO: Premier League analysis ]
City has one of those days: Clearly superior, City just drops points sometimes by virtue of a hot keeper of missed chances. This was the case on Saturday, as City might’ve still scored a winner after the late equalizer. Riyad Mahrez butchered a prime chance to make it 2-1 soon after the Bailey goal. City had 73 percent of the ball and took 13 of the game’s 16 shots but Villa stayed tight. City had all four of the game’s “big chances” but only scored once. It happens.
Haaland might break the Premier League goals record: He really might. Haaland is on pace for 63.3 goals. He won’t even get 50, but we have to consider 40 as an option. That’s if he stays selfish, because the Norwegian is looking more and more comfortable in possession play, deferring to teammates on occasion on a day he could’ve had two assists.
Leon Bailey reaction: Steven Gerrard deserves credit for performance
“I couldn’t tell you why I had a good feeling, maybe seeing how we were in training and everyone helping one another I was excited and I thought we would get something out of the game today,” Bailey said after the game. “A lot of credit to [Steven] Gerrard because going into a big important game he didn’t let anyone feel pressure and that was important for the team. Everyone understands we were in a tough situation but he just wanted us to bring the best version of ourselves on the pitch and we did that today.”
Steven Gerrard reaction: Coutinho decision rough, tactics went well
Gerrard explains why Philippe Coutinho didn’t start the game, then asks why the Brazilian’s goal off the bench was deemed offside.
“Listen I’ve had to tweak a few things and look at myself behind the scenes. This is not just about players or pointing fingers, but also what can I do better? Do I have to sacrifice little things that I want to see in the bigger picture, in the short term. Sometimes you’ve got to take a little bit of technical, the nice bits of your team away, to put in some real blood and thunder. And I think we’ve seen that in abundance today.”
“I saw a legitimate goal but obviously I am biased. The referee did the same at the other end with [Ezri] Konsa on the keeper, he was desperate on the whistle which went against us twice in the game.”
Pep Guardiola reaction: Man City ‘not precise enough’
“We conceded just one goal from one shot on target in 90 minutes. We were not precise in our final third touches and our simple things, especially in the first half. We had chances to score a second when the game was in our hands but we didn’t. … We were better after the goal. But we were just not precise enough in the crosses, we missed a few situations and that’s why we could not score.
Aston Villa did what many teams try to do: stay lively and open enough to counterattack against a team that’s going to have the ball and inevitable chances. City had all of the game’s big chances but Villa only let one go over its line and Bailey buried his 3/4 chance (It was more than a 1/2 chance but certainly not a promise).
[ VIDEO: Premier League analysis ]
Stars of the show
Kevin De Bruyne
Man City hosts Tottenham at 12:30pm ET Saturday after a Tuesday trip to Sevilla to start the UEFA Champions League group stage (Spurs play Wednesday at home to Marseille).
Aston Villa heads to Leicester City for a 10am ET Saturday match at King Power Stadium.
How to watch Aston Villa vs Manchester City live, stream link and start time
Kick off: 12:30pm ET Saturday
Online: Stream via Peacock Premium
Gerrard’s only posted three Premier League wins since April, his hot start to life at Villa Park now a thing of the past.
Man City is tuning up for a tricky visit to Sevilla as the UEFA Champions League group stage begins Tuesday. Will Pep Guardiola rest any key pieces after a busy month in the Premier League?
In-form players to keep an eye on
They don’t get more in-form than Haaland, but he’s a candidate to be kept on the bench to start at Villa Park. The hosts have looked vulnerable against most teams but Tyrone Mings played well against Arsenal and Ollie Watkins is proving a relentless attacker.
Aston Villa team news, injuries, lineup options
OUT: Diego Carlos (calf)
— Aston Villa (@AVFCOfficial) September 3, 2022
Manchester City team news, injuries, lineup options
OUT: Aymeric Laporte (knee), Kalvin Phillips (shoulder), Luke Mbete-Tabu (concussion)
🔵 TEAM NEWS 🔵
XI | Ederson, Walker, Dias, Stones, Cancelo, Rodrigo, Gundogan (C), De Bruyne, Bernardo, Foden, Haaland
— Manchester City (@ManCity) September 3, 2022