Manchester City vs Aston Villa: Reaction, analysis, videos from the Etihad

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Manchester City beat Aston Villa 3-2 on Championship Sunday as Pep Guardiola’s side scored three late goals to erase a 2-0 deficit and win the title in incredible, dramatic fashion. 

FULL REPLAY MANCHESTER CITY v ASTON VILLA 

City’s fans were put through it once again but Guardiola’s boys won a fourth title in the last five seasons amid amazing scenes with substitute Ilkay Gundogan the unlikely hero.

This game had it all and was a fitting finale to an incredible season.

Here’s everything you need to know from Manchester City vs Aston Villa.

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How to watch Manchester City vs Aston Villa live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 11am ET, Sunday
TV Channel: NBC
Online: Stream via NBCSports.com & Peacock Premium


Manchester City vs Aston Villa live analysis! – By Joe Prince-Wright at the Etihad Stadium

Thank you so much for joining me on an epic final day of the Premier League season! Is it bad that I already can’t wait until the 2022-23 season kicks off in August…!? See you soon.

Wonderful scenes all around the Etihad as players lift the trophy and the fans go wild each and every time. Fernandinho is then given a special ceremony as that was the 37-year-old’s final game for Man City. What an incredible career he’s had and City’s fans serenade him on the pitch as he stands there with his family.

But no moment will beat this one. Ukraine star Oleksandr Zinchenko is overcome with emotion as he draped the Ukraine flag over the Premier League trophy and is then embraced by his teammates. What a moment.

THE PREMIER LEAGUE CHAMPIONS LIFT THE TROPHY ALOFT!

What a moment here at the Etihad, as an Oasis sing-song then takes over, then a Yaya/Kolo Toure sing-song.

We are now waiting for the newly crowned champions to come back out onto the pitch and lift the trophy. The fans are off the pitch and they are now cheering every time they show the highlights again on the big screens.

Trying to make sense of what we’ve just seen…

Incredible scenes at the final whistle here.

FULL TIME: MANCHESTER CITY 3-2 ASTON VILLA!

Man City are the Premier League champions for the fourth time in the last five seasons and the sixth time.

Just when you think you’ve seen everything…

GOALLLL! GOALLL! GOALLL! Manchester City go 3-2 up. Three goals in 5 minutes. What the hell is going on!? Gundogan scores twice off the bench and Rodri has a goal in-between it.

GOALLL! Aston Villa go 2-0 up. What on earth. Who is writing this script? Coutinho with the goal. Of course it was Coutinho. The Etihad Stadium is absolutely stunned.

27 minutes to go. My nerves are shredded. Bloody hell, this is tense.

Raheem Sterling is on for Riyad Mahrez.

City have gone close early in the second half as Jesus slid in at the back post but couldn’t convert. Rodri then smashed a shot off target.

Fernandinho hauled off at half time. Zinchenko is on at left back, Cancelo has gone to right back and Stone is at center back. Not the final game in a City shirt Fernandinho would have wanted.

HALF TIME: Manchester City 0-1 Aston Villa – City have won just 1 of their last PL games when they’ve gone behind.

Watkins and Coutinho have a few chances on the break after that opening goal. City all over the place defensively. Guardiola looks furious.

GOALLLL! Aston Villa go 1-0 up at Manchester City. A fine cross from the left is headed home by Matty Cash. Another dramatic twist on the final day of the season.

CLOSE! Phil Foden drags a shot inches wide. It’s all getting very tense here as news of a Liverpool equalizer filters through.

Mahrez dances into the box but his ball to the back post is cleared as City started to crank up the pressure. Few moans and groans from the City fans after some loose passes.

Game has gone a little flat after Lucas Digne went down with a head injury. His own players, Calum Chambers, smashed the ball straight into his face. Ouch. That’s taken the sting out of the game a little.

Celebrations among the home fans here as news filters around that Wolves have gone 1-0 up at Liverpool. Drama already.

KICK OFF: Great start here at the Etihad as City have had plenty of the ball but Villa look dangerous on the break.

HERE. WE. GO.

Here are my final thoughts ahead of kick off…

The teams have gone back in. The pressure is building. This is all getting rather serious now. I just caught up with Man City legend Shaun Goater here in the press box and he told me it will actually help Man City if Aston Villa score first, as City will be forced to play their normal game and came out and attack with everything they have.

Here’s Pep chatting about the pressure of today. He looks as cool as a cucumber. How!?

Team news is out! A few big surprises as it looks like John Stones starts at right back for City, while Foden, Mahrez and Jesus start in attack. Kyle Walker is fit enough for the bench. Villa are without their star goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez so Robin Olsen comes in for his debut. That seems like a huge blow for Villa who have gone for a pretty attacking lineup as Watkins, Coutinho, Buendia all start with Jacob Ramsey starting in midfield.

Btw, watch this video below without getting fired up. My word. Goosebumps.

The City team have arrived. Blue flares (which seem to be very very easy to get hold of these days!?) are plentiful around the Etihad.

There is very much a party atmosphere here in Manchester. The vast majority of City fans seem to be expecting an easy home win today. On paper that should be the case, but it’s the final day of the season. Who knows?

Well, well, well. Here we are. 90 minutes of the season to go. Manchester City know a win at home against Aston Villa on the final day will secure the Premier League title for the fourth time in the last five seasons. But a draw or defeat leaves the door open for Liverpool (who start the final day just one point behind them) to win the title and keep their incredible quadruple hopes alive.

It is cloudy but warm here in Manchester, where the City fans I’ve spoken to are a mixture of hugely optimistic to incredibly pessimistic. They’ve been in these kind of scenarios quite a lot over the years and they always seem to make life more complicated than it should be. Just over 10 years ago Sergio Aguero delivered that iconic moment (No. 1 in our list of the Top 30 moments in PL history) amid late drama on the final day to win the title. Surely we won’t see anything like that again today…


Manchester City team news, injuries, lineup

Defenders John Stones and Kyle Walker have both made speedy recoveries for this game as Stones starts at right back and Fernadinho is also in the defense alongside Laporte. Ruben Dias remains out.

Mahrez, Foden and Jesus start in attack.

Aston Villa team news, injuries, lineup

Kortney Hause is ruled out, while Ezri Konsa is also out with a long-term knee injury. Leon Bailey is also out while Ings is on the bench with Emiliano Martinez missing due to injury so Robin Olsen starts in goal.


Manchester City vs Aston Villa preview

City sit atop the table and have a one-point lead over Liverpool heading into the final 90 minutes of the season. Given their superior goal difference all they have to do is equal or better Liverpool’s result (they host Wolves at Anfield) on the final day to secure a fourth Premier League title in the last five years. But with plenty of defensive injuries and coming off the back of a shaky 2-2 draw at West Ham last week, Guardiola is urging City’s fans to turn up at the Etihad and ‘give their lives’ to the team. This will be a tense afternoon but nine times out of 10 you’d expect City to win this game comfortably and a few early goals will settle the nerves of the City faithful. They hope.

As for Aston Villa, well, they have a top 10 finish to play for as they can finish in 10th with a win or as low as 14th if they lose. Steven Gerrard is determined to finish as close to the top 10 as possible and he rested Danny Ings and Philippe Coutinho for the midweek draw at home to Burnley. With his status as a Liverpool legend confirmed from his playing days, Gerrard will aim to do the one thing he didn’t do at Liverpool: win a Premier League title for the Reds. Villa are more than capable of grabbing a draw, or even more, at City and if they do then it is highly-likely Liverpool will pip City to the title and their quest for the quadruple will go down to the Champions League final.

Transfer news: Sterling, Mahrez to Arsenal

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The latest transfer news sees Raheem Sterling and Riyad Mahrez linked with shock moves to Arsenal from Manchester City.

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With the duo playing a key role for City this season, and over the last several campaigns under Pep Guardiola, this report is a shock.

But should we be that surprised?

Let’s dig a little deeper.

Sterling, Mahrez set for City departure?

We all know that Pep Guardiola is a ruthless operator. From Joe Hart to Vincent Kompany and Sergio Aguero to Yaya Toure, he has made some big calls to move on or leave out Man City legends since he arrived at the club in 2016.

But this report from The Daily Mail is quite surprising.

1) because Mahrez is involved.

2) because Arsenal could be the destination.

When you look at Sterling’s named being linked with a move away, that may not be as surprising as it initially seems. The 26-year-old has suffered a huge drop-off in form over the second half of this season and the England international has struggled to get into City’s starting lineup in recent weeks.

Maybe Guardiola wants to move Sterling on now before his form dips over a longer period of time? His contract runs out two years from now, so this summer would see his transfer value at its highest. Sterling was also reportedly in contract talks with City, but those have stalled.

As for Mahrez, he’s had a fine campaign and offers City something very different in their attack, but he is now 30 years old and Guardiola has the likes of Phil Foden, Bernardo Silva, Gabriel Jesus and other young attackers coming through, plus Kevin de Bruyne has just signed a new long-term deal.  Still, Mahrez moving on would be a surprise but he also has two years left on his current City deal.

Moving on Sterling and Mahrez, or planning to at least, could suggest that City are trying to make a big move for Harry Kane, Jack Grealish or Erling Haaland this summer. With their main need a central striker, they could probably afford to get rid of a couple of attacking midfielders. The report suggests that Gabriel Jesus and Aymeric Laporte could be moved on too.

Can Arsenal afford either of Sterling or Mahrez?

Probably not.

And that is the biggest red flag here.

However, this report popping up just before the Champions League final could suggest that Sterling and Mahrez will not start against Chelsea and could see the writing is on the wall and push for a move away from City this summer.

Arsenal want to make big moves this summer and Mikel Arteta, Pep’s former assistant at the Etihad, knows these players very well and is about to demolish his Gunners squad.

With Willian reportedly on his way out, Granit Xhaka leaving, David Luiz gone and the futures of Alexandre Lacazette, Hector Bellerin and many others uncertain, there could be extra cash for transfer fees and wages floating around. Arsenal aren’t in Europe next season, which probably helps Arteta as he can nurture his young squad and work with them more often on the training ground.

Is Sterling and Mahrez to Arsenal a long shot? Yes. Is one of them heading to the Emirates Stadium unlikely? No. Right now, you’d think Mahrez is the most likely to make the move.

Guardiola adds former coach to Man City staff

Man City assistant
Photo by Aitor Alcalde Colomer/Getty Images
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Pep Guardiola has added one of his mentors to fill out a coaching staff that had been incomplete since Mikel Arteta left for Arsenal in December.

The name is Juanma Lillo, a well-traveled manager who coached Guardiola when the pair were together at Mexican side Dorados Sinaloa between 2005-06.

[ MORE: New PL schedule ]

Lillo, 54, is about five years Guardiola’s senior and recently managed Yaya Toure, Andres Iniesta, and David Villa on their adventures in China and Japan. Before that, he assisted Jorge Sampaoli at Sevilla.

The Spaniard has managed a number of clubs in a number of countries, including La Liga’s Real Sociedad and Colombia’s Atletico Nacional.

Here’s Lillo, via ManCity.com:

“My relationship with Pep goes back many years and I am thrilled to be joining him as part of this exciting team. Manchester City has enjoyed much success over recent seasons and played a brand of beautiful football we have come to expect from this club and its manager.”

Guardiola loves Sampaoli and this seems a natural fit.

Premier League social media wrap: Alexander-Arnold gets quizzed

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Rebecca Lowe’s back with her latest Premier League social media recap, which goes from Eric Cantona showing what he’s still got to Nicolas Otamendi having some fun with laundry and so much more.

Check the video above, then let’s take a spin around the PL this afternoon.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

Liverpool’s U-9 team usually gets a party when they commit to the club for the next season.

That wasn’t happening in the social distancing world of the coronavirus pandemic, so the club asked Trent Alexander-Arnold to hold a bit of an AMA with the kids.

The questions and answers were wonderful.

Hard as nails midfielder Philip Billing has been a difference maker at Bournemouth, just as he was during his time at Huddersfield Town.

Apparently not all Terriers would agree with the latter part of that assessment — the comments section says they felt he mailed in the relegation season — and Billing stepped to the Twitter platform to express a bit of disbelief, showing off his strong run of HTAFC hardware.

Soccer is tricky.

Aston Villa goalkeeper Pepe Reina was reminiscing on his starring role for another Premier League club.

Reina backstopped the Reds to a 2006 FA Cup Final win, stopping three penalty kicks on the day.

Liverpool came back from 2-0 and 3-2 deficits against West Ham United thanks to goals from Djibril Cisse and Steven Gerrard, and only one of four shooters beat Reina in kicks (Teddy Sheringham).

Crystal Palace’s Andros Townsend is apparently a killer when it comes to jersey swapping.

The Eagles forward showed off a terrific collection of jerseys, from Yaya Toure to Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Harry Kane.

Picking a favorite Premier League era player for all 20 current clubs

Premier League
Photo by Nick Potts - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images
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Surely you’ve seen the lists circulating for at least one sport during this coronavirus quarantine.

Who’s your favorite player from every team in a top league?

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

We definitely want to see your lists, but won’t dodge the duty of putting together a 20-pack of our own.

The only two parameters are that the player spent the lion’s share of his career — or career so-far — with the team in question or had a significant historical moment with the club, and that he played during the Premier League era.

There will be the appearance of recency bias for some of these clubs whose PL existence doesn’t run back too far.

And there’s also the challenge that comes with certain players just striking our fancy at any given time.

Arsenal — It just has to be Thierry Henry.  The French magician elevated the beauty of the game, even if you didn’t like his particular club.

Aston Villa — Oddly enough as an American, I’m not going with one of the Brads (Freidel or Guzan). I’m also going with a player who’s playing just his second season with the club. Tyrone Mings is a fearless defender with an old-school ethic. One of the scariest players in the league today.

Bournemouth — Wanted to cheat and say Eddie Howe, but the Cherries weren’t in the PL when he was a player. I’ll take one of the two closest things to Howe on the current roster and that is Steve Cook (honorable nod to Simon Francis). Cook has appeared a record 329 times for the Cherries beginning at the League One level in 2011. Massive respect to a mainstay who isn’t even the first Steve Cook that shows up on a Google search.

Brighton and Hove Albion — I’m sure there’s a subset of Seagulls supporters who haven’t yet forgiven Glenn Murray for his time at M23 Derby rivals Palace, but I love that the 36-year-old is still bagging goals in his second 100-plus appearance stint with the club.

Burnley — Tom Heaton may be the most underappreciated keeper to don an England shirt, and he’s twice led the Clarets into the Premier League. Now in a different claret shirt, he’s not forgotten.

Chelsea — Love the helmet. Love the saves. Love the rock drumming and the post-soccer hockey career. Petr Cech, all the way. In time, though, this could become Cesar Azpilicueta or, for obvious reasons, Christian Pulisic.

Crystal Palace — Mile Jedinak. I loved the guy not just for being a tremendous and intimidating midfielder, but because he might’ve kept all sorts of items in his dense beard.

Everton — Come on. Too easy.

(Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Leicester City — This one’s tricky via our rules, as he’s won the league with two different teams and has spent longer with the second one but N’Golo Kante made his name on the Foxes’ miracle title team. In time, he may be looked at as a player who revolutionized or at least brilliantly refined his position. If you must have another name, pretend I chose Kasper Schmeichel.

Liverpool — This one may surprise given the amount of attacking and eye-catching talent to roam Anfield, but there are few players I enjoyed watching more than Martin Skrtel. I once saw a cartoon image of him eating nails out of a cereal bowl and considered for a moment that it might be part of his diet.

Manchester City — Tricky one, this. James Milner at this point seems destined to be remembered as a Liverpool man, don’t you think? Ultimately, I’m going to overlook how slimy agent Dimitry Seluk tried to derail my love for Yaya Toure, one of the characters of the game with an almost unrivaled skill set. Also, the birthday cake thing is still pretty funny.

Manchester United — Roy Keane just over Nemanja Vidic.

Newcastle United — A tough one for me, who has found appeal with a number of players to don the black and white stripes. Alan Shearer’s legend helped shape my love for the game and Shay Given performing well above his size makes him high on the list. But for some reason the cerebral and physical play of club leader Fabricio Coloccini makes him my favorite player in the world. I didn’t say I was normal.

Norwich City — Shout out to Nathan Redmond, but I can’t get the early season heroics of 30-going-on-50 striker Teemu Pukki out of my mind here. Emi Buendia has a shot here if Norwich can stay up and he doesn’t bolt for another club.

Sheffield United —  ITough one here, as Blades spent only three PL season prior to this one and two were when I was in middle school. I like John Lundstram over club heroes Phil Jagielka and Billy Sharp.

Southampton — Tough one here as Saints have had so many players shine for them only to become firmly associated with other clubs. I loved Virgil van Dijk back to his Celtic days but he’s undoubtedly Liverpool at this point. Give me Adam Lallana and a pair of crossed fingers that he returns to St. Mary’s to remind us of the man who scored 59 times with 48 assists after coming out of the vaunted Saints academy.

Tottenham Hotspur — I’d love to force Clint Dempsey in here but that’s a Fulham man, man. And I’ve got a lot of time for Heung-min Son, too. But I’m going to give an edge to Robbie Keane over his strike partner Jermain Defoe.

Watford — Show me a man who looks like he enjoys sandwiches as much as the rest of us but has a century of goals between the Championship and Premier League and I’ll be challenged to say I like someone more than Troy Deeney. American bias, sure, but Jay DeMerit‘s story of being ignored by MLS sides out of college and knocking on doors around England en route to a Man of the Match performance in a Premier League promotion-clinching win is chest-thumping stuff.

DeMerit scores the opener versus Leeds(Photo by Barrington Coombs – PA Images via Getty Images)

West Ham United — Bit of a strange one here. Michael Carrick was a beauty and an academy guy but you’re not going to mistake him for anything other than Man Utd. I’m going with Sporting KC’s Kiwi center back Winston Reid as the player I’ve most admired during my time watching the Hammers.

Wolverhampton Wanderers — Big Raul Jimenez gets my nod. The best active player in North America.