Aston Villa 1, Manchester City 1

Ston Villa may not have been able to stop Erling Haaland, but Steven Gerrard’s team saved the striker from rioting and Manchester City emerged victorious. Stopping Haaland was in itself a daunting prospect, but it was an impressive point for Villa given that City had gutted Nottingham’s Forest mid-week, and Leon’s excellent first goal for Bailey. tied the score.

It looked as if City would deepen Gerrard’s misery when Haaland scored 10 goals in six games early in the second half, but Villa excitedly scored a point and eventually won the white-shirted goal. It was Pep Guardiola with his sleeves rolled up. I left tatting on the touchline in frustration.

Riyad Mahrez managed to shoot wide with two minutes remaining, just after Rodri saw his shot narrowly past the post. But assistant referee Adrian Holmes raised the flag for offside, so Villa denied the winner when substitute Philippe Coutinho sent a shot that hit the crossbar after referee Simon Hooper had already blown his whistle. Many of City’s players stopped by the time the ball passed Ederson.

Haaland started the game looking to score a hat-trick in three top-flight matches in a row for the first time in 76 years, but City fed the Haaland machine in the first half as they strayed from Pep Guardiola’s dominance. I couldn’t.

At four minutes out, Kyle Walker slid into the Villa box on the overlap, but instead of being squared by Haaland, who was lurking on the left, he flared up. It seemed a silly decision considering six of Haaland’s nine goals were awarded before kickoff was inside the six-yard box. Walker raised his hand in frustration. His tap-in to his goal was to make it a 10 for him.

Another apology came Haaland’s way when Kevin De Bruyne, returning to replace Julian Alvarez in City’s only replacement, overcooked a through ball that didn’t give City’s striker a chance. rice field.

Ilkay Gundogan missed out on another tempting opportunity after racing between Matty Cash and Ezri Konsa, who were sidelined with hamstring problems. Gundogan appeared to have made a perfect run, but he was unable to catch De Bruyne’s wicked ball from the right flank.

Nevertheless, City cruised and monopolized possession and it looked like cause for celebration when Olly Watkins was able to retain possession of the ball to win a foul on Villa. Seven minutes before half-time, it was generally morale for Villa until Ashley Young, who replaced cash at right-back, took the lead in a contest with De Bruyne, allowing City to run upfield on the counter. It was a presence that frustrates.

Young erased the danger, finding Douglas Lewis, the subject of three deadline bids from Arsenal, and slipped Watkins behind John Stones. Watkins took touches and made several stepovers, the angles becoming more awkward, sending low, oblique shots on goal and allowing the Stones to deflect wide into the corner.

Gerrard was quick to applaud the players for their efforts, and the home crowd responded. Until then, the visitors had been overwhelming, and each time the City quietly surveyed along the way, there was a quiet silence. Rodri, sporting City’s yellow and black belt, tucked his shirt neatly into his shorts, coordinated things with City captain Gundogan.

Tyrone Mings seemed to enjoy the challenge of trying to tame Haaland, but lost a wrestling match with the striker for an early Walker chance, leaving Haaland hanging five minutes into the second half. The cross was not marked when it was thrust into the net.

Bernardo Silva and De Bruyne exchanged passes on the right, with De Bruyne sending a looping cross from the right. The ball went over Emiliano Martinez and Haaland slammed into the back post.

Just as Villa figured out how to overwhelm City, dubbed a superpower by Gerrard, they’ve been guilty of giving world football’s sharpest shooters the most routine finishes. But Haaland, who was starving for serve in the first ten touches, had an insatiable appetite and after penetrating the goal an hour later, before Martinez repelled another effort that was arguably headed for the bottom corner. , coerced a great block.

Shortly after, Mings tripped Haaland at the edge of the D as the striker stepped into space, and from the resulting free-kick De Bruyne dipped a wonderfully crisp right-footed strike into the top of the crossbar. .

City should have ended the match, but it could not be argued that they were not cautioned when Bailey equalized. Had it not been for the slightly heavier touch and the vigilance of Ederson who nicked the ball in haste, the score could have been scored. Bailey distorted a half volley shortly afterwards, but equalized in the 74th minute. Ramsey shuffled left and Bailey drove the ball into the corner.

If something goes wrong with City Haaland, it still emerges from the rubble. De Bruyne’s shot on goal slammed into Haaland’s backside, but seconds after the striker cursed himself for getting in the way, the triangular Villa shirt fell asleep. He flicked to De Bruyne’s pass.

© Observer

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