Premier League
Man CityManchester City4Aston VillaAston Villa0

Manchester City 4-0 Aston Villa

By David OrnsteinBBC Sport at Etihad Stadium
Edin Dzeko gives Manchester City the lead

Manchester City took a giant stride towards their second Premier League title in three years as a second-half rout of Aston Villa moved them top of the table with one game left to play.

City had spent only 11 days at the summit all season, but now lead Liverpool by two points with a far superior goal difference heading into Sunday's final round of matches.

They effectively need a point at home to West Ham, while Liverpool will host Newcastle knowing their hopes of a first championship in 24 years are looking unlikely.

City could not breach Villa's stubborn defence for more than an hour, but two goals from Edin Dzeko and one from Stevan Jovetic secured the victory before Yaya Toure rounded off the scoring with a spectacular run and finish for his side's 100th league goal of a remarkable campaign.

Exactly three weeks on from the draw against Sunderland that derailed City's title bid and deflated their fans, the atmosphere and belief around Etihad Stadium was transformed.

Liverpool's defeat by Chelsea and draw at Crystal Palace on Monday handed Manuel Pellegrini's side the initiative and following a low key start - not helped by torrential rain and a sparsely populated stadium caused by heavy traffic outside - they piled forward for an opening goal.

Aleksandar Kolarov and Toure were denied by Brad Guzan before David Silva failed to connect with a cross from close range as Villa at times deployed all 11 men behind the ball.

Manchester City can talk about title - Manuel Pellegrini

City were missing the cutting edge of Sergio Aguero, sidelined by a groin injury, and the visitors repelled waves of pressure before using their pace to occasionally threaten on the counter-attack.

Lone-striker Jordan Bowery wasted a fine chance when he volleyed wide from Ryan Bertrand's cross and an effort by Andreas Weimann, one-on-one with Pablo Zabaleta, was deflected wide.

City and Pellegrini looked calm, but there was anxiety in the stands after a Silva shot was blocked and Samir Nasri volleyed wide when it seemed certain he would convert James Milner's cross.

The second half started much as the first ended and the frustration around the ground - a result of City's profligacy and perceived time-wasting from Villa - continued to grow as the rain returned.

Race for the Premier League title
LiverpoolMan City
Sun 11 May: Newcastle (h)Sun 11 May: West Ham (h)
Need to win and rely on Manchester City losing.Know a draw will be enough to secure the title due to their goal difference being 13 goals better than Liverpool's.

But Pellegrini signalled his intent by replacing a midfielder with a forward - Jovetic coming on for Milner - and the move paid off spectacularly as Villa failed to cope with City's re-jigged formation.

Jovetic took a position alongside Dzeko up front and that sucked Villa back and in, allowing Silva space to find Zabaleta racing up from right-back. The Argentine crossed low for Dzeko to convert.

Lambert proud of Villa effort

City's wild celebrations showed how crucial that strike could prove and their relief soon turned into pure joy when a carbon copy move between Silva and Zabaleta led to a Nasri shot being saved and Dzeko tapping in the rebound.

There was a scare when Weimann headed against the crossbar, but Jovetic curled home to wrap up the points and Toure applied the final flourish by running from his own half, outpacing several defenders and slotting emphatically past Guzan to put City within touching distance of trophy.

For reaction from Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini see here.

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert: "I thought we did fantastic. I am really proud of the team and the nerves were starting to set in.

"I didn't think it was easy for them, I couldn't be prouder of my own team.

"They are in the driving seat but you never know on the last day of the season."


Man City

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Hart
  • 5Zabaleta
  • 13Kolarov
  • 42Y Touré
  • 4Kompany
  • 26Demichelis
  • 7MilnerSubstituted forJoveticat 60'minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 14García Fernández
  • 10DzekoSubstituted forNegredoat 86'minutes
  • 21SilvaSubstituted forFernandinhoat 76'minutes
  • 8Nasri


  • 2Richards
  • 6Lescott
  • 9Negredo
  • 22Clichy
  • 25Fernandinho
  • 30Pantilimon
  • 35Jovetic

Aston Villa

Formation 5-3-2

  • 1Guzan
  • 34Lowton
  • 23BertrandSubstituted forGrealishat 88'minutes
  • 6ClarkBooked at 74minsSubstituted forRobinsonat 79'minutes
  • 2Baker
  • 4Vlaar
  • 8El Ahmadi
  • 15Westwood
  • 21BowerySubstituted forBacunaat 59'minutes
  • 10Weimann
  • 16DelphBooked at 56mins


  • 7Bacuna
  • 13Steer
  • 18Sylla
  • 24Tonev
  • 29Holt
  • 37Robinson
  • 40Grealish
Michael Oliver

Match Stats

Home TeamMan CityAway TeamAston Villa
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Manchester City 4, Aston Villa 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Manchester City 4, Aston Villa 0.

  3. Goal!

    Goal! Manchester City 4, Aston Villa 0. Yaya Touré (Manchester City) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Aleksandar Kolarov following a fast break.

  4. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Fabian Delph (Aston Villa) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Jack Grealish.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Javi García (Manchester City).

  6. Post update

    Callum Robinson (Aston Villa) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  7. Post update

    Hand ball by Samir Nasri (Manchester City).

  8. Booking

    Stevan Jovetic (Manchester City) is shown the yellow card for excessive celebration.

  9. Goal!

    Goal! Manchester City 3, Aston Villa 0. Stevan Jovetic (Manchester City) right footed shot from outside the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Yaya Touré.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Stevan Jovetic (Manchester City).

  11. Post update

    Matthew Lowton (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  12. Substitution

    Substitution, Aston Villa. Jack Grealish replaces Ryan Bertrand.

  13. Substitution

    Substitution, Manchester City. Álvaro Negredo replaces Edin Dzeko.

  14. Post update

    Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Aleksandar Kolarov.

  15. Post update

    Andreas Weimann (Aston Villa) hits the bar with a header from very close range. Assisted by Callum Robinson with a headed pass following a set piece situation.

  16. Post update

    Foul by Martín Demichelis (Manchester City).

  17. Post update

    Callum Robinson (Aston Villa) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  18. Post update

    Fernandinho (Manchester City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  19. Post update

    Foul by Karim El Ahmadi (Aston Villa).

  20. Substitution

    Substitution, Aston Villa. Callum Robinson replaces Ciaran Clark.

As It Stood

1Man City372656100376383
7Man Utd371961263422163
11Crystal Palace37135193146-1544
12West Ham37117194049-940
15Aston Villa37108193958-1938
17West Brom37715154257-1536
View full Premier League table

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