Premier League
Man City4Aston Villa0

Manchester City 4-0 Aston Villa

Sergio Aguero scores Manchester City's third goal against Aston Villa
Sergio Aguero has scored nine goals in nine games in 2016, more than any other Premier League player

Manchester City kept their title hopes alive by scoring four second-half goals to thump Aston Villa and end a run of three straight Premier League defeats.

Bottom side Villa kept them at bay until the 48th minute, when Yaya Toure turned home David Silva's pass.

A Micah Richards mistake let Sergio Aguero make it 2-0 soon after, before Aguero exchanged passes with Silva to fire home a third.

Raheem Sterling tapped in City's fourth before Aguero missed a late penalty.

Media playback is not supported on this device

Manuel Pellegrini says patience key to City victory

City's win sees them close the gap on both north London teams after Tottenham drew with Arsenal earlier - they are now two points behind the third-placed Gunners with a game in hand.

But they remain 10 points behind leaders Leicester, who beat Watford in Saturday's late kick-off.

One down, eight to go for City

City's poor form had put their top-four place in doubt, let alone their title challenge, but this was a convincing response to their critics.

There have been many question marks over City's defence recently but they were hardly tested here - Villa only managed two shots in total and only one on target, which saw Joe Hart deny Jordan Ayew with the score at 0-0.

Average position of touches by Man City and Aston Villa players
So much of the game was played in Villa's half that only one of their players - Jordan Ayew (no. 19) - had an average position (based on where he touched the ball) in Manchester City's half. Only two of City's outfield players had an average position in their own half - their centre-halves, Vincent Kompany and Nicolas Otamendi

City's attack is far more reliable and, although they had to be patient against Villa's massed backline, their flurry of second-half goals means they are now the top scorers in the Premier League with 52 goals from 29 games.

Pellegrini said before kick-off that his side needed nine wins from their last 11 games to have any chance of becoming champions - he now has one of them.

Manager reaction: 'Man City's title experience important - Pellegrini'

Villa in deeper trouble

Media playback is not supported on this device

Man City 4-0 Aston Villa: We "totally collapsed" Remi Garde

Villa boss Remi Garde insisted after the final whistle that his side can still stay up but, with nine games to go, their prospects are becoming even bleaker.

The gap between Villa and safety was eight points before kick-off, but was increased to nine by Sunderland's draw at Southampton.

"Until the end, I will believe we can do it but we have to be realistic," Garde told BBC Sport.

"If we play like we did in the first half here, we have a chance. If we play like we did in the second half, we have no chance."

Man of the match - Sergio Aguero (Man City)

Man City striker Sergio Aguero
He missed out on a hat-trick when he planted his penalty against the foot of the post but live-wire striker Sergio Aguero was still City's stand-out performer as he netted his 15th and 16th Premier League goals of the season

What next?

City, who are yet to rearrange their game in hand - which is at Newcastle - take on another struggling side, Norwich, at Carrow Road next weekend.

Villa will face another team vying for the title when they host Tottenham.

The stats you need to know

  • Sergio Aguero has now scored 94 Premier League goals - at least 16 more than any other player since his debut.
  • David Silva now has 56 Premier League assists, 12 more than any other player since his debut.
  • Aston Villa are winless in 14 Premier League away games, one short of their record in the competition (15 in December 2003).
  • Villa have failed to score in seven of their last nine Premier League games against Man City.
  • Only two teams in Premier League history have had fewer than 16 points after 29 games (Sunderland in 2005-06 and Derby in 2007-08 - both 10).

Line-ups

Man City

  • 1Hart
  • 3Sagna
  • 4Kompany
  • 30Otamendi
  • 22Clichy
  • 15Navas
  • 42Y TouréSubstituted forGarcia Alonsoat 80'minutes
  • 25Fernandinho
  • 21SilvaSubstituted forIheanachoat 70'minutes
  • 14BonySubstituted forSterlingat 62'minutes
  • 10Agüero

Substitutes

  • 5Zabaleta
  • 7Sterling
  • 11Kolarov
  • 13Caballero
  • 20Mangala
  • 72Iheanacho
  • 76Garcia Alonso

Aston Villa

  • 1Guzan
  • 21Hutton
  • 4Richards
  • 16Lescott
  • 6Clark
  • 43Cissokho
  • 15Westwood
  • 8Gueye
  • 17VeretoutBooked at 45minsSubstituted forBacunaat 74'minutes
  • 19J AyewSubstituted forSinclairat 80'minutes
  • 11AgbonlahorSubstituted forGestedeat 70'minutes

Substitutes

  • 5Okore
  • 7Bacuna
  • 9Sinclair
  • 25Gil
  • 31Bunn
  • 38Lyden
  • 39Gestede
Referee:
Lee Mason
Attendance:
53,892

Match Stats

Home TeamMan CityAway TeamAston Villa
Possession
Home71%
Away29%
Shots
Home22
Away2
Shots on Target
Home9
Away1
Corners
Home9
Away1
Fouls
Home10
Away10

Live Text

Match ends, Manchester City 4, Aston Villa 0.

Full Time

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

Foul by Raheem Sterling (Manchester City).

Idrissa Gueye (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Fernandinho (Manchester City).

Micah Richards (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt blocked. Rudy Gestede (Aston Villa) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

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

Foul by Idrissa Gueye (Aston Villa).

Attempt missed. Bacary Sagna (Manchester City) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Gaël Clichy.

Substitution

Substitution, Aston Villa. Scott Sinclair replaces Jordan Ayew.

Substitution

Substitution, Manchester City. Manu García replaces Yaya Touré.

Foul by Raheem Sterling (Manchester City).

Alan Hutton (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Raheem Sterling (Manchester City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Idrissa Gueye (Aston Villa).

Foul by Kelechi Iheanacho (Manchester City).

Idrissa Gueye (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Raheem Sterling (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Ashley Westwood (Aston Villa).

Attempt missed. Kelechi Iheanacho (Manchester City) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Vincent Kompany.

Substitution

Substitution, Aston Villa. Leandro Bacuna replaces Jordan Veretout.

Penalty missed! Still Manchester City 4, Aston Villa 0. Sergio Agüero (Manchester City) hits the right post with a right footed shot.

Penalty Manchester City. Kelechi Iheanacho draws a foul in the penalty area.

Penalty conceded by Ciaran Clark (Aston Villa) after a foul in the penalty area.

Offside, Manchester City. Bacary Sagna tries a through ball, but Jesús Navas is caught offside.

Substitution

Substitution, Aston Villa. Rudy Gestede replaces Gabriel Agbonlahor.

Substitution

Substitution, Manchester City. Kelechi Iheanacho replaces David Silva.

Goal!

Goal! Manchester City 4, Aston Villa 0. Raheem Sterling (Manchester City) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Jesús Navas with a cross.

Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Brad Guzan.

Attempt saved. Raheem Sterling (Manchester City) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by David Silva.

Substitution

Substitution, Manchester City. Raheem Sterling replaces Wilfried Bony.

Goal!

Goal! Manchester City 3, Aston Villa 0. Sergio Agüero (Manchester City) right footed shot from the left side of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by David Silva.

Attempt blocked. Sergio Agüero (Manchester City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Jesús Navas.

Foul by Wilfried Bony (Manchester City).

Micah Richards (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Sergio Agüero (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Idrissa Gueye (Aston Villa).

Goal!

Goal! Manchester City 2, Aston Villa 0. Sergio Agüero (Manchester City) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal.

Goal!

Goal! Manchester City 1, Aston Villa 0. Yaya Touré (Manchester City) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by David Silva.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Leicester29179352312160
2Tottenham291510451242755
3Arsenal29157746301652
4Man City28155852312150
5West Ham291310645331249
6Man Utd28138737261147
7Stoke29127103134-343
8Southampton29118103629741
9Liverpool2711884136541
10Chelsea29101094339440
11Everton28911851391238
12Watford29107122930-137
13West Brom2899102936-736
14Bournemouth2998123545-1035
15Crystal Palace2896133137-633
16Swansea2989122837-933
17Sunderland2967163554-1925
18Norwich2966173154-2324
19Newcastle2866162853-2524
20Aston Villa2937192255-3316
View full Premier League table

Top Stories