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 not to have gone up 2-1 on Philippe Coutinho’s offside goal that wasn’t, but it’s impossible to know whether City would have 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 still have 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 have had two assists.
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)
Manchester City team news, injuries, lineup options
OUT: Aymeric Laporte (knee), Kalvin Phillips (shoulder), Luke Mbete-Tabu (concussion)
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Aston Villa vs Manchester City: Haaland scores again but Bailey steals the point originally appeared on NBCSports.com