After seven straight league defeats, Aston Villa finally manages to grab a point as they hold table topper Manchester City to a goalless draw. Remi Garde’s first match as Villa manager might earn Villa a point, but failing to register even a single shot on target will surely make cracks in the new manager’s forehead. Surprisingly, Villa was solid defensively solid. Without the likes of injured Navas Aguero and Bony, City missed an attacking spearhead, City made Jesus Navas their main man today and it unsurprisingly ended 0-0. Sterling should have scored from a close range header and Fernando’s late header hit the bar. add to that a Fabian Delph shot rolled wide by the bottom corner. Kevin Dcore from close range Bruyne missed a golden opportunity to score from close range. Villa fans looked angry at Delph for some reason. Tactically and individually, City dominated and pressed.
Manchester City found a newfound energy in 2nd half, City had 13 shots on goal ( 10 came at the second half). Ciaran Clark of Villa was the best player on the pitch today. This was Villa’s first clean sheet this season while it was City’s sixth clean sheet in eight away matches this season.
Remi Garde said after the match, ”It was a nice experience and fantastic atmosphere. It was a tough game and I can be very happy with my team today.”
While City manager Pellegrini said, ”We’re disappointed with the draw. I think we did enough to win the game. Villa defended very well with nine or ten players.”
Guzan 8: Made a sublime save to deny Sterling from point blank range. Very good performance. Kept the effort of overlapping Kolarov out of danger.
Hutton 7: Good performance, but was shaky on the out ball, the right back made some excellent last-ditch blocks.
Richards 8: Lead from the front. Outstanding performance. Made 35 touches, won 4 out of 5 aerial duels, 8 clearances, 4 interceptions, 9 km covered.
Clark 8: Made some incredible tackles, cleared the ball out of danger zone at times. Excellent.
Amavi 6.5 Was very good. Completed 4 out of 5 take-ons. But, was getting outfoxed by Navas at times.
Veretout 6: Some neat play, good composure, though offered little going forward, got better as the game progressed.
Sanchez 6.5: Formed a good partnership with Veretout. Was comfortable on the ball. Almost swung in a corner.
Gana 6.5: Had so much class on the ball, Veretout, Sanchez and Gana’s midfield trio was really good in the middle of the pitch. Lad worked hard.
Gil 7: Majestic, magnificent little player. Was the main creative force.
Sinclair 7: Was really good at both attacking and defending. The main architect of the team’s shape.
Ayew 5.5: Made runs down the flanks, looked ineffective.
Hart 6.5: Didn’t have to save. Denied Gestede meticulously. Throw-in hurt Hart, inflicted him with pain.
Sagna 6.5: The right back didn’t commit an error defensively, but never got forward. Made a good clearance at 70′
Kompany 7: Typical Kompany like performance. Headed at the edge of the bar today.
Otamendi 7: Was yellow carded, made some timely tackles. Rose highest in the air to clear opponent corners
Kolarov 7: The overlapping fullback was very good, forced Guzan to make a save. Struck an acute drive to the face of the post. Though was being beaten too easily on the left.
De Bruyne 7: The Belgian missed a sitter from Navas’s low cross. Should have scored.
Fernandinho 7: Put pressure on Chelsea in the second half. Classy, passionate. Having Fernando beside him, gave him greater freedom.
Fernando 6: Was not bad. His header hit the woodwork. His 96 % pass accuracy speaks volumes. Shot inches wide.
Toure 6.5: Was not bad. Should continue playing as no. 10.
Sterling 6: Should have scored. Pacey, talented but lacks the finishing. Dived like Ashley Young, showed displeasure to ref.
Bony 6: Didn’t do enough. Was injured, subbed off early on.