English Premier League
Result: Manchester City 3-0 Aston Villa
Date: 26 October 2019
Manchester City moved to within three points of Premier League leaders Liverpool with a 3-0 triumph over Aston Villa on Saturday afternoon.
Man City made five changes from their drubbing of Atalanta in the UEFA Champions League in midweek, with John Stones partnering Fernandinho in the centre of defence, while Bernardo Silva, David Silva and Gabriel Jesus returned to the line-up.
After a quiet start to the encounter, Pep Guardiola's troops had a scare in the 22nd minute after Stones gave away possession to John McGinn, who unleashed a curling shot that was brilliantly saved by goalkeeper Ederson.
City were struggling to get into their rhythm in the latter phase of the first stanza but they should have been ahead with three minutes remaining of the first stanza after Raheem Sterling cut-back on the left wing to setup David Silva who sent his effort just wide of the upright.
It took barely a minute inside the second stanza for the Citizens to finally break the deadlock, as Sterling slotted a low shot between the legs of goalkeeper Tom Heaton after being sent through on goal by Jesus.
The champions doubled their advantage in the 65th minute after Kevin De Bruyne's curling cross from the edge of the box evaded everyone in the crowded area inside the box and sailed past Heaton, with the goal getting the approval from the Video Assistant Referee.
IIkay Gundogan got the third goal for Guardiola's men with 20 minutes remaining after powering home a half-volley from the edge of the box on a rebound from Bernardo Silva's blocked effort.
However, the Citizens suffered another blow in their centre-back department, as Fernandinho was sent off after picking up his second yellow card for challenge on Keinan Davis.
The job was already done though with the sides both hitting the woodwork in the tail end, as the Citizens reclaimed their second position on the table, just three points behind leaders Liverpool, while Villa dropped slightly down to 13th.