Result: Manchester City 2-0 Aston Villa
Date: 20 January 2021
Manchester City claimed a sixth successive Premier League victory after defeating Aston Villa 2-0 at the Etihad on Wednesday evening.
Joao Cancelo, Rodrigo and Phil Foden were all recalled to the City line-up while Villa were playing for the first time since New Year's Day after a coronavirus outbreak, with Ross Barkley returning from injury.
The Citizens came very close to getting an early opener in the fourth minute after Bernardo Silva received a through ball at the near post but his shot from close range was saved by goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez before Matty Cash denied Raheem Sterling from the rebound with a clearance off the line.
Pep Guardiola's was forced into a change just before the half-hour mark after Kyle Walker sustained a thigh injury and was replaced by Oleksandr Zinchenko.
Barkley had Villa's first shot on target eight minutes before the break with a low curling shot from the edge of the box that was saved by shot-stopper Ederson in a relatively frustrating opening 45 minutes.
With the game opening up in the early exchanges of the first stanza, Cncelo came the closest to breaking the deadlock for City eight minutes inside the second stanza with a curling left-footed strike inside the box that clipped the top corner.
Douglas Luiz came close to getting the breakthrough for Villa in the 67th minute after latching onto a rebound from a free-kick on the edge of the box but his fierce strike across goal was parried away by Ederson at full stretch towards the bottom corner.
Silva eventually broke the ice for Guardiola's troops in the last 11 minutes with a curling strike into the top corner after Rodrigo took the ball away from Tyrone Mings coming from an offside position and played him through on goal.
IIkay Gundogan finally sealed the deal for City in the last minute from the penalty spot with a finish away from Martinez after Riyad Mahrez's cross struck the hand of Cash.