Dominant Blues suffer shock defeat
By Aaron Leggott
A second half turnaround from Aston Villa ensured a brilliant week culminated with a sour ending as the Blues succumbed to their second Premier League defeat of the season.
In truth, anyone who watched the game would have expressed their surprise at this result, such was City's domination for large periods of the game.
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Yaya Touré opened the scoring for the Blues, before Karim El Ahmadi levelled the scoreline just after half time. Edin Džeko almost instantly replied to put City back ahead before goals from Leandro Bacuna and Andreas Weimann secured the points for the Villans.
As mentioned, City perhaps undeservedly came out second best in this clash, evident by some of the slick football on display by the likes of Samir Nasri and Yaya Touré.
With Sergio Agüero missing out due to a slight knock, both Džeko and Álvaro Negredo started up front for City, with the former having one of the best chances of the game on seven minutes - only to see Brad Guzan force his effort wide.
Moments later, Nasri was proving what a dangerous player he is when his effort forced Fabian Delph to deflect the ball just wide, before Aleksander Kolarov fired an acrobatic effort just wide of the goal on 30 minutes.
Villa were limited in terms of chance creation during the first half, with only El Ahmadi having a shot of any worth after his 25 yard freekick flew wide of Joe Hart's post.
Frustration was the word on everybody's lips during the first half, with the Blues only registering one shot on target in eight attempts after 33 minutes.
But, the best chance of the game so far fell on 41 minutes, when Touré's header went past Guzan, only for Antonio Luna to hack the ball off the line.
The deadlock was finally broken on the brink of half time from Touré though after he finished off Nasri's corner with ease. It was dreadful defending, and a prime example of when zonal defending doesn't work if not used properly.
But just five minutes after the break, Villa equalised under controversial circumstances when El Ahmadi stroked the ball past Hart, despite replays clearly showing the Dutchman was well offside.
It only took City six minutes to regain the advantage though, and Džeko exploited Villa's weakness at set pieces once again after Nasri's corner found the Bosnian unmarked, and he had the simplest of tasks to head the ball past Guzan.
But with David Silva still out injured, Nasri was proving to Manuel Pellegrini why he should be consistently in the first team with yet another brilliant display, and it was arguably the Chilean's decision to substitute Nasri that hindered City's chances of getting all three points.
And somewhat out of the blue, Villa got their equaliser on 72 minutes after Bacuna's free kick gave Hart no chance in the City goal, before Weimann finished things off after a simple punt upfield by Guzan saw the Austrian through on goal and he tapped the ball past an onrushing Hart to give the home side a shock victory.
City tried pushing for a late equaliser, but Villa held firm and held on for all three points. A disappointing result given the performance put in by the players, but it is important for them all to keep concentration levels high in every game.