Manchester City dropped points for the second time in the young season. The Skyblues couldn’t get past a 1-1 draw against Aston Villa – despite Erling Haaland scoring again
At first, Haaland was loudly upset, then he was virtually nowhere to be seen – and in the end he cheered again. On City’s first big chance in the 4th minute, he would have liked to have seen a clearance from the finishing Walker, then the Norwegian striker received virtually no balls in the first period.
The Skyblues, driven by the omnipresent De Bruyne, who was back in the starting line-up compared to the 6-0 win over Nottingham and fired in a dangerous shot from distance (9th minute), set the tone as usual but were hardly compelling after a dominant opening period. The home side, who are still winless, became increasingly adept at sealing the space in the centre, conceding less and less as the game wore on and had a good chance themselves through Watkins (38th).
Haaland scores with the first chance – Bailey strikes back
Shortly after the break, the bottom side found themselves behind – and of course the reason was Haaland: a cross from De Bruyne deflected over the misjudging Villa keeper Martinez to the second post, where the Norwegian scored from close range to give City the lead (50th) – his tenth goal of the season in the sixth game.
Villa fought back at first, but missed chances by Ramsey (58.) and Bailey (59.) – and then had to pay tribute to the superiority of the visitors. Haaland (64th, 69th) and the outstanding De Bruyne (67th, 71st) could have decided the game early, the second goal for ManCity was in the air – and then Villa scored: Ramsey crossed after an energetic solo for Bailey, who nailed the ball under the crossbar (74th).
City’s final offensive without yield
The defending champions, who had previously combined so impressively, initially lost their rhythm a little, but then once again launched a proper final offensive. But Rodrigo’s low shot just missed the target (88th) and Martinez saved from Foden (90.+1), and City’s deserved victory was not to be.
While the Citizens missed out on a temporary move to the top of the table, Villa coach Steven Gerrard may have given his wobbly coaching chair some security with the surprise point win.