Manchester City Closes Gap On Premier League Leaders

By Chidi Nwoke, Abuja.

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Premier League champions Manchester City moved to within three (3) points of leaders Arsenal after beating Aston Villa 3-1, courtesy of goals from Rodri, Ilkay Gundogan and Riyad Mahrez at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.

The hosts started with a Erling Haaland in attack with Algerian Mahrez and Jack Grealish supporting on the wings. Aston Villa featured a front-two of Ollie Watkins and Leon Bailey as they looked to cause an upset.

Manchester City opened the scoring after 4 minutes when midfielder Rodri headed home a corner kick from Mahrez to make the scores 1-0.

Manchester City midfielder Rodri scores header against Aston Villa.

City continued to press as they looked to extend its lead at the Etihad Stadium and were rewarded in the 39th minute.

A cross from Haaland found midfielder Gundogan, who tapped the ball into the net to put City in a commanding position.

Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan (R) scores goal against Aston Villa.

The hosts seemed to be running away with all three points in the encounter, but were not finished with the scoring in the first half.

Just before half time, Grealish was fouled in Aston Villa’s box and the referee pointed to the spot for a penalty. Algerian Mahrez stepped up and fired the ball into the net to give City a three-goal lead going into the halftime break.

Manchester City winger Riyad Mahrez scores penalty against Aston Villa.

Then just before the start of the second half, Haaland was substituted with an apparent injury as he now becomes a doubt to feature in Wednesday’s top-of-the-table clash against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.

In the 61st minute, Aston Villa striker Watkins pulled one back for the visitors. However it was only to be a consolation goal as the match finished 3-1 in favour of Manchester City.

Manchester City have now capitalised on Arsenal’s failure to beat Brentford and will be looking to go level on points with the Gunners on the Premier League table with a victory, but will be first on the log with a superior goal difference.

For Aston Villa, they are 11th on the Premier League table and will next face Arsenal on Saturday at Villa Park.

Sunday’s Premier League results

Leeds 0-2 Manchester United

Manchester City 3-1 Aston Villa.

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