An inspired second-half performance saw 10-man Manchester City move to within three points off Liverpool momentarily after a 3-0 win over Aston Villa with all the goals coming in the closing stanza.
City started the game with much intent looking to regain the second spot after being pipped by Leicester City following their record-equalling 9-0 win over Southampton. The Blues dominated possession early on but Villa were a well organized defensive unit.
There were a couple of penalty shouts which were all waved away with the first coming in the 20th minute when City appealed for a penalty when Sterling’s shot hit a Villa defender and spun wide. The second came three minutes later when Douglas Luiz went down under the challenge of Joao Cancelo.
D. Silva chance
City could have gone into the half time break leading but David Silva missed the best chance of the half in the 43rd minute after Sterling made a ran infield onto Gundogan’s return pass and eased the ball back towards Silva. The Spaniard dragged a low, first-time shot just wide of the far post.
Guardiola had some harsh words for his charges at half time which was evident from the way City resumed the second half as Sterling scored 20 seconds after the resumption, pouncing on a long ball that the Villa defense failed to deal with to calmly slot the ball home.
De Bruyne goal
City doubled their lead in the 65th minute when a short corner was played to Benjamin Mendy who teed up De Bruyne to whip in a cross that went all the way in after Raheem Sterling and David Silva somehow avoided the ball with the goal awarded after VAR check.
City put some daylight between them and Dean Smith's side three minutes later when Villa could only partially clear after a goalmouth melee as the ball fell to Gundogan, who waited for the ball to bounce up and lashed a vertical scissor-kick that went through a posse of bodies and into the net.
City were reduced to 10 men for the second game in a row when Fernandinho was sent off for a second yellow card, having been adjudged to have pulled back Davis. City now look short of central defenders with Laporte and Otamendi out and now Fernandinho and Rodri who have slotted there are also out.
City next face Southampton in the League Cup on Tuesday 29th October while Aston Villa will look to pick themselves up against Wolverhampton Wanderers a day later in the same competition.
Match Statistics: Manchester City vs Aston Villa