By Rhonda Richards | In Match Reports - Home Games
Manchester City continued their charge towards the Premier League title with a comprehensive 4-0 win over Aston Villa at the Etihad, and with a superior goal difference over Liverpool, realistically moved just a point away from wrapping up another league success.
With Liverpool having drawn 3-3 away at Crystal Palace in their last outing, Manuel Pellegrini’s men knew a win would leave them just needing a draw in their final game, bar a miraculous win for Liverpool.
The hosts did, however, find the first-half tough going on a rainy night, with Villa resolute in defence early on and proving a threat on the counter. Yaya Toure went close only for Brad Guzan to save, whilst Samir Nasri volley wide after a whipped cross in from James Milner.
The crowd were getting increasingly nervy as chance after chance went astray, including a curling free kick from Aleksandar Kolarov, but City finally found a way through after the break.
David Silva fed Pablo Zabaleta, and Edin Dzeko was on hand to tap home from close range to make 1-0. With the defence breached, Villa were unable to stop the avalanche as City finally ran away with it; Zabaleta was again the source down the right, pulling back for Nasri whose shot was blocked, only for Dzeko to knock home again.
Andreas Weimann did go close to ramping up the tension when his header struck the crossbar late on, but the home side pulled further clear as, first, Stevan Jovetic fired home to make it 3-0, before Yaya Toure charged through from midfield and blasted home to make it 4-0.
The final whistle saw the City fans erupt as the reality of another league title moved ever closer.
Man City: Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany, Demichelis, Kolarov, Garcia, Toure, Milner, Silva, Nasri, Dzeko.
Subs: Richards, Lescott, Negredo, Clichy, Fernandinho, Pantilimon, Jovetic.
Aston Villa: Guzan, Lowton, Vlaar, Baker, Clark, El Ahmadi, Westwood, Delph, Weimann, Bowery, Bertrand.
Subs: Bacuna, Steer, Sylla, Tonev, Holt, Robinson, Grealish.