Game | #5570 | 

Season | 2019-20 |

Matchday | #28 |

League Game | #22 | 
Manager Game | #66 |
Sunday, 12 January 2020
Premier League | Home | Manchester City | Villa Park | 41,823 | 

19-20 #28 10
19-20 #28 10

19-20 #28 11
19-20 #28 11

19-20 #28 1
19-20 #28 1

19-20 #28 10
19-20 #28 10


Game Summary |

Manager | Dean Smith | 

KO | 16.30 |
Referee | Jonathan Moss | 

 HT Score | 0-4 | 
 FT Score | 1-6 | 
 FT Result | Lost | 

Last 5 Games | LWLDL |  

Scorers | Anwar El Ghazi | pen 90' | 

Team News |

Ørjan Nyland retains his place for his first league start for over 12 months since the away draw with Preston North End on Saturday, 29 December 2018 and his first Premier League start. Marvelous Nakamba drops to the bench alongside Trézéguet and Frédéric Guilbert as Danny Drinkwater comes into midfield for his debut, Conor Hourihane is recalled to the starting line up along with Ahmed Elmohamady. Indiana Vassilev makes the bench for the third consecutive game with Tom Heaton, John McGinn, Wesley, Jed Steer, Matt Targett, Jonathan Kodjia and Keinan Davis all injured and Björn Engels and Jota not selected in the squad. 

Line Up |

GK Ørjan Nyland |

LB Neil Taylor |

CB Ezri Konsa |

CB Kortney Hause |

CB Tyrone Mings |

RB Ahmed Elmohamady |

M Danny Drinkwater | DEBUT | SUB OFF | 79' | 

M Douglas Luiz | SUB OFF | 65' | 

M Jack Grealish | BOOKED | 80' | 

M Conor Hourihane | SUB OFF | 71' | 

W Anwar El Ghazi | BOOKED | 54' | GOAL | 90' | 

Substitutes |

M Marvelous Nakamba | for M Douglas Luiz | 65' | 

W Trézéguet | for M Conor Hourihane | 71' | 

M Henri Lansbury | for M Danny Drinkwater | 79' |

Unused Substitutes |

GK Lovre Kalinić |

CB James Chester |

RB Frédéric Guilbert |

W Indiana Vassilev |

Cards |

Yellow | Anwar El Ghazi | 54' | 

Yellow | Jack Grealish for Dissent | 80' | 

Match Stats |

Possession F | 29
Possession A | 71
Shots F | 7
Shots A | 22
Shots on Target F | 1
Shots on Target A | 12
Corners F | 2
Corners A | 4
Fouls F | 5
Fouls A | 12

Team Stats |

Starting XI Average Age | 26.60 | 

Substitute Average Age | 26.86 | 

Oldest Player | Ahmed Elmohamady | 32.36 | 

Youngest Player | Douglas Luiz | 21.69 | 

Not Selected | 

CB Björn Engels 

W Jota

M Jacob Ramsey

CF Cameron Archer

Unavailable | 

Injury | 7 | 

CF Keinan Davis | Hamstring 30 Oct - Late Jan | 

GK Jed Steer | Hamstring 10 Nov - End Feb  | 

M John McGinn | Broken ankle 21 Dec - Late Mar |

LB Matt Targett | Hamstring 28 Dec - 12 Jan | 

GK Tom Heaton | Knee, ACL 1 Jan - 2020-21 |

CF Wesley | Knee, ACL 1 Jan - 2020-21 |

CF Jonathan Kodjia | Illness 8 Jan - 12 Jan | 

Loaned Out | 6 |

CM Jake Doyle-Hayes | Cheltenham Town | 1 August 2019 - 31 May 2020 | 

CF Rushian Hepburn-Murphy | Tranmere Rovers | 2 August 2019 - 31 May 2020 | 

CF Scott Hogan | Stoke City | 7 August 2019 - 31 May 2020 | 

RB James Bree | Luton Town | 8 August 2019 - 31 May 2020 | 

CF Callum O’Hare | Coventry City | 22 August 2019 - 31 May 2020 | 

W André Green | Charlton Athletic | 1 January 2020 - 31 May 2020 |  

 On this day 12 January 2020 

Midfielder Danny Drinkwater made his Villa debut aged 29 after joining on loan from Chelsea for the remainder of the 2019-20 season.​

Match Report

*BBC Sport*

*Sunday, 12 January 2020*


Sergio Aguero scored his 12th hat-trick to become the highest overseas goalscorer in Premier League history in rampant Manchester City's six-goal hammering of struggling Aston Villa.

The Argentine moved level - and then past - Thierry Henry, before joining Frank Lampard on 177 goals in England's top flight.

Only three men - Alan Shearer, Wayne Rooney and Andy Cole - are still ahead of him on the all-time Premier League list. Aguero's number of hat-tricks is a Premier League record.


It was part of a merciless City performance as they took apart a Villa side who were suffering their worst defeat since Liverpool beat them at 6-0 at Villa Park in February 2016 and have dropped into the relegation zone.


Riyad Mahrez scored the first two, with Gabriel Jesus splitting Aguero's double just before half-time.


The result leaves City second, the highest position they have occupied following a full round of matches since the beginning of November, although they remain 14 points behind leaders Liverpool, having played a game more.

It is scarcely believable now but there were some people who thought City had wasted their money when they spent £40m to buy Aguero from Atletico Madrid in 2011.


He scored twice against Swansea on his debut and it feels like he has not stopped finding the net since.


Aguero's most famous goal came at the end of that first season, against QPR to win the title, but for City fans his impact goes way beyond that single strike.


The 31-year-old is the club's record scorer and now needs only one more to reach 250 for the Blues in all competitions.

His first was a ferocious effort, the third a clinical strike after he had been given a clean sight of goal.


But maybe the best indication of the relentlessness with which Aguero goes about his job came from the long conversation he had with Mahrez after the half-time whistle had gone, when he demanded to know why his team-mate had not set him up about five minutes earlier.


City were 4-0 up at the time.

Sobering return for Drinkwater


It was a sobering return to action for Danny Drinkwater, who joined Villa on loan from Chelsea in midweek after a similar stint with Burnley came to an end.


This was Drinkwater's fourth appearance since March 2018 and remarkably meant four of the last five games he had played were against City - for three different clubs - all of which have ended in defeat.


Drinkwater started quite well, with a couple of simple touches.


But it wasn't long before he was showing clear signs of rustiness after being deprived of match action for such an extended period of time.

Drinkwater would have known Mahrez's strengths - he shared a dressing room with him as Leicester won the title. But he was powerless to stop the Algerian stepping around him, before darting into the area to put the visitors in front.


Six minutes later, Drinkwater unwisely decided to control and assess his options as the ball broke to him off Aguero deep inside his own box.

David Silva afforded no time, biting into the challenge and providing Mahrez with the opportunity to crash home his second.


After that it was an exercise in chasing shadows for the former England man, who needs to find his form quickly if he is to help Villa out of the problems they find themselves in.


Problems mounting for Villa


Watching from the stands, goalkeeping duo Tom Heaton and Pepe Reina were powerless to stop the first-half carnage.


With Heaton on crutches as a legacy of the season-ending knee injury he suffered at Burnley on 1 January, and Reina not registered in time to feature as he is about to complete a loan move from AC Milan, Orjan Nyland was handed his Premier League debut.


It proved to be a torrid afternoon for the 29-year-old Norwegian, who became the first goalkeeper in Premier League history to concede six goals on his first start in the competition.


Nyland was beaten at his near-post for the opener and Aguero's historic effort seemed to go straight through his hands.

Reina will surely start at Brighton next Saturday, knowing Villa must improve on their record of two top flight clean sheets since 16 September.


Villa now have a worse goal difference than Southampton, and they suffered that 9-0 home defeat by Leicester on 25 October.


A few fans headed for the stairs with their side 3-0 down after half an hour but the majority stayed with their team to the end and cheered loudly when Anwar el Ghazi scored their injury-time consolation from the penalty stop.


But, with a Financial Fair Play issue hanging over them if they return to the Championship after a single season in the top flight, it looks like being a busy couple of weeks for Villa as they try to bolster Dean Smith's squad.

Aston Villa boss Dean Smith: "It's tough when you come up against world-class teams.


"There's a professional pride as a coach and a team, and the third goal summed it up - they had about 20 passes without us laying a glove on them.


"We gave them too much respect.


"Our season is not going to be defined by defeats by Man City and Liverpool. You have to learn from this.


"We have to ask why weren't we competitive and why we gave them too much respect."

Aston Villa manager Dean Smith says his team's season "will not be defined" by their results against Manchester City and Liverpool.

Villa's 6-1 home defeat by City was their worst result since 2016.

It leaves them in the bottom three on 21 points, a point behind Watford and West Ham, with a worse goal difference than both.


"Two of the sides below us were playing each other and with us against Man City, you didn't need to be a betting expert to see we would be in the bottom three today," said Smith.


"But our season will not be defined playing Manchester City and Liverpool. Their three scorers today cost more than our whole squad."


Villa had high hopes of a respectable finish on their return to the top flight after a three-year absence last summer.


The club spent £130m on 12 players to bolster Smith's squad but following season-ending knee injuries for first-choice striker Wesley and goalkeeper Tom Heaton on New Year's Day, are trying to find replacements who will ensure they don't experience a swift return back to the Championship.

Veteran former Liverpool keeper Pepe Reina was at Villa Park for the Manchester City game and is expected to complete a loan move from AC Milan in the next 24 hours.


Villa remain on the hunt for a striker and against City gave a debut to former England midfielder Danny Drinkwater, who has joined on loan from Chelsea after Burnley cut short the 28-year-old's loan deal.


Drinkwater, who has only played three games in 17 months, was at fault for City's first two goals and looked off the pace as Villa struggled.


"Danny will make us a better team," said Smith. "He has looked good in training and he got 75 minutes today, which he needed. He was not the reason we lost 6-1."


Smith said if Villa fail in their striker search "we will cope".


However, they have scored more than once only three times in 13 Premier League games and conceded 23 in their last nine, which has included a single clean sheet, so there are clear issues to address at both ends of the pitch.


After Saturday's trip to Brighton, they face crucial games against Watford and Bournemouth. Looking further ahead, Villa's last game of the season is at West Ham, another of the clubs in a perilous position near the bottom of the table.


"We are a proud club," said Smith, a lifelong Villa fan. "Standing there at 6-0 was not a pretty picture.


"In the end, it was a containment job against a far superior team but we were contributors to our own downfall and their third goal summed up the game.

"They make 20 passes without any physical contact and when [Sergio] Aguero puts it into the top corner, there is no-one within three or four yards."

*The Guardian*

*Sunday, 12 January 2020*

Sergio Agüero hits hat-trick at Aston Villa in Manchester City demolition job

Manchester City reclaimed second place in the Premier League thanks to the leading overseas scorer in Premier League history. Sergio Agüero wrested that title from Thierry Henry here thanks to three goals that also took him beyond Alan Shearer’s record for the number of Premier League hat-tricks, with his 12th bringing up an extraordinary tally of 177 league goals since his arrival at Manchester City in 2011.

In addition to being a supreme predator Agüero has developed under Pep Guardiola to endanger defences in other ways too. Here, for instance, he helped to create both Riyad Mahrez goals while his fellow forward Gabriel Jesus also found the net on an afternoon when Aston Villa performed so badly that several unwitting assists could be attributed to them. Anwar El Ghazi’s late goal from a penalty certainly did not dilute their humiliation.

City were 4-0 up at half-time before Agüero added two more goals in the second period. The only positive that Villa’s manager, Dean Smith, could salvage from the rubble of this performance was that it strengthened the case for using this month’s transfer window to procure players capable of filling the holes ripped in his team by injuries even before City tore more.

While the visitors started here with two strikers, one an all-time great and the other Jesus, Villa had none at all. With Wesley injured and Jonathan Kodjia omitted, the winger El Ghazi had to fill in up front. And that was only one of the home team’s problems on an afternoon when they sank into the bottom three before kick-off owing to Watford’s win at Bournemouth. Things deteriorated from there.

One prospective signing, the goalkeeper Pepe Reina, was at Villa Park to run the rule over his potential new teammates before completing a loan move from AC Milan. If his reason for wanting to sign is to get more action, he will have been reassured. Whoever keeps goal for Villa will be very busy if their outfield players continue to dither as much as they did here.

Another loan signing, Danny Drinkwater, was cast straight into the starting lineup after arriving from Chelsea and must have wondered what he had let himself in for. At least he had an excuse for being bypassed by opponents, this being only his seventh league start since his £35m transfer from Leicester to Chelsea in 2017. An alarming number of his new teammates also struggled to keep up with City here. The home side were helpless onlookers as City strolled into a three-goal lead in the first half an hour.

Villa might have thought luck was going to smile on them when a slip by Agüero let Ezri Konsa off the hook after the defender had given the ball away with a loose pass in the 14th minute. But they were disabused of that notion within two minutes, a lovely individual goal by Mahrez heralding the start of the rout.

Mahrez collected the ball about 35 yards out after Kevin De Bruyne let an Agüero pass run to him. Then Villa were equally generous, with Drinkwater seemingly unable to do more than chug along behind the attacker, who waltzed into the box unchallenged before using Kortney Hause’s body as a shield and slotting a low shot past the unsighted Ørjan Nyland. Rather than wake Villa up, it seemed to render them even more passive.

Six minutes later Agüero took advantage of dawdling by Ahmed Elmohamady to prod the ball back from the byline. It landed at the feet of Drinkwater, whose lack of sharpness was exposed by David Silva, who nipped in to relieve him of the ball and feed Mahrez, who swished it into the net from 10 yards.

Villa deteriorated. Jesus fired just over the bar after a Konsa mistake in the 26th minute. City soon came back for more, scoring their third before the half-hour mark. De Bruyne breezed past Drinkwater in midfield before finding Agüero, who brushed aside Douglas Luiz before blasting into the net from 20 yards to equal Henry’s record. There was no chance of him stopping there. Jesus got in on the act before half-time, converting at the back post after De Bruyne had again been allowed to canter through midfield and deliver a superb low cross.

City created chances to increase their lead before Agüero did so in the 57th minute. Again De Bruyne motored past almost stationary Villa midfielders to supply David Silva, who slipped the ball through to Agüero. The striker held off Elmohamady and sidestepped Tyrone Mings before slotting home. He completed his hat-trick nine minutes from time. Hause gave the ball to Mahrez, he helped it on to Agüero and the Argentinian made no mistake.

City’s clean sheet was lost when Ilkay Gündogan tripped Trézéguet and El Ghazi netted from the spot but there could be no wiping away Villa’s woes.

Danny Drinkwater’s season gets worse against old friend Mahrez

Every single footballer in the world aims to be the big-game player who constantly shows up against the champions, but Danny Drinkwater may have taken this all a little too literally. His only start in his wasted half season at Burnley came at the beginning of last month when they were obliterated 4-1 at home to City. His last appearance for Chelsea? Their 2-0 loss to Manchester City in last season’s Community Shield. His last league start for Chelsea? A 1-0 defeat at the Etihad in March 2018. That fact alone should have been a red flag for Dean Smith.

Instead, five days after arriving on loan at Aston Villa, there he was in the starting lineup against the defending champions and for a few short minutes, things were actually going well. Playing from the left of a midfield two, he was handy in the early sterile exchanges as both teams settled into the match. One of his first touches was an interception in the middle of the field, which elicited applause from the home crowd, and he relieved pressure for his new team with a couple of nice, simple passes. He pointed, he yelled, he seemed comfortable in possession.

And then, 18 minutes into Drinkwater’s Aston Villa debut, his world was on fire. First Riyad Mahrez strolled down the right, untouched for what felt like an eternity, until Drinkwater stretched a lazy foot out in Mahrez’s general direction before watching as his former Leicester teammate strolled past him and towards scoring the first goal. Five minutes later he picked up possession inside the penalty area and seemed to think he had all the time in the world. He didn’t. As he was rushed from behind by David Silva, his panicked pass found Mahrez and that was the second goal. In the third goal, Kevin De Bruyne calmly dribbled past him and then found Sergio Agüero. Within half an hour he had helped City to three goals.

The trajectory of Drinkwater’s career has been alarming and a sad series of bad decisions. He remained at Chelsea after his manager told the world he was an irrelevance. He has been caught drink-driving after crashing into a wall. He has been beaten up after another drunken night out. The ruins of his career are not just the consequence of errant situations on the pitch, but wrong decisions.

But perhaps this instance isn’t all his fault. It was a bad choice from Smith to include him from the start against such a big team, so soon after his arrival and with so few minutes under his belt this season. The reason why is certainly clear: by Christmas, Villa had lost four games in a row, with one win in nine, and they finished 2019 in the relegation zone. They are in the midst of an injury crisis with Wesley, Tom Heaton and John McGinn all out with serious injuries. Their midfield has been constantly overrun. But Villa had also won two of their last three league games and against Leicester in the Carabao Cup semi-final they secured a productive first-leg draw with an extremely organised defensive display. There was little sense in starting such an unprepared player against one of the most vicious attacks in the world.

The thriving brilliance of Mahrez only emphasises the crisis of Drinkwater’s career. The Algerian has not always had the easiest time in the years since Leicester’s triumph. But his professionalism is reflected in how he has reacted to the opportunity borne out of Leroy Sané’s injury. From the very beginning of the season his game has flowed; he is dribbling more, contributing more key passes, taking fewer shots.

His two goals and performance were also a reflection of a City team that seem to be getting into gear. At the beginning of the Christmas period, City lodged a complaint with the Premier League over the schedule forcing them to play twice in 48 hours, yet through the heavy legs and countless dogged performances from Fernandinho, Manchester City appear to have come out of it stronger and after Agüero’s hat-trick, they have the Premier League’s top overseas goalscorer to show for it.

Drinkwater departed with his head down in the 79th minute, but the remaining fans in the stadium still applauded. He will surely get more games for Aston Villa and the opportunity to improve his form and rebuild his career. Whether he takes it is still a big unknown, but at the very least none of those Premier League games will be against Manchester City.