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Game #5653

Sunday, 12 February 2023

Attendance: 53,392


Premier League

11th (-)

Manchester City

Last 5: 🟥 🟩 🟩 🟥 🟥

Etihad Stadium

Villa become the first side to face Abu Dhabi since, to the surprise of no-one on nodding terms with reality, the Manchester interlopers were charged with “more than 100 breaches of Premier League financial rules between 2009 and 2018”.

In what is described as the biggest financial scandal and financial doping (aka cheating) ever seen in English football, the typically good grace of Abu Dhabi sees chief apologist Guardiola approach matters even handedly - denying any knowledge of how a small, provincial, unsuccessful club became an overnight heavyweight whilst calling any criticism “jealously.”

Given UEFA found Abu Dhabi guilty of similar charges only for the Court of Arbitration for Sport to find in favour of the club under severe legal pressure there is little confidence that justice will prevail.

What a time it would be to secure a first win against Abu Dhabi since 2013 but if recent history is anything to go by, the insipid, silent and fair-weather Abu Dhabi fan base will no doubt be treated to more refereeing generosity.

And so it became true.

Outplayed in the first half only for another dodgy penalty to put the game beyond Villa’s reach, the second half saw greater attacking intensity and a rearguard response from the ungracious Guardiola.

Meanwhile, curious to all Villa fans, was the subsequent noise from ‘fans’ of the other Birmingham club who found reason to rejoice at a defeat as meaningless as is their unrequited envy. We only care about the Villa.

Manchester City


Aston Villa

Assist(s) | Douglas Luiz | 61' |


Jhon Durán, cameo.




🥅 | 4’ Goal, 0-1, Manchester City, Rodri
🟨 | 37’ Booking, Lucas Digne
🥅 | 39’ Goal, 0-2, Manchester City, Ilkay Gündogan
🥅 | 45’+1 Goal, 0-3, Manchester City, Riyad Mahrez
🕒 | HT Manchester City 3-0 Aston Villa
🔁 | 60’ Sub off, Lucas Digne, Sub on, Jhon Durán
🔁 | 60’ Sub off, Emiliano Buendía, Sub on, John McGinn
🔁 | 60’ Sub off, Leon Bailey, Sub on, Álex Moreno
⚽ | 61’ Goal, 1-3, Ollie Watkins, Assist by Douglas Luiz
🟨 | 63’ Booking, Ezri Konsa for a bad foul
🔁 | 76’ Sub off, Ashley Young, Sub on, Philippe Coutinho
🔁 | 76’ Sub off, Jacob Ramsey, Sub on, Matty Cash
🕒 | FT Manchester City 3-1 Aston Villa


Ollie Watkins scores his 34th goal for the club on his 100th appearance after joining from Brentford under Dean Smith in September 2020 for a then record fee of £27,720,000.

Aston Villa

European Cup / Champions League: 🏆
UEFA Cup Winners Cup: ❌
League Champions: 🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆 🏆🏆
FA Cup Winners: 🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆 🏆🏆
League Cup Winners: 🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆
Last Trophy: 1995-96

Manchester City

European Cup / Champions League: ❌
UEFA Cup Winners Cup: 🏆
League Champions: 🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆 🏆🏆🏆
FA Cup Winners: 🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆 🏆
League Cup Winners: 🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆 🏆🏆🏆
Last Trophy: 2021-22


Manchester City

Previous 5 vs. Abu Dhabi: 🟥 🟥 🟥 🟥 🟨


Season | 2022-23 |
Matchday | #25 |
League Game | #22 |
Manager Game | #11 |
Sunday, 12 February 2023
Attendance | 53,392 |


Manager: Unai Emery | 🇪🇸 | Hondarribia, 2022-
Referee: Robert Jones | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | Merseyside, 2016-
Kick off: 4.30pm
Half Time Score: 🟥 0-3
Full Time Result: 🟥 Lost
Full Time Score: 🟥 1-3
Last 5: 🟥 🟩 🟩 🟥 🟥


Referee: Robert Jones | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | Merseyside, 2016-
Previous 5: 🟥 🟥 🟥 🟥 🟥
Last Match: 🟥 16 Oct 22, Villa 0-2 Chelsea (h) 🆘
Cards: 🟨 🟨 🟨
Assistants: Lee Betts, Ian Hussin
Fourth official: Chris Kavanagh.
VAR: Jarred Gillett.
Assistant VAR: Eddie Smart.

Villa have never won a top flight game officiated by Robert Jones and have just two wins in nine games refereed by Merseyside referee.



🟨 🟨

Manchester City


Robert Jones


No Tyrone Mings as injury rules Villa’s reborn talisman out with Calum Chambers in for a rare start.

Far better news is no place for the woeful Olsen despite two kid ‘keepers on the bench.

In other news the simply preposterous nature of all the signings under the former manager is underlined as the embarrassingly poor Jan Bednarek, fresh from his loan being terminated, scores one of the worst own goals of all time for his parent club Southampton.


Starting XI Average Age: | 27.27 |
Bench Average Age: | 24.47 |
Squad Average Age: | 25.87 |
Subs Average Age: | 26.66 |
Oldest Starter: RB Ashley Young | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | 37.62 |
Youngest Starter: M Jacob Ramsey | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | 21.73 |
Oldest Squad Player: RB Ashley Young | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | 37.62 |
Youngest Squad Player: GK Oliwer Zych | 🇵🇱 | 18.64 |
Oldest Substitute: M Philippe Coutinho | 🇧🇷 | 30.69 |
Youngest Substitute: CF Jhon Durán | 🇨🇴 | 19.18 |



Unai Emery | 🇪🇸 |

Pep Guardiola | 🇪🇸 |

Aston Villa

GK Emiliano Martínez | 🇦🇷 |
RB Ashley Young | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | 🔁 |
CB Ezri Konsa | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | 🟨 |
CB Calum Chambers | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 |
LB Lucas Digne | 🇫🇷 | 🟨 | 🔁 |
M Douglas Luiz | 🇧🇷 |
M Boubacar Kamara | 🇫🇷 |
M Jacob Ramsey | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | 🔁 |
W Leon Bailey | 🇯🇲 | 🔁 |
W Emiliano Buendía | 🇦🇷 | 🔁 |
CF Ollie Watkins | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | ⚽ |

Manchester City

GK Ederson | 🇧🇷 |
RB Kyle Walker | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 |
CB Aymeric Laporte | 🇪🇸 |
CB Rúben Dias | 🇵🇹 | 🟨 | 🔁 |
LB Rodri | 🇪🇸 | ⚽ |
M Ilkay Gündogan | 🇩🇪 | ⚽ |
M Kevin De Bruyne | 🇧🇪 |
M Bernardo Silva | 🇵🇹 |
M Jack Grealish (ex) | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | 🔁 |
W Riyad Mahrez | 🇩🇿 | ⚽ | 🔁 |
CF Erling Haaland | 🇳🇴 | 🔁 |


🔁 | CF Jhon Durán | 🇨🇴 | for LB Lucas Digne | 🇫🇷 | 60’ |
🔁 | M John McGinn | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 | for W Emiliano Buendía | 🇦🇷 | 60’ |
🔁 | LB Álex Moreno | 🇪🇸 | for W Leon Bailey | 🇯🇲 | 60’ |
🔁 | M Philippe Coutinho | 🇧🇷 | for W Ashley Young | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | 76’ |
🔁 | RB Matty Cash | 🇵🇱 | for M Jacob Ramsey | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | 76’ |


🔁 | CB Manuel Akanji |🇨🇭| for CF Erling Haaland | 🇳🇴 | 46’ |
🔁 | CF Julián Álvarez | 🇦🇷 | for CB Rúben Dias | 🇵🇹 | 46’ |
🔁 | M Phil Foden | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | for M Jack Grealish (ex) | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | 69’ |
🔁 | CB Nathan Aké | 🇳🇱 | for W Riyad Mahrez | 🇩🇿 | 85’ |


GK Viljami Sinisalo | 🇫🇮 |
GK Oliwier Zych | 🇵🇱 |
M Leander Dendoncker | 🇧🇪 |
CB Sil Swinkels | 🇳🇱 |


GK Stefan Ortega | 🇩🇪 |
RB Rico Lewis | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 |
LB Sergio Gómez | 🇪🇸 |
M Cole Palmer | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 |
M Kalvin Phillips | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 |


1st XI Cost: £163.71m
Home Nation 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 🇬🇧 : 5/11
Homegrown: 1/11
Subs Cost: £61.62m
Team Cost: £225.33m
Squad Cost: £238.83m
Home Nation 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 🇬🇧 : 7/20
Homegrown: 4/20


GK Emiliano Martínez | 🇦🇷 | £19.58m |
GK Oliwier Zych | 🇵🇱 | Youth |
GK Viljami Sinisalo | 🇫🇮 | Free |

LB Lucas Digne | 🇫🇷 | £27.00m |
RB Matty Cash | 🇵🇱 | £14.18m |
LB Álex Moreno | 🇪🇸 | £12.00m |
RB Ashley Young | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | Free |

CB Ezri Konsa | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | £11.97m |
CB Calum Chambers | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | Free |
CB Sil Swinkels | 🇳🇱 | Youth |

M Philippe Coutinho | 🇧🇷 | £18.00m |
M Douglas Luiz | 🇧🇷 | £15.12m |
M Leander Dendoncker | 🇧🇪 | £13.50m |
M Jacob Ramsey | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | Youth |
M John McGinn | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 | £2.79m |
M Boubacar Kamara | 🇫🇷 | Free |

W Emiliano Buendía | 🇦🇷 | £34.56m |
W Leon Bailey | 🇯🇲 | £28.80m |

CF Ollie Watkins | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | £27.72m |
CF Jhon Durán | 🇨🇴 | £14.65m |


1st XI Cost: £617.05m
Home Nation 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 🇬🇧 : 2/11
Homegrown: 0/11
Subs Cost: £71.57m
Team Cost: £688.62m
Squad Cost: £743.68m
Home Nation 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 🇬🇧 : 6/20
Homegrown: 3/20


GK Ederson | 🇧🇷 | £36.00m |
GK Stefan Ortega | 🇩🇪 | Free |

LB Rodri | 🇪🇸 | £56.43m |
RB Kyle Walker | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | £47.43m |
LB Sergio Gómez | 🇪🇸 | £11.70m |
RB Rico Lewis | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | Youth |

CB Nathan Aké | 🇳🇱 | £40.77m |
CB Rúben Dias | 🇵🇹 | £61.20m |
CB Aymeric Laporte | 🇪🇸 | £57.52m |
CB Manuel Akanji |🇨🇭| £15.50m |

M Jack Grealish (ex) | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | £105.75m |
M Kevin De Bruyne | 🇧🇪 | £68.40m |
M Bernardo Silva | 🇵🇹 | £45.00m |
M Kalvin Phillips | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | £43.36m |
M Ilkay Gündogan | 🇩🇪 | £24.30m |
M Phil Foden | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | Youth |
M Cole Palmer | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | Youth |

W Riyad Mahrez | 🇩🇿 | £61.02m |

CF Erling Haaland | 🇳🇴 | £54.00m |
CF Julián Álvarez | 🇦🇷 | £15.30m |


Injury | 3 |
GK Jed Steer | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | Achilles
CB Diego Carlos | 🇧🇷 | Achilles
CB Tyrone Mings | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | Unknown

Unregistered | 1 |
CB Kortney Hause | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 |

Out On Loan | 12 |
M Finn Azaz | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | Plymouth
CF Wesley | 🇧🇷 | Levante
W Jaden Philogene-Bidace | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | Cardiff
CF Keinan Davis | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | Watford
FB Ben Chrisene | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | Kilmarnock
M Tim Iroegbunam | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | QPR
CF Cameron Archer | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | Middlesbrough
M Morgan Sanson | 🇫🇷 | Strasbourg
CF Louie Barry | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | Salford City
M Aaron Ramsey | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | Middlesbrough
M Marvelous Nakamba | 🇿🇼 | Luton Town
CB Lamare Bogarde | 🇳🇱 | Bristol Rovers

Not Selected | 1 |
GK Robin Olsen | 🇸🇪 |


Not Recorded

Player Abbreviations:

GK : Goalkeeper

LB, RB, FB : Left Back, Right Back, Full Back

CB, D : Centre Back, Defender

M, W : Midfielder. Winger

F, CF : Forward, Centre Forward

🟢 : Debut 🔴 : Final Game


⚽ | Goal
🔥 | Assist
🔁 | Substitution

🟨 | Booking

🟥 | Sending off

🆘 | Poor refereeing performance




Possession F | 33%
Possession A | 67%
Shots F | 6
Shots A | 17
Shots on Target F | 2
Shots on Target A | 9
Corners F | 4
Corners A | 8
Fouls F | 14
Fouls A | 13


2021-22 Matchweek 38.jpg


Quotation Marks.png


“We knew this would be a tough game after three away wins but we were not competitive. They were clinical, but we made mistakes today, three very important goals we could avoid normally.

“In the second we tried to be consistent, forget the score and be competitive and I think we did that in the second half.

“We have to be clinical with the chances we get, but in the first half they were better than us and decided the match. I can only say sorry to our supporters, and we did not play in the way we have been.

“We spoke about being competitive, stopping mistakes and trying to get a goal but it was difficult after going three down to do more in the second half.

“We have to be positive when we are winning, and we have to learn how to respond and although the result was bad we tried to show our mentality in the second half. It was a bad result, but we have to learn and use it in the next matches.

“After our three victories away, we were thinking as well to keep consistency and be competitive. Of course we know today was a tough match. We were playing against one of the best teams in the Premier League and it was difficult here because they were clinical.

“We made some unusual mistakes but at the end of the first half, we kept our position on the pitch, trying to score one goal and not concede many chances and we did it but really now it is finished and we think about the next match at home against Arsenal on Saturday.

”Hopefully he [Tyrone Mings] will be back. He had a small injury and didn’t train this week but hopefully for the next week he is going to get better and I am thinking maybe he will play on Saturday. If not, we have another centre-back like Calum Chambers and we have to believe in every player.”

“Yes he [Jhon Durán] has potential but he has to work as well, tactically, offensively and defensively. He has to adapt to his team-mates and our rhythm and as well every minute he is playing now on the pitch is very good for him, for the team but we have to be patient with him.”

“The first half was the worst performance we’ve had in the matches that we’ve played. Of course, they are a very good team and they needed to win to fight with Arsenal for this Premier League. But we started to create good chances in the first five minutes and we started very good, our shape, good positioning.

“But the first mistake we made, they scored with the corner. We continued with good ball possession and positionally defensively and we didn’t concede a lot of chances in that first half. The second goal was, again, a big mistake between the goalkeeper and Calum Chambers. The communication wasn’t good and they scored the second goal. We were a little upset but, of course, we were still in the match at 2-0 but the third goal made it very difficult for us. This penalty, I think, we shouldn’t have decided to do.

“The second half we were speaking of trying to forget result and to continue our work and to improve and be competitive like the last matches away. I think the second half was different. Maybe they changed something as well, maybe pushing less than the first half but we played better. It was different. Today, they deserved to win and we have to take a lot of information from the match, for us, and to use in the next match.

“We are 11th and our objective this year is very clear. When I arrived here we were at the bottom and we had to keep safe in the Premier League. It’s not easy and now we’re in a good position. We have to continue to be competitive, to improve and our objective could be to finish in the top 10. The first objective is clear is to stay in the Premier League. The second objective is to try and be in the top 10 and then, of course, trying to get up and be close to the teams in Europe. The process needs time and patience. Today, I can be disappointed but I really want to analyse this match with the players and use for the next matches and challenges which is at home against Arsenal. Today was about using the experience.

“Duran has to learn quickly.

“Yes he has potential but he has to work as well, tactically, offensively and defensively.

“He has to adapt to his team-mates and our rhythm and as well every minute he is playing now on the pitch is very good for him, for the team but we have to be patient with him.”

“He has to be competitive as well. Then, play minutes and take experiences like today.

“We are going to continue to work with him. He’s young and I don’t want to give him a lot of responsibility and give him pressure. He played good minutes today but, tactically of course, I want more. I want to continue with him. First, giving him chances to play but, of course, being very demanding as well about tactical work I want to do.

“I don’t know. Hopefully, in two or three days he’ll [Tyrone Mings] get better. We were thinking at the beginning, having spoken with the doctor, that he could be ready for Saturday. But, again, I try to give confidence to everybody. Calum played today, the second goal was not good communication with Emiliano and him. He played a match like another… He played a good match.

Unai Emery.


“It was not good enough from us collectively as a team.

“Don’t get me wrong, they are world-class players but we were too soft, me especially when Rodri ran past me for that goal. I should have made the second block and I feel I let us down today.

“Against City you cannot give away easy goals. The first was from a set-piece and then it is hard to get back into the game.”

“He [Emery] told us that if you make a mistake, own it and don’t look at anyone else. We have to learn from this.

“He said about being humble, step up to the plate, focus on scoring one goal and try to get two. We did that but didn’t get the second.

“I think when you go a goal ahead twice like when we played Leicester, against Man City you can’t give away easy goals. The first one from a set-piece early on and then it’s hard to get back into the game, they dominate possession and they are so patient on the ball it is always hard to get back into the game.

“We work on them [set pieces] so much, we have a set-piece coach who does an unbelievable job, attacking and defending. They punished us today, but set-pieces is one of our strong points we’re just having a little blip

Ollie Watkins.

*BBC Sport*
Sunday, 12 February 2023

**Three first-half goals helped Manchester City see off Aston Villa in their first game since being accused of more than 100 rule breaches by the Premier League.**

Those allegations have made it a testing week off the pitch for the defending champions but they responded in impressive style with some vibrant early attacking play, and were able to survive a slightly nervy finish.

It was not quite a vintage display by Pep Guardiola’s side, who will go top of the table if they beat leaders Arsenal at Emirates Stadium on Wednesday, but they were much more like their old selves.

The noisy atmosphere certainly helped. Guardiola had issued a defiant response to the charges before the game, and City’s fans reacted in similar fashion at a vibrant Etihad Stadium, singing songs about their situation and in support of their manager, and also the club’s owner Sheikh Mansour.

City’s players appeared galvanised too, and made the perfect start when Rodri headed home Riyad Mahrez’s corner, but they had to wait until just before the break to add to their lead.

Calum Chambers’ attempt to cut out a Kevin de Bruyne through-ball saw him head the ball beyond his on-rushing keeper Emi Martinez and, although Erling Haaland could not convert from a tight angle, he had the composure to look up and find Ilkay Gundogan for a tap-in.

Mahrez made it 3-0 from the penalty spot soon afterwards, after Jacob Ramsey had clipped Jack Grealish inside the box.

That should have been the end of Villa’s hopes, but they were gifted a way back into the game just after the hour mark.

Bernardo Silva’s error allowed Ollie Watkins space to run through and he beat Ederson with a cool finish.

City still had the cushion of a two-goal lead but continued to be sloppy when they played out from the back and were grateful to see a long-range effort from Philippe Coutinho deflected just over, while Jhon Duran hit the bar with a fierce volley in the dying seconds.

Guardiola had promised beforehand that his team would ignore any off-field noise concerning the club’s situation, but City’s fans created plenty of that themselves.

They showed they were able to smile at some of the possible punishments they face if found guilty, singing “City going down with a billion in the bank” as the team bus arrived, and the chants about their situation continued once the game started.

There were banners too, including one with a rude gesture directed at the Premier League, with the accompanying message reading “investigate this”.

But the commotion certainly did not distract City’s players - if anything they appeared more fired up than they have been in recent weeks, reflected in their fast start which proved enough to earn them the points.

Villa start badly but end well

On paper a second successive defeat might indicate a backward step for Villa after their good start to the year, but Unai Emery’s well-organised side eventually showed why their results have been much improved in 2023.

For long periods before the break Villa sat back and looked to hit the home side on the break, but were let down by needless defensive mistakes - the worst of which cost them the second goal.

They got greater rewards when they pressed higher up the pitch in the second half, bringing loud groans from the home side whenever they won the ball back.

The pace of Watkins was a constant threat, but the non-stop running of substitute Duran set the tone for Villa’s efforts in the final minutes, and he was unlucky not to pull another goal back before the end.