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Player Ratings: Manchester City 2–0 Aston Villa

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Villa’s defensive solidarity came unraveled through poor officiating throughout the night at the Etihad. Here’s how Sebastian rates the Villa players.

Manchester City v Aston Villa - Premier League Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

On a night where the media should be praising how the courageous efforts of the Aston Villa defense stopped a Manchester City team from going top of the table after having not playing a competitive game of football for three weeks, it will instead be dominated by confusion over the laws of the offside rule and the ineptitude from the man in the middle Jonathan Moss.

Emi Martínez: 9

A resilient display from Villa’s Argentine between the sticks showed exactly why he has such a large number of clean sheets this season. There was nothing he could have done about both goals, one a cute finish into the top corner and the other a penalty in the closing stages. Another commanding display on show.

Matty Cash: 8

Often found himself a victim of a Manchester City overlap due to the lack of defensive responsibility from Bertrand Traoré. Was not afraid to put his body on the line to stifle an attack from the opposition. Conceded a penalty in the closing minutes due to a handball; however, some may argue he on the wrong end of an incorrect decision.

Ezri Konsa: 9

A performance which Konsa should take a lot of pride from, having caused plenty of frustration to the City attackers due to his resilience and his defensive positioning allowing him to dispossess the front line on multiple occasions.

Tyrone Mings: 8

Another player willing to throw his body on the line in order to keep the City attack at bay, enjoying a very good first half with few errors. However, the first goal stemmed from the centre back’s lack of awareness and hesitation on the ball. Although most will argue the goal should not have counted, without Mings taking too long and losing the ball, it never would’ve happened in the first place.

Matt Targett: 10

A dominant display from the left back. Due to Targett’s positional awareness he managed to make countless interceptions and blocks, often frustrating the Manchester City attackers and forcing them to play down the other channel. Hopefully, the injury he sustained late in the second half is not too serious.

Douglas Luiz: 8

A dominant display from the Brazilian under the watchful eye of his former manager. Luiz provided efficient cover sitting comfortably in front of the back four whilst also looking to start multiple counter attacks. The 22-year-old looked more than comfortable playing against a midfield packed full of experienced internationals.

John McGinn: 7

The Scotsman, playing further forward than his Brazilian counterpart, often found himself frustrated after many incomplete passes gave possession away countless times when attacking. He also found himself with a good chance of a shot at goal which he scuffed. However, he can afford to be excused after his persistent running to win back possession and his brilliant work when defending goal.

Ross Barkley: 7

His first match back in action after nearly three months out with a hamstring injury which was evident as Ross often found himself losing possession after holding on to the ball for too long and not seeing the bigger picture. Certainly not his best game wearing claret and blue but instead a performance to build on in his road to full match fitness.

Jack Grealish: 8

It would probably not come as a shock to many that most of Aston Villa’s dangerous attacks came through their captain and talisman. Often found himself causing the City defence problems with his tricky feet. Also did not hesitate to get back and contribute defensively, forming a solid partnership on the left flank alongside Matt Targett and not allowing any dangerous City attacks to stem down his side.

Bertrand Traoré: 6

The Burkina Faso international neglected his defensive responsibility on a number of occasions, allowing dangerous Manchester City attacks. The forward also endured a frustrating night in the attacking half of the pitch, working himself into many good positions with the ball, but lacking the finishing ability to ever trouble the Manchester City goalkeeper.

Ollie Watkins: 7

A quiet night for the striker who was fed mere scraps throughout the ninety minutes of play. His link up play was well worked and precise in the few moments on the ball he was allowed whilst also putting in one or two dangerous crosses into the area that just begged for a touch from the players in the box.

Substitutes:

Anwar El Ghazi: 6

Neil Taylor: 6

Jacob Ramsey: 6