Brilliant Balotelli Blasts the Sky Blues to the Top of the League
By George Adams
Only a few seasons ago this fixture would have been a game between two equally matched teams jostling for the 6th position in the league, now, with Man City as odds on favourites and Villa looking likely to drop into mid table obscurity it is a paradigm for the directions the two clubs have travelled in. The end result only emphasised the huge chasm between the two teams and the ease of victory should be alarming for even the most hopeful of Villains. City fielded a weakened team with the likes of Silva and Nasri dropping to the bench whilst Villa saw Heskey return to the starting line up following a length lay off.
It was Villa that had the first chance as the pace of Agbonlahor provided too much for Joleon Lescott and Villa were gifted with an early opportunity but Hart made a fine save one on one. The ever eccentric Mario Balotelli provided the breakthrough for City with an exquisite overhead kick following some poor defensive work from a corner and he let the Villa fans know who’d scored in order to respond to an earlier provocation from them after he slipped over in front of them; revealing once more the volatile side of Balotelli who doesn’t respond too kindly to critics.
Man City coasted to a three goal deficit following more slack defending as Warnock’s comedic attempt at an overhead kick ended embarrassingly with Johnson mopping up after him and slotting home a second. The third came from an unchallenged Kompany header from a corner and a glimmer of hope was then restored as Warnock making some amends for his earlier humiliation thumped home an emphatic finish on the volley to make it 3-1. This was soon snuffed out however with Milner curling superbly into the top right corner of the goal from 20 yards from Barry’s ball. Milner respectfully refused to celebrate the goal against his old club and for Villa this must have been the most painful blow of the day as only a few years ago they would have both been wearing claret and blue.
Alarming times for Villa fans who must convince themselves they’re not a selling club which is becoming harder and harder to justify with each season. As for City they calibre of their squad is clearly visible with the likes of Johnson and Milner being able to come into the team from the bench and dominate the game. They now top the table following United’s draw with Liverpool much to the delight of the Citizens’ fans and without doubt will they be around there come May.