Premier League, Etihad Stadium
MANCHESTER CITY 4-0 ASTON VILLA
Goals: Dzeko (64', 71'), Jovetic (89'), Toure (90')
Edin Dzeko turned home from close range twice in quick succession to ease the tension all around the Etihad Stadium, although Pablo Zabaleta was a crucial part of both goals.
Then, late in the game, Stevan Jovetic and Yaya Toure—with a bustling solo run—added to the scoreline to imbue their team with confidence ahead of Sunday's decisive final game against West Ham.
Here is how the City players fared on Wednesday evening.
|Manchester City Player Ratings|
|Player||Half-time rating||Full-time rating|
First half analysis
Joe Hart: Had nothing of note to do.
Pablo Zabaleta: The most active player of the half by some margin, although his crossing did not quite hit the spot.
Vincent Kompany: Solid at the back, although most of the game took place further upfield.
Martin Demichelis: A relatively quiet first 45 for the Argentine.
Aleksandr Kolarov: Failed to match his fellow full-back's efforts, but put in a couple of dangerous deliveries.
Javi Garcia: Quiet as he often is, preferring to sit deep and keep things safe rather than instigate attacks.
Yaya Toure: Not quite his usual destructive self, as the main attacking impetus came from the likes of Silva and Zabaleta.
James Milner: Assisted Zabaleta well down the right, where City's main threat came from.
David Silva: Some smarter touches might have seen his side break the deadlock.
Samir Nasri: Squandered a couple of great openings.
Edin Dzeko: Relatively quiet in the first half, although the delivery to him was not great.
Second half analysis
Joe Hart: Missed one deep ball he perhaps should have claimed, but Weimann did not quite take advantage.
Pablo Zabaleta: Drove the team on, and got his rewards with the assist for the crucial first goal. A brilliant all-round performance.
Vincent Kompany: Kept things safe at the back as his team-mates finally produced the goods.
Martin Demichelis: A bit rash in the challenge, but keeping the clean sheet was the main thing.
Aleksandr Kolarov: Offered more of an attacking threat in the second half, helping his team keeping up the pressure.
Javi Garcia: Remained something of an observer.
Yaya Toure: A truly brilliant solo goal at the death heightened a performance that was otherwise slightly average.
James Milner: Withdrawn on the hour-mark for Jovetic, although that was perhaps more about changing City's shape than any comment on the Englishman's performance.
David Silva: A brilliant "pre-assist" released Zabaleta to create the first goal. A pass of world-class quality.
Samir Nasri: Less prominent in the second half, as Dzeko began filling his proper role.
Edin Dzeko: Broke the deadlock and then secured the points, earning him a resounding round of applause when he was substituted late in the game.