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2020-21 English Premier League
  • Bernardo Silva (79')
  • Ilkay Gündogan (90' PEN)

Man City beat Villa with Silva's controversial late goal

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Villa almost got 'the luckiest clean sheet ever' vs. Man City (1:16)

Craig Burley praises Aston Villa's fight in their Premier League defeat vs. Manchester City. (1:16)

Bernardo Silva's controversial first Premier League goal of the season helped earn Manchester City a hard-fought 2-0 against Aston Villa at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday.

City knew that victory would see them go to the top of the Premier League -- at least temporarily -- while Villa's first team was playing in its first match since Jan. 1 due to a coronavirus outbreak at the club, which has seen several fixtures postponed.

Manchester United's 2-1 win at Fulham later on Wednesday pushed City down to second place, level with Leicester City, with United on top.

- Stream LIVE games and replays on ESPN+ (U.S. only)
- Man City's controversial 'offside' goal explained

Both sides had chances to win this match with City guilty of a string of horrendous misses as well as last-gasp defending to stop the visitors taking the lead.

City eventually did take the lead 11 minutes from time in controversial fashion as Rodri came back from an offside position to lay off Silva, who fired in from just outside the box.

The goal was allowed as Villa defender Tyrone Mings had chested the ball into Rodri's path, which signalled the end of the original move and meant the Spain international was allowed to interfere with play. Villa manager Dean Smith was red carded for his protests.

"It was a farcical decision," Smith said afterwards. "I've not seen a goal like that given. It needs to be looked at. I don't think anyone in this stadium thought it was a goal.".

Pep Guardiola's side made it 2-0 in stoppage time through Ilkay Gundogan's penalty after Matthew Cash handled a Gabriel Jesus header and the City boss was pleased with his side's overall performance.

"I had the feeling we controlled the game," he said after the match. "The top four players they have, player like Jack Grealish and Ross Barkley, the feeling is that wow, you feel the dangers in every actions.

"We arrived at the byline many times but could not score the goal but Bernando Silva was there and his goal made the difference.

"We struggled against Brighton in the last game - they are one of the best teams for creating chances, so it has been hard for us. Maybe they are not clinical but they are good.

"It was five to seven minutes where Aston Villa had two or three chances. When they can run with the likes of Ollie Watkins, Jack Grealish, Ross Barkley but we make actions and control the passes."

English Premier League Standings

POS Team GP GD PTS
1 Manchester City 32 +44 74
2 Manchester United 31 +27 63
3 Leicester City 31 +18 56
4 West Ham United 32 +11 55
5 Chelsea 31 +19 54
6 Liverpool 31 +16 52
7 Tottenham Hotspur 32 +17 50
8 Everton 31 +3 49
9 Arsenal 31 +8 45
10 Leeds United 31 0 45
11 Aston Villa 30 +10 44
12 Wolverhampton Wanderers 31 -10 38
13 Crystal Palace 31 -19 38
14 Southampton 31 -17 36
15 Newcastle United 32 -18 35
16 Brighton & Hove Albion 31 -5 33
17 Burnley 31 -17 33
18 Fulham 32 -18 26
19 West Bromwich Albion 31 -31 24
20 Sheffield United 31 -38 14