Manchester City vs Aston Villa Half-Time Update
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Manchester City vs Aston Villa Half-Time Update

Manchester City's David Silva

 

It’s reached half-time at the City of Manchester Stadium, where Roberto Mancini’s Blues lead Gerard Houllier’s Villains 2-0.

Man City took an early lead in the match – within five minutes, an outswinging Kolarov corner picked out Vieira, who headed onto the shoulder of Villa defender Ciaran Clark. The ball then fell nicely within the box for Yaya Toure to slot home.

Gabby Agbonlahor, who is marauding up and down the left-hand side of the pitch, had a chance just a few minutes later to quickly draw level, but his effort ended up wide of the target.

The second goal of the game also came from Manchester City, after 25 minutes – the scorer of the first became the creator of the second as Yaya Toure lifted a neat pass through for Mario Balotelli, with the Italian effortlessly striking the ball side-footed on the half-volley, beyond Brad Friedel and just inside the post.

Blues boss Mancini admitted earlier this week his side may only have “two options” of winning something this year, seemingly ruling out their chances of winning the Premier League and instead focusing on their two remaining cup competitions.

His team selection remains positive, with midfielder David Silva and defender Micah Richards returning, alongside veteran Patrick Vieira. Strikers Tevez and Dzeko drop to the bench. Long-term injury victim Michael Johnson joins them.

Villa raised eyebrows before kick-off with a surprise team selection including eight changes from the side that beat Blackburn at the weekend: Friedel, Clarke and Dunne are the only players retained, as Houllier looks to be focusing on the league form and a match against Bolton at the weekend.

United States International Michael Bradley starts in the centre of the Villa midfield, on loan from Borussia Mönchengladbach.

 

Manchester City: Hart, Boateng, Richards, K Toure, Zabaleta, Kolarov, Y Toure, Barry, Vieira, Silva, Balotelli

Substitutes: Taylor, Boyata, M Johnson, Dzeko, Jo, Tevez, Wabara

Aston Villa: Friedel, Herd, Clark, Dunne, Delph, Bannan, Bradley, Petrov, Agbonlahor, Delfouneso, Heskey

Substitutes: Marshall, Walker, Downing, Young, Pires, Albrighton, Reo-Coker

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