Man City close on Premier League title with 2-1 win at Villa


Soccer Football - Premier League - Aston Villa v Manchester City - Villa Park, Birmingham, Britain - April 21, 2021 Aston Villa's Tyrone Mings and Ross Barkley after the match REUTERS/Geoff Caddick

BIRMINGHAM, England (Reuters) - Manchester City recovered from conceding a very early goal to win 2-1 at Aston Villa on Wednesday and move a step closer to the Premier League title after a game in which both sides finished with 10 men.

City, who are 11 points ahead of Manchester United with five games left, were caught napping early when Villa took a quick free kick. A pass from Ollie Watkins found John McGinn and he rifled the ball home with 20 seconds on the clock.

City equalised in the 22nd minute after goalkeeper Ederson's long raking ball prompted a slick passing move that Phil Foden finished from the middle of the penalty area.

Displaying superb skill and close control, Foden was instrumental in City's second goal, winning a corner that led to Rodri heading home to give them the lead in the 40th minute.

The home side was thrown a lifeline minutes later when referee Peter Bankes upgraded a yellow card for City defender John Stones to red after reviewing video footage of his dangerous challenge on Jacob Ramsey before the break.

However, that advantage was cancelled out early in the second half when Villa's Matty Cash was sent off after picking up two yellow cards in quick succession.

Set to face Tottenham Hotspur in the League Cup Final on Sunday, City took their foot off the gas but were still able to control the rest of the game and close out the win.

City captain Fernandinho praised Foden for his performance.

"He's showed his quality, no doubt about that. He's matured, chooses better actions, scored today and he's been awesome, so pleased and happy for him because he's a nice boy and deserves the best," he told Sky Sports.

(Reporting by Philip O'Connor, editing by Ed Osmond)

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