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Vital League Cup Report - v Man City

Manchester City
2 - 4
Aston Villa

Etihad Stadium


Attendance: 28 015


Manchester City V Aston Villa
League Cup Match Report.

With £180 million of talent in the starting line up punters and pundits would have been forgiven for slapping their hard earn coin on a resounding City win. Indeed, after Villa's second-half mauling at the hands of Southampton, Tevez, Balotelli, Dzeko and co. must have been rubbing their hands expectantly. However, after a rain lashed gruelling work out against Villa's young guns, City found themselves ceremoniously dumped out of the League Cup, a competition they are yet to win.

It was Villa who started the brightest though they were guilty once more of not taking their chances, Benteke stuttering his lines twice. Unfortunately for Villa, not converting their early good play would cost them. In the 27th minute Balotelli found himself in receipt of a James Milner cross, spinning and shooting well to send the ball crashing passed Given. One chance; one goal. Villa perhaps did not deserve to be behind after a resounding first half performance in which they largely dominated, partly owing to a sluggish City showing. However, it was yet another reminder that possession is nothing without the goals that come from it.

Paul Lambert, who had made six changes tonight, showed faith in his players. His team responded and they needed to, for City came out the second half brighter, better and with a one goal lead. Villa pressed and fought back hard, hitting City on the counter attack with growing regularity, eventually equalising in the 59th minute. Weimann's daisy cutting cross was palmed away by Pantilimon toward a hapless Gareth Barry who could only watch on as it deflected into his own net. It was a fortuitous goal from the ex-Villa captain met with ironic cries of 'there's only one Gareth Barry,' from the jubilant away supporters.'

City struck back instantly with a Kolarov free kick. The dead ball specialist sent the ball curling over the wall and into the net, City re-taking the lead. Villa, who spectacularly collapsed against Southampton, have obviously, in their managers words, 'taken their medicine,' none more so than the scintillating Agbonlahor. Now in his favoured central position he began the business of taking City's experimental three man defence to town. Showing character and leadership, he used his trademark, power and speed to torment the City defenders. His reward came after a one-two with Benteke allowed him to burst through the middle and score with a well taken goal that put Villa level. With fight and bottle running through the team, Villa went into the ascendancy.

If the goal mouth was heating up so were events on the touch line, with Lambert and City boss Mancini entering into a war of words over referring decision's or the latter`s perceived lack of them. With the rain hammering down and extra time looming it added to what was a tense atmosphere, lapped up by the 28,015 souls who had braved the weather.

Towards the end of time City went close twice. Balotelli's effort was saved by Given though he could only then watch as Tevez shaved the bar with a brilliantly struck free kick though it was not enough to prevent the onset of extra-time.

Villa wasted no time, taking the lead in the 96th minute, Nzogbia tucking home after Pantilimon parried Agbonlahor's rasping shot back into the area. City seemed to have no answer and were assured of defeat when Agbonlahor's 113th minute effort looped over the stranded Pantilimon. For Agbonlahor this was a potent reminder to Lambert of his importance to the team; that Bent should not necessarily be the man who starts with Benteke.

Overall, this was a memorable victory for Villa who once again showed character in numbers and ability with the football. Momentum and confidence will naturally be massive in the squad as a result, with key players having staked their claim for a starting role on Sunday.

An opportunity for continuity has been created. It must now be taken.

Star Player

Starman: Agbonlahor

Room for Improvement: Benteke

Date:Wednesday September 26 2012
Time: 9:35AM


"An opportunity for continuity has been created. It must now be taken."

Amen to that!
The Fear
26/09/2012 09:36:00
Amen indeed. Roller coaster? Looks like it. Hopefully we can continue upwards at least til Sunday. Great to see Gabby back if memory serves me correct he hasnt got a bad record in local derbies. UTV!!
Adam Deuce
26/09/2012 10:17:00
I didn't give our chances of a win a second thought ... ended up a nice surprise! lol
The Fear
26/09/2012 10:19:00
does this mean I dont have to read another article with The Barrys patronising crap about blah blah blah Holy Tax Evasion Robin
26/09/2012 10:21:00
I said after the Southampton game that despite the poor result and defending, the positive was that we created goalscoring opportunities, and it seems this has followed on in this game, with the difference being we have taken them. Great result, and by all accounts, great performance as well. Important that all involved with the club, staff and fans alike, don't get ahead of ourselves and remember that this Sunday against the Baggies is a completely different game. Hopefully Villa Park will be rocking!
26/09/2012 10:30:00
Just what we needed before the Baggies bounce their way into town.
26/09/2012 10:33:00
We need to build on this and get a win against WBA
26/09/2012 10:33:00
Like old times Gabby & Barry on the score sheet for Villa good win lets face it Citys second eleven would probably finish in the top six if they played two teams. Wonder if Barry & Milner swopped shirts at the end lol ?
26/09/2012 10:40:00
I thought the same Malacaxeta. Barry being a patronising *****. I will never forgive him for him trying to force a move to the Scousers.
26/09/2012 11:31:00
Funny how the national media nearly all mention Citeh made 10 changes to their team. What most fail to mention is we made 6 changes......Lol Lets not dip against the Baggies, lets make sure we STAY on a high.
Pride of Lions
26/09/2012 11:38:00
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