Epl: Manchester City Pip Aston Villa To Move Closer To Title Glory
Manchester City closed in on the Premier League title as the leaders fought back to win 2-1 at Aston Villa on Wednesday in their first match since withdrawing from the European Super League.
Pep Guardiola's side were rocked by John McGinn's opener for Villa after just 20 seconds.
But City recovered impressively as Phil Foden equalised before Rodri put the visitors ahead.
City defender John Stones threatened to derail his team's charge when he was sent off for a reckless foul on Jacob Ramsey just before half time.
However, Villa were reduced to 10 men as well when Matty Cash earned a second booking for chopping down Foden in the second half.
City are 11 points clear of second placed Manchester United and need a maximum of eight points from their remaining five games to clinch a third Premier League title in four seasons.
"Not the start I dreamed of but we reacted very well. It was a really good performance," Guardiola said.
"Phil Foden's influence in our games is massive. He's becoming a serious player."
City's bid for an unprecedented quadruple was shattered in Saturday's FA Cup semifinal defeat against Chelsea.
That loss, coming a week after 10-man Leeds won at the Etihad Stadium, raised the possibility of a remarkable late-season collapse from a City side who led the table by 17 points just a few weeks ago.
But their gritty display at Villa Park was a big step towards the title given their remaining fixtures feature few daunting tests.
"After this game it doesn't look like the Super League distracts us. Of course everyone was concerned, but the players were focused on this game," Guardiola said.
"The Premier League is the most important title to win. We are so close."
Before returning to the title race, City face Tottenham in the League Cup final at Wembley on Sunday and then travel to Paris Saint Germain for the Champions League semi-final first leg next week. (AFP)