Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Century of City Goals as Citizens near Title Glory

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Century of City Goals as Citizens near Title Glory

Article excerpt

MANCHESTER CITY 4 ASTON VILLA 0 MMANCHESTER City struck four second-half goals against a spirited Aston Villa side to put one hand on the Barclays Premier League trophy with a 4-0 win at the Etihad Stadium.

Edin Dzeko settled any nerves by breaking the deadlock after 64 minutes and followed up with his fifth crucial goal in the last three games.

Stevan Jovetic and Yaya Toure - netting City's 100th league goal of the season with a quite brilliant solo effort - added further strikes in the dying moments to send City two points clear at the top, with just one game to play, in some style.

With a superior goal difference to Liverpool, City effectively need only a draw from their final game against West Ham on Sunday to claim their second title in three seasons.

After Liverpool's capitulation to Crystal Palace on Monday, City had been expected to cruise home.

That they found the going tough on a night of heavy showers was credit to Villa side who, safe from relegation, supposedly had little to play for.

Dzeko's heroics, in the absence of top scorer Sergio Aguero, further underlined his return to form and confidence this season after recent goals against Crystal Palace and Everton in the run-in.

Title nerves and anxiety in the crowd became increasingly obvious throughout a goalless first half.

City completely dominated possession but Villa, defending deep and with five across the back, repelled wave after wave of attacks.

Goalkeeper Brad Guzan was well protected after dealing with a couple of early shots.

The American was first tested when Aleksandar Kolarov fired at him from a tight angle on the left.

He looked beaten after James Milner picked out Pablo Zabaleta with a clever reverse pass and the Argentinian set up Toure, but the keeper saved with his feet.

City continued to create chances but struggled to find the target.

Kolarov fizzed in a low cross from the left but neither David Silva nor Dzeko could get a firm touch. Samir Nasri curled a long-range effort over.

Villa finally pieced together a decent attacking move after half an hour but 22-year-old striker Jordan Bowery, handed a chance following injury to Gabriel Agbonlahor, could not turn in Andreas Weimann's deep cross. …

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