EPL

Manchester City 2-0 Aston Villa: Silva and Gundogan put Guardiola's men top amid offside controversy

By Sports Desk January 20, 2021

Bernardo Silva scored a controversial first Premier League goal of the season as Manchester City beat Aston Villa 2-0 to go top of the table.

City dominated much of an entertaining encounter on a miserable evening but looked set to miss out on the chance to take over at the summit until Silva struck 11 minutes from time, albeit in contentious circumstances.

Villa boss Dean Smith was sent off for his protests after he felt Silva's goal should have been ruled out for offside against Rodri, who had won the ball back from Tyrone Mings.

Ilkay Gundogan's penalty sealed all three points to extend City's winning run to nine matches and put them top, although Manchester United can replace them when they face Fulham later on Wednesday.

City lost Kevin De Bruyne and Kyle Walker to injury but they are now unbeaten in 16 games in all competitions.

Related items

  • Leicester City 1-3 Arsenal: Pepe completes impressive Gunners comeback Leicester City 1-3 Arsenal: Pepe completes impressive Gunners comeback

    Arsenal ended a run of two consecutive away Premier League defeats with an impressive 3-1 victory over high-flying Leicester City on Sunday.

    Mikel Arteta's men fought back from an early Youri Tielemans goal to score through David Luiz, Alexandre Lacazette and Nicolas Pepe, ending a three-game losing streak at the King Power Stadium in the top flight.

    The result means Arsenal closed to within three points of sixth-place Liverpool, having played a game more, while Leicester stay third and 13 points behind leaders Manchester City.

    Tielemans gave Leicester the lead with a precise finish after being allowed to run unchecked into the Arsenal box, with Kieran Tierney out of position and Pablo Mari distracted by Jamie Vardy.

    It was the fourth time the Gunners had conceded in the opening six minutes of a league game in 2021, but it seemed to spark them into life, with Pepe winning a penalty only for VAR to determine he was fouled outside the box.

    David Luiz deservedly equalised six minutes before the break, steering a fine header past Kasper Schmeichel from Willian's free-kick, and the visitors were ahead in injury time.

    Pepe's shot was blocked by the raised arm of Wilfred Ndidi and this time VAR ruled in favour of a penalty, allowing Lacazette to smash home from the spot.

    Injury problems struck each team either side of the break, with Emile Smith-Rowe limping off for the Gunners before Leicester's Harvey Barnes was taken off on a stretcher, his left leg in a brace.

    Arsenal scored their third soon afterwards, Pepe leading a counter-attack and then tapping a loose ball into the net after good work from Martin Odegaard and Willian.

    Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang came off the bench and almost made it 4-1, skipping into space and firing just wide of the right-hand post.
     

     

    What does it mean? Gunners into top 10 as concern builds for Leicester

    Given their poor start to the game, Arsenal's performance was as assured as any they have produced in recent weeks and lifted them back into the league's top 10.

    Leicester stay third but, after a surprise Europa League exit to Slavia Prague this week, this was not the way Brendan Rodgers will have wanted them to respond.

    The Foxes will hope these defeats do not point to a repeat of 2019-20. They lost on February 28 last year, away to Norwich City, during a six-game winless run that prompted a poor end to their season and a failure to see out a top-four finish.

    Pepe starting to peak

    Pepe menaced full-back Luke Thomas in the first half to the extent the Leicester man was substituted at half-time on a yellow card.

    Having won the free-kick for the equaliser and Lacazette's penalty, Pepe then started and finished the move that effectively killed the game. He has now scored four times in his most recent seven league starts, as many as in his previous 21 across all competitions.

    Leicester lose identity

    Leicester seemed out of sorts after going ahead and barely threatened Bernd Leno's goal from then on, with Jamie Vardy strangely isolated in attack.

    The man who scored 11 goals in his first 12 league meetings with Arsenal had 21 touches and failed even to attempt a shot.

    What's next?

    Arsenal head to Burnley next Saturday, three days after Leicester face the same opposition at Turf Moor.

  • Bale starts for Tottenham against Burnley, Alli on the bench Bale starts for Tottenham against Burnley, Alli on the bench

    Jose Mourinho has selected Gareth Bale in the Tottenham side to face Burnley in Sunday's Premier League clash in north London, with Dele Alli on the bench.

    Bale has only started two Premier League games since re-joining Spurs on loan from Real Madrid last September, while Alli's solitary appearance in a top-flight first XI this term came in the opening-day defeat to Everton when he was replaced at half-time.

    However, both men have impressed in Tottenham's recent Europa League outings.

    Bale scored in both legs as Mourinho's men dispatched Wolfsberger 8-1 on aggregate, with Alli netting a stunning overhead kick and recording two assists in this week's second encounter with the Austrian side.

    Those heroics were not enough to win the England midfielder a place in the team to take on Sean Dyche's team at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, as Bale joins Harry Kane, Son Heung-min and Lucas Moura in a four-pronged attack.

    Tottenham have lost five of their past six Premier League matches and lie ninth, needing a positive result against Burnley to reignite their top-four hopes.

  • Struggling Schalke take drastic action as Bundesliga club sack coaches and sporting director Struggling Schalke take drastic action as Bundesliga club sack coaches and sporting director

    Bundesliga strugglers Schalke have sacked five members of football staff, including head coach Christian Gross and sporting director Jochen Schneider.

    A 5-1 loss to Stuttgart on Saturday followed a 4-0 defeat to fierce rivals Borussia Dortmund on February 20.

    Schalke have won just two games in all competitions since November, lost seven of their past nine matches and only scored two goals since January 24.

    Their alarming form has left them bottom of the Bundesliga with just nine points from 23 matches during a chaotic season in which they have had already had four different head coaches.

    Gross took over from Manuel Baum at the end of December, with David Wagner and Huub Stevens having previously been in charge.

    After picking up just five points in 2021 and having been knocked out of the DFB-Pokal by Wolfsburg, Schalke have taken drastic action in a bid to arrest their decline while planning for life in the second tier in 2021-22.

    Gross has been dismissed along with assistants Rainer Widmayer and Werner Leuthard, while team manager Sascha Riether also departs.

    Sporting director Jochen Schneider, who was due to leave at the end of his contract in June, has also agreed to step down with immediate effect.

    Technical director Peter Knabel will assume temporary charge of sporting affairs, supported by under-19 coach Norbert Elgert and Mike Buskens, with athletic coaches to lead first-team training from Monday until a new head coach is appointed.

    In a statement, chairman Jens Buchta said: "The decisions taken have become inevitable after the disappointing performances against Dortmund and Schalke.

    "Let's not beat about the bush: the sporting situation is clear, so we have to think beyond the end of the season for every staff decision that now has to be made.

    "At the same time, the team is now obliged to play the final third of the current season as well as they possibly can. They owe this to the club and the fans."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.